November 8, 2023

For Trusted News Source, Americans Turn to Audio

By Bill Smee, VP of News, Audacy

In breaking news situations, there’s no substitute for familiar trusted voices with strong community ties, and that is one of the hallmarks of Audacy’s news brands. While consumers have a wide range of choices, local news radio remains a go-to source for reliable coverage. According to a recent survey, seven in 10 Audacy listeners said radio news is essential to their daily lives, and more than 9 million listeners tuned into Audacy’s news stations weekly.

For decades, our news brands have delivered essential information and fostered meaningful conversations. We’re committed to covering the stories that matter most to our listeners and their families. From severe weather events to local politics and education to traffic and gripping crime stories, our news teams are always on the scene.

We’re part of the fabric of each community. Our anchors, reporters, and producers live and work alongside their listeners. And they navigate the same congested morning commutes, send their children to neighborhood schools and root for hometown teams. When you combine these ingredients, local news radio stands apart from the national competition.

We are telling stories that perhaps are not told elsewhere. It’s about practical news that matters in your life.

Jennifer Seelig
Director of News & Programming, KCBS Radio and Format VP for Audacy All-News Brands

Three-quarters of Audacy news listeners say they trust local radio for local news and that radio is their first stop for news. That’s higher than TV, which was the second choice at 65 percent.

“Audacy Conversations” Spotlights Topics that Matter 

At Audacy, we continually seek opportunities to deliver more in-depth and impactful reporting. And we lean on both our local teams and our collective network of newsrooms to produce the highest-quality coverage. 

In that spirit, we have launched the new “Audacy Conversations” project, a quarterly, multi-platform series that unpacks topics that affect listeners in each of our markets and nationwide. Once a quarter, we will host an in-person town hall style event that examines a timely issue through conversations with experts and stakeholders. Over the course of the week, our news brands will report and produce local content about the same topic—on the air and on digital platforms—with an emphasis on how it is playing out in their local communities. 

The connection we have with our communities across the country is very, very potent. This is an opportunity to showcase our muscle as a kind of network of brands. It is a coordinated, format-wide emphasis on a topic, hyperlocal content, and national coverage.

Jennifer Seelig,
Director of News & Programming, KCBS Radio and Format VP for Audacy All-News Brands

In September, KCBS San Francisco hosted the inaugural “Conversation” with a special called “The State of Play,” which focused on issues surrounding youth sports, including the risks and rewards of participating, financial commitments, injuries, and whether to focus on one sport or participate in many activities. Audacy sports station KMGZ contributed to the reporting. The coverage resonated with local audiences and across the country, Seelig said.

“All of our brands really did rally with their local content and got a tremendous number of different perspectives on this issue from athletes who had been through it and who are now able to reflect back on their experience as adults, to parents and coaches, who are all astute observers of the system,” she recounted.   

In the fourth quarter of 2023, WBBM in Chicago will host the next “Conversation”, this one centered on the state of American cities and the challenges that downtowns face post-pandemic. “The State of Downtown” will zero in on the impact on local economies, tourism, the job market, small businesses, as well as rising homelessness and crime rates.

“Audacy Conversations” is the latest showcase of our ongoing commitment to delivering local storytelling, community engagement, and high-quality news both on the radio and on all digital platforms. In addition to this series, our stations produce hyper-local podcasts exploring issues, news stories and events close to home in greater depth. In Detroit, for example,  WWJ takes a daily deep dive into local stories on its podcast, “The Daily J.” 

Our audiences have a strong appetite for news podcasts. Three-quarters of Audacy news listeners reported that news and current affairs podcasts help them better understand the world around them. That affinity, combined with the loyalty of our radio news listeners built up over many years in our local markets, puts Audacy in a unique position.

As KCBS’ Seelig put it, “Our ability to do impactful local storytelling is unparalleled in the industry.” 

Want to talk more about reaching your target audience?

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Audacy “Trust in News” survey, July 2023

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