Published on Tuesday, 12 June 2012 18:53
The Arbitron ratings for the Chicago radio market for the May period (which covers 4/26/12-5/23/12) were released this week. The following is a study of the local ratings for the demographics of Persons 6+ (All Ages) and Persons 25-54, along with quick looks at other demographics and some key stories.
Looking first at the all ages (6+) numbers...
After months of minimal change, there were some big shifts for some radio stations between the April period and the May period, especially for WTMX-FM.
In the overall ratings, WTMX-FM and WVAZ-FM tied for first place with a 5.0 share. This marks the first time in ever that WTMX-FM/101.9 The Mix has made it to #1 in the all ages numbers. WTMX-FM's share increased by .6, while WVAZ-FM's share stayed the same as in April. Right behind the leaders is the #1 from the last two months, WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM. The station lost .2 share and slipped down to #3. WDRV-FM/WWDV-FM continues to slowly gain and is now up to #4 with a 4.5 share. WGN-AM lost .5 share, while WKSC-FM gained .3 share, giving both stations a 4.4 share and a tie for fifth place.
Here is how the top of the Persons ages 6+ rankings looked for the May 2012 ratings period...
WIQI-FM/FM News 101.1 continues to have ratings issues. After toiling at the bottom of the ratings since the end of last summer, largely due to the station's ownership refusing to advertise or publicize the station to the general public, all eyes were on this rating period for FM News 101.1. A billboard campaign was launched across Chicagoland, which in turn generated a hefty amount of publicity for the station due to its making fun of former Illinois Governor Blagojevich. Many TV stations, newspapers, periodicals and website ran stories on the controversy, which gave WIQI-FM even more publicity. During the weeks of this ratings period, arguably no other station in Chicago had as much publicity and was thrust into the public eye as FM News 101.1 was. Unfortunately, the radio station only went up from a 0.3 share to a 0.4 share in the 6+ numbers -- far away from cracking the Top 20 as many had hoped, and not even reaching the Top 30 for Chicago radio stations. It remains the lowest rated major Chicago FM station, The station has since dropped its 24/7 newscasts and has begun to mix in news-oriented talk programming in the hopes of raising the ratings out of the cellar.
Launching almost two weeks into this ratings period was the new Alternate rock station WKQX-LP/Q87.7, taking over the frequency that used to be WLFM-LP/Smooth 87.7. For the period, it ended up with a 1.0 share, well below that of its Smooth AC predecessor. However, for one of those weeks, the station played a simulcast of the low-rated, low-enjoyed WIQI-FM/FM News 101.1 which garnered low ratings for WKQX-LP. For the last two weeks of the ratings period, the ratings were much higher, which seems to indicate that next full rating period, WKQX-LP could be a station to keep an eye on. While the 6+ ratings for those last two weeks were decent enough to note here, the station's target demo of 18-34 turned out even higher and made up the lion's share of the 6+ ratings.
Looking now at the highly-desired demographic of ages 25-54...
In the overall numbers (Monday-Sunday 6:00am-Midnight), the big winner was WTMX-FM, leaping up to a 5.9 share, up from April's 5.0 share. Not only was WTMX-FM/101.9 The Mix #1 in the 6+ and Persons 25-54 demographics, but the station was also #1 for Women 25-54, Women 35-64, Women 18-49, and Persons 18-49. May was certainly The Mix's month.
Coming in second place was the simulcast of WDRV-FM & WWDV-FM, which obtained a 5.1 share -- a .2 decrease increase from April. WKSC-FM remains in third place with a 5.0 share. WGCI-FM continues to surge upward, coming in fourth with a 4.9 share -- a .4 share increase over April and a 1.2 increase in just two month's time. WVAZ-FM slipped down again, falling to #5 with a 4.5 share. The rest of the top ten were (in order) WOJO-FM, WBBM-FM, WUSN-FM, WLUP-FM, and WXRT-FM.
As has been the case for a while now, no AM stations reached the Top 10 in this demographic for the May period. The closest was WSCR-AM, which came in at #11 with a 3.7 share, a .2 increase, and just narrowly missing the Top 10. WBBM-AM (which is also simulcast on the FM) fell all the way down to #16 with a 3.0 share. WMVP-AM slipped to #18, while WGN-AM dropped slightly to #20. WLS-AM gained slightly, reaching #23.
In the overall numbers (Monday-Sunday 6:00am-Midnight) for the demographic of Women 25-54, the aforementioned WTMX-FM remains the radio Queen with a mighty 7.7 share. WKSC-FM was #2 with a 6.8 share. WGCI-FM and WBBM-FM tied at #3, each with a 5.4 share. WVAZ-FM, which was #1 just two months ago, falls to #5 with a 5.2 share. The rest of the Top 10 for Women were WUSN-FM, WLIT-FM, WPPN-FM, and WOJO-FM & WILV-FM (tie).
For Men 25-54 in the overall numbers (Monday-Sunday 6:00am-Midnight), WDRV-FM is still King, coming in at #1 with a 6.5 share. Jumping up to #2 is WSCR-AM with a 5.8 share. WLUP-FM falls to #3 with a 5.2 share, which is a big .7 drop. WOJO-FM is at #4 with a 4.8 share, and WGCI-FM is #5 with a 4.5 share. The rest of the Top 10 for Men were: WXRT-FM & WMVP-AM (tie), WTMX-FM, WVAZ-FM, and WBBM-AM.
