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Lite, Opie & Anthony Gain;
Mega, Kiss Slip in Winter Ratings

Tuesday, April 25, 2000

     The Winter, 2000 Arbitron radio ratings, covering the months of January, February, and March, were released today.

     Strengthening its hold on the #1 position, Lite-FM (WLTW, 106.7 FM) earned a solid 6.4 audience share (up from 5.7 in the Fall), its highest share since the Winter 1998 ratings book. Lite-FM gained in all dayparts, particularly middays, where its 8.7 share reflects strong office worker listening. While #1 among the key 25-54 age group demographic, the station is also #6 among younger (18-34) listeners.  Lite`s mix of current hits, mid-tempo recurrents and popular oldies continues to generate broad appeal.

     Giving a boost to the otherwise slow-growing ratings of FM talker WNEW-FM (102.7), the anything-goes Opie & Anthony show picked up steam in the first quarter of the year, finishing with a 3.9 share for its afternoon daypart (up from 2.9 in the Fall).  O & A placed #1 in all key male demographics, including a 9.2 share in Men 18-49.  While the overall WNEW rating improved only slightly (1.5 share from a 1.2 share in the Fall), the station is doing better among listeners 18-34 (3.1 share, up from 2.2 in the Fall).

     New York`s long-time oldies station, WCBS-FM (101.1) had a successful quarter, finishing in the #5 spot with a 4.4 share (up from 4.1 in the Fall) and apparently no longer feeling the effect of competition from Jammin` 105 (WTJM, 105.1 FM).  In the 25-54 category, CBS-FM is #3 with a 5.0 share, up from a 4.3 share in the Fall.  Special mention should be made of Harry Harrison, the "Morning Mayor", who gained 0.7 of a ratings point this quarter to finish with a 4.4 audience share.  Over at Jammin` 105, listenership continues to build steadily, as the station earned a 2.9 share, up from 2.7 in the Fall.  The Jay Thomas morning show, however, does not appear to have caught on as yet with listeners, picking up only a 2.0 share.

     Howard Stern continues to dominate mornings, finishing the quarter with an 8.7 share, down slightly from his Fall share of 9.0, but significantly better than the last two monthly trends.  Stern`s strong showing led K-Rock (WXRK, 92.3 FM) to an overall #6 position, with a 4.0 share.

     After a solid showing in the Fall (4.0 share), Urban AC Kiss-FM (WRKS, 98.7 FM) slipped back to a 3.1 share in the Winter, with losses for the Isaac Hayes morning show and throughout the day.  Kiss returns to a tie with rival WBLS (107.5 FM), which also lost listeners, ending the quarter with a 3.1 share (down from 3.5 in the Fall).  WBLS` Doug Banks morning show fell from a 3.3 share in the Fall to a 2.5 share.

     Spanish music leader Mega 97.9 (WSKQ, 97.9 FM) slipped to third place with a 4.5 share, its lowest rating in a year.  The station appears to be losing some of its younger listeners, possibly to WKTU (103.5 FM).  Newer rival WCAA (105.9 FM) continues to steadily gain, moving to a 2.1 share, up from 1.8 in the Fall and 1.3 a year ago.  Spanish news/talk station WADO (1280 AM) received a boost in the first quarter (up from 1.4 in the Fall to 2.2), with its long-running morning news show earning a 3.1 share (up from 1.8) as listeners tuned in for the story of 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez.

     In the hit music field, Z100 (WHTZ, 100.3 FM) and WPLJ (95.5 FM) lost listeners this quarter.  Z100 moved down from a 5.1 share in the Fall to a 4.5 share, its lowest rating in a year.  The station was down in all dayparts.  WPLJ was down 0.2 to a 2.5 share, erasing more of its audience gains of 1999. Afternoons, with new dj Race Taylor, saw a drop from 3.2 in the Fall to 2.7 in the Winter.  WKTU (103.5 FM) remained strong, with a 4.0 share overall and a big gain among listeners 18-34, where it placed #2 with an 8.3 share.  The overall leader among 18-34 listeners remains Urban CHR Hot 97 (WQHT, 97.1 FM), with a 5.2 share (#2) overall and a 10.6 share 18-34.

     On the AM side, traditional talker WOR (710 AM), with a 2.8 share, retained its lead over political talker WABC (770 AM), which pulled in a 2.4 share, its lowest rating in years. All-news WINS (1010 AM) had an excellent quarter, moving from 3.3 in the Fall to 3.8, and holding down the #2 position in the morning with a solid 6.7 share, up from 5.8 in the Fall.

     Two stations have slowly but surely been picking up listeners over the past year: Q104 (WAXQ, 104.3 FM) and CD 101.9 (WQCD, 101.9 FM).  Q104 finished with a 2.4 share this quarter, having climbed from a 1.9 share a year ago and a 1.5 share two years ago.  CD 101.9 gained a 3.2 share this quarter, up from a 2.7 share a year ago.

     For a more comprehensive look at the Winter 2000 Arbitron ratings, visit the NYRG Ratings Page.

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