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Morning Edition Grad School sm l Stations Increase Listener Service

There is good news from stations that participated in the first four Morning Edition Grad School (MEGS sm) workshops. The first examination of the Morning Edition Grad School's sm impact on audience shows that 80% of 'graduating' MEGS sm stations increased listener service during Morning Edition, while only 20% did not. These increases in audience service were determined by comparing listener hours to Morning Edition from Fall 2006 and Fall 2007.

The average number of listeners (AQH) for Morning Edition also increased on 'graduated' MEGS sm stations.

"This growth in service is encouraging and exactly what we hoped to achieve with Morning Edition Grad School sm ," said Marcia Alvar, head of station-based projects for the NPR Local News Initiative, which funds the workshops. "With the help of the MEGS sm team, the participating stations have worked very hard to improve their sound, formatics, and journalism, and the positive effects are already beginning to show."

MEGS workshops are facilitated by Strategic Programming Partners (SPP), the consulting practice of Peter Dominowski, Scott Williams, and Tim Emmons. The MEGS sm team also includes journalism consultant Tanya Ott (in cooperation with PRNDI), and underwriting analyst Marlene Schneider (in cooperation with DEI). Station audience data is analyzed by Craig Oliver, through a grant from the Radio Research Consortium (RRC).

Scott Williams of the MEGS sm team observed, "The growth in listener service on most MEGS sm stations proves once again that when stations concentrate on improving their sound, pay attention to formatics and promotion, and provide good journalism, listeners take notice."

"We're proud of how positively stations have evaluated the workshops," said MEGS sm team consultant Peter Dominowski. "Three-in-four participants gave the workshops a '1' - the highest possible rating. In fact, the lowest rating the workshops received from any participant was a '2' on a 1-5 scale."

"The MEGS sm team has a long history of working with stations. We know that when best practices are applied, audiences increase, but it is always gratifying to see the evidence firsthand," said MEGS sm team member Tim Emmons.