Local News Audio Hits a Home Run For Advertisers

By Bill Smee, Vice President, News, Audacy

When Stan Bunger and Steve Bitker took the mound at San Francisco’s Oracle Park, the crowd cheered. The KCBS Radio anchors both retired last year after a combined 70 years on air. To celebrate, the Giants baseball team asked the men to throw out the day’s first pitch.

It might shock some during this era of hyper-partisanship that two news professionals got such an outpouring of warmth. But it’s no surprise to local Radio news fans.

“In times of great fear and great need, what radio does well is its … immediate, very personal relationship between the listeners’ ears and the person at this end,” said Bunger of his work behind the microphone.

That “personal relationship” is a great value not only for listeners, but also for advertisers. Here are some top reasons brands are choosing the Radio news format when they want to reach potential customers.


On-air talent like Bunger and Bitker often become beloved figures in their markets. Listeners turn to these journalists as trusted information sources, inviting them into their cars and homes. As the days turn into weeks and years—even decades—people come to understand our Audacy anchors and reporters are their neighbors, there to inform and report, not to be divisive.

For brands, that deep connection between local Radio news operations and our communities becomes a real competitive advantage over national cable news. We’re not interested in hot takes—it’s more about the news itself, told without filters. Stories are the star of our newscast. That’s important because host trust and local content are the most influential drivers of tune-in, especially for over-the-air listeners.1

The hosts are familiar with the same types of information as the people of the community. Traffic, locations, stores, restaurants, emergency information…

Audacy Listener

News You Can Use

At Audacy, our local news stations focus on the information that affects your life. Yes, we cover national and international stories, but always with our hometown folks in mind. That’s also why we spotlight the latest happenings at City Hall, as well as what to expect in weather, traffic, and sports.

We’re efficient, distilling the news into more editorial calories per minute than newspapers or local TV. Given the crazy busy world we’re living in, our audiences appreciate our crisp and succinct local coverage. You don’t have to wait. If you know you want to hear traffic and it’s on the ones, you can opt in and then move on to what you need to accomplish next. Our benchmark timetables make for appointment listening. It’s good for busy people—and good for the advertisers who want to reach them.

Audiences love it. 7 out of 10 Audacy news/talk audience members listen for more than 30 minutes a week. 5 of 10 listen for an hour or more!2

Safer Brand Environment

Americans (some 8 in 10) say the news should never favor one political party.3

Audacy is a recognized leader in the news world for delivering nonpartisan, award-winning reporting. Our all-news stations avoid highly polarized discourse. We approach our topics with sensitivity and come without an agenda, creating a safer space for brands wanting to avoid alienating part of the audience.

Our unbiased news appeals to both sides of the political aisle, as well as independents.4 There’s the perception that we’re above the fray, more like the way audiences felt about Walter Cronkite. This extends now into the work we’re doing digitally. Our audiences appreciate it. Advertisers appreciate it too.


Desirable Demos

Audacy all-news listeners tend to be more affluent and have closer ties to the community than average. They’re more likely to be entrepreneurs, small business owners, or decision-makers at their company.5 Business content looms large across our stations. That’s both an attention-getting content feature, as well as an attractive property for sponsorships.

Have attended some college or more
Earn $100k or more
Are active investors

Investing in Local News

There’s no doubt that all around the country, local news organizations are struggling, newspapers especially. Some are having to find creative solutions to remain viable, such as becoming nonprofits. Local news powerhouses like our Audacy brands, however, are bucking the trend. Over the past year, we’ve added over 50 new positions in newsrooms around the country with a  focus on creating original audio content for all platforms. And we’ve created a dedicated central news digital team. These  efforts bring value to our audiences—and to the companies looking to reach them.


Bunger and Bitker may not be ready for the pros, but when it comes to getting their listeners—folks on the go with no time to waste—caught up on the news in minutes, these two beloved anchors are true Giants.

Want to talk more about reaching your target audience?

Let´s Talk

1 Audio Amplification: Engaged Impressions Alter Agents, August 2020; survey of n = 1,008 US adults

2 Nielsen; Audacy Station – Weekly Cume by TSL by Format ; All News ; P12+ M-Sun 6a-12mid.

3Publics Globally Want Unbiased News Coverage, but Are Divided on Whether Their News Media Deliver,” Pew Research Center; January 11, 2018.

4 Nielsen Scarborough, OTA:  Market/Release: Scarborough National Database 2020 Release 2 Total (Jul 2019 – Sep 2020) Base: Total Adults 18+ Projected: 256,433,119 Respondents: 208,471

5 Nielsen Scarborough, OTA:  Market/Release: Scarborough National Database 2020 Release 2 Total (Jul 2019 – Sep 2020) Base: Total Adults 18+ Projected: 256,433,119 Respondents: 208,471; Audacy all news listeners = Format of first preference: All News AND listens to Audacy News/News Talk.

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