Reaching more than 92% of Americans aged 12 and older each week, radio remains a powerful medium—a fact recently demonstrated in Chicago. On Monday Nov. 14, 2016, 47 member stations of the Radio Broadcasters of Chicagoland (RBC), in cooperation with the Illinois Broadcasters Association, came together to hold a town hall event featuring Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Between 6-6:30 p.m. Monday evening, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and legendary broadcast journalist Bill Kurtis discussed a wide range of topics important to the City of Chicago. Radio stations across the city departed from their regularly scheduled programs to simultaneously broadcast the 30 minute town hall. These stations range in format and collectively they reach 6.5 million Chicago adults, 18 and older, each week.
Taking a Closer Look
Shortly after the town hall, we conducted an online survey in an effort to analyze how effective radio was in reaching Chicagoland adults. The study surveyed close to 800 adults, 18 and older, measuring their knowledge of the town hall, its impact and their overall reaction to the broadcast.
Radio did an excellent job publicizing the event. Seven in 10 of Chicagoans were aware of the event, with nearly half knowing about it prior to the air date. Some other findings from the survey include:
- One third of the population listened to the broadcast.
- 88% of those who tuned in listened to all or most of the broadcast.
- 74% of the broadcast’s audience had planned to tune in.
- Eight in 10 adults dialed in to their preferred station.
- The location of listening was equally split between those listening at home and away from home.
The success of the town hall also garnered additional attention following the initial airing. Eighty-four percent of those aware of of the “Radio Town Hall” heard about it again post event through a variety of media sources and word-of-mouth.
“The Chicago radio town hall proved to be a huge success,” said Brad Kelly, managing director of Nielsen Audio. “Not only did it reach and engage listeners, but 70% of those surveyed felt that the event was important enough to justify broadcasting it on so many radio stations.”
“AM/FM is America’s number one mass reach media,” continued Kelly. “In the span of a few hours in Chicago this week, the Radio Broadcasters of Chicago proved that during a time of constant media fragmentation, radio has a remarkable ability to deliver a massive, diverse and engaged audience.”