Chicago radio ratings: WBBM Newsradio still leads the pack

WBBM Newsradio

In a month that saw two of Chicago’s news/talk radio stations move up in the ratings, the Entercom all-news combo of WBBM 780-AM and WCFS 105.9-FM extended its run at the top.

WBBM Newsradio was No. 1 overall for the second straight month in the Nielsen Audio survey released Monday. It covered the four weeks from from January 31 to February 27.

Tribune Broadcasting news/talk WGN 720-AM appears to have recovered from its year-end slump with a boost to eighth place overall, and top 10 showings for Steve Cochran in mornings and the team of Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder followed by John Williams in middays. Afternoons with Roe Conn and Anna Davlantes tied for 14th.

The run-up to Chicago’s municipal election February 26 may have contributed to a surge in the ratings for WBEZ 91.5-FM, which tied for ninth place overall. The Chicago Public Media news/talk station also landed in the top 10 in both mornings and afternoons — a rare occurrence.

Despite recent drive-time changes at WLS 890-AM, the Cumulus Media news/talk station remained flat in 22nd place. Mornings with Erich Mancow Muller and middays with the syndicated Rush Limbaugh and Chris Plante were in 18th place, while afternoons with Ben Shapiro (the syndicated replacement for Steve Dahl) tied for 25th.

Stephanie Tichenor

Not a moment too soon, Cumulus Media will name a new program director for WLS today to succeed Peter Bolger, who's leaving the place in worse shape than when he arrived in 2013. Replacing him is a rising star poached from the competition, Stephanie Tichenor, WGN's news and operations chief.

Tichenor, a Northeastern Illinois University graduate and former intern at ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7, joined WGN in 2008 as a producer, working with Steve Cochran and Garry Meier, among other hosts. She moved up to executive producer, assistant program director and operations manager before being named director of news and operations in 2017.

Todd Manley, station manager and vice president of content at WGN, got a jump on WLS in announcing Tichenor’s move on Monday. “Her next great adventure is not only well-earned, but deserved,” Manley told his staff in a memo. "It is not only a great opportunity for her, but it is a move that will make our industry better.”

Still first in mornings were Eric Ferguson, Melissa McGurren and Brian “Whip” Paruch on Hubbard Radio hot adult-contemporary WTMX 101.9-FM. Middays were won by Bob Stroud of Hubbard Radio classic rock WDRV 97.1-FM; afternoons were led by Sylvia del Valle, Jose Gutierrez and Carlos Ivan Paez of Univision Mexican regional WOJO 105.1-FM; and evenings were topped by news anchors Mariam Sobh and Bob Conway of WBBM Newsradio.

Note: In accordance with Nielsen’s publishing guidelines, I cannot report actual audience shares other than those for the full week (below). For mornings, middays, afternoons and evenings, I can list only their rankings — not specific shares.

Here are Chicago’s top 30 radio stations from 6 a.m. to midnight Monday through Sunday, as measured by Nielsen Audio from January 31 to February 27, followed by format and average quarter-hour share of listeners age 6 and older (with previous month’s share in parentheses):

1. WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM all news, 6.1 (6.2)
2. WTMX 101.9-FM hot adult contemporary, 5.5 (5.4)
3. WDRV 97.1-FM classic rock, 5.1 (4.5)
4. WOJO 105.1-FM Mexican regional, 5.0 (5.5)
5. WVAZ 102.7-FM urban adult contemporary, 4.7 (4.8)
6. WLIT 93.9-FM adult contemporary, 4.4 (5.0)
7. WLS 94.7-FM classic hits, 3.9 (3.7)
8. WGN 720-AM news talk, 3.5 (3.0)
9. (tie) WXRT 93.1-FM adult album alternative, 3.3 (3.2); WBEZ 91.5-FM public radio news talk, 3.3 (3.0)
11. WSHE 100.3-FM adult contemporary, 3.2 (3.1)
12. WBMX 104.3-FM classic hip hop, 3.1 (3.1)
13. (tie) WUSN 99.5-FM country, 3.0 (2.8); WSCR 670-AM sports talk, 3.0 (3.3)
15. WKSC 103.5-FM Top 40, 2.9 (2.9)
16. WKQX 101.1-FM alternative rock, 2.8 (2.6)
17. WGCI 107.5-FM urban contemporary, 2.7 (2.9)
18. (tie) WLEY 107.9-FM Mexican regional, 2.6 (2.2); WRME 87.7-FM soft rock oldies, 2.6 (2.8)
20. WBBM 96.3-FM Top 40, 2.2 (2.3)
21. WPWX 92.3-FM urban contemporary, 2.1 (2.0)
22. WLS 890-AM news talk, 1.7 (1.7)
23. (tie) WEBG 95.5-FM country, 1.6 (1.5); WPPN 106.7-FM Spanish adult contemporary, 1.6 (2.3)
25. WCKL 97.9-FM contemporary Christian, 1.5 (1.3)
26. WFMT 98.7-FM classical, 1.2 (1.1)
27. (tie) WMBI 90.1-FM Christian ministry, 1.0 (1.3); WMVP 1000-AM sports talk, 1.0 (1.2); WVIV 93.5-FM Spanish contemporary, 1.0 (0.9)
30. WERV 95.9-FM classic hits, 0.7 (1.0)

