Rush Limbaugh took a significant ratings hit in some key radio markets last month in the wake of the Sandra Fluke controversy.
The conservative radio host's ratings fell 27 percent in the key 25-54 demo in New York City, 31 percent in Houston-Galveston, 40 percent in Seattle-Tacoma, and 35 percent in Jacksonville, according to a selection of the March 29-April 25 Arbitron ratings provided by an industry source.
This is making something out of nothing. The story notes that the Fluke controversy, which generated huge attention for Rush, was in early March, so this may be a return to normal.
Secondly, the statistics are noisy city by city:
Radio uses what's known as the Portable People Meter, or PPM, an electronic measurement created by the marketing research firm Arbitron that tracks the activity of a limited number of listeners and uses that data to make estimates about the entire market. This means that when a few listeners change listening habits, it can account for a significant shift in the monthly numbers. As a result, data can swing significantly month to month while actually looking relatively stable over an extended period of time.
As evidence of those drastic swings, Limbaugh's numbers were actually up significantly in some markets -- by as much as 79 percent in both San Francisco and Las Vegas -- even as he took losses in Dalls-Ft. Worth, Tampa-St. Petersburg, Kansas City, and the cities mentioned above.
So there's your headline - Vegas and Frisco love their slut-bashers. Whatever.
What's fun, in an entirely predictable way, is the loss of nuance at Media Matters, which only notes the lead.