Last year Clear Channel Communications axed progressive talk radio station KPOJ-AM 620 and flipped the signal to Fox Sports Radio, a move company executives said was based on ratings and advertising.
Anchored by Carl Wolfson and his morning show, KPOJ was the 22nd-ranked radio station in the 48-station Portland market. Over its last 14 months, the station averaged a 0.8 share of the Portland radio market, meaning that it was reaching 8 of every 1,000 people over the age of 6 in the market.
In the four months since the switch to sports, the ratings at Fox Sports Radio KPOJ have shrunk to nearly microscopic size.
In January, KPOJ fell to an 0.1 share in Arbitron ratings, or 12 percent of the audience KPOJ had with Wolfson. That places them 26th in the market; even lower than Oregon Public Broadcasting's computer streaming audio.
Wolfson, who started his own Internet radio show in January, says KPOJ's numbers don't lie.
"KPOJ is now less popular than Kim Jong-Un," Wolfson says. "Even Dennis Rodman won't embrace it, and it's a sports station."
Chris Sargent, the programming director at Clear Channel, says the station is focusing on building a core of advertisers.
"It's way too early to gauge whether this is a good move or a bad move," Sargent says. "You can't say, 'It didn't pop in the first month.' That's not the way radio works."