Is Too Much Advertising Killing Talk Radio?


September 6, 2014

Inside the industry, we have this debate all the time. How can radio reduce its spotload? Here’s an outside view from Paul Kengor, a professor of political science at Grove City College and author of 11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative. Kengor writes in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the public is turning away from conservative talk radio because there is too much advertising, not because they are tired of the politics.

“There can’t be more than 33 minutes of actual program per hour. Why would anyone listen to this? Conservative talk radio is in peril because of conservative greed. There’s simply too much advertising on conservative talk radio. Anytime I tune in, I land on a litany of commercials. Yes, you need advertising to pay the bills but this is unlistenable.” Check out Kengor’s piece HERE and please leave your comments and his conclusions below. 


  1. Look no further than CKNW in Vancouver. I once put a stop watch on Bill Good’s show from 11:00 am to 12 noon. He was only on the air for 19 min. during that time. The rest was advertising, weather, traffic and NW promoting itself. No wonder the station’s ratings have gone to hell in a hand basket…

  2. I agree. The airing of blocks of commercials (4, sometimes 5 minutes long on CKNW) is a real turn off. Of late, they’ve started having their talk show hosts come on after the news with a brief promo of what’s coming up, and then gone into a block of commercials. Come on, “NW, learn how to capture listeners’ attention and then hold it. Essentially starting your programs with a bunch of commercials, and then after about ten minutes, going into another extended block of commercials is a sure fire way to get people to turn the dial to some other station, or just turn off the radio completely and go onto something else.

  3. I know everybody dumps with smug assurances on everybody else who opines that commercial radio is “dead.” I suspect, most of those on this forum are either suits, or wannabe’s hoping against hope and evidence that they might actually have a future career, or parents already disillusioned who pray god let my children work.

    Of course radio’s not “dead – yet… there are still so many of them. But it’s dying. Like spitoons, feather pens, and buggy whips. And all the indignant protestations on forums like this one, will not change the future.

    I’m an old guy. I still listen to talk, traffic, and weather, but truthfully, only in my car.
    My sons and most of my daughters and ALL grandchildren don’t listen anytime at all.

    Heck, they dont even watch TV, but will sometimes save a show they want to see on a PVR!! Like mindless “reality” crap – you know: eye candy. But it’s my PVR. (And that’s okey with me, cause coming over to my house is the only time I see them.)

    Radio has lost the concept of “theatre of the mind” which was their ONLY strength.

    I get it. PSR is a forum for vested interests.
    I don’t wanna sound like Chicken Little. And I know I’m about to get dumped on.

    But while burying your head in the sand may work for Ostriches, as the “new economic/communications reality” forges forward, everything changes and will continue to do so.

    Just sayin.

  4. I find that listening to CKNW is becoming hard to do as they have too many commercial breaks . They even have the program hosts doing it also .When I listen to the station I have the mute button ready or I can do something else as the commercials are on.


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