How Popular is Public Radio?
Alex Cosper (7/23/13)

Public radio has always had a loyal following. In fact, many public radio stations exist became they are listener supported. These stations raise operating costs through fundraising directly from listeners. Certain cities have more popular public radio stations than others. Up until the 2000s the radio industry's rating service, Arbitron, did not include public stations in their published ratings, since the service was focused on selling their ratings service to commercial stations. These ratings influence advertising rates.

Once Arbitron finally began including public radio stations in their surveys, PBS station KQED shot to the top of the San Francisco ratings. Other widely listened to non-commercial stations listed in a report from The Media Audit (as reported by FMQB on July 23, 2013) included the following stations:

WUOM/Ann Arbor, MI
KNOW/Minneapolis, MN
WMEA/Portland, ME
WUNC/Raleigh-Durham, NC
KOBP/Portland, OR
KBYU/Salt Lake City, UT
WMHT/Albany, NY

The report stated that Pubic Radio ranked number three in terms of audience reach for specific formats, reaching an estimated 22.5 people throughout the United States in the survey's measured markets. The study revealed that public radio was on the rise in local website ratings, which has helped expand audiences. Another interesting finding was the public radio listeners tend to be wealthy active consumers and 80 percent of these listeners are likely to run their own business. Here are some other widely heard public radio stations in America:

WBAI/New York City, NY
WFMU/East Orange, NJ
WFDU/New York City, NY
WNYE/New York City, NY
WNYC/New York CIty, NY
KPFK/Los Angeles, CA
WBEZ/Chicago, IL
WMGO/Newark, NJ
KPFA/San Francisco, CA
KERA/Dallas, TX
WHYY/Philadelphia, PA
KPFT/Houston, TX
WFRG/Atlanta, GA
WABE/Atlanta, GA
WLRN/Miami, FL

Here are selected college radio stations in major U.S. markets:

KCRW/Santa Monica, CA (Santa Monica College)
KXLU/Los Angeles, CA (Loyola Marmount University)
KPCC/Pasadena, CA (Pasadena City College)
KCSN/Northridge, CA (CA State University, Northridge)
KKJZ/Long Beach, CA (CA State University, Long Beach)
WCRX/Chicago, IL (Columbia College)
WLUV/Chicago, IL (University of Chicago)
WNUR/Chicago, IL (Northwestern University)
WHPK/Chicago, IL (University of Chicago)
WRHU/Hempstead, NY (Hofstra University)
WSIA/Staten Island, NY (College of Staten Island)
WFDU/Teaneck, NY (Farleigh Dickinson University)
WSOU/South Orange, NJ (Seton Hall University)
KSJS/San Jose, CA (San Jose State University)
KCSM/San Mateo, CA (San Mateo College)
WXPN/Philadelphia, PA (University of Pennsylvania)
WRTI/Philadelphia, PA (Temple University)
WKDI/Philadelphia, PA (Drexel University)
KUHF/Houston, TX (University of Houston)
KTSU/Houston, TX (Texas Southern University)
KTRU/Houston, TX (Rice University)
WRAS/Atlanta, GA (Georgia State University)
WREK/Atlanta, GA (Georgia Tech)
WCLK/Atlanta, GA (Clark Atlanta University)
WVUM/Miami, FL (University of Miami)
KPLU/West Seattle, WA (Pacific Lutheran University)
KEXP/Seattle, WA (University of Washington)
KBCS/Bellevue, WA (Bellevue Community College)
KXOT/Tacoma, WA (University of Washington)
KSDS/San Diego, CA (San Diego City College)
KPBS/San Diego, CA (San Diego State University)

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