Has Talk Radio Become Irrelevant?

talkradioA recent Boston Globe op-ed piece on the irrelevancy of talk radio during the 2008 Presidential election is causing much head scratching in talk radio circles. The piece points to the falling percentage of listener calls during a typical show, the overall decline in the use of the medium, as well as the lack of civility by the hosts as reasons for talk radios declining impact during this past election. Who and what are these guys listening to! If ratings are used as a barometer, (check the Summer and Fall 2008 Arbitrons) talk radio is more of a lighting rod for political discussion than it has ever been. The article also cites the period between the 1979 and 2004 Presidential elections as being a high water mark for talk radios influence. As I recall Matt Drudge was an influential source for conservative talkers and a significant platform for that point of view, but were he and Rush and Hannity really that much of a factor in the re-election of G.W. Bush in 2004? Any more than say, than Ed Schultz or Rachel Maddow were in electing Barak Obama in 2008? Is it just me or are people much more engaged in the process and eager to be heard? I’ll admit that there are some cogent points made in the editorial, but the overall assessment is so far off base it’s tough to believe that it made the light of day. Comments?

Leave a Reply