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Hot 97, Stern Up; WCBS-AM declines in
Summer Radio Ratings

Monday, October 16, 2000

     The Summer, 2000 Arbitron radio ratings covering the months of July, August, and September were released on Friday, October 13th.

     At the top of the survey, perennial #1 Lite-FM (WLTW, 106.7 FM) slipped back to a 6.1 audience share after two quarters at 6.4.  It was down in all dayparts but continues to lead by a substantial margin middays (10 AM - 3 PM; 7.7 share) and by a thin margin afternoons (3-7 PM; 6.7 share).  Lite-FM lost almost a full share this quarter among the 25-54 demo, perhaps reflecting the increased proportion of current hit material on its playlist.  Surging this quarter from a 5.1 share in the Spring book to a 5.7 share is Hot 97 (WQHT, 97.1 FM), holding Lite-FM to its narrowest overall first-place lead since the first quarter of 1999.  Hot 97 was up in all dayparts, gaining sharply in middays (up 1.2 to a 5.0 share) and again leading evenings (7 PM - 12 Midnight; 8.5 share).  Hot 97 is also the hands-down leader among 18-34 year old listeners.

     In r&b radio, the see-saw competition between WBLS (107.5 FM) and Kiss-FM (WRKS, 98.7 FM) continues, with WBLS pulling out in front again this quarter.  `BLS is up for the third straight quarter, bringing in a 3.7 share, and gained in all dayparts, especially middays.  Kiss dropped 0.4 to a 3.3 share, holding steady evenings but down in all other dayparts.

     The Howard Stern morning show on K-Rock (WXRK, 92.3 FM) is up sharply this quarter (7.2 Spring to 7.8) following a substantial dip in the last quarter. Stern`s ratings continue to pull up the station`s ratings, but other dayparts were also up this quarter; overall, K-Rock was up 0.2 share to 3.6.

     In its fourth quarter as an "extreme talk" station, WNEW-FM (102.7) stayed even with a 1.9 share overall.  Its high-profile Opie & Anthony afternoon show again anchored the station with a strong 4.7 share (#5 afternoon show), while the station`s other dayparts continued to struggle to attract listeners.  WNEW`s "Sports Guys" morning show garnered only a 0.6 share during the summer.

     Both major AM talk stations gained listeners in the third quarter.  WABC (770 AM) was up overall (2.8 Spring to 3.1), with its biggest gain derived from the five-month old Curtis & Kuby morning show, which boosted the station`s morning share a full point to 3.1.  All other dayparts at WABC also gained.  WOR (710 AM) also rose 0.3, to a 3.0 share. Ironically, the Rambling With Gambling morning show, which ended a 75-year run in September, was up during the summer, leading WOR`s timeslots with a 3.9 share.  WOR`s evening programming also rose sharply, to a 3.4 share.  WEVD (1050 AM) re-entered the ratings book with a 0.4 share, led by the topical Bill Mazer morning show (1.0 share).

     The ratings gap between all-news WINS (1010 AM) and all-news WCBS (880 AM) widened during the summer, with WINS up to a 3.7 share and WCBS down for a third consecutive quarter with a 2.3 share.  WINS was up in all dayparts and continues as the #2 morning station with a 6.7 share.  WCBS held steady evenings, but was down in all other dayparts, especially mornings, where it dropped from 4.4 in the spring to a 3.8 share.

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

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