North Dakota's Left-Wing Talk Radio Sees Ratings Decline From Previous Election Cycle


The ratings slide at KFGO, the Fargo-based radio station that serves as home to left-wing talk radio hosts Joel Heitkamp and Mike McFeely, seems to continue. The station is touting their continued success as the ratings leader in the Fargo market, but the larger ratings trends don’t look good for them.

KFGO was up slightly in the Fall 2014 book from their previous ratings, but the politically-heavy station took a hit in the Fall 2013 ratings book from which they still haven’t recovered.

Media outlets heavy on politics tend to have cyclical ratings/readership numbers. I know that’s true of SAB where traffic is very much controlled by elections and the legislative session (for the record, 2014 was SAB’s best year ever).

So for the KFGO folks to be down in ratings from the 2012 election cycle to the 2014 election cycle is not good. A bump in the Fall 2014 book is to be expected for a politically-heavy station, but this wasn’t much of a bump and it certainly isn’t a return to past ratings highs.

UPDATE: The original graph posted here had an error on the Fall 2014 ratings. I’ve corrected it.


It’s worth noting that in April 2013 Heitkamp and McFeely lost their statewide syndication with Clear Channel, with conservative talker Scott Hennen taking over Heitkamp’s slot. I’d say that’s the wound KFGO is having a hard time recovering from, even though these ratings are strictly for the Fargo market.

Here are the full ratings for the Fargo market: