The Ten Best Markets For Radio Listeners

What are The Ten Best Markets For Radio Listeners? The markets that offer the best combination of quality and variety on free, over-the-air radio? The markets that lead listeners and radio people to say, “I know people complain about the radio around the country but we’re pretty lucky here”?
That’s something we’ve been discussing at length here at Edison Media Research, and we decided to put our heads together and come up with the Top Ten Markets for Radio Listeners. Here’s our take:
1 – Chicago: A huge, eclectic variety and still the best morning-show slate anywhere (be sure to read our full brief for it below);
2 – Philadelphia: It’s made a surprise recent comeback in the “best Rock radio market” sweepstakes, but we’re proud to have all of its radio in our backyard, including at least two “best-in-class” stations;
3 – San Francisco: Only Boston rivals it as a News and Talk market. There’s local character and a lot of choice, particularly when you add in the South Bay and Santa Rosa;
4 – Miami/Fort Lauderdale: Like radio nowhere else;
5 – New Orleans: Like radio nowhere else, an even more remarkable achievement post-Katrina;
6 – Los Angeles: A lot of undeniable stations and talent. Not quite the bench strength you would want in a market with so much radio;
7 – Washington, D.C.: Pushed into contention by the fiercest Urban competition anywhere, a monster News outlet on FM, and some surprising market entrants in recent years;
8 – Austin, Texas: Radio that matches the city’s own eclecticism and appeal;
9 – Salt Lake City: Long the most crowded medium-market: frustrating perhaps for programmers and owners, but great for listeners;
10 – Louisville: A longtime great radio market where the past is still present … in a good way.
But we’re hoping you’ll now chime in and tell us that we’re nuts. After all, if there are a lot of radio markets that people feel passionately about now, that says something good about the state of radio as we head into 2008.
For more on the Top Ten, or to leave your comments, click here.