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DJ Tim

For those of you who don’t know (which I’ll just assume is everyone), Pawlenty has a weekly radio show on Minnesota’s WCCO every Friday morning.  I’ve never listened to it live, mainly because I live nowhere near Minnesota, but some of the old broadcasts (archived here) make for fun listening.  I’d always thought he came off extremely well in this format, but I was never able to get any information about the popularity of the show.  Well, MinnPost rides to the rescue today.  They write:

But just how popular is the show? I had a friend in the business pull the Arbitron numbers, and the answer is: very. At least compared to competitors.

TPaw ranks an impressive number two among voting-age listeners (18+) in the 9-10 a.m. time slot, bested only by the classic rockers at KQ. His share of the listening audience more than doubles MPR News and trebles KFAN.

So just how many people listen to the governor? Arbitron rules limit me to discussing things generally, but let’s just say, in an average 15 minutes, his audience would be standing room at Xcel Energy Center. That’s not a lot compared to morning- or evening-drive leaders, but it’s not nothing.

Now you know why WCCO brass doesn’t want to mess with the show.

The demographics are interesting, and familiar to those who follow network TV newscast numbers. In the prime advertising cohort (ages 25-54), the governor doesn’t crack the Top 10, trailing MPR News and KFAN. Conversely, “Good Morning Minnesota” is the leader — by a lot — among listeners 55-plus. All told, two thirds of Pawlenty’s audience falls into this category.

I thought this was interesting, because successful Presidential candidates often have this sort of oddball experience.  Reagan, for instance, cut his teeth as a speaker by hosting General Electric Theater and giving speeches to blue-collar, mostly older, audiences for GE. 


Demographically Pawlenty has played better with the 30-54 group (more on that later), but it seems that his radio personality has a special sort of appeal to older folks.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this success makes him particularly well-suited to convince the septugenarians who trudge through the snow on a cold January morning every four years.

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