On Point with Tom Ashbrook is Delivering Its Largest National Audience in History

National Data Highlights Program’s Dramatic Growth on NPR Stations

Boston’s NPR news station, announced today that On Point with Tom
has seen a dramatic 21% yearly increase in AQH and is up
11% in cume from year to year (© 2015, The Nielsen Company. May not be
quoted or reproduced without the prior written permission of Nielsen.
Reported via Act 1 Systems, P12+). Timely and always intelligent, On
is a two-hour live program produced by WBUR, featuring
conversation and insight from today’s top newsmakers, cultural icons and
thought leaders. Hosted by award-winning journalist Tom Ashbrook, the
program was born in the aftermath of NPR’s 9/11 special coverage, and
will mark its 15th anniversary this year.

On Point has shown steady growth over the last four years and now
reaches an estimated weekly audience of 1.76 million listeners. From
Spring 2012 to Spring 2015, the program grew a significant 60% in AQH,
while its cume increased 38% during the same timespan. The AQH growth is
a validation of how On Point is purposefully produced for both live and
non-live carriage, as only 56% of stations schedule the program during
its live broadcast from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. EST.

“We talk a lot at On Point about value per minute, and how to
increase impact for our listeners,” says host Tom Ashbrook. “We want the
conversation to have a sense of drama, so we treat each hour like an
event. It’s unflinchingly honest, fast, fun, serious and surprising. We
want public radio listeners to feel embraced and engaged in a compelling
way, not like news is being dropped down on them from up high.”

With Ashbrook’s fast-paced, cogent interview style, On Point is
heard on 290 NPR stations nationwide, a 12% increase in stations (2015
vs. 2014). Ashbrook’s omnipresent inquisitiveness on behalf of listeners
resonates with public radio audiences, who want a chance to pursue the
news, be part of the discussion and hear differing perspectives from
across the country in a respectful setting.

“We’re thrilled that so many people are becoming fans of On Point,”
says WBUR General Manager Charlie Kravetz. “And we believe the data
demonstrates that it’s a strong choice for NPR stations across the
country who are looking to experience the same kind of audience growth
that On Point has enjoyed.”

National success is not On Point’s only calling card. On Point
has strategically focused on the opportunities presented by digital
disruption, offering audiences innovative ways to connect to the
program, whenever and wherever they choose to plug in. The On Point
podcast was named one of the “Best of 2015” by iTunes and has the
largest reach in WBUR’s current podcast portfolio, with approximately
2.2 million downloads per month (September 2015, NPR Splunk report). On
has also increased its community engagement efforts, with
strong Facebook and Twitter followings, and Ashbrook frequently hosting
live events each year.

About 90.9 WBUR, Boston’s NPR News Station: Founded in
1950, WBUR
began broadcasting NPR programming in 1970, offering NPR’s Morning
and All Things Considered along with local news
programming. One of the nation’s most successful public radio stations
today, WBUR produces national NPR programs On Point, Here & Now, Only
A Game
and Car Talk, as well as a local daily newsmagazine, Radio
. Located on Commonwealth Avenue at Boston University, WBUR
has the largest radio newsroom in New England, dedicated to covering
topics that matter in Boston and across the nation. The work produced at
WBUR can be heard on 90.9 WBUR, Boston; 89.1 WBUH, Brewster, Cape Cod;
and 92.7 WBUA, Martha’s Vineyard. Follow WBUR at www.wbur.org,
or on Facebook and Twitter, @WBUR.


Kristen Holgerson, 617-358-2011
on behalf of WBUR
Karen Laverty, 617-275-6516