Here are Chicago radio’s top 10 morning shows from 6 to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday, as measured by Nielsen Audio:

1. WTMX 101.9-FM Eric Ferguson, Melissa McGurren and Brian “Whip” Paruch
2. WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM Felicia Middlebrooks and Pat Cassidy
3. WOJO 105.1-FM Raúl Molinar, Carla Medrano and Andrés Maldonado
4. WDRV 97.1-FM Brian Sherman and Steve Tingle
5. WGN 720-AM Steve Cochran
6. WSCR 670-AM Mike Mulligan and David Haugh
7. WVAZ 102.7-FM Steve Harvey
8. WBEZ 91.5-FM “Morning Edition” and “Morning Shift” with Jennifer White
9. WLEY 107.9-FM Alberto “El Terrible” Cortez
10. WKSC 103.5-FM Christopher “Fred” Frederick and Angi Taylor

Here are Chicago radio’s top 10 midday shows from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, as measured by Nielsen Audio:

1. WDRV 97.1-FM Bob Stroud
2. WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM Cisco Cotto and Kris Kridel
3. WLIT 93.9-FM Robin Rock
4. WOJO 105.1-FM Rafael “El Primo Rafa” Bautista
5. WTMX 101.9-FM Lisa Allen
6. WLS 94.7-FM Greg Brown
7. (tie) WXRT 93.1-FM Terri Hemmert; Marty Lennartz; WSHE 100.3-FM Lisa Kosty; WVAZ 102.7-FM Bioncé Foxx
10. WGN 720-AM Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder; John Williams

Here are Chicago radio’s top 10 afternoon shows from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, as measured by Nielsen Audio:

1. WOJO 105.1-FM Sylvia del Valle, Jose Gutierrez and Carlos Ivan Paez
2. WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM Kris Kridel and Keith Johnson
3. WLIT 93.9-FM Mick Lee
4. WTMX 101.9-FM Kevin “Koz” Koske and Jennifer Roberts
5. WDRV 97.1-FM Steve Seaver and Janda Lane
6. WVAZ 102.7-FM Joe Soto
7. WLS 94.7-FM Ron Parker
8. WBMX 104.3-FM Sean “Sonic” Leckie
9. WBEZ 91.5-FM "All Things Considered" and "Marketplace"
10. (tie) WGCI 107.5-FM Tone Kapone; WKSC 103.5-FM Brady Broski

Here are Chicago radio’s top 10 evening shows from 7 p.m. to midnight Monday through Friday, as measured by Nielsen Audio:

1. WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM Mariam Sobh; Bob Conway
2. WVAZ 102.7-FM Chris Michaels
3. WSCR 670-AM Laurence Holmes; Julie DiCaro
4. (tie) WBMX 104.3-FM Julian Jumpin’ Perez; WLS 94.7-FM Brian Peck
6. WTMX 101.9-FM Chris Reese
7. WGCI 107.5-FM DJ MoonDawg (Michael Muniz)
8. (tie) WDRV 97.1-FM Phil Manicki; WLIT 93.9-FM Delilah; WOJO 105.1-FM Karen “La Coqueta” Duran

(Copyright © 2019 The Nielsen Company.)

Monday’s comment of the day: Ron Magers: Seeing [Kris] Kridel and [Mary Ann] Ahern this morning gives me hope that intelligence, hard work and a passion for truth still count for something.