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V-103, Star, Fish, Kiss are Arbitron radio ratings winners in January

Entering their 14th year at V-103, Wanda Smith and Frank Ski continue to dominate the morning airwaves on V-103. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/ from 2008

Entering their 14th year at V-103, Wanda Smith and Frank Ski continue to dominate the morning airwaves on V-103. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/ from 2008

With B98.5’s Christmas bump out of the way, R&B/hip-hop station V-103 returned to its normal spot as Atlanta’s most popular station in January with a 9.8 rating.

That’s the station’s best non-holiday showing since the middle of 2009. It is also No. 1 by a wide margin among 25 to 54 year olds and 18 to 34 year olds. The station, outside of Christmas, has been consistently No. 1 since Arbitron began using people meters three years ago.

B98.5 enjoyed its usual Christmas bump in November and December, jumping to No. 1 while it played classics by Bing Crosby and Andy Williams. But the pop station fell back to earth quickly in January when it returned to Adele and  Katy Perry, ranking No. 10 overall.

Here are some other notable trends:

News/talk: AM 750 and 95.5 FM News/Talk WSB, as the market’s No. 2 station, has held steady numbers over the past year. Its January performance was typical, ranking No. 2 among 25 to 54 year olds and overall with a 7.8 rating. After a modest increase in ratings in the fall, news/talk 640/WGST-AM slipped a bit in January, ranking 21st with a 1.5 rating. The mid-day numbers featuring Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh drive that station’s best ratings.

Christian: Pop station Fish 104.7 also experienced an increase in ratings while it played Christmas music but held on to its audience in January. Its 4.5 rating (ninth place) was its best non-Christmas monthly rating since March of 2010.

Top 40: Star 94 has been battling Q100 for top 40 supremacy over the past year. Star has become a formidable player again and in December and January actually beat Q100 overall for the first time since people meters arrived. But Q100 remains a strong player. Year over year, Q100’s numbers are down slightly in the 25-54 demo but remain steady among 18-34 year olds. Wild 105.7, which plays pop and hip hop, is in stronger shape than it was a year ago, up 27 percent year over year in overall ratings, with comparable growth in key demos. In January, it ranked a solid No. 6 among 18 to 34 year olds.

Country: It has become hand-to-hand combat between the two metro-wide country stations. Over the past year, 94.9/The Bull has seen a steady increase in viewership, especially in mornings with Jason Pullman and Kristen Gates. Once dominant Kicks 101.5 lost noticeable steam midyear and an influx of 1990s songs starting late October has not had a  discernible positive impact. In January, Kicks won the overall ratings battle with a 3.7 rating vs. a 3.5 rating for the Bull. But Kicks lost among younger listeners with a 3.6 rating vs. 4.4 for the Bull.

R&B: R&B station Kiss 104.1 has seen an uptick in its ratings since the fall, averaging a 7.2 overall rating the past three months, good for No. 3 in the market. The station’s standing has improved since it started playing more current songs last May.  Its rise has not hurt rival Majic 107.5/95.5, which remains a steady performer in recent months, typically ranking 8th or 9th overall and 6th among 25 to 54 year olds. Praise 102.5 continues its powerhouse numbers as the nation’s biggest gospel station, ranking a tie for fifth in January with a 5.2 rating.

Hip hop: Hip-hop station Hot 107.9 used to rank range around 10th place among 25 to 54 year olds but is now top 5 in that age range as its older fans stick with the format. Its 18 to 34 ratings have dropped a bit but are still at a very high level: a 10.5 rating in January 2011 vs. a 7.8 rating in January 2012.

Rock: The five rock stations in town continue to duke it out for a relatively modest pie. Not a single one ranked in the top 12 overall. Top performer is 97.1/The River, tied for 13th with a 3.2 rating, just ahead of Project 9-6-1 at 3.1. Project, though, can take pride in its steady presence in the top 5 among 18 to 34 year olds and its Kidd Chris show is now  regularly beating the Regular Guys on Rock 100.5 in that demo. The River is the top rock performer among 25 to 54 year olds, with morning numbers perking up since the brief experiment with Eddie Money ended. 92.9/Dave FM continues to be the worst-performing station in town with a full metro-wide FM signal (there are eight in town), ranking 20th with a 1.8 rating.  99X drew a modest 0.3 rating.

Pop: 106.7/ Atlanta’s Greatest Hits, after averaging a respectable 3 rating in the summer, has slipped into the 2 ratings range the past few months. In January, it drew a 2.2 rating, good for 18th place. Journey 97.9, with its modest signal and mix of 1980s and 1990s music, has drawn a consistent rating between 0.6 and 0.8 since its debut last year.

Hispanic: 105.3/El Patron, the only metro-wide Regional Mexican music station, used to be a top 10 and sometimes top 5 presence among 18 to 34 year olds but its audience has evaporated over the past year. The station ranked 6th in that demo as recently as January 2011 but is now down to 16th in January 2012.

