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Alaska Slashes PBS Funding

Filed under  by Amanda Toering — 04/03/2005 @ 7:50 am

Alaskan legislators have cut PBS’ state funding by 30%.

In the Juneau Empire.

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  1. If NPR pushes a one-sided agenda, as members of the Alaska legislature says, it’s a popular side. NPR’s “Morning Edition” has larger ratings than any other morning radio show. It’s audience is smaller than Limbaugh’s, however, 13 million combared to 18 million.



    radio column, New York Daily News

    NPR’s ‘Edition’ top of the ‘Morning’


    Now that all the fall 2004 ratings have been crunched, the country’s top morning radio show remains National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition,” heard here mostly on WNYC (93.9 FM, 820 AM).

    Like WABC and other talk stations, “Morning Edition” picked up listeners from the presidential campaign.

    NPR estimates 13.2 million listeners tuned in at some point during the average week, up from 12.4 million in the fall of 2003.

    While no firm numbers are available for Howard Stern, whom many would assume to be the country’s top show, Talkers magazine estimates Stern’s weekly audience at “more than 8.5 million.”

    Part of the reason for the difference is that while Stern is now on 46 stations, “Morning Edition” is on hundreds of stations, in virtually every market.

    But “Morning Edition,” which until last fall was hosted for almost 25 years by Bob Edwards - now on XM Satellite Radio - has built its own loyal following.

    “NPR and ‘Morning Edition’ are a whole huge wing of the talk-radio spectrum,” says Michael Harrison, editor of Talkers. “They sometimes are overlooked because they’re part of the so-called noncommercial area, but they have a large, active audience that’s very influential.”

    In some quarters, NPR and shows like “Morning Edition” are considered part of the “liberal media,” a tag disputed by both NPR officials and liberal watchdog groups like Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, which says NPR tilts a bit right.

    Still, Harrison notes, “Over the last 15 years or so, conservatives in the media have been successful in defining as ‘liberal’ everything that’s not them.”

    Whatever anyone hears in the ideology, it seems clear a growing number of radio listeners has turned away from commercial radio to the lower-key style of a “Morning Edition.”

    And NPR, which nowadays must demonstrate to its funding masters in Congress that it’s serving a broad spectrum of the public, not an elite, is delighted to credit NPR’s broad philosophy and approach for the success of a “Morning Edition.”

    “Our audience growth is directly traceable to our increasingly unique position as a credible, trusted source of careful and responsible journalism,” says NPR president Kevin Klose

    Comment by John Greenwald — 4/3/2005 @ 9:26 am

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