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Contentious Election Drives News/Talk for October

Nielsen PPM results also show audience growth among millennials

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The release of Nielsen’s portable people meter ratings for October reveals that news/talk stations are continuing to grow their audience, following the trend for this election year. This 9.9% share of audience among listeners aged 6 and older is up from 9.1% in October 2015, and represents growth from the summer months of June and July, when news/talk was 8.9% in June 2016.

News/talk ranked second in the PPM markets in October, ahead of country, hot adult contemporary and adult contemporary.

News/talk’s audience levels are comparable to the same month four years ago. However, the format’s share of audience among millennials (those aged 18–34) is larger this time around. These results show a rising tide lifting the news/talk boat, helped in part because the 25–54 age group for this format reached its highest point in more than three years at 7.3% this month.

And while news/talk is following quadrennial seasonal patterns, sports radio is in the middle of its annual upswing that corresponds to the culmination of the Major League Baseball season along with the return of the NFL. Last year, all sports radio peaked at its highest levels in PPM measurement; and this month continues the trend, especially with millennials; this also is in tune with October and November as the historic peak of listening for the format, followed by January and February, when the NFL playoffs occur.