Why is the NYC talk radio market at room temperature?

The 77 WABC Facebook Page has 10,249 Likes; WOR 710 has 2,928.

New York area independent music broadcasters do much better. Freeform radio WFMU shows 49,853 Fordham University’s station,WFUV, received 25,569.

KFI AM 640 in Southern California — analyzed by the great the great David Foster Wallace — has 46,259 Facebook Likes.

One possible interpretation of the Facebook figures is that, for talk radio in New York, nobody’s out there. Another is that the platform does not persuade. (If listeners won’t even click on a Like button, then what’s the chance of their opening a wallet?) I see the stations failing in their fundamental mission: the creation of a community with the brand as something central to it. This power of radio should be nothing new. Jean Shepherd noted that his show appeared in Kerouac’s On the Road because the broadcast served as a communal hearth to the New York City Beats.

The Facebook Page should be working to drive the size of the listening audience. That’s not happening with low traffic. Facebook numbers are a yardstick that potential advertisers have within easy reach. And given the proximity to the financial district, one that investors also might use.