Chicago radio ratings: WBBM Newsradio regains top honors

WBBM Newsradio

In the weeks leading up to the coronavirus crisis Entercom all-news combo WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM moved up to No. 1 among all Chicago radio stations, according to the Nielsen Audio survey released Monday.

February figures also showed WBBM Newsradio first in mornings with Felicia Middlebrooks and Pat Cassidy, and tied for first in afternoons with Keith Johnson and Lisa Fielding. Also first in afternoons was Kevin “Koz” Koske, who soon may be on his way out at Hubbard Radio hot adult-contemporary WTMX 101.9-FM.

The strong showing for WBBM Newsradio marked its first outright victory since February 2019, although it did land in a rare three-way tie for first place in October with Cumulus Media classic hits WLS 94.7-FM and iHeartMedia urban adult-contemporary WVAZ 102.7-FM.

Finally coming off its Christmas music high, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLIT 93.9-FM dropped from first place to fifth, losing more than one full share point. But the syndicated Delilah Rene remained first in evenings for Lite FM.

Again dominating middays was Bob Stroud of Hubbard Radio classic rock WDRV 97.1-FM.

Among news/talk stations, WGN 720-AM was up across the board, with the Nexstar Media Group station posting top 10 shows for the first time in years in every daypart — Bob Sirott in mornings; John Williams, Ji Suk Yi and Anna Davlantes in middays; Roe Conn in afternoons, and Justin Kaufmann in evenings. Chicago Public Media NPR station WBEZ 91.5-FM declined, while Cumulus Media news/talk WLS 890-AM was flat.

In the sports/talk arena, both Entercom WSCR 670-AM and Good Karma Brands ESPN WMVP 1000-AM lost ground.

Also down was WRME 87.7-FM, the Weigel Broadcasting soft-rock oldies station known as Me-TV FM.

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 30 to February 26, 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, 5.8 (5.4)
2. WTMX 101.9-FM hot adult contemporary, 5.4 (4.9)
3. WDRV 97.1-FM classic rock, 5.3 (5.3)
4. WVAZ 102.7-FM urban adult contemporary, 4.9 (5.2)
5. WLIT 93.9-FM adult contemporary, 4.8 (5.5)
6. WLS 94.7-FM classic hits, 4.2 (4.2)
7. WGN 720-AM news talk, 3.9 (3.8)
8. WKSC 103.5-FM Top 40, 3.7 (3.6)
9. WBEZ 91.5-FM public radio news talk, 3.6 (3.9)
10. (tie) WXRT 93.1-FM adult album alternative, 3.3 (3.1); WOJO 105.1-FM Mexican regional, 3.3 (3.4); WSHE 100.3-FM adult contemporary, 3.3 (3.6)
13. WUSN 99.5-FM country, 2.8 (2.6)
14. WSCR 670-AM sports talk, 2.7 (3.3)
15. (tie) WBBM 96.3-FM Top 40, 2.6 (2.6); WLEY 107.9-FM Mexican regional, 2.6 (1.9)
17. WBMX 104.3-FM classic hip hop, 2.5 (2.4)
18. WRME 87.7-FM soft rock oldies, 2.4 (3.5)
19. (tie) WKQX 101.1-FM alternative rock, 2.3 (2.2); WLS 890-AM news talk, 2.3 (2.3)
21. WGCI 107.5-FM urban contemporary, 2.1 (2.1)
22. (tie) WPPN 106.7-FM Spanish adult contemporary, 1.9 (1.5); WVIV 93.5-FM Spanish contemporary, 1.9 (1.5)
24. WCKL 97.9-FM contemporary Christian, 1.5 (1.2)
25. (tie) WEBG 95.5-FM country, 1.4 (1.6); WPWX 92.3-FM urban contemporary, 1.4 (1.4)
27. WMVP 1000-AM sports talk, 1.2 (1.4)
28. WFMT 98.7-FM classical 1.0 (0.9)
29. WMBI 90.1-FM Christian ministry, 0.8 (0.9)
30. WSRB 106.3-FM urban adult contemporary, 0.7 (0.8)

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. WGN 720-AM Bob Sirott
4. (tie) WDRV 97.1-FM Brian Sherman and Steve Tingle; WVAZ 102.7-FM Steve Harvey
6. WBEZ 91.5-FM “Morning Edition” and “BBC Newshour”
7. WKSC 103.5-FM Christopher “Fred” Frederick and Angi Taylor
8. WLIT 93.9-FM Melissa Forman
9. (tie) WLS 94.7-FM Dave Fogel and Kim Berk; WSHE 100.3-FM Brooke Fox and Jubal Fresh

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. WTMX 101.9-FM Lisa Allen
3. WLIT 93.9-FM Robin Rock
4. WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM Cisco Cotto and Rob Hart
5. WVAZ 102.7-FM Bioncé Foxx
6. WLS 94.7-FM Greg Brown
7. WGN 720-AM John Williams; Ji Suk Yi; Anna Davlantes
8. WOJO 105.1-FM Rafael “El Primo Rafa” Bautista
9. WLS 890-AM Chris Plante; Rush Limbaugh
10. WXRT 93.1-FM Lin Brehmer

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

1. (tie) WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM Keith Johnson and Lisa Fielding; WTMX 101.9-FM Kevin “Koz” Koske
3. WLIT 93.9-FM Mick Lee
4. WDRV 97.1-FM Steve Seaver and Janda Lane
5. WKSC 103.5-FM Brady Broski
6. WVAZ 102.7-FM Joe Soto
7. (tie) WBEZ 91.5-FM “All Things Considered” and “Marketplace”; WLS 94.7-FM Erin Carman
9. WSHE 100.3-FM Jay Styles
10. WGN 720-AM Roe Conn

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

1. WLIT 93.9-FM Delilah Rene
2. WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM Bob Conway
3. WVAZ 102.7-FM Keith Sweat
4. WTMX 101.9-FM Chris Petlak
5. WBEZ 91.5-FM “Marketplace,” “The Daily,” “Fresh Air with Terry Gross,” “BBC Newsday,” “1A,” “BBC World Service”
6. WDRV 97.1-FM Phil Manicki
7. WCKL 97.9-FM Alex Taylor
8. WKSC 103.5-FM Jordan Foster
9. WGN 720-AM Justin Kaufmann
10. (tie) WBBM 96.3-FM Julia Lepidi; WLS 94.7-FM Brian Peck

(Copyright © 2020 The Nielsen Company.)

Monday's comment of the day: Richard Craig Friedman: Looks like the Cubs picked the wrong time to start the Marquee Sports Network.