List of Most-listened-to Radio Programs - Popular Radio Shows in The United States

Popular Radio Shows in The United States

Talkers Magazine compiles Arbitron's data, along with other sources, to estimate the minimum weekly audiences of various commercial long-form talk radio shows. NPR and APM compile Arbitron's data for its public radio shows and releases analysis through press releases.

Program Format Daypart Weekly Listeners
in Millions
The Rush Limbaugh Show Conservative talk Midday 14+
The Sean Hannity Show Conservative talk East Coast PM Drive 13.25+
Morning Edition Public news AM Drive 12.3
All Things Considered Public news/talk PM Drive 11.8
Marketplace Public news PM Drive 9+
Delilah Adult contemporary Evenings 8+
The Dave Ramsey Show Financial talk Midday 7.75+
Glenn Beck Program Conservative talk West Coast AM Drive 7.5+
The Mark Levin Show Conservative talk West Coast PM Drive 7.5+
Fresh Air Public news/talk Midday 4.5
A Prairie Home Companion Public old-time radio Weekends 4+
Coast to Coast AM Paranormal talk Overnights 3.5+
Talk of the Nation Public talk Midday 3.2
Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! Public panel game show Weekends 3.2
After MidNite with Blair Garner Country music Overnights 2.7
The Lia Show Country music Evenings 2+

Note on dayparts: because of the effects of time on North American broadcasting, nationally syndicated shows that air live will end up on different dayparts in different time zones. The above list makes note of this. Note that although shows such as Beck's and Levin's are listed under "West Coast" drive times, that their shows are based on the East Coast (and thus air in early midday and early evening time slots there). Their dayparts are indicated as such for the purposes of clarity and consistency.

The list is heavily skewed toward conservative talk radio and public radio due to the greater availability of data for those formats; other formats, particularly those for music, are not measured in as much detail, in part due to irregularities in scheduling.

Sirius XM Radio was monitored directly by Arbitron from 2007 to early 2008. The latest numbers available, from early 2008 (prior to when XM and Sirius merged), have The Howard Stern Show being the most listened-to show on either platform, with Stern's Howard 100 channel netting a "cume" of 1.2 million listeners and Howard 101 (the secondary and replay channel) netting an additional 500,000 listeners. Eastlan Ratings, a service that competes with Arbitron in several markets, includes satellite radio channels in its local ratings; Howard 100 has registered above several lower-end local stations in the markets Eastlan serves, the only satellite station to do so.

The highest rated local talk program in the United States is John and Ken in Los Angeles. Talkers estimates their audience at 1 million listeners.

Because of the large advantage the English language has in the United States, virtually all of the most-listened-to radio programs in the United States are in English. The only other language with an audience large enough to establish national networks is Spanish, and data for shows in that language are much more limited. Other languages (Chinese, Korean, various languages of India, and French) are broadcast only on a local level and thus would be unable to achieve the reach necessary to appear on these lists.

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Famous quotes containing the words united states, states, united, popular, radio and/or shows:

    The United States never lost a war or won a conference.
    Will Rogers (1879–1935)

    I cannot say what poetry is; I know that our sufferings and our concentrated joy, our states of plunging far and dark and turning to come back to the world—so that the moment of intense turning seems still and universal—all are here, in a music like the music of our time, like the hero and like the anonymous forgotten; and there is an exchange here in which our lives are met, and created.
    Muriel Rukeyser (1913–1980)

    In the United States the whites speak well of the Blacks but think bad about them, whereas the Blacks talk bad and think bad about the whites. Whites fear Blacks, because they have a bad conscience, and Blacks hate whites because they need not have a bad conscience.
    Friedrich Dürrenmatt (1921–1990)

    Resorts advertised for waitresses, specifying that they “must appear in short clothes or no engagement.” Below a Gospel Guide column headed, “Where our Local Divines Will Hang Out Tomorrow,” was an account of spirited gun play at the Bon Ton. In Jeff Winney’s California Concert Hall, patrons “bucked the tiger” under the watchful eye of Kitty Crawhurst, popular “lady” gambler.
    —Administration in the State of Colo, U.S. public relief program (1935-1943)

    Local television shows do not, in general, supply make-up artists. The exception to this is Los Angeles, an unusually generous city in this regard, since they also provide this service for radio appearances.
    Fran Lebowitz (b. 1950)

    In a moment when criticism shows a singular dearth of direction every man has to be a law unto himself in matters of theatre, writing, and painting. While the American Mercury and the new Ford continue to spread a thin varnish of Ritz over the whole United States there is a certain virtue in being unfashionable.
    John Dos Passos (1896–1970)