The steady slide continues for news/talk station WSB-AM.
In April, 2009, WSB-AM had an 8.4 rating, ranked second in the city, according to Arbitron figures. Last month, the news/talk station hit a 5.5, the lowest in many years and down 35 percent in just over a year. Among 25-to-54 year olds, the station fell to a tie for 10th with rock station Dave FM, behind stations such as top 40 Q100, Christian pop Fish 104.7 and R&B/hip-hop Hot 107.9.
There is no obvious explanation because the station itself hasn’t changed its core weekday lineup in years, which features Scott Slade, Neal Boortz, Clark Howard and Sean Hannity. But that could also be a problem. Its audience is aging and shrinking at the same time.
WSB-AM Assistant Program Director Condace Pressley had no ready explanation for the drop off. But she said the station has no plans to make any changes to what has been a very successful formula.
“We’re staying the course,” she said. “We believe very strongly we have a very good product that is marketable to listeners of metro Atlanta.”
News/classical station 90.1/WABE-FM, in the meantime, continues its surge upwards, tied for fifth overall with a 5.0 rating, not far behind WSB-AM. In March, 2009, the station had a 2.8 rating, when WSB-AM had an 8.2.
WGST-AM, once competitive with WSB-AM, isn’t gaining much traction despite WSB’s problems. Its mid-day numbers, which include Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, have fallen by half since January among 25 to 54 year olds.
Hip-hop: V-103 is tops as usual in key demos, with Frank & Wanda taking back the top spot among 18 to 34 year olds from Q100’s Bert Show, which nabbed it for one month in May. Hot 107.9 had its best results since the new people meters in early 2009. (The summers tend to help younger-skewing stations.) In fact, Rickey Smiley’s morning show demolished Frank and Wanda among teens and almost beat Frank and Wanda among 18 to 34 year olds. This was by far Smiley’s best month since he began a couple of years ago and his performance has steadily improved all year. His 18-34 numbers have nearly doubled since January and up 58 percent among 25 to 54 year olds.
95.5/The Beat also had its best month in a year, ranking 12th overall. CJ & Murph Dawg outperformed the rest of the station among 18 to 34 year olds, ranking fifth with the show’s best performance since February 2009.
105.7/The Groove, which has opted for a more Beat-like sound in recent weeks, slipped a bit, ranking 13th among 18 to 34 year olds, down from 8th in May.
Top 40/pop: Q100’s Bert Show had a strong May but a relatively weak June among 18 to 34 year olds, dropping from first to third. The younger demo tends to be far more volatile month to month than the 25 to 54 year old demo, where Bert’s numbers were steady (tied for third).
Star 94 held steady, ranking 10th among 18 to 34 year olds. B98.5’s Vikki Locke, minus Steve McCoy since February, has seen her numbers steadily decline since his departure. Among 25-54 year olds, she tumbled out of the top 10 for the first time this year, falling to 13th from sixth in April. (UPDATE, July 21: Lee Cagle, the program director, did point out that Locke’s solo gig in the April-May-June period averaged a 4.0, higher than the Steve & Vikki show in April-May-June of 2009, when the pair averaged 3.6.)
True Oldies ranked in the top 10 for the fourth time this year.
Country: Kicks 101.5’s numbers were pretty typical, ranked fifth overall with a 5.0 rating. Ditto with 94.9/The Bull, ranked 14th overall with a respectable 3.7 rating.
R&B: Kiss 104.1, after a steady climb through the spring, fell back to January-level numbers in June. But it remained No. four overall and tied for third among 25 to 54 year olds. Majic 107.5/97.5 hasn’t changed much lately, ranked No. 9 among 25 to 54 year olds.
Christian: Praise 102.5, in the meantime, has been on the rise all year and held its own in June, ranked No. 2 overall for the second month in a row with a 6.1 rating. Fish 104.7 slipped to its worst numbers since October, falling out of the top 10 for the first time this year. Its 18-34 number fell off big time but Kevin & Taylor remained a solid top 4 performer among 25 to 54 year olds.
Rock: In the very competitive field of rock, 97.1/the River was top dog overall and performed surprisingly well among 18 to 34 year olds for the second month in a row. Perhaps this is the “Rock Band” effect given that the station plays mostly 70s rock. The station is ranked No. 4 but just 14th among 25 to 54 year olds.
