The RADIO WARS quieted down in 2019. The outrageous public brawls that used to take place during the Josh Innes and Andy Bloom era have subsided, though the competition remains. It’s more of a Radio “skirmish” these days, a Radio “cold war” if you will.
Crossing Broad obtained the fall ratings book, which includes 97.5 the Fanatic and 94 WIP’s over the air numbers. It also has 97.5’s streaming numbers, but the WIP stream is not tracked by Nielsen. They certainly do have a streaming audience, which is tracked internally instead.
As such, the streaming data is a missing piece, though I’ll touch on 97.5’s numbers and you can take them for what it’s worth. I’m sure WIP has a very reasonable chunk of people listening via Radio.com and the Radio.com app. Over the years, 97.5 has typically skewed younger, and has always been presumed to have the larger streaming audience, but it’s impossible to truly know without the full data set.
This quarter, Mike Missanelli regained the top spot in his time slot. And while WIP continues to win across the board, a solo Anthony Gargano made some headway during middays.
We can’t use exact data because it’s proprietary to Nielsen, but we’ll be as descriptive as possible.
All data is from the important men 25 to 54 demographic. And the fall book runs unofficially from October to December with the quirks of holiday scheduling making for some footnotes and asterisks here and there.
Mornings, 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Angelo Cataldi continues his morning dominance with a comfortable win over Marc Farzetta and company. He’s second place in the market behind only Preston and Steve on 93.3. WMMR. He recently signed a new multi-year deal to remain with WIP for the foreseeable future.
Cataldi beat his protege by more than five full ratings points and nearly doubled the 97.5 number with 80% more listeners.
Middays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie were first place in their time slot amid turnover at 97.5, with Jason Myrtetus being removed in October. The Fanatic came in fourth overall, pulling about 75% of the WIP audience with a 13% boost on the stream.
However, Anthony Gargano found solo success in this time slot, growing his audience after Myrtetus departed and landing significant numbers during two weeks in November– numbers that put him in front of WIP by just a hair. We’ll see if The Cuz can continue to ride that momentum into 2020.
(Both stations later saw a drop in midday ratings when Christmas music began to dominate closer to the holiday.)
Afternoons, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Mike Missanelli reclaimed his #1 spot after being dethroned by Jon Marks and Ike Reese in previous books. Mike finished about 1.7 points higher than his former producer in the most hotly-contested time slot in recent months. Mike also has his simulcast airing on NBC Sports Philadelphia, for which I have no ratings. His lead is likely even larger with his significant streaming audience.
From 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, WIP wins overall, defeating WMMR by a 0.1 ratings share margin. The Fanatic was 10% behind those stations during that time period, good for third overall.
The Fall book is important because it takes place during the competitive portion of the Eagles season and is generally used to set advertising rates for the following year. Radio rates are determined by your over-the-air numbers, while digital advertisers buy what we call “impressions,” which is a measurement of how many times an ad or form of digital media runs. This is real data that is much more accurate and more easily tracked than determining a percentage of market share via PPMs. Alas, radio stations still live and die by these ratings estimates, and this fall, Angelo Cataldi and Mike Missanelli were kings.