Sports talk: 680/The Fan more than doubles the overall ratings of 790/The Zone. But in the 25-54 year old range, the Zone is far more competitive. In January, the Fan’s Rude Awakening tied the Zone’s Mayhem in the AM. In mid-days, the Zone won while in the late afternoons, the Fan’s Chuck Oliver and Matt Chernoff defeated Mike Bell and David Archer on the Zone.

Top 25 stations overall, January 2012, covering Jan. 5 to Feb. 1, 2012
1. V-103
2. WSB
3. Kiss
4. Star
5. Praise, Q100 (tie)
7. Hot
8. Majic
9. Fish
10. B98.5
11. Kicks
12. Bull
13. River, WABE (tie)
15. Project
16. Wild
17. Fan
18. Greatest Hits
19. El Patron
20. Dave
21. WGST
22. Rock 100.5
23. Zone
24. J93.3
25. La Raza/Journey
SOURCE: Arbitron

Top 20 25-54
1. V-103
2. WSB
3. Kiss, Star (tie)
5. Hot
6. Majic
7. Q100
8. Praise
9. B98.5, Fish (tie)
11. Kicks
12. River
13. Bull
14. Project
15. WABE
16. Dave
17. Atlanta’s Greatest Hits, Wild (tie)
19. El Patron
20. Fan

Top 10 25-54 morning shows (6 a.m. to 10 a.m.)
1. Frank & Wanda, V-103
2. Scott Slade/Neal Boortz, WSB
3. Bert Show, Q100
4. Tom Joyner, Kiss
5. Cindy & Ray, Star
6. Rickey Smiley, Hot
7. Steve Harvey, Majic
8. Yolanda Adams, Praise
9. Jason & Kristen, Bull
10. Vikki & Kelly, B98.5; Cadillac & Dallas, Kicks (tie)

Top 10 25-54 mid-days (10 a.m.-3 p.m.)
1. Ramona DeBreaux/Ryan Cameron, V-103
2. Neal Boortz/Clark Howard
3. Heather Branch, Star 94
4. Cynthia Young, Kiss 104.1; Jordan Graye, B98.5
6. Carol Blackmon, Majic
7. Brittany, Q100
8. Parks Stamper, Fish 104.7
9. Kaedy Kiely, The River; Tim Michaels, 94.9/The Bull

Top 10 25-54 afternoons (3 p.m.-7 p.m.)
1. Ryan Cameron/Greg Street, V-103
2. Sean Hannity/Erick Erickson, WSB
3. Michael Baisden, Majic; Chase Daniels, Star (tie)
5. Emperor Searcy, Hot
6. Art Terrell, Kiss
7. Johnny O, Q100
8. Beth Bacall, Fish
9. KD Bowe, Praise
10. Kelly McCoy, B98.5

Top 20 18-34
1. V-103
2. Q100
3. Hot
4. Project
5. Star
6. Wild
7. Fish/ Bull (tie)
9. Kiss
10. WSB
11. B98.5, Kicks (tie)
13. River
14. Majic
15. Praise
16. El Patron
17. Rock 100.5
18. WABE
19. Dave
20. South 107

Top 10 morning shows 18-34
1. Frank & Wanda, V-103
2. Bert Show, Q100
3. Rickey Smiley, Hot
4. Tom Joyner, Kiss; Scott Slade/Neal Boortz WSB
6. Cindy & Ray, Star
7. Jason & Kristen, Bull
8. Kevin & Taylor, Fish
9. Kidd Chris Show, Project
10. Regular Guys, Rock 100.5

Top 10 mid-days 18-34
1. Ramona DeBreaux/Ryan Cameron, V-103
2. Brittany, Q100
3. Heather Branch, Star; Aly, Project 9-6-1 (tie)
5. Tim Michaels, Bull
6. Jordan Graye, B98.5
7. Maria More, Hot
8. Neal Boortz/Clark Howard, WSB
9. Parks Stamper, Fish
10. Cynthia Young, Kiss

Top 10 late afternoons 18-34
1. Ryan Cameron/Greg Street, V-103
2. Emperor Searcy, Hot
3. Johnny O, Q100
4. Chase Daniels, Star
5. Chris Williams, Project
6. David J./Mama Chula, Wild
7. Sean Hannity/Erick Erickson, WSB
8. Mike Macho, Kicks
9. Lance Houston, the Bull
10. Art Terrell, Kiss
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By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk

25 comments Add your comment

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February 23rd, 2012
7:28 am

Atlanta radio needs the Kimmer and Randy and Spiff.

billy mac

February 23rd, 2012
8:37 am

V103 being #1 in atlanta, i mean does that surprise anybody? i mean look around atlanta is kinda dark if you know what i mean


February 23rd, 2012
8:56 am

RoHo, what about the 2-live Stews slot rating? Even though their time slot has been sliced down to 2 hours, it’s still the Zone’s highest rated show.

