Published on Wednesday, 15 September 2010 17:05
The Arbitron ratings for the Chicago radio market for the "August" period (7/22/10-8/18/10) were released late last week. The following is an in-depth study of those statistics, including looks at the all ages numbers, the 25-54 demographic, the 18-34 demographic, daypart races and key stories.
The all ages numbers can be found HERE
In the all ages ratings numbers, last month's two leaders, WBBM-AM & WGN-AM both lost ratings shares, but still did well enough to again take the top two spots. However, surging upward was WGCI-FM, who went up .5 and took over third place.
The biggest surge in the all ages/all times list was WBBM-FM, who had a 3.1 in July, but brought in a 3.7 in August. (B96 did extremely well in their target demos, as well, but more on that later...)
There were three notable large drop-offs from the July to August ratings: WOJO-FM fell a surprising .7, WUSN-FM fell .6, and WJMK fell .4 (and this coming off a July with a big gain).
In the Morning Drive daypart of 6:00am-10:00am, WGN-AM was again the clear winner, with WBBM-AM again in second place, WLS-AM again in third place, and WTMX-FM again in fourth place. With WOJO-FM's big ratings fall this month, WDRV-FM becomes the fifth place finisher in mornings.
WGN-AM's strong morning showing in the all ages numbers is one of the highlights for WGN-AM, not just this month, but also in the last couple of years. In looking at Greg Jarrett's numbers for just the time he is on the air, which for much of the August ratings period was 5:00am-8:30am, his all ages numbers are even greater. For that specific time period, Jarrett & WGN was #1 and pulled in a 10.9, well above WBBM-AM's 9.3 and WLS-AM's 9.0. It is also above last year's WGN numbers of a 9.7 for that same time slot. WGN-AM should have two concerns, though. First, in August, station management scaled back Greg Jarrett's morning show, having it end at 8:30am to make room for a controversial new host. They took the station's top performer and removed hours from his show in order to air an unproven and seemingly unpopular host in Mike McConnell. That last hour and a half of dropped ratings could hurt WGN's chances of keeping the #1 spot in morning drive. Also, even though Arbitron shows that WGN's overall median age is 54, their median age for Morning Drive time slot is 61, the oldest of any top Chicago station. That older demographic could hurt WGN's chances of longevity as a morning leader, as well as hurt them in the advertising department.
For the Afternoon Drive daypart of 10:00am-3:00pm in the all ages numbers, WLS-AM is the leader, thanks largely to the popular Rush Limbaugh syndicated talk show. WBBM-AM is in a tie for second place and WGN-AM drops to fourth place. The rest of the top stations are all FM music stations. WDRV-FM is the top music station, coming in second place, tied with WBBM-AM. WLS-FM takes fifth place, placing both of Citadel Chicago radio stations into the Top 5.
In the Afternoon Drive daypart of 3:00pm-7:00pm, WGN-AM fell out of the top spot, thanks in part to a Chicago Cubs team that failed to deliver this season, causing many fans to stop listening to the WGN broadcasts. WBBM-AM reclaimed the top spot. Third place again went to WGCI-FM. WVAZ-FM & WBBM-FM both made jumps up to claim the #4 & #5 spots.
Evenings (7:00pm-Midnight) are dominated by Clear Channel Chicago's one-two punch of Urban programming, WGCI-FM & WVAZ-FM, who are #1 and #2 respectively at nights.
Looking now at the 25-54 demographic, the highly desired range for many advertisers, and thus, radio station owners. For many, the all ages numbers referenced above are the "beauty pageant" numbers, that sometimes look good, but mean little to a station in the bigger picture.
For the longest time, the "king of the hill" in this demographic was Bonneville's WTMX-FM, but that is not the case any more. The good news for Bonneville is that new "king of the hill" is still part of their stable. The WDRV-FM/WWDV-FM simulcast has taken over as the top station in this important demographic. With a 5.3 share, The Drive just edged out The Mix with their 5.2 share.
Clear Channel's WVAZ-FM takes third place with a 5.0 share, followed by sister-station WGCI-FM with a 4.8 share. WXRT-FM reels in a 4.1 share, which is good enough to move the CBS station up into 5th place.
