How Talk Radio Really Works
There are many misconceptions about talk radio and I thought the beginning of the year might be a good time to clear things up.
Radio is entertainment. We all have different tastes in music so there are a variety of music stations. For talk radio there is a variety of hosts with varying points of view. Radio is everywhere. In your home, car, computer, cell phone, workplace, even the classroom.
Here are a few of misconceptions people have brought to my attention over the years.
Misconception One: Ownership Dictates What’s On The Air
Ownership makes the deals that put programing on the air, but it’s the listeners who have the final say if something stays on the air. Why is Rush Limbaugh on instead of Allen Combs for example?
Rush Limbaugh, regardless of your feelings about his political views, will put more ears on the radio and thus allow larger revenues to the station for advertising. Ads are based in part of the number of people who will be exposed to that ad.
So programing throughout the day is geared to attract the most listeners at any one time and make it very effective for those who choose to advertise on talk or music radio.
Misconception Two: On Air Personalities Are Controlled
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) imposes the only restriction I know of. According to them there are only eight words I can’t say on the air. That leaves me a whole bunch of other words that will just as easily get the point across without my having to resort to profanity.
No one at Townsquare Media or any previous station owners have ever sat me down and told me any topic was off limits. But the day is young.
Misconception Three: Programing Reflects Ownership’s Political Views
I can tell you for a fact that ownership’s personal political views play no part in their decisions of what programming is presented. It’s based on who will pull the biggest ratings and grow our audiences.
If liberal programing produced a majority of the Top Twenty Talk Show Hosts then that’s what you would hear on the air. But, as you can see from the list it doesn’t. It’s business not political or personal. Listeners vote with their ears as to what they like or don’t like.
Some Final Thoughts
All of our five Townsquare stations want to provide the highest quality entertainment possible. There is tremendous competition among talk radio stations to attract and sign exclusive rights to the top talk show hosts and they don’t work cheap.
We are doing our best to give you what you want on your radio at home, work or at play. Our ratings reflect that we are doing that job throughout the broadcast day and our sponsors and all of us who work to bring you our programing appreciate your support of our efforts.
We are looking forward to providing you with stimulating, relaxing, kick up your heels entertainment for another great year in The Last Best Place on Earth.
I’ll see you on the radio.