WFDD bucks national trends

88.5 WFDD, the NPR-affiliate station licensed to Wake Forest University and serving 32 counties in the Piedmont and High Country of North Carolina, is reporting audience growth, despite pandemic-related interruptions to listening habits.

Shutdowns and changes to work structure due to the coronavirus pandemic have altered daily schedules for many people around the country, and these changes have influenced how people access and consume media. This effect has been particularly evident for radio.

“WFDD did experience a drop-off in audience in April, as shutdowns were rolling out and fear around the virus was surging, but we are pleased to report that listening has not only recovered, but has surpassed levels from a year ago,” said WFDD General Manager Tom Dollenmayer.

WFDD contracts with Radio Research Consortium (RRC) for its audience data and reporting. RRC is a nonprofit organization which purchases ratings and audience information from Nielsen Audio and packages that data into customized reporting for non-commercial radio stations. (Full disclosure: WFDD’s Assistant General Manager, Molly Davis, serves as Vice-Chair of the board of RRC.)

Scott Williams, a public radio programming professional for over 40 years, analyzes radio listening data for RRC. He observed, “In June 2020, WFDD shows a Persons 6+ Share, AQH (average quarter hour), Weekly Cume, and AWTE (weekly time spent listening) higher than the station averages for 2019. The current Share of 3.1* and the solid Weekly Cume of 93,800* listeners indicates the station is in full recovery mode.”

Dollenmayer commented, “This solid bounceback and upward trend in listening affirms the importance listeners place on the service WFDD provides. Throughout the pandemic and the protests, our local news team has worked as diligently as ever to keep our communities informed. Listeners know they can always rely on WFDD.”

88.5 WFDD, Public Radio for the Piedmont, is a broadcast service of Wake Forest University and is the only public radio station of its kind located in the Piedmont Triad. It broadcasts news, information, and public affairs programming covering the arts, people, and institutions in the area from its Winston-Salem studios. Hive is its multi-tiered education program. The state’s charter NPR® member, 88.5 WFDD is the longest continuously-broadcasting public radio station in North Carolina. It serves 32 counties in the Piedmont and High Country of North Carolina and southwest Virginia.

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