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NPR Announces Increase In Listeners


Washington, DC – NPR programming, whose audience has on average grown by more than one million listeners a year since 2000, has hit a new audience high of 26.5 million, according to the just-released Arbitron ratings for Fall 2006.* This new figure represents a +4 percent increase vs Spring 2006, the last ratings period, and +2 percent increase vs Fall 2005.

Additionally, listenership has increased for public radio stations overall around the country. For Fall 2006, 30.9 million weekly listeners tuned into NPR Member stations – which independently schedule their own local programming as well as shows from NPR and other public radio producers. This is a +2 percent increase vs a year ago, Fall 2005, and +4 percent increase vs Spring 2006. The stations’ performance is particularly notable in light of general declines in audience for commercial radio, television news and newspapers. In particular, over the past three years, commercial news/talk radio has dropped -7 percent while listening to public radio news-talk stations has risen +3 percent.

Two NPR programs also hit new audience highs in Fall 2006; both have also shown growth every ratings period since their premieres. Day to Day, the daily midday news magazine launched in 2003 which now airs on 181 stations, grew +11 percent vs Fall 2005, with 1.82 million weekly listeners now. Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! the weekly comedy news quiz show, grew +16 percent vs Fall 2005 and +15 percent vs Spring 2006, with 2.3 million weekly listeners now. The show has increased in audience in each consecutive ratings period since its start in 1998.


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