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A Look At Chicago's June 2012 Radio Ratings From Arbitron

The Arbitron ratings for the Chicago radio market for the June period (which covers 5/24/12-6/20/12) 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 a few months of minimal change at the top of the ratings, these last two months have seen major shifts, with some former leading AM stations falling and some FM stations coming up huge.

WVAZ-FM has been in a virtual tie for first place before, but in the June ratings, V103 is finally all alone in the top spot. The #1 Chicago station increased its audience share by 0.5 to a monthly average of 5.5. In January, the station was at a 4.4 share, which means that since the start of the year, WVAZ-FM has slowly increased by 1.1 share.

The June period was also very kind to CHR stations. WKSC-FM/103.5 Kiss FM and WBBM-FM/B96 both saw decent increases in one month and improved their ranking greatly. WKSC-FM moved up to #2 with a 5.3 share, a 0.9 share increase in just one month. WBBM-FM moved up to a tie at #5 with a 4.3 share, a 0.3 increase over May.

June was NOT kind to Chicago's major AM radio stations, however, especially in the 6+ demographic. Every one of them saw decreases, ranging from slight to dramatic. WBBM-AM/Newsradio 780 fell to a tie with sister-station WBBM-FM at #5. WBBM-AM (which is also simulcast on WCFS-FM) is now down to a 4.3 share. Just three months earlier, it was #1 with a 5.2 share. WGN-AM fell to #11 with a 3.9 share. Just 5 months ago, WGN-AM was #1 with a 5.4 share. There are starting to be deep concerns that the station's high-priced new morning show is not paying the dividends they had hoped for, and may actually be hurting the station's overall ratings. WLS-AM continues to sink, now down to #13 with a 3.5 share -- its lowest in years. Even the sports radio stations saw decreases, with WSCR-AM slipping slightly down to #18 and WMVP-AM slipping greatly to #27 -- also its lowest point in years.

In its first full month of ratings, new Alternative station WKQX-LP/Q87.7 jumped up to a 1.9 share, good enough for a tie at #20. The station's real strength and story comes from the younger demographics, where it performed even better.

Here is how the top of the Persons ages 6+ rankings looked for the June 2012 ratings period...

Monday-Sunday 6:00am-Midnight:
    1 WVAZ-FM
    2 WKSC-FM
    3 WTMX-FM
    4 WLS-FM
    5t WBBM-FM
    5t WBBM-AM
    5t WOJO-FM
    8 WDRV-FM
    9t WGCI-FM
    9t WUSN-FM
    11 WGN-AM
    12 WXRT-FM
    13 WLS-AM
    14 WLUP-FM
    15 WILV-FM


Looking now at the highly-desired demographic of ages 25-54...

In the overall numbers (Monday-Sunday 6:00am-Midnight), the big winner once again was WTMX-FM/101.9 The Mix, inching even higher up to a 6.0 share -- a full 1.0 share increase since April's ratings. Coming in second place was the surging WKSC-FM, which jumped up .6 share to a 5.6 share. In a tie for 3rd place was WVAZ-FM and the simulcast of WDRV-FM/WWDV-FM, which both had a 4.9 share in June. #5 was WOJO-FM/La Que Buena 105.1, which is now up to a 4.6 share. Sixth place was a four-way tie between WGCI-FM, WBBM-FM, WUSN-FM, and WLUP-FM, while WXRT-FM came in at #10.

As has been the case for a while now, no AM stations reached the Top 10 in this demographic for the June period, but this period, things became even worse for many of them. The closest was WSCR-AM, which for the second month in a row, came in at #11 with a 3.7 share. WBBM-AM (which is also simulcast on the FM) saw its shares shrink down to a 2.6 and is at #16. WMVP-AM slipped way down to #20 with only a 2 share. WGN-AM dropped sharply to a 1.8 share and a ranking of only #23. WLS-AM is right behind that, tied for #24 with a lowly 1.6 share. All other AM stations were ranked below #35.

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 its share increasing even more, now up to a 7.9 share. WKSC-FM was #2 with a 7.0 share. WBBM-FM and WUSN-FM tied at #3, each with a 5.4 share. WVAZ-FM is #5 with a 5.2 share. The rest of the Top 10 for Women were WGCI-FM, WLIT-FM, WILV-FM, WOJO-FM, and WPPN-FM.

