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Al Franken Beats O'Reilly in NY Radio Matchup...

by Blake Cook / July 21, 2004 5:58 PM PDT

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Despite the rocky start of his liberal Air America radio network, political humorist Al Franken surged past conservative nemesis Bill O'Reilly in the first quarterly ratings matchup between the two in New York City.

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Boy they REALLY had to parse things to get that headline!
by Evie / July 21, 2004 11:26 PM PDT

First of all, O'Franken is on 12:00-3:00, O'Reilly is on 2:00-4:00. Let's face reality, O'Franken would have already sucked in whatever audience might be looking for a Rush (also noon-3pm) alternative during the first two hours of his show. However it is far more likely that O'Franken listeners haven't been sucked off of Rush's pool (I could be wrong but Air America hasn't eaten into his ratings that I am aware). Given their similar (but by no means the same) political bents, it is far more likely that O'Reilly is directly competing with Rush for listeners in that 2-3pm hour. Now on WABC, Rush is followed by Sean Hannity (hugely popular nationally now, but even more so in NYC). How many listeners are going to switch from Rush, with an hour of programming to go, to O'Reilly, when most will prefer to switch back in anothe rhour to Hannity? It's not really a head to head matchup when comparing the last hour of a 3 hr program with the first hour of a 2 hr program. Lastly, but by no means leastly, any fair article should also point out that O'Reilly tapes LIVE from Noon-2pm EST. His broadcast on WOR is taped replay. Any listeners that might enjoy calling in live are SOL in NYC.

Still, even with the scheduling odds stacked against him, O'Franken only beats O'Reilly in one demographic (albeit an important one) for the last hour of his live show vs. the first hour of O'Reilly's taped one. Ah rejoice! But wait ...

O'Reilly did slightly better than Franken in the broader demographic of all listeners aged 12 and up.

Of course, Rush still eclipses them both. I guess the number was too big to embarrass themselves about making a big slobbery ta doo over O'Franken, but it might have been nice to know. LOL.

At the end of the article AA boasts 17 stations. I go on O'Reilly's website, and one finds that in Florida alone, O'Reilly has 23 stations that carry his program. LOL, he competes against himself in Tampa! I would say that anyway you spin it, that cherrypicked NYC ratings matchup is meaningless.

Inquiring minds want to know. Is Air America still PAYING stations to air its content (vs. the other way around for all the others?). Is Franken getting a paycheck yet?

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(NT) (NT) Great analysis.
by James Denison / July 22, 2004 12:54 PM PDT
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