Jeff Boudreau:

Q: Does the WETS-FM programming change follow a national trend among public radio stations?

A. Yes. Although we made the changes for other reasons as well, we know that, for the past decade, public radio stations around the country have been switching to mostly news and public affairs programming on their primary channels. In fact, by 2000, the number of public radio stations broadcasting news and public affairs programs exceeded those with mixed news-music programming.

News-talk radio programming has become most preferred among listeners of all radio formats around the nation, outranking country music for the first time, according to the latest Arbitron report. Recently, stations in Nashville, Winston-Salem, Fort Myers, Birmingham, Hartford, and Vermont have made this change.

Most stations make the switch because it boosts listenership, membership, and revenues. Typically, stations see an increase in the number of listeners as well as contributions and underwriting revenues.


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