Chicago radio ratings: R&B powerhouse V103 recaptures Nielsen crown


R&B powerhouse WVAZ 102.7-FM bounced back to the top spot in the latest Chicago radio audience survey.

Nielsen Audio figures released Wednesday showed iHeartMedia's V103 again leading the market after falling behind Audacy all-news WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM last month. It marked the 68th time since its launch that V103 was No. 1.

Derrick Brown

After 33 years on the air, the enduring popularity of V103's format is attributed in large part to the station's connection with its listeners, according to Derrick Brown, vice president of urban programming for iHeart Chicago.

"The relationship we have with our audiences is something that has been cultivated over decades," Brown recently told Inside Radio. "When you look at enduring R&B brands like WVAZ . . . we are trusted voices that reflect what's happening in our communities."

V103 also led in evenings with syndicated host Keith Sweat.

WBBM Newsradio again topped mornings with Pat Cassidy and afternoons with Keith Johnson and Lisa Fielding. WLIT 93.9-FM, the iHeartMedia adult contemporary station, won middays with Robin Rock.

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 seventh consecutive month.

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 July 22 to August 18, 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, 6.3 (5.8)
2. WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM all news, 5.7 (6.7)
3. WLIT 93.9-FM adult contemporary, 5.4 (5.2)
4. WLS 94.7-FM classic hits, 4.5 (4.1)
5. WDRV 97.1-FM classic rock, 4.3 (5.2)
6. WOJO 105.1-FM Mexican regional, 4.2 (4.4)
7. WBEZ 91.5-FM public radio news talk, 3.9 (3.4)
8. WTMX 101.9-FM hot adult contemporary, 3.8 (3.5)
9. WGN 720-AM news talk, 3.4 (3.1)
10. WRME 87.7-FM soft rock oldies, 3.2 (2.8)
11. (tie) WXRT 93.1-FM adult album alternative, 3.1 (3.3); WKSC 103.5-FM Top 40, 3.1 (2.8)
13. WSCR 670-AM sports talk, 2.9 (2.9)
14. WBMX 104.3-FM classic hip-hop, 2.7 (2.7)
15. (tie) WBBM 96.3-FM Top 40, 2.5 (2.1); WGCI 107.5-FM hip-hop, 2.5 (2.2); WPPN 106.7-FM Spanish adult contemporary, 2.5 (3.0)
18. WUSN 99.5-FM country, 2.4 (2.8)
19. WLEY 107.9-FM Mexican regional, 2.2 (1.7)
20. WKQX 101.1-FM alternative rock, 2.0 (2.1)
21. (tie) WFMT 98.7-FM classical, 1.9 (1.5); WSHE 100.3-FM adult contemporary, 1.9 (2.1)
23. (tie) WCHI 95.5-FM rock, 1.8 (2.4); WMVP 1000-AM sports talk, 1.8 (1.3)
25. WCKL 97.9-FM contemporary Christian music, 1.7 (1.2)
26. WLS 890-AM news talk, 1.4 (1.3)
27. WPWX 92.3-FM hip-hop, 1.3 (1.5)
28. WVIV 93.5-FM Spanish contemporary, 1.0 (1.1)
29. WXLC 102.3-FM hot adult contemporary, 0.9 (0.8)
30. WSRB 106.3-FM R&B, 0.8 (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. WOJO 105.1-FM Raúl Molinar, Carla Medrano and Andrés Maldonado
4. WGN 720-AM Bob Sirott
5. WBEZ 91.5-FM “Morning Edition”; “BBC Newshour”
6. WLIT 93.9-FM Melissa Forman
7. WDRV 97.1-FM Brian Sherman and Steve Tingle
8. WSCR 670-AM Mike Mulligan and David Haugh
9. WTMX 101.9-FM Eric Ferguson, Nikki Chuminatto, Brian “Whip” Paruch and Violeta Podrumedic
10. WKSC 103.5-FM Christopher “Fred” Frederick and Kristie Graybill

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. (tie) WGN 720-AM John Williams; Anna Davlantes; WLS 94.7-FM Erin Carman
8. WRME 87.7-FM
9. WTMX 101.9-FM Jenny Valliere
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. WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM Keith Johnson and Lisa Fielding
2. (tie) WLIT 93.9-FM Mick Lee; WVAZ 102.7-FM Joe Soto
4. (tie) WLS 94.7-FM Tim Virgin; WTMX 101.9-FM Chris Petlak and Lisa Allen
6. (tie) WDRV 97.1-FM Steve Seaver and Janda Lane; WOJO 105.1-FM Sylvia del Valle
8. (tie) WBEZ 91.5-FM “All Things Considered”; “Marketplace”; WKSC 103.5-FM Brady Broski
10. WPPN 106.7-FM Maria Esther “La Chula” Mendez and Poncho “La Bestia” Mercado

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. WLS 94.7-FM Kid Kelly
5. (tie) WGCI 107.5-FM Zach Boog; WTMX 101.9-FM Jordan “Dash” Orman-Weiss
7. WBMX 104.3-FM
8. WDRV 97.1-FM John “Byrd” Kempf
9. WSCR 670-AM Chicago Cubs baseball; various hosts
10. (tie) WFMT 98.7-FM; WRME 87.7-FM

(Copyright © 2021 The Nielsen Company.)