Could Huckabee Overtake Rush? Governor Must Read the Ratings and Weep

The Radio Equalizer blog reprised a Wall Street Journal article earlier this year with this brag quote: "Mike Huckabee will pose the most formidable challenge to Limbaugh that I can remember from a conservative hosting in the same time slot and being backed by a major company," said Michael Harrison of Talkers Magazine.

Facts are stubborn things: "According to newly-released Arbitron audience data, the Huckster is off to the kind of start that makes Air America Radio appear downright successful." In some markets, Huckabee isn't showing much of a pulse:

– In New York City, where he currently airs evenings on WOR-AM, Huck ranked just 20th overall in the broadest audience demographic, listeners six and older.

 – Houston's KSEV registered a tiny 0.1 overall audience share during his timeslot, good for 43th place in what should be a friendly environment.

 – In Seattle, heard from 4-6pm local time, Mike drew a 0.2 on KCIS-AM, for a 36th place finish.

 – A similar story in Cincinnati: 0.2 overall and 31st place on WQRT-AM.

-- Hartford: 0.0 at WDRC-AM.

In markets where the two hosts go head to head, like in Dallas, Portland, San Francisco, and Jacksonville, Limbaugh is crushing Huckabee under foot.

"The bottom line: we know why the establishment media loves Huck, but we can't figure out why Cumulus [Media] would willingly undermine itself with this truly doomed effort, unless they're looking for a giant tax write-off."

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis