News/Talk WSB, Hot 107.9, Wild 105.7 heat up in November radio ratings

By RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com, filed Dec. 2, 2010

After three months on both an AM and FM signal, 750AM and now 95.5FM News/Talk WSB has regained its footing, according to Arbitron ratings measuring October 14 to November 10.

The station had seen its numbers wane steadily from mid-2009 until August, when it began simulcasting on 95.5 on the FM dial. This move has erased all the losses and placed them just behind V-103 for the top spot overall. It's also back to No. 2 among 25 to 54 year olds.

Its 8.7 share is its highest since February 2009.

Other stations that had a good month:

- Hot 107.9, matching its best overall performance and bringing in its highest 18-34 numbers this year.

- Star 94 had its best ratings this year, its first month with Scott Lindy, the program director who helped save 94.9/The Bull but mysteriously lost his job in August there.

- Dave FM tied its best overall ratings performance of the year, ranking 12th overall.

- Wild 106.7 has now built up its ratings to virtually match those of 95.5/The Beat among 18 to 34 year olds in just three months since the Beat shut its doors.

Those who had tough months:

- True Oldies 106.7 (now Atlanta's Greatest Hits 106.7) tied its worst month to date under people meters. It's no coincidence the station over Thanksgiving shifted its format to a more heavily 70s tilt to draw younger listeners.

- El Patron 105.3, the Spanish station, tied its worst overall ratings of the year.

- Rock 100.5 and 680/The Fan had their worst ratings months of the year.

Arbitron runs its "monthly" reports  in successive four-week ratings periods, 13 periods in all. So as the year goes along, it becomes less and less about a particular month. Although this ostensibly covers November, the actual period in which ratings were measured is October 14 to November 10. So this is the 11th of 13 four-week periods each 52-week cycle. The 13th is dubbed the "holiday" ratings and are probably the least reliable given the disruption during that time.

Here is a format-by-format overview:

Top 40/pop

Q100 had a typical month, ranking third among 18 to 34 year olds and fourth among 25 to 54 year olds. The Bert Show fell to second behind Frank & Wanda on V-103 after three months on the top among 18 to 34 year olds.

Star 94, which recently changed its slogan "Your life... your music," had its best performance since June 2009 among 25 to 54 year olds and August 2009 among to 18 to 34 year olds. Cindy & Ray had its best numbers, too, in more than a year, ranking a tie for sixth among 18 to 34 year olds.

B98.5 had a typical month, its final one before Christmas will boost its numbers. It ranked sixth overall, seventh among to 54 year olds. Morning host Vikki  Locke, solo since February, has stabilized her numbers, ranking eighth.

True Oldies, now Atlanta's Greatest Hits, had its worst 25 to 54 year old numbers since the people meters began in early 2009, ranking 20th.

Country

Kicks 101.5 remains the dominant overall country station, ranking fifth overall, which is normal so far this year. This past month, it also had a surge in younger listeners. For most of the year, its 25 to 54 year old numbers have been stronger than its 18 to 34 year old numbers. Not this month. In fact, it beat 94.9/The Bull in the younger demos for the first time in four months. The Bull did beat Kicks among 25 to 54 year olds for the third month in a row. The morning shows tied among 18 to 34 year olds.

R&B/hip hop

V-103 remained No. 1, as it has all year long, climbing from 8.2 to 8.9 in overall ratings. Leaving mid-days without a permanent (and ditto with its late night show) has not hurt the station to any degree but is probably saving them money.

Kiss 104.1 finished a tie for third and a tie for fourth among 25 to 54 year olds, a typically solid month.

Majic 107.5/97.5 has been a roll the past four months and Steve Harvey in the mornings even edged past Tom Joyner among 25 to 54 year olds for the fourth time in five months. (Joyner was far ahead earlier in the year.)

Hot 107.9 had its best numbers this year among 18 to 34 year olds, ranking a solid second place. Its overall numbers tied for its best month this year, ranking a tie for seventh.

Christian

Praise 102.5, as usual, is a powerhouse, ranking fourth overall and a tie for third 25-54. Its younger numbers are weaker than they were earlier in the year. Fish 104.7's younger numbers took a nosedive midyear but are improving again, with morning show Kevin & Taylor continuing to be the power point, fourth 25-54 and a tie for sixth 18-34.

Rock

Not a single rock station was in the top 10 overall. 92.9/Dave FM ranked 12th, tops overall. It also was tops 25-54, tied for ninth. Project 9-6-1 was the most popular among 18-34 year olds, ranking in a tie for fifth (though its recently reconfigured morning show continues to lag behind the rest of the station.). The River's numbers were so so with the station ranking 14th overall, 15th among 25-54 year olds and 17th among 18 to 34 year olds. It'll be interesting to see if Atlanta's Greatest Hits' pivot will impact their ratings down the road.

Rock 100.5 had its worst ratings since PPMs began, dropping to a mere 1.5 overall. Even among men 25-54, it ranks just a tie for 15th (though the Regular Guys are 6th in that demographic.) 99X, which has a weak signal, ranks a tie for 24th among men 25-54 and 20th among 18 to 34 year olds.

News/talk

WSB Radio's growth continues for a third month since the addition of the FM signal and its younger listeners have come back. The station has more than quadrupled its 18 to 34 year old demographic and is up 86 percent among 25 to 54 year olds since August.

640/WGST-AM's ratings were its best since May, ranking 21st. The mid-day numbers, which include Rush Limbaugh, remain the strongest on the station, with the 10 to 3 p.m. time period ranking a tie for 13th.

Sports

As noted earlier, 680/the Fan suffered its worst ratings of the year, despite the fact we're in the heart of college football season. While 790/the Zone's numbers did not go up, the station tied 680 for the first time this year 25-54. Among 25-54 men, the Fan still beat the Zone in mornings and mid-days but lost in late afternoons when it's between Buck & Kincade and a mix of Pollack & Bell and the 2 Live Stews. Overall, it was tight across the board.

Spanish

El Patron 105.3 finished out of the top 10 among 18 to 34 year olds for the second month in a row after placing in the top 10 the first nine months of the year. The morning show, Patrones de la Manana, holds at No. 5.

Top 25 stations overall

1. V-103

2. WSB

3. Kiss

4. Praise

5. Kicks

6. B98.5

7. Hot, Q100 (tie)

9. Bull

10. Majic

11. Fish

12. Dave

13. WABE

14. River

15. Project, Star (tie)

17. Atlanta's Greatest Hits

18. Wild

19. El Patron

20. Rock

21. WGST

22. The Fan

23. J93.3

24. The Zone

25. 99X at 97.9

Top 20, 25-54

1. V-103

2. WSB

3. Praise

4. Q100, Kiss (tie)

6. Majic

7. B98.5

8. The Bull

9. Fish, Dave (tie)

11. Hot

12. Kicks

13. Star

14. Project

15. The River

16. El Patron

17. WABE

18. Wild

19. Rock

20. Altanta's Greatest Hits

Top 10, mornings (6 to 10 a.m), 25-54

1. Frank & Wanda, V-103

2. Bert Show, Q100

3. Scott Slade, WSB

4. Kevin & Taylor, Fish

5. Steve Harvey, Majic

6. Tom Joyner, Kiss

8. Vikki Locke, B98.5

9. Jason Pullman & Kristen Gates, Bull

10. Yolanda Adams, Praise

Top 10, afternoons (3 to 7 p.m.), 25-54

1. Ryan Cameron/Greg Street V-103

2. Clark Howard/Sean Hannity, WSB

3. Michael Baisden, Majic

4. Johnny O, Q100

5. Rhodell Lewis, Praise

6. Kelly McCoy, B98.5

7. Art Terrell, Kiss

8. Lance Houston, Bull

9. Searcy, Hot 107.9

10. Rich Sullivan, Dave FM

Top 20, 18-34

1. V-103

2. Hot

3. Q100

4. Wild

5. WSB

6. Project

7. Kicks

8. Bull

9. B98.5, Dave (tie)

11. Star

12. Majic

13. El Patron

14. Kiss

15. Praise

16. Fish

17. River

18. Rock

19. WABE

20. 99X

Top 10, mornings 18-34

1. Frank & Wanda, V-103

2. Bert Show, Q100

3. Rickey Smiley, Hot

4. Scott Slade, WSB

5. Patrones de la Manana, El Patron

6. (tie) Cindy & Ray, Star;

8. (tie) Cadillac & Dallas, Kicks; Jason & Kristen, Bull

10. Elvis Duran, Wild

Top 10 afternoons, 18-34

1. Ryan Cameron/Greg Street, V-103

2. Searcy, Hot

3. Johnny O, Q100

4. Tripp West, Wild

5. Tim Michaels, Kicks

6. Clark Howard/Sean Hannity, WSB

7. Michael Baisden, Majic

8. Lance Houston, Bull

9. Chris Williams, Project

10. El Primo Migue, El Patron

SOURCE: Arbitron

About the Author

Editors' Picks