Radio and TV Talk

Rodney Ho covers TV and radio, from Atlanta’s stations to the hottest “American Idol" news.

TV/radio briefs: huge ratings for WSB radio, Brenda Wood on 'Stranger Things,' Xmas on Star's HD-2

This was posted on Tuesday, November 1, 2016 on Rodney Ho's AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

The presidential election has greatly benefited News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB this past month. The news/talk station hit double digits for the first time in the eight years Nielsen Audio has been using the current measuring system.

WSB finished the most recent four-week period (September 8-October 5) with a 10.1 rating with a monstrous lead over the No. 2 station V-103, which finished with a 6.4.

WSB's strongest daypart was 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., which covers Herman Cain and Rush Limbaugh, with a commanding 14.1 rating. Rock station 97.1/The River was a distant second in mid-days with a 5.6.

Rush Limbaugh is top dog in the talk radio world for the ninth year in a row, according to Talkers magazine. CREDIT: Getty Images

V-103 in recent years has been the only other station to hit double digits. The legacy R&B/hip-hop station did remain No. 1 among 25 to 54 year olds, an important demographic for advertisers. It has been No. 1 in that demo all year. Among younger listeners ages 18 to 34, rival Hot 107.9 was No. 1 for the seventh time this year out of 10 ratings periods.

90.1/WABE-FM, the dominant NPR station, remained at 3.5 for a second month. That's its best performance since October, 2014. Rival 88.5/WRAS pulled in a 0.6, down from a peak of 0.9 in July.

Oddly, the third news/talk station in town NewsRadio 106.7 has seen sagging ratings despite the presidential race. It finished the month at 1.2, close to its record low and below its average of 1.56 in 2015. This is happening despite higher ratings for their new host Shannon Burke over his predecessor Michael Graham from 9 a.m. to noon.

In the top 40 race, the four pop stations are clustered tightly in the top 10. B98.5 is tops at 4.4 (ranked 7th), followed by Q100 (4.3, eighth), Star 94.1 (4.1, ninth) and Power 96.1 (3.9, tenth).

Q100 is at pop king among 25 to 54 year olds (5.7) and 18 to 34 year olds (6.8). Power had a down month, falling behind with 18 to 34 year olds (6.6), just edging ahead of Star 94.1 (6.3). B98.5 and Star were tied at 4.5 among 25 to 54 year olds.

The Bert Show beat Star 94.1's Jeff and Jenn 7.1 to 4.1 in the 25-54 demo. A year ago, Bert in that demo outdistanced Star 94.1's Drex, Cassiday & Tingle by an even wider margin of 8.6 to 3.2. Bert has been up and down all year in the 25-54 demo, ranging from 5.4 to 7.3. Jeff and Jenn, who opened at 3.7 in March, has gotten as high as 4.8 in August before slipping back to 4.1 in the most recent four-week period. The show has done better among 18 to 34 year olds, steadily gaining ground and more than doubling its  audience from a 3.1 to a 7.3 rating between March and September. Bert has averaged 8.1 since Jeff and Jenn came aboard, bouncing around between 6.1 and 9.3. (Today, by the way, is the one-year anniversary of Jeff Dauler's final day on the Bert Show after 14 years-plus.)

On the sports side, football boosted 92.9/The Game to a 3.2 (16th place), easily beating the other sports station, which doesn't subscribe to Nielsen Audio and can't be referenced. The Game had a 2.7 rating a year ago in the same month. Among 25 to 54 year olds, The Game pulled in a 3.3, more than doubling that other station.

In the country battle, Kicks 101.5 slipped back to a 3.8 rating, typical of its performance this year, down from an abnormal 5.2 the previous four weeks. It still beat 94.9/The Bull, which finished the month at 3.7.

WSB and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution are both part of Cox Media Group.



11 Alive's Brenda Wood appeared in a cameo on the first episode of Netflix's "Stranger Things" as a newscaster in Indiana set in the early 1980s.

Now she has done a "missing teen" segment released on YouTube featuring everyone's favorite dead "Stranger Things" character Barb Holland, last seen rocking some "absolutely fantastic glasses," Wood said.

And Eleven appears to be stealing Eggo waffles from a local store.

Wood, in a text, said a local talent agent contacted her to do season one Then Netflix reached out for her to do the teaser newscast for season two. A film crew flew in from Canada to shoot her at a studio off Howell Mill. "Was a hoot!" she wrote. "The whole 80s get up was a 'going back to the future' moment. I'm sure I had the same outfit in 1985!"

The video after 24 hours has hit 132,000 page views.


Star 94.1 has introduced an all-Christmas station on its HD-2 channel, which used to be sports talk before the Zone went away in 2015.

"To me, Christmas music is really the format for kids from 1 to 92…literally," wrote Tony Lorino, who programs Star and will also do the HD station. "There are people from all ages and all walks of life listening, and we just try to make it as mass appeal as possible by playing the biggest traditional Christmas songs, and a few from the past few years to keep it updated and fun.  The sound is very traditional, and since Christmas is a holiday where you hear a lot about people’s traditions, we feel like the playlist goes pretty hand in hand with that traditional feel."

You can listen here. 

Fish 104.7 typically goes all Christmas right before Thanksgiving.


Another video regarding "Stranger Things": a "Peanuts" mashup!

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About the Author

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

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