Air Warfare By the Numbers

It’s a sad state of affairs when 1/6th of the choir leaves while you’re preaching:

Surprising many observers who expected it to shine during election season, all-liberal upstart WLIB (1190 AM) — base station for Al Franken and Janeane Garofalo — actually headed south, shedding 15% of its summer audience to finish fall at 24th place in just-released ARBITRONS…

Actually, my snide remark might have been a bit unfair. After all, summer was when the election cycle was picking up – so you could expect ratings to spike, and then slide after November 2.

Or the story could be worse for Air America. Since I don’t have the raw Arbitron numbers, I don’t know when in the Fall WLIB’s numbers fell. Did they suffer their entire drop in the seven-plus weeks after the election? If so, that means the ratings crunch is even worse than it looks on the surface — because the spike should have lasted through November 2 at the very least; mid-November is more likely. From where I sit, I’d guess that WLIB’s summer numbers held through the first half of the Q4 book, meaning their day-to-day ratings could be off by as much as 30%.

Again, there’s no way to confirm my theory without looking at Arbitron’s book. But in about three months, the winter numbers should be available.

“Developing. . .”