Clean Sweep: 94 WIP Again Beats 97.5 the Fanatic in Nielsen Ratings

We admittedly haven’t done a lot on radio ratings over the past year or so, just a few tidbits here or there. The RADIO WARS have turned into minor skirmishes, with WIP consistently beating 97.5 the Fanatic from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., and then the Mike Missanelli vs. Jon Marks/Ike Reese time slot is typically contested. It’s a close competition between those shows, usually separated by a few tenths of a ratings point.

Brandon Contes at Barrett Sports Media has the numbers for the summer book, which is unique this year because of COVID-19. Typically it’s slow during this particular time period, with football, basketball, and hockey in their offseason. This year, you had sports returning in late spring, which resulted in a situation where multiple leagues were playing out of season, at the same time.

Write Contes:

“According to Nielsen Audio, WIP’s 6a – 10a morning show featuring Angelo Cataldi dipped about four points from their spring book, earning an 8.7 share for the summer. Despite the ratings drop, Cataldi remained in second place for the book, which signals a typical slow summer for radio listenership in the market. Cataldi’s morning show was up by three points on 97.5 The Fanatic, as Marc Farzetta finished fifth with a 5.7 share.” 

That’s a low number for Angelo, but everything was down across the board. Back in the winter, he did a 14.9 in men ages 25 to 54, for some context  (I believe Contes is going off the M25-54 demo). Cataldi is always #2 in the morning and beats everybody else in the market except for Preston and Steve, who put up monolithic, Howard Stern-like numbers. For what it’s worth, I was told that Marc Farzetta did beat Angelo in two weeklies this summer, but I’d have to take a closer look at the numbers to confirm what that source said.

“WIP’s midday show featuring Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie finished the summer in fourth place with a 6.1, down a little more than a point from their strong spring book. For The Fanatic, Anthony Gargano was up two-tenths of a point during the summer book, earning a 4.7 share and a seventh place finish.”

Not a lot of movement there. Joe and Jon have consistently been in front of Gargano since the The Cuz moved from 97.5’s morning show to middays . There was an initial push when Gargano did a brief solo run following the departure of Jason Myrtetus, but that appears to have been short lived. In this time slot, 102.9 WMGK typically wins.

“In afternoon drive, Jon Marks and Ike Reese again turned in a strong performance during the 2p – 6p hours, topping Mike Missanelli for the third straight ratings period. Marks and Reese finished fourth with a 6.6 share. Missanelli was right behind with a 6.4. Missanelli’s show was up by a full point from the spring book, narrowing the gap in afternoons between The Fanatic and WIP for their target demo of men 25-54. One interesting observation, as the audience gets broader, Jon and Ike expand their lead. The duo were 3rd with Men 18+. Missanelli was ranked 8th. They were also 9th with Adults 25-54, while Missanelli was 13th.” 

This day part is the most interesting, by far. Mike used to win regularly in the 2-6 p.m. time slot, but WIP began closing the gap a few years ago and has now defeated Missanelli on multiple occasions.. If I have my numbers right, I believe there have been 10 books since Jon Marks took over for Chris Carlin, and by unofficial count, I’m seeing six wins for WIP and four wins for the Fanatic, on Nielsen numbers strictly. Keep in mind that Mike’s show is simulcasted on NBC Sports Philadelphia, so that’s another platform where he can pull listeners outside of archaic Nielsen data* and streaming numbers.

Contes notes that Joe Giglio’s show also did well in the evenings.

Give the full story a read.

*I’ve been on the record numerous times saying how much I hate Nielsen. It’s a total scam. The technology is outdated and the sample sizes are small. I remember a former WIP executive once telling me that Angelo came in second with something like 15 meters, and I’ve been meaning to call that person and ask if they’d like to help me write an expose on how corny the system is. BUT – it’s what the radio and TV companies use, and it’s how they set advertising rates, so we cannot hate the players; we must hate the game instead.

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