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KFBK (1530 AM) figured it was going to suffer a ratings dip when it replaced conservative evening talk show host Mark Williams with middle-of-the-road talker Bruce Maiman.

But Maiman's numbers in the just-concluded Arbitron period were more like a swan dive than a mere dip.

Overall, Maiman finished 15th in his time slot (7-10 p.m., weeknights) with a 2.1 share. (Shares measure the percentage of radios turned on at a particular time.) By contrast, his conservative talk radio counterparts on KSTE (650 AM) - Bill O'Reilly for the first hour and Dr. Laura Schlessinger in hours two and three -finished 7th at 4.0.

In the 25-to-54-year-old demographic, the most important for advertisers, Maiman did even worse, finishing 17th with a 1.4 share.

What were Williams' ratings in his final three Arbitron books (winter of 2006, and fall and summer of '05)? He ranked third with a 5.5 share overall, and first at 7.1 in the key advertising demographic.

Still, Alan Eisenson, operations manager for both KFBK and KSTE, isn't worried about Maiman's performance.

"This is not unusual in talk radio, whenever you make a change," Eisenson says. "It's not like a music format change, when you know the type of music and artists playing right away. With talk radio, it takes time to build an audience. But once you get that audience, they are there to stay."

In other words, Maiman is here to stay on KFBK.

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September 2009

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