|For immediate release
March 28, 2005
Susan Bruser, 202.513.2306
Emily Hellewell, 202.513.2322
NPR Programs, Member Stations Attract Record-Breaking Audiences
PUBLIC RADIO LISTENERSHIP AT ALL-TIME HIGH; NEWS COVERAGE OF WAR, ELECTIONS A MAJOR FACTOR IN GROWTH
WASHINGTON - Audience levels for NPR® programming hit a record high in Fall 2004, reaching more than 23 million listeners weekly, with newsmagazines such as Morning Edition® and Day to Day scoring impressive gains, according to Arbitron's Nationwide estimates. The estimates indicate growth of six percent above Fall 2003 audience levels and a 41 percent increase over the past four years. The growth, experienced across a wide range of demographics, indicates that NPR Member stations have retained the new audience they gained during significant news events such as 9-11, Afghanistan, Iraq, and the 2000 and 2004 Presidential elections. Achieving another record, NPR Member stations increased the size of their audience to 30 million listeners a week. Additionally, by adding more than 800,000 new listeners to reach a total of over 13.2 million weekly listeners, Morning Edition strengthened its hold as the most listened to morning show in America, and the second most listened to radio show overall, commercial or noncommercial.
During this most recent Arbitron survey, one in seven adults aged 25 or older and almost three in ten college graduates listened to NPR Member stations.
Shown by format, Arbitron's Nationwide estimates for NPR programming for Fall 2004 compared to Fall 2003 data show an average gain of seven percent for NPR newsmagazines, which include Morning Edition, All Things Considered® and Day to Day, 11 percent for NPR talk programs, which include Talk of the Nation® and WHYY's Fresh Air® with Terry Gross, and 5 percent for NPR entertainment programs, which include the news quiz Wait Wait… Don't Tell Me!® and Car Talk.®
"Over the last four years, NPR has been one of the few media organizations to expand serious, in-depth reporting of news from around the nation and around the world. Our audience growth is directly traceable to our increasingly unique position as a credible, trusted source of careful and responsible journalism," said Kevin Klose, NPR's president and chief executive officer. "The strength of NPR also lies with our partnership with Member stations, which are an increasingly meaningful source of local news and content. We are grateful to our Member stations and their listeners for our continued growth over the last 20 years. While radio listening has declined and Americans have exponentially more media choices, this new data proves what we've known all along: NPR and public radio stations are a primary source of news, information, and entertainment for millions of Americans."
NPR.org also experienced meteoric growth. According to data from IBM SurfAid Analytics, the average number of monthly unique visitors increased to about five million in fourth quarter 2004, while the number of unique visitors to npr.org doubled from the same period last year.
NPR is renowned for journalistic excellence and standard-setting news and entertainment programming. A privately supported, non-profit, membership organization, NPR serves a growing audience of 23 million Americans each week in partnership with more than 780 public radio stations. International partners in cable, satellite and short-wave services make NPR programming accessible anywhere in the world. With original online content and audio streaming, npr.org offers hourly newscasts, special features and eight years of archived audio and information.