David Sirota's AM 760 ratings grow thanks to unlikely talk-radio demographic: women

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David Sirota.
Do the ladies love David Sirota? Apparently so. The AM 760 morning-show host's ratings have doubled in most categories over the past year -- but his audience among women, not traditionally a group that prizes commercial talk radio, has increased by leaps and bounds -- more than ten-fold in one demo. Why? Sirota's got a few theories.

"We don't do sexist morning-zoo-type radio," he points out. "There's so much of that out there, and not only in the Denver market. And we're saying, 'Here's a place where women will be respected and not denigrated."

Granted, the numbers AM 760 is generating won't cause jaws to drop. According to the latest ratings listed by Radio Online, the station is currently tied for 25th place out of 43 outlets in the market among listeners age twelve and older. But March numbers provided by the station show Sirota's program generally outpacing AM 760 as a whole -- and in female demos, it does even better.

Examples? His ratings are up 1125 percent among women 35-54 over the past year; 680 percent among women 35-64; 471 percent among women 25-54; and 450 percent among women over 35. In these categories, his program places from eighth to fourteenth place among head-to-head competitors.

As Sirota concedes, ratings fluctuate month to month, week to week and even day to day. But he sees the overall improvement as evidence that listeners are finding his program. And those who do tend to stick around because of the variety of subjects -- a range that's naturally broadened of late because he recently became a father.

"We don't just do politics, and we don't do water-carrying for one party or the other," he says. "And our topic lineup is very wide. This past week, we did everything from the DUI bill in the legislature to the History Cannel documentary looking for the nails that crucified Jesus to Noam Chomsky to the mayor's race. And when we do politics, it's not just 'Democrats are great and Republicans are terrible.' It's a broader frame."

There's a tonal difference from most other commercial talk radio as well, he believes. "People are looking for something different than having partisan talking points screamed at them," he says. "And we don't do what I would call thundering-fist, angry-male radio. It's not that I'm not passionate about things. But I think our show is much more conversational and thought-provoking. It's not just about taking a position and ramming it down people's throats."

For instance, Sirota likes to use pop-cultural references to underline his opinions, as in his latest book, the '80s-centric Back to Our Future, which has gotten lots of national publicity via the likes of MSNBC's Rachel Maddow. He's also a syndicated columnist, and he concedes that "the show's benefited from the fact that I'm on a lot of different platforms. And I hope the book suggests that what we talk about isn't going to be so esoteric and ideological as to turn them off."

As such, he believes "we're showing that not only can a different kind of radio format succeed, but it can succeed in ways the old formula doesn't and can't."

More from our Media archive: "David Sirota named justice on Matt Taibbi's Supreme Court of Assholedom: Congrats!"

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6 comments
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Sera
Sera

Sirota is too whiny and obsessed with the 80's. He is lucky to be on the same station as hosts like Randi Rhodes, Mario Solis-Marich and Thom Hartmann.

Kathleen
Kathleen

Rosen's listenership is about 99 % men, with more than half over age 60. His show is doomed with an increasing amount of his listeners either dying or going completely bonkers instead of mostly so as they are currently. Too bad Rosen lost an eight figure shirt of fortune to Madoff and other fellow shysters (appropos !), which means we are stuck with his blatherings, whining, and pontificating for many years, until he finally keels over from high blood pressure stress from being furious with liberals and Democrats, or he himself goes cookies and gets locked up in the Arkham of Colorado. Such will be the fate of the Most Hated Man in Colorado for over the last decade running .... Women are easily too intelligent and sensible to listen to a bozo and blowhard like Rosen. Sirota offers an alternative that women find responsible, logical, intelligent, and practical. We represent the future and Sirota reflects that, while Rosen is an utter has-been and the model of yesteryear, when injustice, corruption, deceit, chicanery, racism, sexism, and prejudice were the overwhelming norms. And he reflects that most egregiously and blatantly day in and day out, much to the utter and complete disgust and horror of women everywhere and everyday.

Boondocker
Boondocker

I don't know that women are such an "unlikely" demographic. They've been out there all this time -- accruing lots of disposable income and making many of the financial decisions for their families. It's just that news/talk radio inexplicably has chosen not to program to them, which simply sends them and their dollars off to non-commercial public radio. You'll note that this radio market now has NO locally based issues-talk hosts who are female. Maybe these ratings will open some eyes.

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