here's an interesting perspective:
But if we go just below the surface of the all of these audience numbers, we find something else that's interesting. While only a percentage point separates the Pew Center's listenership numbers for talk radio and National Public Radio - (though the definition used for talk radio might readily be applied to many programs on NPR member stations), the shape of the audiences is quite different.
According to the Pew Center's survey when compared with the average talk-radio listener, the NPR listener is younger and more likely to say he or she is a Democrat. Fully 41% of talk-radio listeners say they are Republican, only 28% Democrats. The numbers virtually invert themselves when we look at the listenership of NPR, a radio network largely thought of as "liberal' in its viewpoint. Fully 41% of NPR listeners identify themselves as Democrats, 24% as Republicans.5
And here we have a trend that appears to be moving its way through the news media. American media audiences appear increasingly to be seeking out those media outlets that speak to their viewpoints and ideas. The niche formatting of radio, where a listener can select an all-news station, and the surgical-precision of formatting on satellite radio, where a listener can select a conservative, pro-gun, talk-radio station, makes this media particularly well suited to this kind of self-segregation.
But content might be only part of the radio audience discussion; the method of delivery also seems to play a significant role.
Data suggest that one reason NPR skews younger is that many of its affiliates are on the FM dial. Research has shown that an AM talk or news station, simulcasting the same content over an FM station, most likely has two different audiences - an older AM audience and an FM audience 10 years younger. Moreover - and this has surprised many radio insiders - a station simulcasting the same content on line will find that that audience is 10 years younger than its FM audience. In other words, it's not that there are no young people tuning in to news/talk radio. It just might be that they are streaming content, not scanning the AM dial.
So with radio listenership largely maintaining its steady picture, the question about radio audience may soon be moving beyond who is listening and how many of them are listening to how they're listening.
Entire article here: http://www.stateofthenewsmedia.org/2...?cat=3&media=8
Graph indicates percent of listeners by age group.