Frank Ski has come full circle on V-103.

2018 Atlanta radio ratings: good years for V-103, Majic, River, B98.5, the Game, Rock 100.5, Joy 93.3

Tough two years for Kiss, Alt 105.7

Originally posted Monday, February 11, 2019 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

For the third year in a row, News 95.5 and AM 750 was the No. 1 station every month of the year.

Though ratings were down year over, WSB was able to maintain a clear lead over 97.1/The River and V-103. 

Atlanta stations that enjoyed major growth the past couple of years include Majic 107.5/97.5, The River, Rock 100.5, Joy 93.3, 92.9/The Game and B98.5.

Those that saw major drop offs include Kiss 104.1, Alt 105.7 and Praise 102.5. 

It’s been a relatively stable two years in Atlanta radio though there were a few changes around the turn of the year, including the end of Mix 87.7, the change of El Patron to Latin pop and morning show changes at V-103, Kicks and the Bull. 

Photo: Rodney Ho/Radio and TV Talk

And while the Bert Show held on as the No. 1 show among 25 to 54 year olds, Jason Bailey and “Southside” Steve Rickman on Rock 100.5 supplanted the Bert Show at the top of the 18-to-34-demo for the first time despite a weaker signal. 

The rankings cover Nielsen Media ratings for the first 48 weeks of 2018. I purposely omit the last month, which is typically warped by Christmas vacation time, throwing off listening habits. (Fish 104.7, by the way, won that final month thanks to its annual temporary switch to Christmas music, jumping to an 8.6)

A look at the 2017 Atlanta radio ratings

Here’s a quick summary of 2018 ratings by genre

R&B/hip-hop

V-103 took No. 3 overall with a slight rebound in rating from 2017. The switch to Frank and Wanda from Ryan Cameron did not hurt them as the station remained No. 1 in key demo’s: 25 to 54 and 18 to 34. 

But V-103 in a surprise move shook up the morning show earlier this year, bringing in younger hosts to support Frank Ski. 

Majic (5.16) leapfrogged ahead of Kiss (4.07) in the R&B space, with Majic finishing in fifth place overall while Kiss fell to ninth place from  third. Hot 107.9’s numbers were relatively flat while Street 94.5 saw a major improvement in its numbers, especially with its morning show featuring Yung Joc and Mo Quick. 

OG 97.9 (1.23) held steady while 96.7/The Beat drew a few more listeners in a very crowded market for black listeners.

Pop

Three of the pop stations - Power 96.1 (3.93), Q99.7 (4.22) and Star 94.1 (3.56) - were more or less flat in their ratings in 2018 vs. 2017. But B98.5 grew 21 percent and won not only the overall race but the 25 to 54 demo as well. Q99.7 remained at the top among 18 to 34 year olds. While the Bert Show’s numbers fell a bit, it remains the dominant pop morning show in town.

Erick Erickson at News 95.5 and AM750 WSB studio in a 2016 file photo. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC/hshin@ajc.com

News/Talk

WSB continued to ride the wave of hot political news in 2018 though its numbers did slip to a still solid 8.25 rating from 9.475 in 2017.

90.1/WABE (3.99) is up more than 45 percent in listenership since 2015. Rival NPR station 88.5/WRAS (0.78) held steady, with about one-fifth the audience of WABE. 

Talk 106.7 (1.7) also kept its overall ratings about the same year over year despite changes to its line up. 

Photo: CatMax Photography, LLC

Rock

97.1/The River (6.54) has been on a three-year growth spurt, finishing with its strongest year to date, just edging out V-103 for second place overall. 

Rock 100.5(3.08) also had its best year to date, up about 50 percent over two years, with the morning show rocketing to No. 1 among younger listeners. 

Alt 105.7 (1.5), with a new syndicated morning show, had another dismal year, down 43 percent over two years. It even fell out of the top 10 among 18 to 34 year olds. 

Country

Kicks 101.5 and 94.9/The Bull, as usual, saw a close race. Last year, Kicks barely edged out the Bull. This time, the Bull came in ahead with an average of 4.02 vs. 3.7 for Kicks. The Bull also won the battle among 18 to 34 year olds and 25 to 54 year olds. 

