Monday, March 21, 2011

Grow the Audience: A Disappointing First Year

The SRG has issued a one-year update on the CPB/SRG Grow the Audience project. The report, to say the least, is rather disappointing.

It's largely a technical explanation about why national audiences are difficult to measure given Arbitron's conversion from diary measurement to PPM measurement. It offers no reports or updates on specific efforts nationally, regionally, or locally to actually affect audience growth.

In fact, since the initial Grow the Audience report was published a year ago, the project has released nothing about CPB's investments in meeting the project goals. There's nothing on the CPB site about the Grow the Audience project and its efforts to affect audience growth. This report appears to be an update on nothing but the hope that the audience might be growing.

On a larger scale, there's no system buzz around the Grow the Audience project. The project was absent at the Public Radio Programming Conference. It has little or no buy-in at the station level.

What started out as an attempt to pull the system together with a common goal has failed to do that in its first year. Grow the Audience has no champions. It has no cheerleaders, not even among the people who conceived of and funded the project. And that's the biggest disappointment of all.

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