Noel Sheppard writes in an Aug. 19 NewsBusters post:
NewsBusters reported Friday that counter to claims by the liberal media, conservative talk radio host Sean Hannity fired the Cumulus network due to his concerns about how the owners are managing their stations.
Data obtained by NewsBusters show that Hannity is actually right, and that in the key demographic of people aged 25 to 54, Cumulus has lost roughly 50 percent of its listeners since buying the stations in September 2011.
But where is Sheppard getting his numbers from? "Data obtained by NewsBusters" is utterly meaningless unless he provides a source.
Further, radio ratings tend to be proprietary and not publicly available -- one must pay to obtain that information. It's likely that Sheppard is violating somebody's confidentiality agreement by reporting these murky numbers.
That's one reason why Sheppard has left them so murky. Another reason might be that he obtained them from Hannity or his representatives, which would explain how they exclusively focus on denigrating Cumulus.
Because he won't tell us whose ratings numbers these are or how he got them -- and because he clearly has an agenda -- Sheppard's numbers simply can't be taken at face value. Yet people like Jeffrey Lord of the American Spectator have done just that.
Given the many things for which Sheppard has had to issue corrections (and the many other things he has yet to correct), he has not earned that kind of trust.