10/08/16 // Richard Wagoner/Los Angeles Daily News — As a longtime cheerleader of AM radio, much as I hate to say it, AM is dead. It’s not even on life support here in Los Angeles any more, it’s dead. In the most recent monthly ratings released in mid-September by Nielsen, only nine AM stations made the list out of 41 stations total, accounting for 10.1 percent of the listening audience. The highest-rated AM station, KNX (1070 AM), earned a 2.9 percent share of the audience aged 6 and over; KNX and KFI (640 AM) account for over half of the listenership of the entire AM band with a total of 5.5. By comparison, the top-two FM stations, KOST (103.5 FM) and KIIS-FM (102.7) earned a combined 10.5 share, meaning that two FM stations beat out the entire AM band’s ratings. That’s sad. Obviously current programming is not attracting an audience. Not young, not old. Not at all. Reliance on political talk, infomercials and sports just doesn’t cut it when it comes to attracting listeners. For AM to become relevant — suggesting it should “stay” relevant would mean it “is” relevant, and it most certainly is not — it needs to reinvent itself once more. Or perhaps, more accurately, look to formats that would attract an audience if they were offered. READ MORE
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