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Progressive talker Ed Schultz ties Bill O'Reilly in audience size
John Byrne
Published: Wednesday October 10, 2007

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And they said liberal talk radio would never survive.

According to Talker's Magazine, a trade industry publication, the nation's largest progressive talk show radio host Ed Schultz is now tied in the number of radio listeners to conservative radio personality Bill O'Reilly.

Last November, Schultz leapt from 3pm to 6pm ET to the choice noon to 3pm ET slot, the same time slot as conservative talker Rush Limbaugh and, at the time, Air America's Al Franken.

A new survey by Talkers Magazine listed Schultz's weekly audience at 3.25 million weekly listeners, the same number of listeners enjoyed by O'Reilly, host of the Fox News Channel's The O'Reilly Factor.

Schultz and O'Reilly, along with radio hosts Jim Bohannon, Clark Howard and Doug Stephan, share the number seven slot. The same survey in 2006 pegged the Fargo talker's unique weekly listeners at 2.25 million, sharing the number 10 slot among radio hosts nationwide.

The Ed Schultz Show was the first to "out" Idaho senator Larry Craig (R-ID), ten months before he was caught in an airport bathroom soliciting an undercover cop.

Limbaugh, who had 14.5 million weekly listeners in 2005, has not recovered from his loss of audience reported in the 2006 survey. His audience has been holding steady at 13.5 million listeners since that report.

"To hear some Democrats tell it, the GOP should be afraid," Newsweek's Jonathan Darman penned in a 2005 profile on the Fargo, North Dakota-based Schultz. "Schultz is coming after them and doing it on their own turf, smack dead in the middle of Red State America."

A copy of the Talkers Magazine survey may be seen here.

Schultz's show runs on affiliates and both satellite networks nationwide. He's available online live here.