A Daypart Is A Terrible Thing To Waste
As always, many stations have audience growth opportunities in middays. The big surprise was station performance after 7pm, where more than half of the stations we studied are tanking, to use the technical term.
Traditional thinking is that there is so little listening after 7pm, it doesn’t matter what programming goes there. That thinking is wrong.
Five hours of weak programming per weekday translates to 1,300 hours of lost opportunity per year. That’s 1,300 hours during which current listeners find the station not meeting their expectations. That’s 1,300 hours during which first-time listeners make a value judgment about the entire radio station.
There’s not going to be one single fix for evenings. Programming economics suggests that the financial costs cannot be on par with midday or drive time investments. But something needs to be done. In today’s highly competitive environment, public radio cannot afford to waste thousands, or even hundreds, of hours of precious airtime on programming that delivers substandard results.