Project 9-6-1, which plays mostly current active rock, had a very strong month, another recipient of the summer youth flood. It beat Q100 and the Beat among 18 to 34 year olds, ranking in a tie with Hot at No. 2 in that demo, the highest in more than a year. Its 8.3 rating in that demo is its highest since people meters started.
92.9/Dave FM was the top 25-54 rock station, ranked No. 10, with the Mara Davis-led mid-day numbers the strongest, where the station was fifth.
Rock 100.5 is doing much better with the Regular Guys and the Braves than with its classic rock mix. In fact, the Braves appear to be benefiting the Regular Guys. Among 25 to 54 year olds, the Regular Guys ranked eighth, with its highest ratings since people meters started. Its 18 to 34 numbers (ranked sixth) were its highest since May of 2009. The station ranked seventh at night, when Braves games usually air. During the day when it plays music? Around 20th place.
99X at 97.9, which may pick up the Hawks next year, remains an afterthought, ranked 23rd among 18 to 34 year olds and 24th among 25 to 54 year olds.
Spanish: 105.3/El Patron remained steady, ranked 18th overall and seventh among 18 to 34 year olds.
Sports: 680/The Fan, with the Braves, ranked 21st with a 1.8 rating, a typical number. 790/The Zone had its worst number in years at 0.5, ranked just 26th.
Top 25 stations in June 2010, covering May 27, 2010 through June 24, 2010.
5. (tie) B98.5, Kicks, WABE
10. (tie) River, True Oldies
12. (tie) Beat, Fish
14. (tie) Project, Bull
18. (tie) Star, El Patron
20. Rock 100.5
25. La Raza
Top 15 25-54
6. (tie) Fish, B98.5
10. (tie) Dave, WSB-AM
13. El Patron
Top 10 morning shows 25-54 (6 to 10 a.m.)
1. Frank & Wanda, V-103
2. Bert Show, Q100
3. Scott Slade, WSB-AM
4. Kevin & Taylor, Fish
5. Tom Joyner, Kiss
6. Rickey Smiley, Hot
7. Morning Edition, WABE
8. Regular Guys, Rock
9. Yolanda Adams, Praise
10. Steve Harvey, Majic
Top 15 stations, 18-34
7. El Patron
13. (tie) Groove, Bull
15. (tie) Fish, Rock 100.5
Top 10 morning shows, 18-34 (6 to 10 a.m.)
1. Frank and Wanda, V-103
2. Rickey Smiley, Hot
3. Bert Show, Q100
4. Patrones de la Mananas, El Patron
5. CJ & Murph Dawg, The Beat
6. Regular Guys, Rock
7. Kaedy Kiely, The River
8. Shaffee and Jefe, Project
9. Kevin & Taylor, Fish
10. Yolanda Adams, Praise
Top 10 late afternoons, 25-54 (3 p.m. to 7 p.m.)
1. Ryan Cameron w/Rashan Ali, V-103
2. Rhodell Lewis, Praise
3. Kelly McCoy, B98.5
4. Johnny O, Q100
5. Clark Howard/Sean Hannity, WSB-AM
6. Art Terrell, Kiss 104.1
7. Michael Baisden, Majic
8. Tim Michaels, Kicks
9 (tie) Emperor Searcy, Hot; Rich Sullivan, Dave FM
Top 10 late afternoons, 18-34
1. Ryan Cameron w/ Rashan Ali, V-103
2. Chris Williams, Project 9-6-1
3. Johnny O, Q100
4. Emperor Searcy, Hot
5. Kate McCarthy, the River
6. Maverick, The Beat
7. (tie) Tim Michaels, Kicks; Chase Daniels, Star 94
9. El Panda, El Patron
10. Rhodell Lewis, Praise
Top 10 25-54 (7 p.m. to midnight)
1. V-103 (Greg Street, jockless Quiet Storm)
3. (tie) Kiss; Hot (The Durtty Boyz)
5. Majic (SiMan Baby)
6. Q100 (Billy Bush)
7. Rock 100.5 (heavily Braves)
9. Fish (Mike Stoudt)
10. The River
DISCLOSURE: WSB-AM, WSB-FM, Kiss, The River and the Beat are all part of Cox Enterprises, which also owns ajc.com