Surprise! NPR Was The Only Major News organisation To GAIN An Audience In 2010


We told you the other day how all the major cable channels had lost viewers in 2010 leading industry watchers to wonder whether was moving past its prime.

So you may be surprised to hear that the only news organisation to gain listeners last year was the public relations beleaguered NPR.

The NYT crunched Pew’s numbers which revealed “NPR’s overall audience grew 3 per cent in 2010, to 27.2 million weekly listeners, up 58 per cent overall since 2000. In the last year, total staff grew 8 per cent, and its Web site,, drew an average of 15.7 million unique monthly visitors, up more than five million visitors. Its foreign bureaus and global footprint continue to grow while other broadcasters slink home”

Those numbers would seem to suggest that NPR’s audience is less put off by the headlines generated by boards members in the last few months than some pundits (and board members!) might have assumed.

It also suggests that despite the overall leadership, the member stations, which get money from NPR but are self-determining, know how to run the show better than the folks in Washington. 

Bill Kling, creator of Minnesota Public Radio, tell Carr: “NPR has been a victim of its own success, it never matured in terms of governance as quickly as its news capabilities did. It is controlled by a board from member stations that still think of it primarily as a provider of programming for their stations and not the giant media company it has become.”

It remains to be whether the latest shake-up will help or hurt that.

Related: Gains for NPR Are Clouded

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