New Nielsen Study: 141 Local Markets Where AM Radio Is Listened To By At Least 20% Of The Radio Audience

June 1, 2023 By Pierre Bouvard

Click here to download a PDF of the ranker.

Recently, Ford made a fast decision to recommit to AM radio in its vehicles. Now attention turns to other automakers who need to follow Ford’s lead on ensuring AM radio’s role in the car dashboard.

It was just a month ago that Nielsen revealed compelling insights on the power of the AM radio audience from their Fall 2022 survey:

  • 82,346,800 Americans listen to AM radio monthly
  • One out of three American AM/FM radio listeners are reached monthly by AM radio
  • 57% of the AM radio audience listens to News/Talk stations, the very outlets that Americans turn to in times of crisis and breaking local news

Now, Nielsen is releasing a deeper dive on the vitality of AM radio in local metro markets.

Nielsen: The local radio markets with the largest proportion of AM radio listeners

Based on the Fall 2022 survey, the ranker below depicts the % of the metro radio audience that listens to AM radio in a month. The analysis is based upon radio stations that are Nielsen subscribers. Markets where AM radio represents at least 20% of radio listening are listed:

Metro market rankMarket% of the radio audience that listens to AM radio among Nielsen subscribers
59Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY56%
3Chicago, IL [PPM]48%
43Milwaukee-Racine, WI [PPM]48%
245Sheboygan, WI45%
253Grand Forks, ND-MN45%
241Bismarck, ND44%
39San Jose, CA [PPM]43%
33Cincinnati, OH [PPM]42%
11Seattle-Tacoma, WA [PPM]42%
192Fargo-Moorhead, ND-MN41%
187St. Cloud, MN41%
160Lincoln, NE40%
130Macon, GA40%
196Danbury, CT39%
75Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA39%
4San Francisco, CA [PPM]39%
137Youngstown-Warren, OH38%
244Sioux City, IA38%
83Boise, ID38%
25San Antonio, TX [PPM]38%
7Atlanta, GA [PPM]38%
60Rochester, NY37%
186Columbus, GA36%
65Dayton, OH36%
176Wausau-Stevens Pt (Centrl WI), WI36%
114Johnson City-Kingspt-Brstl, TN-VA36%
62Tucson, AZ36%
159Rockford, IL36%
55Louisville, KY36%
27Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo [PPM]36%
202Cedar Rapids, IA35%
34Kansas City, KS-MO [PPM]35%
70Albuquerque, NM35%
88Spokane, WA35%
16Puerto Rico35%
67Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY34%
124Morristown, NJ34%
204Duluth-Superior, MN-WI34%
71Des Moines, IA34%
53Richmond, VA33%
145Eugene-Springfield, OR33%
252Jackson, TN33%
149Shreveport, LA33%
52Monmouth-Ocean, NJ33%
73Metro Fairfield County, CT33%
231Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA32%
13Phoenix, AZ [PPM]32%
12Miami-Ft Lauderdale-Hollywood [PPM]32%
9Philadelphia, PA [PPM]32%
96Reno, NV32%
28Sacramento, CA [PPM]32%
209Rochester, MN32%
15Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN [PPM]31%
178Anchorage, AK31%
199Salina-Manhattan, KS31%
2Los Angeles, CA [PPM]31%
89Madison, WI31%
5Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX [PPM]31%
68Grand Rapids, MI31%
223Eau Claire, WI30%
74Allentown-Bethlehem, PA30%
86Harrisburg-Lebanon-Carlisle, PA30%
20Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island) [PPM]30%
249Brunswick, GA30%
139Appleton-Oshkosh, WI29%
14Detroit, MI [PPM]29%
239Harrisonburg, VA29%
30Orlando, FL [PPM]29%
10Boston, MA [PPM]29%
189Bryan-College Station, TX29%
106Lexington-Fayette, KY28%
154Montgomery, AL28%
136Reading, PA28%
18Denver-Boulder, CO [PPM]28%
188Kalamazoo, MI28%
41Hudson Valley, NY28%
17Tampa-St Petersburg-Clearwater [PPM]28%
228Pueblo, CO27%
230Monroe, LA27%
116Ft. Wayne, IN27%
35Cleveland, OH [PPM]27%
22Portland, OR [PPM]27%
183Green Bay, WI27%
227Bloomington, IL26%
190Waco, TX26%
6Houston-Galveston, TX [PPM]26%
193Binghamton, NY26%
201Topeka, KS26%
81Stockton, CA26%
54Hartford-New Britain-Middletown [PPM]26%
200Tuscaloosa, AL26%
175Sioux Falls, SD25%
100Syracuse, NY25%
44Providence-Warwick-Pawtucket [PPM]25%
195Manchester, NH25%
180Lima-Van Wert, OH25%
1New York, NY [PPM]25%
119Corpus Christi, TX25%
237Grand Island-Kearney-Hastngs, NE25%
51Memphis, TN [PPM]25%
142Canton, OH25%
151Ann Arbor, MI24%
90Columbia, SC24%
208Las Cruces-Deming, NM24%
178Traverse City-Petoskey, MI24%
111York, PA24%
87Colorado Springs, CO24%
218Columbia, MO24%
140Savannah, GA23%
163Evansville, IN23%
121Portsmouth-Dover-Rochester, NH23%
247Williamsport, PA23%
221Joplin, MO22%
197Charleston, WV22%
126New Haven, CT22%
120Modesto, CA22%
234Sussex, NJ22%
69Sarasota-Bradenton, FL22%
79Wilkes Barre-Scranton, PA22%
29Austin, TX [PPM]22%
24St. Louis, MO [PPM]22%
23Baltimore, MD [PPM]22%
127Jackson, MS22%
77Baton Rouge, LA21%
66Fresno, CA21%
206Chico, CA21%
104Huntsville, AL21%
205Santa Barbara, CA21%
166Poughkeepsie, NY21%
157Peoria, IL21%
224Muskegon, MI20%
63Honolulu, HI20%
50New Orleans, LA20%
19San Diego, CA [PPM]20%
236Parkersburg-Marietta, WV-OH20%
32Las Vegas, NV [PPM]20%
37Raleigh-Durham, NC [PPM]20%
115Worcester, MA20%
207Laurel-Hattiesburg, MS20%
95Akron, OH20%
117Lancaster, PA20%
Source: Nielsen Nationwide Fall 2022 Metro, P12+, Monday – Sunday 12m-12m, analysis represents listening to Nielsen radio station subscribers

Key takeaways:

  • Markets with the largest proportion of AM listening tend to be from the upper Midwest
  • Among markets with large AM radio usage there is wide variety of market sizes and broad geographical diversity
  • Markets with hilly terrain (San Jose/San Francisco/Sacramento), which are challenging for FM signals, tend to have large proportions of AM listening

Download a PDF of the ranker:

Pierre Bouvard is Chief Insights Officer of the Cumulus Media | Westwood One Audio Active Group®.

Contact the Insights team at