Marc Cooper, the former KPFK show host, makes a convincing case at his blog that the listening audience for the local Pacifica station has dwindled precipitously. He blames the drop on the station's internal politics, which appear to always trump smart programming choices. Exceprt:
The Pacifica affiliate in Los Angeles --KPFK-- from where I departed when the "real revolutionaries" took over in 2002, now has an audience that is ONE-FOURTH of its size (or less) than it was before the "Free Pacifica" movement loonies took it over nearly a decade ago. That's right. Some 75% of the listeners are gone. Tuned out. Lost.
The most effective way to measure the audience of a station is by its AQH, the number of listeners who tune in for any amount of time during an average quarter hour...The station has the strongest signal in the western U.S. with 112,000 watts and its footprint covers a signal area of more than 20 million people. But at any given moment only an average of 1800 people are tuned in....That's less daily traffic than a mid-sized blog!
He cites a spring 2009 Arbitron rating book that also contains bad news for KCRW and good news for lovers of classical music. After the jump, the audiences for L.A.'s top public radio stations.
Froom Cooper's ratings stats:
Station AQH Weekly cume (# of persons)
KUSC 2.1 747,000
KPCC 1.7 548,600
KKJZ 0.7 317,100
KCRW 0.5 288,800
KPFK .02 111,700