Chicago radio ratings: R&B powerhouse V103 racks up another win


For the 67th time since its launch in 1988 WVAZ 102.7-FM was the top-rated radio station in Chicago, according to the latest Nielsen Audio survey.

The iHeartMedia R&B powerhouse known as V103 finished first overall for the fourth consecutive month and led the market in afternoons with Joe Soto and evenings with the syndicated Keith Sweat in figures released Tuesday.

Audacy all-news WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM finished first in mornings with Pat Cassidy, and iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLIT 93.9-FM finished first in afternoons with Robin Rock.

WGN Radio

A top 10 showing by WGN 720-AM overall and in mornings and middays drew praise for the staff of the Nexstar Media news/talk station from Sean Compton, the Nexstar Networks president who oversees WGN.

"Fantastic job, this station continues to stay in the groove we designed and outlined almost 24 months ago," Compton wrote in an internal email. "As I said then, Nexstar has a plan and that plan remains committed to the local talk, entertainment and news.

"Here's what's great about WGN Radio — you wake up to Bob Sirott, a friend in the morning who keeps the blood pressure in check on your way to work. Informative, funny and natural. . . . Excellent work by you and the morning team."


Among listeners between 25 and 54 — the group most sought by advertisers — it was another winning month for WOJO 105.1-FM. The Univision Spanish-language regional Mexican station was No. 1 in the key adult demographic for the fifth month in a row.

WOJO also finished first in the demo in mornings with Raúl Molinar, Carla Medrano and Andrés Maldonado, middays with Rafael “El Primo Rafa” Bautista, and afternoons with Sylvia del Valle.

Hispanic listeners comprise 21.5 percent of the Chicago radio market and Black listeners comprise 16.6 percent of the market, according to Nielsen.

Here are Chicago’s top 30 radio stations from 6 a.m. to midnight Monday through Sunday, as measured by Nielsen Audio from May 27 to June 23, followed by format and average quarter-hour share of listeners age 6 and older (with previous month’s share in parentheses):

1. WVAZ 102.7-FM R&B, 6.5 (7.1)
2. WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM all news, 6.0 (5.9)
3. WLIT 93.9-FM adult contemporary, 5.6 (5.8)
4. WDRV 97.1-FM classic rock, 5.2 (5.4)
5. WOJO 105.1-FM Mexican regional, 4.1 (3.8)
6. WXRT 93.1-FM adult album alternative, 3.7 (3.5)
7. WLS 94.7-FM classic hits, 3.5 (3.1)
8. (tie) WBEZ 91.5-FM public radio news talk, 3.4 (4.2); WTMX 101.9-FM hot adult contemporary, 3.4 (3.8)
10. WGN 720-AM news talk, 3.3 (3.2)
11. WKSC 103.5-FM Top 40, 3.1 (3.0)
12. WPPN 106.7-FM Spanish adult contemporary, 2.9 (2.8)
13. (tie) WUSN 99.5-FM country, 2.8 (2.5); WSHE 100.3-FM adult contemporary, 2.8 (2.2)
15. (tie) WBMX 104.3-FM classic hip-hop, 2.7 (2.6); WRME 87.7-FM soft rock oldies, 2.7 (2.9)
17. WSCR 670-AM sports talk, 2.6 (2.8)
18. WGCI 107.5-FM hip-hop, 2.4 (2.1)
19. WBBM 96.3-FM Top 40, 2.3 (2.2)
20. WKQX 101.1-FM alternative rock, 2.1 (2.1)
21. (tie) WCHI 95.5-FM rock, 1.9 (1.5); WFMT 98.7-FM classical, 1.9 (2.5)
23. WLEY 107.9-FM Mexican regional, 1.8 (2.2)
24. WLS 890-AM news talk, 1.4 (1.6)
25. (tie) WMVP 1000-AM sports talk, 1.2 (1.4); WPWX 92.3-FM hip-hop, 1.2 (1.4); WVIV 93.5-FM Spanish contemporary, 1.2 (1.3)
28. (tie) WCKL 97.9-FM contemporary Christian music, 1.1 (1.1); WMBI 90.1-FM Christian ministry, 1.1 (1.1)
30. WXLC 102.3-FM hot adult contemporary, 1.0 (0.7)

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

1. WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM Pat Cassidy
2. WVAZ 102.7-FM Steve Harvey
3. WLIT 93.9-FM Melissa Forman
4. WGN 720-AM Bob Sirott
5. WOJO 105.1-FM Raúl Molinar, Carla Medrano and Andrés Maldonado
6. WBEZ 91.5-FM “Morning Edition”; “BBC Newshour”
7. WDRV 97.1-FM Brian Sherman and Steve Tingle
8. WTMX 101.9-FM Eric Ferguson, Nikki Chuminatto, Brian “Whip” Paruch and Violeta Podrumedic
9. WSCR 670-AM Mike Mulligan and David Haugh
10. WXRT 93.1-FM Richard Milne