Rodney Ho

February 23rd, 2012
8:57 am

@G I don’t have hour by hour breakdowns but if indeed they have the highest ratings of any show on the Zone, bravo to them. Though that does beg the question of giving them only two hours, eh?


February 23rd, 2012
9:25 am

Meh, I gave up on Atlanta radio when I got SIRIUS/XM in my car. It’s a great investment – get it!

Howard Stern

February 23rd, 2012
9:27 am

What about 97.9? Are they too new to have data on?

Aly Cats

February 23rd, 2012
9:39 am

I think Aly from Project 9-6-1 is 3rd P18-34 in mid-days. The Aly Cats will not let you disrespect our leader this way!

Rodney Ho

February 23rd, 2012
9:40 am

@Aly Cats, Thanks. Forgot to include her. Just did…

Rodney Ho

February 23rd, 2012
9:41 am

@Howard Stern. Journey 97.9 has a small signal and very small numbers as a result, so it doesn’t really fall into the top 20 in any major category.


February 23rd, 2012
11:14 am

What were the numbers between the two sports stations for their shows? It’s amazing how much David P meant to 790. It also looks like John K, and Buck are starting to lose their grip as a ratings grabber is the ATL. How long before John K goes to ESPN national radio only?


February 23rd, 2012
11:35 am

Lincoln Financial Group has definitely engineered some definitive changes to 790 The Zone. The most notable being the Stews. Evidently, they took on the biggest hit because their show: Removed all the skits; makes no more reference to Omega Psi Phi; Dogs and Poodles references are gone; the music no longer fits the show or the audience (Maroon 5? GTFOH!); far less folks are getting shot off the radio; and they have to explain a lot of street terms. The Stews strongest feature was barber shop talk. Sure, that may not be for everyone, but Steak’s morning show isn’t made for everyone either. I expect more changes to the Zone as the year progresses.

tree maintenance bloomington in

February 23rd, 2012
12:40 pm

We stumbled over here coming from a different web address and thought I might as well check things out. I like what I see so now i am following you. Look forward to going over your web page repeatedly.


February 23rd, 2012
1:58 pm

I would start up a collection to help move Kincaid to ESPN if I thought it would speed that process up. The junk he does on Sunday mornings on ESPN radio is just plain horrible.
The reason Mayhem can’t beat Rude is easy, #1 Steak Shapiro, #2 Steak Shapiro, and #3 too much over the top mentioning of the stations call letters, 790 the Zone. About every other question they ask is preceded by the station ID.
I think Archer has done a great job after taking over from Pollack.
The best local sports talk show of them all is hands down Barnhardt and Durham.

richard whiskey

February 23rd, 2012
2:57 pm

agree 100%,steak shapiro is a arrogant fool,who cares if you hung out with vince vaughn(or any other celebrity for that matter)would already be gone if his mommy and daddy did,nt own the station

Second Choice

February 23rd, 2012
3:08 pm

I think you got 92.9’s power wrong. Still in town signal tall tower but they moved off of the PT Westin Hotel tower they took a power cut:

Christopher Rude

February 23rd, 2012
3:43 pm

“tied” with the zone in january, really?


February 23rd, 2012
6:34 pm

I’ve not listened to B98.5 lately… not sure about the possibility of Steve and Vikki reuniting anytime soon… grown tired of the Big ’80s Weekends… I’ll listen to Christmas music.

I’m mostly listening to Star 94… I’ll eventually grow tired of the Big ’90s Weekends… seems that Star isn’t doing frequent traffic reports in the afternoons. WSB (AM750 and 95.5FM) is good about frequent traffic reports.

I have no interest in the Clear Channel stations… I doubt that Peach/Lite FM will return to 94.9. Not into V-103. The River is good too.


February 23rd, 2012
11:30 pm

Atlanta radio needs a good enema.


February 24th, 2012
12:45 pm

@billy mac – Racist much?


February 24th, 2012
5:29 pm

What is the purpose of Rock 100.5? They are no where to be found in the 25-54 category and if it wasn’t for the regular guys they would be absent from the 18-34 ratings as well. Time for a format change.

The Truth

February 25th, 2012
8:30 am

So if somebody burned our bible, we’d just go out and buy another one. We wouldn’t go out and murder folks…great religion those people have.


February 25th, 2012
7:09 pm

When does CBS corporate blow up dave fm for a mainstream AC that fills the huge gap between B and what STAR has now become?

Lyndsey Marie has nice girl pillows

February 26th, 2012
10:41 am

Steak Shapiro = d0uche

Regular Guys = has been

2 Live Stews = never hear of them

Lyndsey Marie = hit it in a second

The Kimmer

February 27th, 2012
11:46 am

Sorrrry Lyndsey Marie. TRG not has beens. They are a good show dragged down by a poorly programmed, under powered radio signal.