2016 Atlanta radio ratings: good years for WSB, Hot, Star, the Game


This was posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 by Rodney Ho on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Donald Trump and interest in the presidential race ignited News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB to the top of the Nielsen Audio year-end ratings for 2016, overtaking perennial leader, hip-hop station V-103.

While WSB saw a 23 percent increase in ratings, V-103 slipped about 17 percent.

Other stations that saw solid growth in 2016 included Star 94.1, 92.9/The Game and 90.1/WABE-FM.

Here's a breakdown on how the local radio stations did by category:

R&B/HIP HOP

One of the hottest stories of 2016 in Atlanta radio was the continued rise of Hot 107.9. Once a niche station that targeted mostly younger listeners, the station over time has broadened its appeal and is now top 5 in 25-54 and overall listening. It also was a dominant No. 1 among 18 to 34 year olds.

V-103, as previously noted, fell back across the board after a strong 2015.  On the bright side, the station did maintain its lead among 25 to 54 year olds. It lost more footage among younger and older listeners.

The urban market kept getting more splintered with the addition of yet another hip-hop station at 92.3 and 96.7 called the Beat late in the year. Plus, a third R&B oldies station arrived at 87.7 called Old School earlier in the year. The competition has taken a major toll on Majic 107.5/97.5, which has seen ratings fall for three consecutive years. Kiss has held up better, maintaining its No. 3 spot in overall ratings.

Of the two old-school hip-hop stations, OG 97.9 held the lead and kept its ratings steady in its second full year. Boom was competitive with OG when it had both 97.5 and 102.9 but fell back a bit without the stronger 97.5 signal, which was given back to Majic in the fall.

The eight R&B and/or hip-hop stations combined for 27.6 percent of marketshare, about the same as last year's 27.9 percent.

POP

Star 94.1, with new management and a new morning show, gained 13 percent, the only pop station to increase listeners this year as Power, B98.5 and Q100 all saw dips. The pop station competition was rough and tumble in 2016 with all four stations pulling in big numbers and that isn't expected to change in 2017.

In overall audience for the year, B98.5 was tops followed by Power, Q100 and Star. Among 25-54 year olds, Q100 was in the lead, followed by B98.5 and a tie with Power and Star. With 18 to 34 year olds, Power is the most popular pop station with Q100 not far behind, then Power and Star.

All the stations saw shifts in their morning show lineups. The still dominant Bert Show suffered a bit for much of the year but regained its footing later in the year. The new Jeff & Jenn show at Star picked up significant audience from its predecessor. The new Power 96.1 morning show with PK, Denise and Terry J saw major slippage toward the end of the year compared to what Scotty K and Riley were doing a year earlier. And B98.5's revamped morning duo Melissa and Tad also underperformed in 2016 vs. the Melissa and Jeff show in 2015.

NEWS/TALK

WSB had its best ratings in recent history, averaging a 9.15 rating over the year, by far the best performing station in town. Its mid-day numbers, featuring Herman Cain and Rush Limbaugh, were strongest.

Both NPR stations 90.1/WABE-FM and 88.5/WRAS-FM saw listener growth as well, fueled by interest in political news. WABE was able to gain audience especially among younger folks who liked the mid-day news/talk programming. WRAS's percentage growth was large but came from a much smaller base. It still draws about 1/5th the audience of WABE.

NewsRadio 106.7 was the exception, unable to take advantage of the political climate, with ratings falling 14 percent.

SPORTS TALK

Four-year-old 92.9/The Game in the sports talk arena found its footing, building 22 percent from 2015 with its best ratings ever. 680/93.7 The Fan, which does not subscribe to Nielsen Audio, lagged behind but also saw strong growth. (I am not allowed to detail their numbers.)

COUNTRY

Among country stations, Kicks 101.5 closed the gap with leader 94.9/The Bull. The Bull slipped for the second year in a row, just barely edging out Kicks for the year, a 3.93 to 3.8 rating. Kicks grew about 5 percent year over year. But the Bull easily beat Kicks among 25-54 (3.8 to 3.375) and 18-34 (4.05 to 3.54).

ROCK

All three major rock stations built audience in 2016. 97.1/The River, slumping in 2014 and 2015 after peaking in 2013, found new momentum in 2016, seeing 5 percent growth and finishing seventh overall. Radio 105.7 grew 8 percent overall, landing in 17th place. Rock 100.5 also saw 9 percent growth, ranking 18th. Interestingly, both the River and Rock, which play classic rock, did better among younger listeners than Radio 105.7, which plays newer music. 99X, in its first return year at 98.9 as a new rock format, finished in 31st place with a 0.21 rating.

CHRISTIAN

Fish 104.7, after a major leap in 2015, slipped back to 2014 levels but at a 4.68 rating still good for sixth place. Praise 102.5 also fell modestly but remained at No. 9 overall. The Joy 93.3 had its best year ever with a 1.2 rating, good for 26th place.

OTHER

The jazz station Clark 91.9 has been on a growth spurt the past few years, hitting its own high of a 1.36 rating, finishing 21st.

Mexican music station 105.3/El Patron, on the other hand, has been dropping steadily in recent years, tumbling another 27 percent in 2016, the most of any major station in town. It's now fallen to 24th place.

WSB, B(8.5 Kiss 104.1 and 97.1/the River and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution are part of Cox Media Group. 

