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Leykis Is Back on the Air, Sort of

Internet-based show aims for precise listenership measurements

He’s not tanned but he says he’s rested and ready. The irascible Tom Leykis left the broadcast air over three years ago but now he’s back … on the Internet exclusively.

The “Tom Leykis Show” is available via free streaming live 3 p.m. PT and with podcasts on a paid “premium” service. According to a release all major media players for computer and mobile devices are compatible. Internet radio portal TuneIn also carries the stream.

The new show is a call-in, similar to the old show, but Leykis says that the Internet allows him to “produce the same or better content, be heard anywhere in the world rather than in select markets and we don’t have to answer to the FCC.”

But perhaps more interesting than being able to “speak his mind” is Leykis and crew’s approach to its audience and advertisers. “We are not estimating our audience. This is an important distinction for advertisers, agencies and media buyers to be aware of.”

Leykis explained, “The 401,000 [listeners worldwide] number is an actual count of how many ‘listening opportunities’ took place based on the actual log files of those who logged on and accessed our stream. The counting of listeners on an Internet stream is unlike the methods used in radio Arbitron rating which is really an ‘audience estimate’ in which a ‘scientifically-chosen’ sample is extrapolated to estimate a total number of listeners, not an actual count.”

Leykis, never one to shy from controversy, is happy with early returns and added: “These numbers are way higher than what we’d anticipated. We’re way farther along in our progress than I ever could have imagined. Kind of makes you wonder what competing alternative content like this will ultimately mean for radio.”