For Men 25-54 in the overall numbers (Monday-Sunday 6:00am-Midnight), the top stations are almost the same as they were in May. WDRV-FM is still King, coming in at #1 with a 6.3 share. #2 is WSCR-AM with a 5.6 share. WLUP-FM is #3 with a 5.4 share. WOJO-FM is at #4 with a 5.3 share, and WVAZ-FM is #5 with a 4.7 share. The rest of the Top 10 for Men were: WXRT-FM, WKSC-FM, WTMX-FM, WGCI-FM, and WBBM-FM & WMVP-AM (tie).

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, this time with an 8.3 share. In second place is WOJO-FM, increasing its share by 0.3 to a 4.6. Right behind that, with a 5.2 share is WSCR-AM. WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM comes in at #4 with a 4.6 share, while WDRV-FM/WWDV-FM is #5 with a 4.2 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), The Drive is once again on top, as WDRV-FM/WWDV-FM is in first place with a 5.6 share. Jumping up into second place is WTMX-FM, which gains 1.4 share in two months and now has a 5.0 share. Tied for #3 is WKSC-FM and WOJO-FM, each with a 4.7 share. WPPN-FM moves way up from #11 to #5 with a .8 share increase, ending up with a 4.5 share. The big surprise was with WILV-FM/Rewind 100.3, which spent the last two months at #2, but in June tumbled down to a tie for #12, inexplicably losing .9 share in one month, even though the station did nothing different from one month to the next to warrant such a shift.

In the Afternoon Drive time slot (3:00pm-7:00pm), first place with a 6.8 share is WKSC-FM. 103.5 Kiss FM has been #1 in the afternoon daypart every month in 2012, but this month's 6.8 share is its biggest ever. The station has increased by 1.1 share since January, solidifying its afternoon dominance. Second place goes to the surging WVAZ-FM, with a 5.7 share, a 1.0 share increase in just four weeks' time. WTMX-FM is #3 with a 5.6 share. Fourth place is a tie between WDRV-FM/WWDV-FM and WBBM-FM, both with a 4.8 share.

For the Evenings (7:00pm-Midnight), WKSC-FM has a 6.4 share and moves back up to #1 for the first time since last year. WVAZ-FM moves back up to #2 with a 5.7 share, gaining .8 share. WDRV-FM/WWDV-FM moves up to #3 with a 5.4 share. WBBM-FM and WTMX-FM each have a 4.9 share and tie at #4. May's #1 was WGCI-FM, but somehow in June, the station lost a whopping 2.2 share at night, falling from a 7.0 to 4.8, and landing at seventh place.

The Weekend ratings (Saturday & Sunday, 6:00am-Midnight) has WKSC-FM again at #1 in June with a 6.6 share. WTMX-FM is again at #2 with a 6.2 share, WVAZ-FM is #3 with a 5.5 share, and WGCI-FM is #4 with a 5.3 share. Tied at #5 is WLUP-FM and WUSN-FM, each with a 5.2 share.

WKQX-LP/Q87.7 premiered at #19 with a 2.2 share in its first full month of ratings. The mornings were the station's only weak spot, earning just a 1.8 share, but with middays leaping up to a 2.4 share and all other important dayparts at a 2.3 share, the new Alternative station on its challenged signal shows promise out of the gate.

For Men 25-54, one big story is WSCR-AM/670 The Score. In their target demo, the station is #2 with a 5.6 share, the Mully and Hanley morning show is #1 with a 7.9 share, the McNeil and Spiegel midday show is #2 with a 6.3 share, and the Boers and Bernstein afternoon show is #2 with a 5.5 share. The station is beating its main competitor, WMVP-AM/ESPN 1000 in every daypart, every day of the week -- a feat the station has accomplished consistently in 2012. Mitch Rosen, WSCR-AM Program Director, said to CRM regarding this accomplishment: "I'm very proud of entire staff both on and off the air."


Taking a quick look at a younger demographic...

For Persons 18-34 in the overall numbers (Monday-Sunday 6:00am-Midnight), WKSC-FM again moves back in to the top spot, taking #1 with an impressive 8.3 share, a 1.3 share increase. WGCI-FM, May's #1, moves down to #2 with a 7.7 share. WBBM-FM was #3 with 6.8 share, a .5 increase over May's ratings. Also gaining .5 share in June was WUSN-FM, which moves up to #4. #5 with a 5.5 share is WTMX-FM. Making it's debut after its first full month of ratings is WKQX-LP, coming in at #6 and a 4.9 share in its target demographic of 18-34. The station has grown in market share every week since it's launch. The rest of the Top 10 are (in order): WPWX-FM, WOJO-FM, WXRT-FM, and WDRV-FM/WWDV-FM.

Ratings data © Copyright 2012 Arbitron Inc.
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.

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