Published on Tuesday, 02 October 2012 19:54
The Arbitron ratings for the Chicago radio market for the September period (which covers 8/16/12-9/12/12) were released this week. The following is a study of the local ratings for the demographics of Persons 6+ (All Ages), Persons 25-54, and Persons 18-34, along with quick looks at some key stories.
Looking first at the all ages (6+) numbers...
For the fourth ratings period in a row, WVAZ-FM/V103 remains all alone at the very top of the ratings. The station retains its #1 ranking, even though it did lose a small amount of markets share, falling to 6.2 from last month's 6.4 share.
With this ratings period taking place at the end of the summer, where children returned to school, ratings for Contemporary Hit Radio stations, which were sky high during the summer months, finally begin to drop back down. WKSC-FM/103.5 Kiss FM falls from #2 to #5 and is down to a 4.1 share -- a 1.4 drop since its peak two months ago. The drops in market share are even more glaring in the younger demographics. Even though the share greatly shrank, WKSC-FM was still #1 in average audience cume, with 2,393,500. WBBM-FM/B96 is down to a 3.8 share -- a 0.7 share decrease from its high two months ago. WBBM-FM is tied at #10 in the rankings, but is #2 for cume with an average weekly cumulative audience of 2,215,400.
Some of Chicago's AM radio stations, which saw ratings drops in the summer, instead saw ratings going back up during the September period. WBBM-AM, simulcast on WCFS-FM, saw its share rise by 0.3 to a 5.1, making it the #2 station in town. Even though its share stayed even at 4.3, WGN-AM moved up to #3 this period. WLS-AM also rose by 0.3 share, to a 4.0, coming in at a tie for #6. WSCR-AM had an even bigger increase of 0.4, and came in at #13.
Even WMVP-AM, whose ratings have been in a tailspin, stopped the downward momentum, rising up by 0.1 to a 1.3 share. It's still one of the lowest rated major stations in all of Chicago radio, but at least there was some positive movement. With excitement about the Bears season, the Bears' Jay Cutler taking part in a weekly show, and the fact that WMVP-AM is the flagship home for the Chicago Bulls broadcasts, ESPN 1000 should continue to rise in the ratings over the next few months. It just has a very long way to go to catch up to it's surging upward rival, WSCR-AM.
Here is how the top of the Persons ages 6+ rankings looked for the September 2012 ratings period...
Looking now at the highly-desired demographic (by advertisers, and therefore station owners) of Persons ages 25-54...
In the overall numbers (Monday-Sunday 6:00am-Midnight), WVAZ-FM is the #1 radio station in this demographic, as well, with a 5.1 share. This happened despite losing 0.4 share in the last four weeks and 0.7 share on the last eight weeks. Thanks to the after-summer decline of CHR radio stations, V103 can once again claim the top spot. Chicago's Urban AC station has been the biggest success story of 2012, so far, and with only three months and four ratings periods left to go, appears it will easily be the station of the year.
The #1 station for the previous two months, WKSC-FM/103.5 Kiss FM falls to #2 with a 4.9 share. That is a 0.9 share decrease from the August period and a 1.4 share fall from the July period. However, even with the rapid fall, it is by no means panic time at the station. This is just the equalization after the rapid rise in summer. While most CHR stations, like WKSC-FM, saw major slips in share, one actually bucked the trend and gained share. WBBM-FM gained 0.1, and earned a 4.1 share, good enough to move up to #6 for the month.
Other stations that play top hits on the air, which saw its shares decrease as summer ended, included WTMX-FM/101.1 The Mix, which fell from a 5.1 share to a 4.8 share, but was able to maintain its #3 ranking, and WUSN-FM/US99.5, which fell from a 4.6 to a 3.9 share, ranking at #7 (tie).
Here is how the top of the Persons ages 25-54 rankings looked for the September 2012 ratings period...
In the overall numbers (Monday-Sunday 6:00am-Midnight) for the demographic of Women 25-54, WTMX-FM moves back up to its familiar place as the #1 station, after being dethroned for two months by WKSC-FM. The Mix moved back up to the top spot, despite losing 0.2 share and slipping to a still-decent 6.4 share. WKSC-FM falls to #2 after losing 2.1 share in eight weeks time, falling to a 5.7 share. WVAZ-FM also lost share -- 0.6 to be exact -- but maintained its ranking at #3. WUSN-FM was #4 once again, this time with a 5.1 share, which is a 0.7 decrease. WBBM-FM is #5 with a 4.6 share. The rest of the Top 10 for Women 25-54 were WGCI-FM, WLIT-FM, WPPN-FM, WOJO-FM, and WILV-FM.
For Men 25-54 in the overall numbers (Monday-Sunday 6:00am-Midnight), the top stations are almost the same as they were for the last few months. WDRV-FM/WWDV-FM/The Drive is still on top, coming in at #1 with a 6.4 share -- decreasing its lead by a 0.3 share. Coming up fast on The Drive at #2 is WSCR-AM/670 The Score with a 6.0 share. That is a 0.4 increase over August's share and a 0.6 increase since July's share of 5.4. For the second month in a row, there is a tie at #3, only this time, one more station joins up, making it a three-way tie. WVAZ-FM, WOJO-FM, and WLUP-FM all came in with a 4.8 share. The rest of the Top 10 for Men 25-54 were: WXRT-FM, WKSC-FM, WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM & WBBM-FM (tie), and WTMX-FM.
Taking a quick look at a younger demographic of Persons 18-34 now...
In the overall numbers (Monday-Sunday 6:00am-Midnight), WKSC-FM falls in yet another demographic, this time its target one. 103.5 Kiss FM slips to #2 with a 6.5 share, a full 1.0 share drop over the last period and 2.5 share drop from its July record high of 9.0. That means WGCI-FM moves up to #1 with a 7.0 share, a 0.1 share increase. WTMX-FM comes in at #3 with a 6.0 share, a large 0.8 share increase since the August period. WBBM-FM also takes a major fall, slipping to #4 with a 5.6 share. That is a 1.0 share drop from August and a 1.8 share decrease since July. WKQX-LP continues to build slowly, coming in at #5 with a 5.3 share. WOJO-FM & WUSN-FM are tied at #6, each with a 5.0 share. The rest of the Top 10 are: #8 WPWX-FM, #9 WNUA-FM, and in a three-way tie at #10, WVAZ-FM, WXRT-FM, and WDRV-FM.
The next ratings period, which is the "October" period, covering the dates of 9/13/12-10/10/12, comes out later this month, on October 29th.
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.