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Right-Wing Talk Radio in Decline?

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Rush, Beck, Hannity and the bunch are still worth a gazillion bucks.

But their ratings are plummeting.  John Avalon, writing in the Daily Beast, cites the big market city ratings drop Rush is experiencing in that coveted $$ demographic of  the 25-54 age group.  In Charlotte he went from #6 to #12.   He’s had a similar decline in Portland and San Francisco.

In the over-65 bracket, Rush is still numero uno.  But as Avalon says,

He can sell bedpans and resentment forever. But the demographic trend is not his friend.

Kudos to Michael Smerconish, who once rode the right-wing bandwagon before reading the tea leaves and re-inventing himself as a persona he calls a “radical centrist.”

Former Clear Channel talk radio guru Gabe Hobbs said that the emerging success of new personalities like Smerconish’s is due to the tone they set.

“This civil and smart approach—like [John] Batchelor and Michael Smerconish and some other shows—to me is kind of a ‘duh,’ ” adds Hobbs, indicating that it should have been obvious long ago. “The numbers that NPR is drawing clearly portends to something. I’ve seen it myself in research. It’s the tone; it’s the approach. Some people don’t want to be engaged at that loud, angry level—that hard right or left ideological approach where it’s my way or the highway.”

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