Radio & TV Talk

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Radio briefs: Erick Erickson, August/September ratings, Twenty One Pilots top Atlanta song

By RODNEY HO/, originally filed Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Erick Erickson, radio host for Atlanta's News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB, said his essay last week reasserting his inability to support Donald Trump was one of his most read pieces ever. (And no, he is no fan of Hillary Clinton either.)

He emailed me:

The feedback has been tremendous.  Probably the most widely read piece I’ve ever written.  Between the Washington Post hits and The Resurgent, I’m guessing well over a million people have clicked on it since last week.  There’ve been 734,441 unique clicks on it at The Resurgent as of right now.

The most interesting thing is that there’ve been numerous Christian responses to it and I can recall only one that cited scripture in response.

As for the debate Monday night, he believed more Americans would have preferred "a colonoscopy without anesthesia."

"It was painful to be yelled at for 1.5 hours by Trump," he wrote. "I conducted a panel of voters discussion after the debate. The room was overwhelming voting Trump, either enthusiastically or begrudgingly.  But almost all of them thought Clinton came across better in the debate and was more prepared.  That didn’t change most minds, however.  Interestingly, 5 of the panelists became more undecided after the debate."

He concluded: "I’m just ready for 2017."


In the most recent four-week Nielsen Audio radio ratings covering August 11 through September 7, WSB again led the market. The news/talk station has ridden the presidential race to the top the entire calendar year.

Among other stations having strong years so far: Christian pop station Fish 104.7 has gotten its sea legs in 2016 after a slow start, pulling in five straight months of top 5 finishes. Among 25 to 54 year olds, it landed at its highest point ever: second place, only behind V-103.

Kicks 101.5 had an unusually strong four weeks, jumping from 3.9 to 5.2. That's its best one-month rating since April, 2011. It was also its strongest margin of victory over 94.9/The Bull since June of 2011. The Bull until recently had been regularly beating Kicks going back to late 2013 after Kicks had a long run of dominance.

Hot 107.9's Rickey Smiley came in first for the second time in three months among 25 to 54 year olds but Ryan Cameron and Wanda Smith won 18 to 34 year olds over Smiley in a tight race.

In the pop station wars, Star 94 won among 25 to 54 year olds and 18 to 34 year olds for the first time in several years, fueled by its morning show Jeff Dauler and Jenn Hobby, which has been mostly trending upward since its debut in March. Star has seen its 25-to-54 morning ratings jump from a 2.6 with the previous Drex, Cassiday and Tingle in August 2015, good for 15th place, to a 4.8 this past month for Jeff and Jenn, good for eighth place. While B98.5 won overall listeners with a 4.8 rating, Q100 dropped off, finishing at 3.4, matching its worst performance in years from April. Power 96.1 had its weakest book of the year, with a 4 share.

Over in sports talk land, the gap between 92.9/The Game and 680/The Fan is the smallest since February. I can't cite The Fan's ratings because they don't subscribe to Nielsen but the station had its best month this year. Still, The Game's mid-day and afternoon numbers among 25 to 54 year olds are now in the top 10.

And the presidential race is helping 90.1/WABE as well, with its best ratings of the year at 3.5 and a 4.1 among 25 to 54 year olds. It also had its strongest mid-day numbers since the format switch early last year to news/talk and away from classical music: a 3.3, good for 15th place.

Paradoxically, NewsRadio 106.7 had its worst month (1.1) since its early days in late 2012 despite solid numbers from its mid-day hosts Shannon Burke and Kim "The Kimmer" Peterson.

And Majic picked up a half-share from  3.2 to 3.7 after adding back 97.5 but as a result, old-school rap station Boom fell from 1.1 to 0.6 after losing the same signal (while keeping the weaker 102.9.) Boom had been competitive with rival OG97.9, which remains at a 1.4 for the third month in a row.


The top song of the week in Atlanta radio was Twenty One Pilots' "Heathens," ousting Shawn Mendes' "Treat You Better." And the Chainsmokers have two songs in the top 10.

  1. Twenty One Pilots "Heathens"
  2. Shawn Mendes "Treat You Better"
  3. The Chainsmokers "Closer" featuring Halsey
  4. Major Lazer "Cold Water" w/ Justin Bieber
  5. Sia "Cheap Thrills"
  6. Calvin Harris "This is What You Came For" with Rihanna
  7. Drake "Controlla"
  8. The Chainsmokers "Don't Le Me Down" with Daya
  9. YFN Lucci "Key to the Streets"
  10. Rihanna "Needed Me"

Top songs at various local radio stations over the past seven days, covering September 20 through September 26.

V-103: Usher "No Limit"

Hot 107.9: DJ Drama "Wishing"

Streetz 94.5: YFN Lucci "Key to the Streets"

Kiss 104.1:  Jazmine Sullivan "Let it Burn"

Majic 107.5/97.5: Ro James "Permission"

Power 96.1: Twenty One Pilots "Heathens"

B98.5: Pink "Just Like Fire"

Q100: Twenty One Pilots "Heathens"

Star 94: Calvin Harris "This is What You Came For"

Fish 104.7: Jeremy Camp "Christ in Me'

Praise 102.5: Tamela Mann "God Provides"

94.9/The Bull: LoCash "I Know Somebody"

Kicks 101.5: Kelsea Ballerini "Peter Pan"

Radio 105.7: Twenty One Pilots "Heathens"

Rock 100.5: Van Halen "Runnin' With the Devil"/ ZZTop "Cheap Sunglasses"/ George Thorogood "Who Do You Love'

97.1/The River: John Mellencamp "Hurts So Good"/ Eagles "Take it Easy"/ INXS "Devil Inside"/ Kiss "Rock and Roll All Nite," Pete Townshend "Let My Love Open The Door," Led Zeppelin "Stairway to Heaven" (all spun 10 times each)

SOURCE: Mediabase 24/7

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About the Author

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