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Member since: Sun Jun 5, 2011, 07:28 PM
Number of posts: 4,821

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Talk Radio is in Decline

Rush Limbaugh is ailing. And so is the conservative talk-radio industry.

...In 1987, the Federal Communications Commission repealed the Fairness Doctrine, which had required stations to present politically “balanced” programming — the new wave of “hot” talkers enabled stations to create entire schedules consisting of nothing but conservative chatter... [Now], Faced with aging and shrinking audiences, competition from newer technologies and financial problems for the biggest station owners, talk radio is in decline — both as a business and a political force...

But conservative talk radio’s foremost problem isn’t so much how many people are listening as who. The audience that grew up with Limbaugh is now quite gray, largely people 65 and older... Meanwhile, plain old AM-FM radio — the primary medium for talk programs — is rapidly losing ground to newer technologies such as satellite radio, streaming audio and podcasts...

Talk radio’s older demographics were a weakness even before the pandemic... Turned off by the hosts’ occasional nastiness and seeking young customers, many blue-chip companies have stopped advertising on talk-radio shows, leaving the stations with smaller sponsors who pay less, he said...

All of this doesn’t mean the era of hyperbolic, confrontational conservative talk exemplified by Limbaugh is coming to an end. The medium might be in trouble, but the conservative message is already moving to new delivery systems.
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