On November 14, an unprecedented, collaborative initiative took place that truly showcased the power and impact of local radio. For the first time in radio’s history, 47 radio stations in a single major market simultaneously aired a 30-minute, commercial free, live broadcast conversation with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in what was coined a "Chicago Radio Town Hall Meeting."

This event was coordinated by the Illinois Broadcasters Association (IBA) and their member radio stations interrupted regular programming to highlight the strength of Chicago. Bill Kurtis, Award winning and IBA Hall of Fame broadcast journalist moderated the event that included questions from listeners posed directly to Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

The 47 participating Chicago radio stations collectively reach 6.5MM adults weekly and according to a post-event Nielsen Audio survey:

  • One third of the population listened to the broadcast.
  • 7 in 10 Chicagoans were aware of the event, with nearly half knowing about it prior to the air date.
  • 88% of those who tuned in listened to all or most of the broadcast.
  • 74% of the broadcast’s audience had planned to tune in.
  • Eight in 10 adults dialed in to their preferred station.
  • The location of listening was equally split between those listening at home and away from home.

This unique broadcast indisputably provides proof of concept that Radio connects, Radio breaks through, Radio creates important dialogue and Radio works to motivate its loyal listeners to act.

Doug Levy, Chairman of the Illinois Broadcasters Association and its Radio Broadcasters of Chicago Committee said it best…. “Our hope is that we started the conversation and that it continues in coffee shops, park benches, around water coolers and at dinner tables throughout Chicago.” Signs suggest Doug’s hope is becoming reality as Nielsen reports the success of the town hall has garnered additional attention following the initial airing with 84% of those aware of the “Radio Town Hall” hearing about it again, post event, through a variety of media sources and word-of-mouth.