Who says local radio is dead? KEXP is now in Arbitron’s Internet broadcast ratings list, ranking in a solid #7 in the list of the top internet broadcasters and sales networks (and the top ranked individual station on the list). Among Internet radio stations, the station ranks #12 (some of the top six properties in the other list operate multiple channels with more listeners than KEXP). Interesting too that the other local public station, the jazz channel KPLU, is close behind KEXP on the list.
Which makes one wonder. I am a firm believer that the content on both stations, particularly KEXP, is superior to just about anything else out there. That said, does the ascendancy of both stations have more to do with geography? Surely the demand from their local listenership, who would likely be early adopters with a strong interest in technology, would be a factor in getting both stations on line to begin with. So why aren’t there any radio stations from Silicon Valley on the list? Or is it just that this is the only ornery corner of the country left where the “local station” isn’t run by a drone at Clear Channel?