Always the bridesmaid, WCBS-FM has rarely been the bride. But CBS-FM plays second fiddle to no one in the September Arbitron ratings released this week.
In the overall 6+ ratings, CBS-FM ended the month with a 6.2, down slightly from August. But that is the incidental part. WLTW/LITE FM, the perennial top-rated station, had a .5 nosedive to 6.1, leapfrogging with CBS.
For CBS-FM program director Jim Ryan, this is an exciting moment.
“Some people look at 12+, others 6+. … It was nice to win both this month so there is no doubt who is number 1,” Ryan tells Tuned In.
In June, CBS-FM shared a portion of the lead with WLTW in the 12+ demographic. But you have to go back to last October when the classic hits station held number one (12+) by itself. The drought was deeper in the 6+, where CBS-FM last held sole possession of top spot in May 2010.
“CBS-FM is possibly the most iconic brand in a city of legendary radio stations, but at the end of the day, I think our on-air talent sets us apart from the rest. We are so lucky to work for a company that believes as strongly in talent as CBS,” Ryan says.
If the familiar is boring, then WLTW/LITE-FM is the most boring station. Of course, WLTW is also the most popular, winning the overall (6+) Arbitron ratings for July. WLTW did see a slight drop from June (6.8 to 6.6), but its nearest competitor WCBS-FM also made an about-face. The classic hits station took a .4 nosedive for the month, after closing within a tenth of a point behind the Clear Channel juggernaut.
WBLS held third place with a 6.0 (down .2 from June).
No change for Z100/WHTZ. Fresh off celebrating its 30th anniversary last Friday, it maintained a 5.5.
It’s familiar territory for WLTW-FM. The Clear Channel top-rated station kept its streak alive winning the overall Arbitron PPM ratings for June. LITE-FM slipped .2 to 6.8.
The bigger story is WCBS-FM, creeping ever so close to WLTW. It was a huge month for the Classic Hits favorite with a .6 jump to 6.7, its best showing of the year, and just .1 behind the perennial numero uno.
WBLS continues its dominance at number three, adding .3 for June to 6.2.
WHTZ/Z100 fell .4 to 5.5. There’s a gap until sister station WAXQ arrives in fifth place at 4.5, a slight drop from May. WKTU had a slight improvement to 4.4.
WINS is the news ratings champ with a 4.3, although a .2 setback.
WFAN, maintaining its dual station properties (66 AM and 101.9 FM), gained .2 to 3.0. For those who think WEPN/ESPN 98.7 FM is half as good as the FAN, the ratings would indicate that. ESPN slipped .1 to a 1.5 in the overall litmus test of listeners.
Of note, WNSH, now featuring America’s Morning Show from Nashville, got a .2 boost to 2.1. Also in the Cumulus stable, WPLJ slipped to a 3.1, while WABC took a slight tumble to 2.7.