Aug 11, 2009

Long Island's WLIU up for sale

Long Island University is looking to sell WLIU, an NPR News and jazz station broadcasting from its campus in Southhampton, N.Y. The station "currently runs at a deficit that the university can no longer afford to subsidize," said Robert Altholz, Long Island University’s vice president for finance and treasurer, in a news release. The Southhampton Press reports that LIU covers roughly 54 percent of the station's $2.4 million budget. Under orders of the university's trustees, all subsidies for the station are to end on October 3. Wally Smith, WLIU manager, learned about the university's plan in April; efforts to find another public institution to take over the license and preserve the service have failed. Smith hopes to establish a new non-profit that can raise enough money to buy the WLIU's broadcast licenses and equipment.

Arbitron analyzes ratings trends by pubradio format

Public Radio Today 2009, Arbitron's analysis of public radio listening patterns and demographics, digs into Fall 2008 diary and Portable People Meter ratings and sifts out details about the performance of the eight different public radio formats. Driven in large part by interest in the 2008 presidential elections, news/talk stations increased their weekly share of all public radio listening to 48 percent, a 10 percent increase from Fall 2006, the period covered in Arbitron's last report on public radio. Led by the emergence of KUSC in Los Angeles and WETA in Washington, D.C., as the only all-classical stations in their markets, the classical music format boosted its average quarter hour share of pubradio listening to 13.7 percent. The weekly cume of 5 million listeners for classical music stations is a 15 percent increase from 2006. The news/music format, which encompasses stations that broadcast a variety of musical genres, and news/jazz also boosted their AQH share of pubradio listening. Quarter-hour listening for all other formats covered by the study--news/classical, jazz, Triple A and variety music--were down, although Arbitron reports some interesting demographic shifts for those stations. The jazz format, for example, gained ground with 18-24 year olds, while Triple A added aging baby boomers. The percentage of 55-64 year-olds listening to public radio's Triple A/contemporary music mix stations climbed from 10 percent in Fall 2006 to nearly 18 percent in Fall 2008.