Chicago radio ratings: 93.9 Lite FM notches historic victory

Mick Lee

WLIT 93.9-FM remained the most popular radio station in the Chicago area during January, according to Nielsen Audio figures released Tuesday.

It not only marked the third consecutive monthly win for the iHeartMedia adult contemporary station, but the first time 93.9 Lite FM has captured the top spot outside of its Christmas music format, which runs during November and December.

Mick Lee scored his fourth straight month as the market's No. 1 afternoon personality. Lee doubles as program director of 93.9 Lite FM.

The first ratings survey of the year also brought good news to Hubbard Radio hot adult-contemporary WTMX 101.9-FM, which bounced back from a monthslong slump, and iHeartMedia Top 40 WKSC 103.5-FM, which widened its lead over Entercom Top 40 WBBM 96.3-FM.

Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ 91.5-FM continued to surge in January, with a particularly impressive showing in mornings. The numbers do not reflect the hiring of Mary Dixon, formerly of Entercom adult album alternative WXRT 93.1-FM, who succeeded Lisa Labuz as morning anchor and local host of NPR’s “Morning Edition” earlier this month.

Following recent changes at Nexstar Media Group news/talk WGN 720-AM, mornings were up with new host Bob Sirott, as were middays with the combination of John Williams, Ji Suk Yi (on the "Wintrust Business Lunch") and Anna Davlantes.

Chris Michaels, whose job at urban adult-contemporary WVAZ 102.7-FM was eliminated in companywide layoffs at iHeartMedia, finished out as Chicago's top-rated evening personality. He was replaced by Atlanta-based syndicated host Keith Sweat.

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 2 to 29, followed by format and average quarter-hour share of listeners age 6 and older (with previous month’s share in parentheses):

1. WLIT 93.9-FM adult contemporary, 5.5 (13.7)
2. WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM all news, 5.4 (4.9)
3. WDRV 97.1-FM classic rock, 5.3 (4.6)
4. WVAZ 102.7-FM urban adult contemporary, 5.2 (5.7)
5. WTMX 101.9-FM hot adult contemporary, 4.9 (3.3)
6. WLS 94.7-FM classic hits, 4.2 (4.3)
7. WBEZ 91.5-FM public radio news talk, 3.9 (3.1)
8. WGN 720-AM news talk, 3.8 (3.0)
9. (tie) WKSC 103.5-FM Top 40, 3.6 (2.8); WSHE 100.3-FM adult contemporary, 3.6 (3.0)
11. WRME 87.7-FM soft rock oldies, 3.5 (3.0)
12. WOJO 105.1-FM Mexican regional, 3.4 (3.1)
13. WSCR 670-AM sports talk, 3.3 (3.5)
14. WXRT 93.1-FM adult album alternative, 3.1 (3.1)
15. (tie) WUSN 99.5-FM country, 2.6 (1.6); WBBM 96.3-FM Top 40, 2.6 (2.9)
17. WBMX 104.3-FM classic hip hop, 2.4 (2.5)
18. WLS 890-AM news talk, 2.3 (2.3)
19. WKQX 101.1-FM alternative rock, 2.2 (2.4)
20. WGCI 107.5-FM urban contemporary, 2.1 (2.5)
21. WLEY 107.9-FM Mexican regional, 1.9 (1.9)
22. WEBG 95.5-FM country, 1.6 (1.2)
23. (tie) WPPN 106.7-FM Spanish adult contemporary, 1.5 (1.6); WVIV 93.5-FM Spanish contemporary, 1.5 (1.1)
25. (tie) WMVP 1000-AM sports talk, 1.4 (1.4); WPWX 92.3-FM urban contemporary, 1.4 (1.4)
27. WCKL 97.9-FM contemporary Christian, 1.2 (1.6)
28. (tie) WFMT 98.7-FM classical 0.9 (0.8); WMBI 90.1-FM Christian ministry, 0.9 (1.0)
30. WSRB 106.3-FM urban adult contemporary, 0.8 (0.9)

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

1. WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM Felicia Middlebrooks and Pat Cassidy
2. WTMX 101.9-FM Eric Ferguson, Melissa McGurren and Brian “Whip” Paruch
3. WBEZ 91.5-FM “Morning Edition” and “BBC Newshour”
4. WVAZ 102.7-FM Steve Harvey
5. WDRV 97.1-FM Brian Sherman and Steve Tingle
6. WGN 720-AM Bob Sirott
7. WKSC 103.5-FM Christopher “Fred” Frederick and Angi Taylor
8. WLIT 93.9-FM Melissa Forman
9. (tie) WSCR 670-AM Mike Mulligan and David Haugh; WLS 94.7-FM Dave Fogel and Kim Berk

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. WLIT 93.9-FM Robin Rock
3. WLS 94.7-FM Greg Brown
4. (tie) WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM Cisco Cotto and Rob Hart; WTMX 101.9-FM Lisa Allen
6. WVAZ 102.7-FM Bioncé Foxx
7. (tie) WOJO 105.1-FM Rafael “El Primo Rafa” Bautista; WRME 87.7-FM
9. WGN 720-AM John Williams; Ji Suk Yi; Anna Davlantes
10. WLS 890-AM Chris Plante; Rush Limbaugh

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

1. WLIT 93.9-FM Mick Lee
2. WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM Keith Johnson and Lisa Fielding
3. WTMX 101.9-FM Kevin “Koz” Koske
4. WDRV 97.1-FM Steve Seaver and Janda Lane
5. (tie) WKSC 103.5-FM Brady Broski; WSHE 100.3-FM Jay Styles
7. WVAZ 102.7-FM Joe Soto
8. WLS 94.7-FM Erin Carman
9. (tie) WXRT 93.1-FM Marty Lennartz; WBEZ 91.5-FM “All Things Considered” and “Marketplace”; WRME 87.7-FM

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

1. WVAZ 102.7-FM Chris Michaels; Keith Sweat
2. WLIT 93.9-FM Delilah Rene
3. WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM Bob Conway
4. WBEZ 91.5-FM “Marketplace,” “The Daily,” “Fresh Air with Terry Gross,” “BBC Newsday,” “1A,” “BBC World Service”
5. WTMX 101.9-FM Chris Petlak
6. WRME 87.7-FM
7. (tie) WKSC 103.5-FM Jordan Foster; WSHE 100.3-FM Brian Middleton
9. WLS 94.7-FM Brian Peck
10. WDRV 97.1-FM Phil Manicki

(Copyright © 2020 The Nielsen Company.)