There's no radio programmer in the world that doesn't find a way to line the numbers up to shine the best light possible. (At least for the sales department to run with)
Everybody does it. Including all the "radio guys" I've ever known.
Some stations are popular in the books simply because there's nothing else in the Memphis Market to listen to. (to their particular taste)
If there were a "magic" way to make ratings higher-someone would have found it by now.
Personally, I like it better when things are "Live and Local." But the facts are simply that it costs less to keep appx. the same number of listeners through a lot of syndication. Period.
Sadly (and way wrong) MOST businesses tend to let up on advertising when times are lean. The SMART person advertises MORE when times are lean. (Because that's when you need more customers, right?)
At this particular point in the radio business (which I left a while back) I'm kind of proud that as many people are still fighting the fight that are.
Getting out turned out to be a blessing for me-(more money, benefits, and I haven't worked a weekend in years)-but to all the people that love it enough and are good enough at it (or whatever you have to do to stay employed in it) I'm proud of and for you! I miss it to this day-but I miss a different time in radio
Now get out there and get your V/T done and work those 3 different airshifts on three different stations! Lol!