Thursday, February 18, 2016


Radio Research Consortium (RRC – link) has renewed its arrangement to provide ratings information for noncommercial stations. The new deal runs from 2016 until 2020.  Congratulations RRC!

For over three decades RRC has provided noncom data, first from Arbitron and now from Nielsen Audio. RRC’s service for noncom radio has helped public radio and CCM stations grow their audiences and expand their public service. RRC’s new deal is terrific news for all of us in noncom media.

Nielsen and RRC provide data for a Holiday month but I don’t spend much time with these ratings.  The end-of-the-year holidays disrupt typical listening patterns and some commercial stations switch to All Christmas Music formats – not something that happens with noncoms.

I’ve never understood the All Christmas phenomenon but the commercial station results confirm that it draws lots of listening.  For instance, KOST-FM in LA doubled its listening in the Holiday ratings with 24/7 jingle bells.

Speaking of Christmas music, here is a true story from my back pages: Years ago I was a jock at a hot Top 40 station.  Management at our crosstown rivals insisted that their PD airs “lots of Christmas music” during the week before the holiday.  The PD decided to rotate Christmas songs with hits from the current rock playlist thinking core listeners would like it. So, every other song was a Christmas song. This created segues like Little Drummer Boy into Smokin’ In the Boys Room and Oh Come All Ye Faithful into Walk on the Wild Side. I asked a friend of mine WTF and he told the PD had a bi-polar disorder!


Nielsen Audio and RRC is now starting to release data for January PPM markets. Some major stations have not finished the paperwork for the 2016 – 2020 term, so their January numbers have not been released yet.  I have market them “Pending” in the charts below.


Some serious mojo is rising at North Texas Public Broadcasting.  Both of their stations KERA and KXT had nice gains since the fall. Jeff Ramirez and company are doing great work in Dallas.

It is nice to see that commercial Classical WRR-FM is subscribing to Nielsen Audio again.  The City-of-Dallas owned station once was a backwater of city government. Now it is leading a vibrant classical and arts scene in the Metroplex. Check them out at [link]. 
*WRR-FM is a commercial station. Data provided by

The listener drop at WNYC-AM is likely due to the fact that most of the station's broadcast hours are during the time when it must use its nighttime coverage pattern, which is far smaller than its daytime coverage.

WGBH continues to gain ground on WBUR.  Both stations are doing great.  NPR News listening in Boston has increased since the stations became head-to-head competitors.

These data are provided for use by Nielsen Audio subscribers ONLY, in accordance with
RRC's limited license with Nielsen Audio.
Monday-Sunday 6AM-Midnight Persons 6+

Data Copyright Nielsen Audio.
Format designations are the sole responsibility of Ken Mills Agency, LLC.

1 comment:

  1. I don't know if the ratings periods reflect it properly, but WUMB recently hired music maven Jess Phaneuf to do their afternoon drive. (she was doing mornings at WMVY for several years prior)