Report: SiriusXM to end The Bob Edwards Show

SiriusXM Radio will wind down The Bob Edwards Show next month, according to a Politico article published Friday. Citing unnamed sources, Politico reported that the show will end Sept. 26. Public Radio International distributes a weekly version of the show to public radio, and PRI spokeswoman Julia Yager said that program will continue. Edwards declined to comment to Current, and SiriusXM did not respond to a request for comment.

Arbitron reports new benchmark for pubradio news/talk audience

Audiences for news and talk stations delivered more than half of public radio’s listening in 2012, according to Arbitron’s annual study on public radio audience trends. The average quarter-hour (AQH) share, an Arbitron term describing the percentage of public radio listeners who tune to a specific format, hit 51.7 percent for pubradio news and talk stations last year, an 2.7 percent increase from 2011 and a precedent for the growth of public radio’s most powerful format, according to Arbitron’s “Public Radio Today 2013.” The study, which looked at audience trends across all stations and formats in 2012, found that public radio’s total audience remained at 32 million, or 12 percent, of all radio listeners. The number of weekly listeners grew by 7.5 percent, or 1.2 million, to a total of 18 million. Triple-A stations contributed to the gains by boosting the format’s weekly cume to 3.4 million listeners, an increase of 8.7 percent.

A digital revolution for public radio fundraising

Marketing consultant John Sutton has been forecasting what public radio will look like in 2018, and his predictions, published on his blog RadioSutton since February, have been provocative. Sutton is among the pubradio analysts who believe that federal funding “will be sharply reduced or gone in five years.” He also believes that digital listening will fragment the audience enough that eventually NPR will have to raise money directly from listeners or the current public radio economic model will collapse. Below, he lays out a proposal for overhauling public radio fundraising and how it makes both dollars and sense. Imagine a future in which listeners donate 26 percent more money to public radio at half the cost. Imagine that NPR has nearly $60 million more to invest annually in world-class journalism and development of new programs.

Is this imaginative exercise making you uncomfortable?

Tiny audience, debt service put Tacoma signal in jeopardy

Public Radio Capital is working to keep an FM station it owns in Tacoma, Wash., on the air after June 30, when Seattle’s KUOW will stop programming it. In six years of operating as an internationally focused alternative to KUOW, KXOT failed to attract enough new listeners to support its operations. PRC is negotiating with National Cooperative Bank, which backed the brokerage’s $5 million purchase of KXOT-FM in 2003. Payments on the loan have stopped while PRC tries to come up with a plan for KXOT. When KUOW began managing the Tacoma station in 2006, its leaders hoped to buy it.