News, Talk and Sports Inch Up; Hispanic Slips, Katz Finds

What radio formats are hot nationally?
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What radio formats are hot nationally?

Katz Radio Group issued its National Format Averages report for fall 2007. It said the Iraq war, politics and the Mitchell Report on steroids helped out news, talk and sports radio.

The company’s Lisa Chiljean said, “While some individual formats showed more modest increases than others, this growth is likely to continue right through the spring and fall of 2008 leading up to the presidential election in November.”

News captured 2.5 percent of the audience in 2007, up a tad from 2006, while talk radio inched up to 2.4 percent. Sports increased to 2.2 percent from 2.1 percent.

The country music category slipped to 14.3 percent from 14.9 percent but remains the most popular U.S. radio format, Katz said. Hispanic radio, the second largest format, declined from 8.3 to 8.1 percent after experiencing growth over several years.

Katz also said radio continues to play an key role in the lives of younger people. Chiljean said radio is the place younger listeners go to learn about new music. But as this group has spent more time with new technologies their time with radio has lessened a bit over the years.

“For the first time in several years, however, we noticed that this trend has slowed,” she continued in the Katz summary. “Looking at an average of four primary youth formats, there is a strong indication that overall listening among youth demographics has stabilized.”

In primary youth-targeted formats, audience share is stable, with urban contemporary holding at 7.0 percent, alternative/modern rock at 3.1 percent, contemporary hit radio at 6.8 percent and rhythmic contemporary hits at 4.2 percent.

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