For the Morning Drive time slot (6:00am-10:00am) for the ages of 25-54 (Men & Women), the top station is as always, WTMX-FM. What makes this remarkable is not that "The Eric & Kathy Show" is again #1, but that it is #1 with an incredible 8.5 share, a whopping 1.5 share increase over April's share. Tied for second place, but far behind #1, is WSCR-AM & WOJO-FM, both with a 4.8 share. WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM comes in at #4 with a 4.7, while WDRV-FM/WWDV-FM is #5 with a 4.6 share. As has been the case for this whole year, for Women 25-54, their favorite morning station is WTMX-FM, while for Men 25-54, their favorite is WSCR-AM.
With the Midday shift (10:00am-3:00pm), all three of Hubbard Broadcasting's Chicago radio stations top the list. The Drive is once again on top, as WDRV-FM/WWDV-FM is in first with a 6.2 share. WILV-FM/Rewind 100.3 is in second place for the second month in a row, with a 4.7 share. Jumping way up from #12 and into third place is WTMX-FM, which gains 1.0 share in just one month and now has a 4.6 share. Lunch time is the right time for Hubbard Broadcasting with their first, second and third place finishes for May. WOJO-FM is at #4 with a 4.5 share.WLEY-FM moves up to #5 with a .4 share increase, ending up with a 4.3 share.
In the Afternoon Drive time slot (3:00pm-7:00pm), first place with a 6.4 share is WKSC-FM. That marks an impressive 1.0 share increase for 103.5 Kiss FM, placing them well ahead of any competitors. Second place goes to the surging WTMX-FM, with a 5.4 share, a .7 share increase. WDRV-FM/WWDV-FM sees a share increase of 0.2, but falls in ranking to #3. WBBM-FM is #4 with a 4.9 share. WVAZ-FM moves up to #5 with a 4.7 share.
For the Evenings (7:00pm-Midnight), the order of the top stations has switched up quite a bit. Reclaiming the #1 position for the first time in a long time is WGCI-FM, with a 7.0 share. That is a gigantic 1.8 share increase over April's numbers for the Clear Channel-owned Urban station. Sister-station WKSC-FM leaps way up by a 1.4 share to a 5.9 share, taking over the #2 slot. WBBM-FM also increases mightily, coming in at #3 with a 5.4 share, a .8 increase. Last month's #1, WDRV-FM/WWDV-FM, along with WTMX-FM, tie at #4, each with a 5.3 share.
The Weekend ratings (Saturday & Sunday, 6:00am-Midnight) has WKSC-FM jumping up to #1 in May, from #5 in April, with a 6.5 share, a 1.0 increase. WTMX-FM is #2 witha 5.9 share, WGCI-FM is #3 with a 5.5 share, and WVAZ-FM is #4 with a 5.3 share. Tied at #5 is WBBM-FM and WXRT-FM, each with a 5.1 share.
Taking a quick look at couple of other demographics -- one younger and one older...
For Persons 18-34 in the overall numbers (Monday-Sunday 6:00am-Midnight), WGCI-FM moves back to #1 with an impressive 8.2 share, a 1.3 share increase. WKSC-FM was #2 with a 7.0 share. WBBM-FM and WTMX-FM are tied for third place, each with a 6.3 share. WUSN-FN is #5 with a 5.1 share, a 1.1 share decrease since April, but more in line with what the station had in March. The rest of the Top 10 are (in order): WPWX-FM, WOJO-FM, WLEY-FM, WDRV-FM, and WXRT-FM.
Launching almost two weeks into this ratings period was the new Alternate rock station WKQX-LP/Q87.7, taking over the frequency that used to be WLFM-LP/Smooth 87.7. The first two weeks of ratings were not worth mentioning. However, the last two weeks of ratings in this Persons 18-34 demographic were incredible. The weekly ratings in this demo for this station were 0.2, 0.9, 3.3, and 4.0. For the May period, it ended up with a 2.1 share, good enough for a tie for #17. If these ratings can be sustained past the initial curiosity stage, the new station could very well be a Top 10 draw for its target demo.
For the more mature demographic of Persons 35-64 in the overall numbers (Monday-Sunday 6:00am-Midnight), first place goes to WDRV-FM/WWDV-FM with a 5.8 share. WVAZ-FM, which was tied for first place last ratings period, is all alone at #2 with a 5.3 share. Leaping up to #3 is WTMX-FM with a 5.2 share, a .7 increase in just 4 weeks. WBBM-AM is #4 with a 5.4 share, and #5 is WLS-FM with a 4.7 share. Rounding out the Top 10 are (in order): WOJO-FM, WLUP-FM, WXRT-FM, and WLS-AM & WLIT-FM (tie).
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May not be quoted or reproduced without prior written permission from Arbitron.
The PPM ratings are based on audience estimates, and are the opinion of Arbitron and should not be relied on for precise accuracy or precise representativeness of a demographic or radio market.