Monday, June 20, 2016


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:

KCMP +33%
WSGE +21%
KUTX +17%
WXPN +15%

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:


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. 

Cathis Hall

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.

Tim Greene
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:

1 comment:

  1. What gives with WERS and WUMB? They seem perpetually subject to wild swings in the ratings...

    One can, and probably should, "point the finger" at WUMB's well-documented signal issues; the move of WUMB to that taller tower in Milton has made a world of difference for in-car listening...but it doesn't change the fact that they're trying to cobble together a bunch of inferior signals to cover the whole Greater Boston region - and that strategy is dubious at best. (I'm not sure they have any alternative, but they're always going to be hobbled by that.)

    And you could do the same with WERS's problems committing to a mission; are they a professional, financially self-sufficient Triple A station? Or are they a student educational training ground?

    But neither of those really explain why the numbers wildly gyrate from one book to the next.