The story I’m about to tell you is one of a bloodbath.
The maestro has received the Nielsen local radio ratings for the period running March 24 through April 20. He can’t give them to you straight-up, though. No, no. He was smacked on his maestro-ing wrist by Nielsen, which doesn’t allow the publication of hard ratings data broken down by demographic (in this case, the all-important men 25-54 demo). What he can do, however, is tell you about the winners and losers in our local RADIO WAR by comparing the two stations and providing color where appropriate. Of course, for April, he might as well just play for you the Red Wedding scene, because it was, indeed, a bloodbath:
Now, for the particulars.
97.5 beat WIP in all of the major week-long ratings– in all three cases finishing second in the market, one spot ahead of WIP, and one spot behind WMMR, which just crushes everyone everywhere. 97.5 beat WIP both over-the-air and through their stream 6am – 12am Monday – Sunday, 6am – 12am Monday-Friday, and 6am – 7pm Monday-Friday. This is the first time I can recall them winning, handily, all three of those groupings. When you include the stream, the closest WIP got was one full share point behind 97.5, and it lost two of the three by almost two full share points. The 6am – 7pm Monday-Friday time slot is particularly important because some major ad buys are based on this number.
The lone bright spot (not surprisingly) for WIP is their morning show, which finished second in the market, two spots ahead of 97.5, which finished fourth. For a few months it seemed as though Anthony Gargano was gaining on Angelo Cataldi, but it is proving difficult for Gargano to beat the longtime incumbent. Angelo beat Gargano overwhelmingly OTA, and the two stations tied with a very small streaming number. I would imagine that 97.5, at this point, expected things to be a bit closer, given the fact that Gargano posed a legit threat to Cataldi once or twice. But in stock market terms, it seems 97.5’s morning show is having trouble breaking out beyond a certain threshold.
This is the third month in a row Harry Mayes and Rob Ellis, on 97.5, have bested Mike and Ike, on WIP. The two shows tied OTA, both finishing fifth in the market, but Harry and Rob crushed Mike and Ike on the stream.
Blood. It’s everywhere. Mike Missanelli has been steadily increasing his lead over Josh Innes over the past few months. Last month, his momentum hit a tipping point and he drowned Innes in his own blood, securing what might just be a fatality for someone at WIP (perhaps not Innes, but someone). A head has to roll. It was that bad. Missanelli beat Innes by over four points OTA and two points on the stream, for a combined total that more than doubled the number, um, earned(?) by Innes, who was actually helped by five Phillies day games during the month. HELPED. [Phillies games typically outperform Innes’ show.] This is a shockingly brutal victory for Missanelli, who finished first in the market (Innes was sixth). I’m not even sure I can call it a WAR anymore, or even a war. It’s more like the old playground veteran schooling the young kid who thinks he has a sick handle. Missanelli let Innes dribble around the perimeter for a few months, and then he came in, stole his ball, dunked it, pissed on the court, and went home with all the hoochies that watched.
Joe THE HAMMER DeCamara trounced WIP’s Sludge both OTA and on the stream. THE HAMMER’s reign atop the time slot continues, and he’ll get to your calls in a second.
Just a brutal month for WIP. Credit to Angelo Cataldi, Al Morganti and Rhea Hughes for thus far shrugging off a challenger. But there is literally no managerial effort on which WIP can hang its hat. That morning show was created years ago. What follows it, as the ratings bear out, is a disjointed mess that is quickly chipping away at WIP’s overall brand. Not the sort of thing you want to happen when your station might be up for sale soon. MUSIC BANG: