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3.3 Changes in Format Diversity

Another dimension of diversity of concern to the Commission is program diversity.  Program diversity is reflected, at least in part, by the number of distinct radio formats available in each Metro market.  Chart IV shows the number of distinct radio formats for each Metro market and suggests that there continues to be no trend toward change in the diversity of radio programming available to consumers.15  The average number of radio formats available in a Metro market has been about 10 since March 1996, with a range of about nine formats in the smallest Metro markets to 16 different formats in the "top 10” Metro markets.  This chart illustrates that the number of formats declines as the market gets smaller.

14  The data on the number of different types of formats per market are based on information in the BIA Radio Database. BIA obtains specific format information from the radio stations it surveys, sorting their responses into broad format categories.  The categories are Adult Contemporary, Album Oriented Rock/Classic Rock, Classical, Contemporary Hit Radio/Top 40, Country, Easy Listening/Beautiful Music, Ethnic, Jazz/New Age, Middle of the Road, Miscellaneous, News/Sports, Nostalgia/Big Band, Oldies, Religion, Rock, Spanish, Talk, Urban, Dark (not on air), No Reported Format.

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