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Limbaugh loses important listeners; Shredd and Ragan have new 4-year deal

It appears that Rush Limbaugh is experiencing some of the listener decline in Western New York that has been occurring in other markets nationally in a demographic that advertisers covet.

At first glance, Limbaugh is doing fine on WBEN-AM.

The conservative talk station is No. 1 in share from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the audience 12 years and older when Sandy Beach and Limbaugh are the talkers.

But after further review, they are experiencing a significant decline in the so-called “money” demographic of listeners ages 25 through 54.

A year ago during the spring rating period, WBEN was sixth in the market from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a 6.9 share of the listening audience in that important demo.

This past spring for the period from March 26-June 17, Beach and Limbaugh slipped to tenth place with a 3.7 share of the audience.

In other words, they lost almost half of their share of that audience from a year ago.

Greg Ried, who runs all local Entercom stations, declined comment about Limbaugh’s demographic decline here.

Back in late May, Ried said: “Rush still thrives on WBEN and has great ratings.”

That no longer seems the case in the key area. However, it is only one book so it will take one or two more to determine if Limbaugh’s decline here in the key demographic is a trend.

Things are much worse for WBEN from 7 p.m. to midnight, the period when Sean Hannity is on the air. A year ago, WBEN averaged a 4.6 share among listeners 25-54. This spring, it had about a third of that with a 1.6 share and tied for 12th place in the market.

Throughout the day, WBEN does extremely well with listeners age 12 and over, primarily because it is so popular with the older demographic of age 55 and older.

Here is the Top 10 for listeners age 12 and over during the spring.

  1. WYRK (10.1), 2. WBEN (9.8). 3. WBLK (8.7) 4. WHTT (6.6) 5. WGRF (6.2) 6. WKSE (5.8) 7. WTSS (4.8) 8. WMSX (4.2) 9 WGR and WEDG(4.0).

Here is the Top 10 in the so-called money demographic of 25-54:

  1. WYRK (11.1) 2. WBLK (10.4) 3. WGRF (7.6) 4. WEDG (6.1) 5. WKSE (6.1). 6 WHTT (5.7) and WTSS (tie) 8. WMSX (4.9) 9. WGR (4.3 and WBUF (tie). Noticeably absent is WBEN, which slipped from a tie for sixth last spring with a 5.7 share to 11th this spring with a 3.8 share.

WGR’s ranking might surprise some sports fans, but it is No. 1 in the morning with Howard Simon and Jeremy White from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. with Mike Schopp and Chris (The Bulldog) Parker in the key 25-54 male demographic that it is seeking.

The popular morning team of Ted Shredd and Tom Ragan at 103.3, The Edge has agreed to a four-year contract extension, Cumulus Radio has announced. Shredd and Ragan have been together for 21 years, one more year than The Edge has been around. They previously worked in the afternoons.

In the spring book, their morning program finished No. 2 in the age 25-54 male demographic with a 11.2 share, behind only sports station WGR (13.1). It was No. 3 among all morning listeners ages 25-54, behind only WYRK and WBLK and ahead of fourth place WGR.

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