Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Radio ratings for northern Michigan (via

With the Arbitrons still embargoed, somebody's gotta tell the truth about radio up north

Since it appears that somebody in northern Michigan's still not purchasing the Arbitron ratings, we gotta use the alternative, which is, which measures traffic on websites. With more and more cell phones with internet capabilities these days, local radio now competes even more with Sirius/XM, Pandora and Slacker and even stations from other localities.

So, here's how northern Michigan radio's doing this time around:
(current ranking/December 2010 ranking/station name/Alexa ranking)

1-3WTCM "Newstalk 580"3,836,120
2-11WMKT 1270 "The Talk Station"4,043,145
3-1WKLT 97.5/98.9 "The Rock Station"4,238,715
4-5WKHQ 105.9 "106 KHQ" CHR4,390,926
5-2WJML 1110/1210 News/Talk4,754,846
6-4WTCM-FM 103.5/93.5 Country4,924,740
7-10WLXT "Lite 96" AC6,838,796
8-12WSRT 106.7/105.5 "You FM" Talk8,205,916
9-UWGFM "Real Rock 105/95.5"9,189,920
10-8WCCW-FM "Classic Hits 107.5"10,649,735
11-6WFCX "94.3/92.5 The Fox FM" Classic Hits10,803,045
12-UWGFN 98.1/107.1 (west northern Michigan) WLJZ 94.5/93.9 (east northern Michigan) "The Bear" Classic Rock12,933,183
13-UWMBN 1340 Adult Standards13,537,916
14-UWCDY 107.9 Hot AC14,957,300
15-UWLDR "Sunny Country 101.9"15,648,211
16-UWBNZ "EZ Rock 92.3" AC20,194,442
17-7WUPS 98.5 Classic Hits22,464,054
18-9WCCW "ESPN 1310" Sports 23,814,013

red - decrease in rank (3 mos.)
green - increase in rank (3 mos.)

WTWS "92.1 The Twister" Country
WJZQ 92.9 "Z93" CHR
WLXV "Mix 96" Hot AC
WOUF "99.3 The Wolf" Rock
WMJZ "101.5 The Eagle" Variety Hits
WMKC "Big Country 102.9"

*This was another great book for news/talk with WTCM leading the pack. WMKT also did remarkably well despite what I feel is one of the weakest talk line-ups in the state. I think part of it's due to the presence of Vic McCarty, the former sports anchor at local NBC affiliate WPBN 7&4. Only WJML lost ranking, possibly because of Ed Schultz's demise and Glenn Beck's decline in popularity. WSRT also grew in ranking, but they're still dead last in the talk department despite being on two FM stations.

*Despite their web stream - along with sisters WFCX and WSRT's streams - disappearing, WKLT is the top rocker up north. Part of it's also because they do podcast their morning show, Omelette and Finster. They've even recently unveiled a mobile version of their website, one of the first in northern Michigan to do so. However, despite making the list this time, Real Rock 105/95.5 is still exactly mid-pack in the ratings. I would like to see KLT get toppled by Real Rock in the ratings, but as long as 1) they keep their listeners entertained one minute and disenfranchised the next by seguing Rage Against the Machine into Molly Hatchet, 2) they farm out their night and overnight jocks from Omaha, 3) they're ALWAYS late regarding adding new music and 4) they have a PD/midday jock who sounds like Ashton Kutcher and looks like Chaz Bono, ain't gonna happen.

*It's nice that The Bear rebounded. Thank God they got rid of Tom Devit - er, Tommy Mayhem, but I think their glory days are over. Bob and Tom are too old and their music mix is, well, old too. KLT does a much-better job since O&F are local and their Traverse City signal's better. As for The Wolf, I think they're toast. The station gets no promotion, their playlist is virtually the same as it was two years ago, their website's never updated and when I was up the weekend before July 4th, their music kept pausing. Oh, and their webstream hasn't worked in weeks. If I were that station, I'd flip it to a modern rock format ala The Zone prior to its flip to Real Rock. It's amazing how many albums groups like Florence and the Machine and Mumford and Sons have sold and yet, nobody up north is playing them.

*KHQ's still doing quite well, but Z93's a joke. From what I've heard, their morning show blows and their imaging isn't as good as KHQ's. They are pushing themselves more towards the gay crowd since I heard they did a Lady Gaga promotion at SideTraxx and they do air Perez Hilton's countdown on Sunday mornings (opposite Ryan Seacrest'sAmerican Top 40 on KHQ). Could they be drifting more towards a 106.7 The Beat of Detroit-like format in the future? Who knows.

*WTCM-FM naturally leads the Country pack and WLDR made the list this time. But where's Big Country? Maybe people could care less about that Big D and Bubba show...

*Lite 96 rebounded, and WBNZ was spotted on the list as well. The only true major change in the list from last time was WCCW-FM changing from "Oldies 107.5" to "Classic Hits 107.5". They even FINALLY replaced their aging "OldiesRadio" liners and jingles (part of it's due to a new GM). But new coat of paint or not, both WCCW and rival WFCX were both flat (and neither stream).

Tomorrow, we'll analyze Grand Rapids radio and on Wednesday, Detroit.

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