Christian

It was another good year for Christian pop station Fish 104.7 (5.05), which finished fifth overall. Gospel Praise(3.32) lost 15 percent of its listeners and fell to 15th from 11th place. Christian pop Joy 93.3 saw growth again, up 69 percent over two years, the biggest leap of any station in the top 20. 

Sports

92.9/The Game hit another high with a 3.2 rating overall, its best year since its debut in 2012. Rival 680/93.7 The Fan (1.87) also saw some nice growth year over year.  

Others

105.3/El Patron, after a massive drop-off in ratings in recent years, saw a slight bounce back to just over a 1 rating. years. It switched to Latin pop in November. 

91.9/Clark 91.9, the jazz station, after taking a major fall in 2017, lost a few more listeners in 2018. 

In the rankings below, I had to exclude Mix 87.7 because the owner stopped subscribing to Nielsen partway through the year. And while he did the same with Streetz in November, I had 11 months worth of data and just extrapolated the final month. 

Plus, 99X was off the FM dial most of the year because of interference issues so I left that station out. (It is back on air in 2019). And Jazz 101.9 and Power 92.3 did not subscribe so their numbers do not show up. 

The top 31 stations

Rank, station, rating (last year’s rating)

1. WSB  8.25 (down 13 percent from 9.52)

2- 97.1/The River 6.535 (up 17 percent from 5.58, counting streaming)

2. V-103 6.525  (up 7% from 6.125, plus streaming) 

4. B98.5 5.38 (up 21 percent from 4.46)

5. Majic 107.5/97.5 5.16 (up 12 percent from 4.6)

6. Fish 104.7 5.05 (up 1 percent from 4..98)

7. Q100 4.22 (down 3 percent from 4.33)

8. Hot 4.11 (down 4 percent from 4.3)

9- Kiss 104.1 4.07 (down 31 percent from 5.88)

10- Bull 4.02 (up 5 percent from 3.82)

11- Power 3.925 (no change, same as 2017)

12- 90/1WABE 3.9917 (up 8 percent from 3.7)

13- Kicks 101.5 3.7 (down 4 percent from 3.86)

14- Star 94.1 3.56 (unchanged from 3.57)

15- Praise 3.32 (down 15 percent from 3.87)

16- 92.9/The Game 3.20 (up 7 percent from 2.99, including streaming)

17- Rock 100.5 3.08 (up 12 percent from 2.76)

18- Joy 93.3 2.03 (up 16 percent from 1.76)

19. Streetz 94.5 1.88 (up 34 percent from 1.4)

19. 680/93.7 The Fan (1.87, up 25 percent from 1.5)

20- Talk 106.7 1.7 (unchanged from 1.725)

21- Alt 105.7 1.5 (down 23 percent from 1.95)

22. OG 97.9 1.23 (down 2 percent from 1.25)

23. 105.3/El Patron/Z105.3 1.09 (up 31 percent from 0.833)

24. 91.9/WCLK 0.833 (down 5 percent from 0.88)

25. Classix 102.9 0.81 (down 7 percent from 0.87)

26. 88.5/WRAS 0.78 (down 3 percent from 0.8)

27. 96.7/The Beat 0.65 (up from 0.37)

28- 107.1/WTSH 0.46 (station stopped airing in most of metro Atlanta in the fall.)

29- WAOK 0.233 (same)

30- 640/WGST 0.191(down from 0.217)

31- WGKA 0.16 (down from 0.225)

Top 15 stations among 25 to 54 year olds (last year's rank)

1- V-103 8.01 (1)

2- River 6.36 (3)

3- B98.5 5.93 (7)

4- WSB 5.45 (2)

5- Majic 5.44 (6)

6- Q100 5.25 (4)

7- Fish 5.05 (8)

8- Hot 4.78 (5)

9- WABE 4.33 (10)

10 - Power 4.2 (11)

11- Rock 3.93 (13)

12- Star 3.7 (12)

