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WNEW Drops, Stern Soars in Fall Radio Ratings

Tuesday, February 1, 2000

     The Fall, 1999 Arbitron radio ratings, covering the months of October, November, and December, 1999 were released today, after having been delayed a few weeks due to technical difficulties at Arbitron.

     While no longer "The Rock of New York", WNEW-FM`s ratings seem to be dropping like one.  In its first full quarter as a talk station, the audience share for 102.7 fell to 1.2 from a 1.5 share in the summer, with ratings down in every daypart. PM talksters Opie & Anthony, whose show is WNEW`s ratings leader, also declined from a 3.5 summer share to 2.9 in the fall.

     Meanwhile, at K-Rock (WXRK, 92.3 FM), Howard Stern`s long-running morning show marked a substantial gain, checking in with a 9.0 audience share and more than making up for a summer ratings dip.  Stern appears to be almost single-handedly carrying K-Rock, the ratings for which drop below a 3.0 share after Stern signs off.  K-Rock`s overall share is up to 4.1 from a 3.6 share in the summer.

     Making a very strong showing in the fall is KISS-FM (WRKS, 98.7 FM), which rebounded strongly from a 3.3 summer share to a 4.0 share in the fall.  In a continuing see-saw, KISS has again pulled ahead of rival WBLS (107.5 FM), which led KISS in the spring and summer ratings books. The Isaac Hayes morning show did especially well in the fall, moving up a full share, from 3.1 to 4.1, and all other KISS dayparts gained, including evenings, where listeners 25-54 jumped from a 5.0 to a 6.9 share.  At WBLS, the syndicated Doug Banks morning show was up, but other dayparts, particularly evenings, declined.

     In the hit music area, both Hot 97 (WQHT, 97.1 FM) and Z-100 (WHTZ, 100.3 FM) picked up listeners in the fall, with Hot 97 rising from a 4.8 in the summer to a 5.2 fall share and Z-100 going from 4.7 to 5.1 in the fall.  Z-100 was especially strong in the AM, where Elvis Duran`s Z-Morning Zoo climbed to a 5.0 share from 4.2 in the fall.  At Hot 97, evening ratings soared from a 7.4 share in the summer to a 9.5 share in the fall.  Holding about steady is WPLJ (95.5 FM), whose overall ratings inched up to a 2.7 share, with a bigger gain for new afternoon man Race Taylor.  At WKTU (103.5), overall ratings fell from 4.3 in the summer to a 3.8 share, with a particularly sharp decline middays (5.0 summer to 3.7 fall).

     According to Judy Ellis, GM for New York's Emmis stations (Hot 97, KISS-FM, and WQCD 101.9), the strong showings at each of the three stations reflect the work of "a hard-working, talented staff which focused on serving each station`s core audience". "We couldn't be happier with the results", adds Ellis.

     Once again at the top of the pack is Lite-FM (WLTW, 106.7 FM), which slipped from a 6.1 summer share to a 5.7 share, holding only a 0.5 share lead over #2 Mega 97.9 (WSKQ).  Lite-FM ratings are down in all dayparts.

     In news/talk radio, both WCBS (880 AM) and WINS (1010 AM) appear to be losing some listeners, especially in the morning, when each station lost six tenths of an audience share.  Talker WOR (710 AM) maintains its lead over WABC (770 AM), with a 3.0 to 2.7 lead, although WOR morning man John Gambling did slip a bit from a 4.6 summer share to 4.2 in the fall.

     For a more comprehensive look at the Fall 1999 Arbitron ratings, visit the NYRG Ratings Page.

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