The biggest jump in the 25-54 demo belongs to WBBM-FM. In the overall ratings, B96 went from 19th place, all the way up to 8th place with a 3.6 share of the audience.
One of the better showings for August and a station to keep an eye on is WILV-FM. The station that recently re-branded itself as "Rewind 100.3" continues to climb in the ratings, this time ending in a tie for 11th place. The re-branding, along with new billboards and a new energy seems to be catching on with 25-54 year olds around town (especially women, where it is the #8 station). A Top 10 showing for WILV is not out of the question in the next month, giving Bonneville 3 out of the Top 10 stations.
Notable drops included WOJO-FM, WUSN-FM, WJMK-FM, WBEZ-FM and the ever-falling WCFS-FM.
Here is how the top of the Persons 25-54 rankings looked for last month:
The cume rankings show a somewhat different story. Here is the Top 10 rankings for station cume:
Once again, the busy Morning Drive radio race ends with the usual winner: WTMX-FM and the "Eric & Kathy Morning Show." While they are still #1, they did lose almost a whole point in August, dropping from a 8.5 share to a 7.6 share. (For Women 25-54, it's #1 with a 13.7 share, but that is down from a 14.7 share last month.) Second place through fourth place remain unchanged, as well, with WDRV/WWDV in second, WBBM-AM in third, and WBEZ-FM in fourth place. Making the leap from eight place to fifth place is WXRT-FM and the morning show with Lin Brehmer and Mary Dixon. Rounding out the rest of the morning Top 10 are WUSN-FM, a tie between WVAZ-FM & WLIT-FM, and a tie between WLEY-FM & WMVP-AM.
The Top 10 showing by WMVP-AM is the first time in a long while that the syndicated "Mike & Mike" morning show was able to beat the live & local "Mully & Hanley Show" on WSCR-AM. WMVP jumped from nineteenth place last ratings period to ninth place this ratings period.
The only other jump like that was with WBBM-FM, who went from twenty-fourth place in July to a tie for fourteenth place in August.
Middays has WDRV/WWDV back in the #1 slot, with a very respectable 6.7 share. However, the #2 slot is now shared by WTMX-FM and WXRT-FM, each with a 4.9 share. Coming up strong with a 4.5 share and into fourth place is WILV-FM, giving Bonneville three out of the top four stations in Middays. WILV's Megan Reed is an under-rated talent who has been slowly building a big audience through her banter with the audience each morning & early afternoon, along with her hosting the "Class Reunion Lunch" each day at Noon. WUSN-FM slips slightly down to fifth place. The rest of the Midday Top 10 is made up of a tie between WVAZ-FM & WOJO-FM for sixth, a tie between WGCI-FM & WLS-FM for eight place, and WLIT-FM slipping to tenth.
In the Afternoon Drive time slot, WTMX is again out of the #1 spot, which has been taken over by sister-station WDRV with a 5.3 share. WTMX drops to a 5.1 share and into second place. WGCI-FM moves up again this month and into third place, with sister-station WVAZ-FM right behind it in a tie for fourth place with WUSN-FM. The remainder of the afternoon Top 10 is WBBM-FM, WXRT-FM, WBBM-AM, WILV-FM, and a tenth place tie between WLS-AM and WLS-FM.
The big story in afternoons has to belong to WLS-AM. At the end of last year, Roe Conn's afternoon show was bringing in dismal ratings, as fans seemed as unhappy with the what had happened to his show as the host himself seemed to be. Management mistakes and other factors changed the show for the worse and it was clearly nearing its end. Toward the start of this year, a new management team was installed that sought to quickly repair the mistakes made by the last management team, restore the afternoon show back to what it should be and then build upon that even more. A new contract for Conn, the bringing back of key show contributors and the full-time addition of Richard Roeper as co-host, re-energized not only the show and Conn himself, but fans. "The Roe Conn Show with Richard Roeper" is now the #1 Chicago radio talk show, with an average quarter hour audience of 22,700. The next closest talk show audience is ESPN1000's "Mike & Mike in the Morning" with 17,800.
