Reinvigorating public radio's public service and public support.


Americans listened less to public radio in 2005 than in 2003.   Not coincidentally, their financial support shows signs of softening.

The Radio Research Consortium engaged George Bailey of Walrus Research and David Giovannoni of AudiGraphics, Inc.  to study these disturbing trends.

Audience 2010 was designed to help public broadcasters reinvigorate the vitality and sustainability of public radio's services.

Audience 2010 published interim reports on this site during the first half of 2006.   All reports are open for circulation to anyone.

Key Findings from 2006 PRPD Session.  The 2006 Public Radio Program Directors conference opened with a session devoted to Audience 2010. Joanne Church of the RRC reviewed our key findings.

Interim Report #7: 21st Century Trajectories.  Just because public radio has lost national audience momentum doesn't mean all stations have lost momentum. Some continue to grow. But most do not. This report shows which stations are which, and finds that a return to the macro- and micro-formatics of good radio are in order.

Interim Report #6: Losing Our Grip.  Competition and the ascendance of listener-insensitive aspirations have reduced public radio’s significance in the lives of its own listeners. Public broadcasters can regain that significance by allowing listener loyalty to guide more programming decisions, and by requiring net listener-sensitive revenue to fund more programming.

Interim Report #5: Historic Sources of Growth.  This report determines that public radio's current situation cannot be blamed on presumed declines in FM listening, or on the widely-accepted (and wildly inaccurate) assumptions that college-educated Americans are fleeing radio and that younger Americans are not using radio at all.

Interim Report #4: An Historic Loss of Momentum.  After 30 years of virtually uninterrupted gains, public radio is entering its third year without audience growth. This report explores the ramifications that cascade from this historic loss of momentum, with a focus on the financial and programming implications for stations.

Interim Report #3: Reliability & Integrity.  This report applies objective criteria to Arbitron's method, sample, and response to determine that public radio's loss of audience momentum is real. It encourages public broadcasters to apply the same criteria to assess the reliability and integrity of all studies on which they base decisions.

Interim Report #2: XM & Sirius.  This report determines that significant listening has not been lost to XM and Sirius channels. It identifies the terrestrial programming preferences of public radio’s listeners who also listen to XM and Sirius. And it asks how public radio expects to expand its omnibus public service by 2010 if it refrains from competing vigorously on emerging media platforms.

Interim Report #1: Approach.  This report outlines the project's general approach.