Essential Public Radio ratings dip
Share with others:
When WDUQ-FM (90.5), now known as Essential Public Radio, dropped jazz in favor of an all-news format on July 1, many jazz fans threatened to tune out. In the first Arbitron ratings period since the format switch, it looks as though they have.
In the July Arbitron ratings, WDUQ had a 1.4 share of the total listening audience in July, down from 1.6 in June and 2.1 in May.
That kind of slip for a commercial station with higher ratings wouldn't mean much, but with a smaller audience, that fraction of a point represents a larger percentage of the audience.
Format changes typically result in lower ratings, as old listeners depart and new ones find the station. Radio programmers typically wait until six months have passed to judge the ratings impact of a format change.
"I'm really happy with the estimates," said Tammy Terwelp, director of content and programming for Essential Public Radio. "We've been on the air six weeks. We did expect the numbers to be a little lower with a format switch.
"It takes awhile. Six weeks is not enough. As more people discover us and don't just tune in for the programs they've known all along, and as we develop our sound and voice for the station, it will become a lot easier."
In recent weeks, there were some outages in EPM's online streams. "There were some technical issues," Ms. Terwelp said, adding that adjustments to the players and the stream have resolved the problems.
The new urban format WAMO-AM (660) held steady at 2.0 for the second month since it launched in June. Ratings for its FM repeater at 100.1 on the FM dial, which boosts the signal, aren't available.
First Published August 17, 2011 12:00 am