Evenings in the 25-54 demo show that Chicagoans want music with a beat or sports at night. From 7:00pm-Midnight, Clear Channel Chicago's one-two punch of Urban programming, WVAZ-FM & WGCI-FM, are #1 and #2 respectively with a 6.5 and a 6.4 share. Third place is a tie between WLIT-FM & WSCR-AM with a 4.6 share each. This gives Clear Channel three out of the top four stations at night and a huge 17.5 share with just those three frequencies. The remainder of the evenings top stations are WOJO-FM, WDRV-FM, WTMX-FM, a tie between WUSN-FM & WBBM-FM for eighth place, and WVIV-FM coming in tenth place.
Now, here is an in-depth look at the younger side of last week's Arbitron ratings for the Chicago radio market for the "August" period -- the 18-34 demographic.
Two months ago, big story was the first-ever #1 win in this demo for WKSC-FM. The CHR station had a lot to be happy about. This month, Kiss-FM has taken a tumble and their chief rival, WBBM-FM is now the big story of the month, posting up incredible ratings and the #1 overall spot. B96 is also #1 in afternoons, #2 in middays, #3 in mornings, #3 in evenings and #3 on weekends. B96 beat Kiss-FM in every daypart of the week except evenings, where WKSC came in second, over WBBM's third place.
WBBM-FM is tops with a 6.7 share overall. Last month's #1, WOJO-FM just missed repaeating, settling for second place, with a 6.6 share. Right behind both of them is WGCI-FM in third place with a 6.5 share. WKSC-FM is now down to fourth place and a 6.4 share. WTMX-FM, which has been altering its playlist to skew a little younger, is now in 5th place with a 5.3 share.
The Top rankings for the August ratings period for the Persons 18-34 demographic in the Chicago market look like this:
In the Morning Drive time period of 6:00am-10:00am, Eric & Kathy once again climb back to #1 after being knocked back to #2 last month. WTMX-FM was in first with a 7.8 share. Last month's leader, WOJO-FM's Eddie "Piolin" Sotelo falls back to #2 with a 6.1 share. WBBM-FM's morning show with J.Niice and Julian leaps up to the third slot with a 6.0 share, just missing second place. It is their best ratings yet, since their debut on the station together, back in January 2009. WKQX-FM's Sherman & Tingle are now in fourth place with 5.9 share. WGCI-FM's Morning Riot moves up to fifth place with a 4.8 share. The rest of the Morning Drive Top 10 looks like this: WKSC-FM in sixth, WUSN-FM in seventh, WXRT-FM & sister station WSCR-AM tied for eighth, and WDRV-FM & WMVP-AM tied for tenth.
Middays have WOJO back in the #1 spot with a 6.5 share and WBBM-FM behind them at #2 with a 5.8 share. WXRT-FM takes third with a 5.5 share. WKSC comes in fourth and WTMX takes fifth.
The Afternoon Drive is another happy story for WBBM-FM as hosts Stylz and Roman finally get to #1. Not only are they tops in afternoons, but they did so with a huge 8.1 share. Second place was a 7.0 share held by WKSC-FM. WGCI comes in third with a 6.5 share. WKQX takes fourth place with a 5.4 share and WTMX is fifth with a 4.9 share. That is followed by a sixth place tie between WOJO-FM & WPWX-FM, WDRV-FM in eight and a ninth place tie between WVAZ-FM & WUSN-FM.
Evenings belong to WGCI-FM, who is in first place with an incredible 9.3 share. WKSC-FM takes second with a 7.6 share and rival WBBM-FM comes in third with a 6.6 share. This was the only time slot that B96 lost to their main competitor. WOJO was in fourth place with a 6.4 share. South-suburban WPWX-FM takes fifth place with a 5.4 share. Considering their limited signal, this is a great audience for Power 92. It is also the station's most popular daypart. WSCR-AM takes sixth place and a 5.1 share. Just last month, The Score was in 22nd place in this daypart & demo, making this is a huge gain for the sports talker! The rest of the Top 10 for this time slot are: WVIV-FM, WKQX-FM, WVAZ-FM, and a tenth place tie between WTMX-FM & WLIT-FM.
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