13- Bull 3.51 (14)

14 - The Game 3.38 (16)

15- Kiss 3.22 (8)

16- Praise 2.81 (15)

17- Kicks 2.53 (17)

18 -Radio 105.7 (now Alt 105.7) 2.21 (18)

19- Streetz 94.5 2.16

20  - OG 97.9 1.8 (20)

Top 20, 18-34 (last year's rank)

1- V-103 7.95 (1)

2- Hot 7.45 (2)

3- Q100 6.23 (3)

4- Power 5.7 (4)

5- River 5.2 (8)

6- Star 94. 4.63 (7)

7- B98.5 4.62 (6)

8- Bull 4.59 (10)

9- Rock 4.52 (11)

10- Streetz 4.26 (15)

11- Kicks 3.89 (16)

12- WSB 3.71 (16)

13- Alt 105.7 3.45 (9)

14- The Game 3.31 (14)

15- Majic 3.14 (13)

16-  Fish 3.06 (5)

17- WABE 2.9 (11)

18- Praise 1.89 (18)

19- El Patron 1.87 (20)

20- Joy 93.3 1.85

Top 15 morning shows 25-54 (last year's rank)

1- Bert Show (Q100) 7.23 (1)

2- Frank and Wanda (V-103) 7.17 (4)

3- Scott Slade (WSB) 6.99 (2)

4- Morning Edition (WABE) 6.4 (3)

5- Steve Harvey (Majic) 6.06 (5)

6- Rickey Smiley (Hot) 5.59 (7)

7- Jason Bailey and "Southside' Steve Rickman (Rock 100.5) 5.41 (6)

7- (tie) Steve Craig (River) 5.41 (9)

9- Tad & Drex (B98.50 5.06 (10)

10- Jeff Dauler and Jenn Hobb (Star) 3.64 (12)

11- Kevin & Taylor (Fish) 3.61 (8)

12 Hugh Douglas and John Fricke (92.9/The Game) 3.3 (13)

13- PK in the Morning (Power) 3.18 (16)

14- Jason Pullman and Kristen Gates (Bull) 2.93 (14)

15- The Front Row (680/93.7 The Fan) 2.6 (20)

16- Erica Campbell (Praise) 2.38 (15)

17- The Morning Groove with Art Terrell and Checka (Kiss) 2.08) (11)

18 - Cadillac Jack with Ali Mac (Kicks) 2.02 (17)

19- Streetz Morning Takeover (Streetz) 1.93

20- Les Patrones y Don Chilo (El Patron, now Z105.3) 1.53

Top 20 morning shows 18-34 (last year's rank)

1- Jason and Southside (Rock 100.5) 9.1 (4)

2- Bert Show (Q100) 8.01 (1)

3- Rickey Smiley (Hot) 7.16 (2)

4- Frank and Wanda (V-103) 6.39 (3)

5- Scott Slade (WSB) 5.9 (15)

6 -  PK in the morning (Power ) 4.48 (6)

7 - Jason and Kristen (Bull) 4.39 (14)

8 - Yung Joc and Mo Quick/Morning Takeover (Streetz) 4.37 (20)

9- Cadillac and Ali (Kicks) 3.93 (17)

10 - Steve Harvey (Majic) 3.84 (13)

11- Jeff and Jenn (Star) 3.78 (5)

11 (tie) Steve Craig (River) 3.78 (11)

13 - Tad & Drex (B98.5) 3.68 (9)

14 - Fricke and Douglas (The Game) 3.64 (12)

15-  Morning Edition (WABE) 2.63 (7)

16- Kevin & Taylor (Fish) 3.2 (8)

17- Les Patrones y Don Chilo (El Patron, now Z105.3) 2.08 (17)

17 (tie) The Morning Groove (Kiss 2.08)

19- The Woody Show (Alt 105.7) 2.01 (10)

20- The Morning Cruise (Joy 93.3) 1.94 (14)

CREDIT: Nielsen Media

WSB, B98.5, The River, Kiss and Your Country Georgia 107.1, along with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution are all part of the Cox Media Group.

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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