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

1. WLIT 93.9-FM Robin Rock
2. WDRV 97.1-FM Bob Stroud
3. WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM Cisco Cotto
4. WVAZ 102.7-FM Bioncé Foxx
5. WOJO 105.1-FM Rafael “El Primo Rafa” Bautista
6. WXRT 93.1-FM Lin Brehmer
7. WGN 720-AM John Williams; Anna Davlantes
8. WLS 94.7-FM Erin Carman
9. WRME 87.7-FM
10. WBEZ 91.5-FM “1A”; “Reset”; “Fresh Air”

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

1. WVAZ 102.7-FM Joe Soto
2. WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM Keith Johnson and Lisa Fielding
3. WLIT 93.9-FM Mick Lee
4. WDRV 97.1-FM Steve Seaver and Janda Lane
5. WOJO 105.1-FM Sylvia del Valle
6. WTMX 101.9-FM Chris Petlak and Lisa Allen
7. WKSC 103.5-FM Brady Broski
8. WPPN 106.7-FM Maria Esther “La Chula” Mendez and Poncho “La Bestia” Mercado
9. (tie) WUSN 99.5-FM Scotty Kay; WLS 94.7-FM Tim Virgin

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

1. WVAZ 102.7-FM Keith Sweat
2. WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM Bob Conway; Andy Dahn
3. WLIT 93.9-FM Delilah Rene
4. (tie) WBMX 104.3-FM; WLS 94.7-FM Kid Kelly
6. (tie) WDRV 97.1-FM John “Byrd” Kempf; WGCI 107.5-FM Zach Boog
8. WFMT 98.7-FM
9. (tie) WUSN 99.5-FM Rob Stone and Holly Hutton; WTMX 101.9-FM Jordan “Dash” Orman-Weiss

(Copyright © 2021 The Nielsen Company.)

Here is the text of Compton's email to WGN Radio staff:

The June trend has arrived and its impressive! I know I rarely do these emails anymore but tonight I felt it was important to make sure you had an update. I did this email on my phone while on the train so please forgive typos. The overall station number is a 3.4 ranked 8th 12+ and 10th 6+ but what is important are the individual shows. First off, fantastic job, this station continues to stay in the groove we designed and outlined almost 24 months ago. As I said then, Nexstar has a plan and that plan remains committed to the local talk, entertainment and news. While the pandemic slowed us down a bit we’ve got everyone back to work and listening levels continue to climb.

Here’s what’s great about WGN Radio, you wake up to Bob Sirott, a friend in the morning who keeps the blood pressure in check on your way to work. Informative, funny and natural. Bob ranked 6th overall and 8th 18-49, that’s not even a demo we sell but it’s great to see. Congrats also on placing 10th 25-54 Bob. Excellent work by you and the morning team.

John Williams, according to Gabe Hobbs “is one of the best talk hosts in the country” of course I agree and so does the Chicago market. John, just when we thought you couldn’t get any better you managed to do it. #4 18-49, top 10 25-54 adults. Thanks to you and Bob for your amazing and continued morning growth story.

Anna, your show made some news last week! That’s what we do, stimulate intelligent conversation and interesting guests of local interest, something not found in this market elsewhere. Keep it going, nice share growth in demo and overall.

Steve Bertrand, you had the biggest pop since you took over in the fall, congrats on some healthy key demo share growth. I know Gabe gave you some helpful advice as well last week and I’ve asked him to stay engaged a few more months to be a resource to you and any others on the station as needed. Use him all you want.

Mr. Landecker, It’s early so don’t be bummed that your rank position looks crummy this trend. it’s summer and you are up against live baseball. Don’t’ forget pre-baseball you were top 5 so it will comeback in the fall, I guarantee it. Your show is amazing and we are lucky to have you, don’t change a thing. By the way, your picture is in Perry Sook’s office, if you don’t believe me come down and see it.

Rollye, I know you are temporary but can we convince you to change that status? You have dominated late nights since your arrival. Your knowledge of this market and its history is shockingly good. Every night your lines are lit up and you treat callers as if they are best friends. I know you and Eddie Schwartz were very close friends, you’ve certainly done a good job of making late nights your own much like he did.

Lou, I don’t have you in the grid below but you are top 5 overall and #7 25-54! Your 4th hour has not only made our sales team happy but it’s given a great lift to our overall Saturday morning block.

Dave Plier, you WIN! Sinatra on Sunday morning actually did a 12.9 share 25-54! Yes you are 2nd in the daypart. I realize it’s Sunday early morning but Sinatra, Dave Schwan’s News and a cup of coffee go really well together early Sunday morning.

Dean, your four hours are really strong both 25-54 and 6+. Your first hour did nearly a 5.0 share in 25-54 demo!

Jim Bohannon, I know you work for a lot of stations but we better be your favorite. Thanks for your nightly fun hits with Landecker and all the support you give us. You had great #’s overnight as well which is critical for the early morning AM drive handoff.

Finally, our sales team is not copied on this email but they’ve done an incredible job in a tough year. WGN is the #1 local biller and that’s because advertisers know that this group moves their product. Thanks again for the amazing work you all do, please don’t forward this email but feel free to share the great news with your producers and news partners!


Tuesday's comment of the day: John McHugh: The only expression worse than "Windy City" is "Chi Town." Ugh.