Yesterday, we brought you selective cross-sections of the May local radio ratings. As you saw, WIP held a commanding lead in both the morning and afternoon drive times. Tony Bruno and Josh Innes again beat Mike Missanelli in the all-important men 25-54 demo and in the 18-34 demo. Angelo Cataldi and Co., not surprisingly, led Anthony Gargano in Gargano’s first month on air, alongside Jon Marks, Jamie Lynch and commenter favorite Maureen Williams.
But as we pointed out, judging the early success of the 97.5 morning show by comparing it to WIP’s long-running morning show, which has garnered an entire generation of listeners, is mostly inconsequential at this early stage. So after getting my hands on a more full ratings book – call it a comprehensive view – which includes the weekly (and in some cases, daily) numbers for the May ratings period (April 23 through May 20), I can provide some more color on the MORNING BATTLE. As always, we can’t provide hard ratings numbers because Arbitron doesn’t allow that, but all data here is counting share* (number of turned on radios tuned in) and based on the men 25-54 demo. Bullets:
- Indeed, Gargano’s show got off to a slow start, finishing tied for ninth among men 25-54 in its first week on the air. WIP was second, behind WMMR, which is basically always in first.
- In its second week – the week of the NFL draft – however, 97.5 shot up all the way to third place, behind WMMR and WIP. There was a 1.4 share difference between the two stations, which was closer than the 2.1 difference for the month– 7.0 to 4.9, as reported by Nick Piccone. A daily breakdown shows that 97.5 actually beat WIP – quite handily by almost three full share points – the morning after the draft, which is noteworthy.
- In Week 3, an obviously slower sports week, WIP dropped down to fifth in the mornings and 97.5 was back to 10th.
- In Week 4, the week of the draft lottery, things got even tighter. WIP finished second and 97.5 finished fourth, but there was only a 0.7 difference in their shares, this compared to the 2.1 difference for the entire month.
It’s a slow sports time around here, so it’s hard to extrapolate too much from a YoY decrease for any one particular show. However, Cataldi’s show, despite beating 97.5 each week and for the month overall, had its lowest two months (April and May) in almost three years, and saw a YoY decrease from May 2014 to May 2015 of around 40%. It may have nothing to do with 97.5’s show – since their ratings share is on par with what Mike and Mike was getting – but it’s something to note. And for 97.5, despite getting beat across the board, and in the afternoons, the morning show, somewhat expectedly, gained ground on WIP from Week 1 to Week 4. For now, the only way to judge the early success of the show, in terms of ratings, will be to look for steady improvements week-to-week and month-to-month. After all, these RADIO WARS are comprised of a series of small, localized battles. WAR TIME EPAULETTES:
*I’ve had a lot of people ask if these figures include streaming. The answer is complicated. As best as I understand it, the people meters listen for audio cues and will pick up streaming signals. But no hard streaming numbers are factored in (which is kind of nuts, because streaming allows you to measure 1-to-1, not estimate). Either way, it’s a relatively small portion of the audience.