Year end numbers

1- WSB 9.2  (7.47 + 23.2%)

2- V-103 6.94 (8.65 – 19.8%) (Counting the stream, which was placed separately, the drop was – 17%)

3- Kiss 104.1 6.54 (6.75 -3.1%)

4- Hot 107.9 5.05 (4.27 +18.3%)

5- B98.5 4.78 (5.49  -12.9%)

6- Fish 104.7 4.68 (5.34 (-12.4%)

7- 97.1/River 4.533 (4.33 +4.7%)

8- Power 96.1 4.5 (4.96 -9.3%)

9- Praise 102.5 4.09 (4.31 -5.1%)

10 - Q100 4.033 (4.34 -7.1%)

11 -Star 94.1 4.025 (3.55  +13.4%)

12- 94.9/The Bull 3.93 (4.47 -12.1%)

13- Kicks 101.5 3.8 (3.63 +4.7%)

14- Majic 107.5/97.5 3.72 (4.48 -17%)

15- 90.1/WABE 3.05 (2.68 +13.8%)

16- 92.9/The Game 2.68 (2.19  +22.4%)

17-  Radio 105.7: 2.63 (2.43  +8.2%)

18- Rock 100.5 2.01 (1.83  +9.8%)

19-  A sports talk station I can't mention because they don't subscribe to Nielsen Audio 1.81 (1.48 +15.5%)

20- Streetz 94.5 1.71 (1.76 -2.8%)

21- Clark 91.9 1.36 (1.175 +15.7%)

22- OG97.9 1.342 (tie)  (1.27 +5.7%)

22- NewsRadio 1067 1.342 (tie) (1.56 -14%)

24- El Patron 105.3 1.32 (1.825 -27.7%)

25- Old School 87.7 1.21 (new)

26- Joy 93.3 1.2 (1.02 +17.6%)

27- Boom 102.9 1.06 (0.725 +46.2%)

28- WTSH Your Georgia Country  0.89 (0.633 +40.6%)

29- 88.5/WRAS 0.675 (.4833 +39.7%)

30- 1380/WAOK-AM 0.38 (0.125)

31- 640/WGST-AM  0.35 (0.433 -19%)

32- La Raza 102.3 0.217 (0.34)

33- 99X 0.21  (0.175 with Nash)

33- 920/The Answer 0.21 (0.117)

35- 103.7/Chuck FM 0.125 (0.241)

Top 15 25-54

1- V-103 7.925

2- WSB 6.3

3 Hot 6

4- Kiss 5.53

5- Q100 5.025

6-Fish 4.65

7- B98.5 4.625

8- tie Star, Power 4.43 each

10- River 4.36

11- Majic 3.91

12 Bull 3.8

13 Praise 3.55

14 Kicks 3.375

15 Radio 3.23

16 WABE 3.17

17 Game 2.99

18 Rock 2.31

19 Streetz 2.01

20- OG 97 1.7

18-34

1-- Hot 9.21

2- V-103 8.03

3- Power 6.59

4- Q100 6.31

5- Star 5.38

6- B98.5 4.61

7- River 4.52

8- Bull 4.05

9- Kiss 4.03

10- Radio 3.98

11- Fish 3.88

12- Streetz 3.76

13- WSB 3.12

14- WABE 3.07

15- Praise 2.88

16- Rock 2.75

17- Majic 2.58

18-  Kicks 2.54

19- Game 2.18

20- El Patron 2.05

Top morning show 25-54

1.. Scott Slade, WSB 7.64

2- Ryan Cameron with Wanda Smith, V-103 7.21

3- Rickey Smiley, Hot 6.65

4- Bert Show, Q100 6.63

5- Tom Joyner, Kiss 5.54

6- Kevin & Taylor, Fish 4.55

7- Steve Harvey, Majic 4.43

8- Morning Edition, WABE 4.39

9- Jeff & Jenn (mostly), Star 3.97

10- Jason & Kristen, Bull 3.56

11- Kaedy Kiely, then Steve Craig, River 3.48

12 Scotty Kay/Mega but mostly PK & Denise, Power  3.52

13 Melissa & Tad, B98.5 3.44

14 Fricke & Douglas, The Game 3.28

15 Cadillac & Dallas, Kicks 3.2

16 Southside & Bailey, Rock 100.5 2.85

17 Yolanda, then Erica Campbell, Praise2.84

18 Aly, Radio 105.7 2.78

19 Breakfast Club (mostly), Streetz 1.99

20 Rude Awakening, that sports station that can't be named, 1.75

18-34 mornings

1.. Rickey Smiley, Hot 9.93

2- Bert Show, Q100 8.83

3- Ryan & Wanda V-103 8.03

4- Scott Slade, WSB 6.54

5- Scotty Kay & Riley/ PK & Riley/ PK & Denise 6.26

6- Morning Edition, WABE 5.03

7- Jeff & Jenn, Star 4.87

8- Tom Joyner, Kiss 4.52

9- Mostly the Breakfast Club, Streetz, 4.06

10- Jason & Kristen, Bull 3.97

11- Kaedy Kiely, then Steve Craig, River 3.56

Tie with Bailey & Southside, Rock 3.56

13 Melissa & Tad, B98,.5 3.04

14 Yolanda Adams/Erica Campbell Praise 2.933

15 Kevin & Taylor, Fish 2.86

16- Aly, Radio 105.7 2.84

17- Los Patrones y Don Chilo, El Patron 2.81

18- Steve Harvey, Majic 2.63

19- Cadillac & Dallas, Kicks 2.54

20- Fricke & Douglas, The Game 2.15

 


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