May 2016 was a pretty good month for Triple A stations in Nielsen Audio PPM markets compared to May 2015. Of the seventeen stations we track, nine were up in one-year weekly cumulative listener trends. Eight were down from a year ago.
Obviously the biggest gainer was 89.3 The Current powered by their historic coverage of Prince’s death and fan reaction. We told this story on June 10th [link].
There were other Triple A stations that gained a sizeable number of estimated listeners including one you might now be familiar with: WSGE in Charlotte. Scroll down to learn more about WSGE.
The stations that gained the most weekly listeners were:
The stations with the biggest declines in weekly listeners were WSME, a college rock station in Milwaukee, KVOQ in Denver and WERS and WUMB in Boston.
Here are the results for all of the Triple A PPM market stations:
MEET WSGE - A STATION ON THE WAY UP
WSGE-FM [link] has a lot in common with its licensee Gaston College. Based in the Charlotte exurb of Dallas, North Carolina, both are new kids on the block. But they have accomplished a lot in few years.
Gaston College began as community college with two buildings in 1964. WSGE began in 1980 as a teaching lab. In 1997, Gaston wisely separated the operation of the station from the academic sector and made it a for-real radio station. In 2002 Gaston upgraded the signal to compete in the Charlotte metro.
In 2006 WSGE had its biggest upgrade: Gaston hired Cathis Hall to manage and program WSGE. Hall is a well-known jazz diva who loves all kinds of music. She focused the format and brought a real sense of purpose to WSGE. No other station in Charlotte was specializing in Triple A, blues, rockabilly and alt-country.
Hall turned up WSGE’s volume to 11 a couple of years ago when she hired morning personality Tim Greene. Greene is a proven pro who honed his chops at 100.3 The Beat and Stevie Wonder’s KJLH in Los Angeles. Read more about Greene on WSGE’s Facebook page [link].
One of the things that amaze me the most about WSGE is that it is mainly staffed by volunteers. In many cases that is a recipe for programming chaos and dis-harmony. Hall has turned volunteers into team players the are making WSGE shine.
Here is WSGE's program schedule: