This has been a good year for most of the rated Triple A and Modern Rock stations in PPM markets. Of the 15 full-time music stations for which we have complete data, 13 (87%) had more estimated weekly listeners in October 2017 than the did in October 2016 according to Nielsen Audio.
A 16th station, WFUV in New York also was up but we do not have data for their October 2016 performance in the Long Island book.
[Readers note: Whenever possible we are including Nielsen’s estimates of listeners in adjacent metros and via audio streaming.]
As you can see in the chart on the left, most of the format’s leading stations increased their estimated weekly listeners in the past year. For instance WYMS, Milwaukee (see story below) was up 21%, KUTX was up 10% and WXPN and KKXT were both up 8%.
Modern Rock station WERS, Boston, also had more estimated weekly listeners in October 2017 than they did in October 2016. WERS gained almost 50,000 weekly listeners, up 21% in one year.
Two stations were down in Nielsen Audio’s October 2017 estimates. KRCL, Salt Lake City, was down 37% and WSGE, Charlotte was down slightly.
Reasons for the across-the-board gains varied by station and market. But there is no doubt that stations that hyper-focus on their local music scenes did very, very well.
“Radio Milwaukee’s soul is on display on the air, every day”
WYMS – 88NINE Radio Milwaukee – is one of the best examples of a station that benefits from intense involvement in everything local and maximum engagement on all platforms. WYMS [link] airs a unique mix of indie rock, urban hits and handcrafted stories about local people and events.
88NINE Radio Milwaukee now has over three times as many estimated weekly listeners than WYMS did in Spring 2007. That year WYMS had a weekly cume of 29,000 with a Jazz format (Arbitron Diary methodology) before they changed to Triple A programming. In October 2017, 88NINE Radio Milwaukee had 97,400 estimated weekly listeners (Nielsen PPM methodology).
88NINE Radio Milwaukee’s rise in the past couple of years has been attributed, in part, to the actions of new management. Glenn Kleiman, an Emmy and Peabody award winning television producer, became WYMS’s Executive Director April 2016.
Most recently Kleiman was founder and CEO of Milwaukee-based Fullhouse, a digital marketing agency with a-list clients such as Miller Brewing Company, GE Healthcare, Kimberly-Clark and Johnson & Johnson.
Before becoming Executive Director, Kleiman was a digital content consultant for WYMS, helping to increase the stations engagement and impact on the community. YouTube videos are essential elements in Kleiman's strategy to promote 88NINE Radio Milwaukee. Here is one produced for a recent fund drive:
Kleiman told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel when he accepted the Executive Director job at WYMS:
“In this age when authenticity is so important, Radio Milwaukee’s soul is on display on the air, every day, and that’s why our listeners are so passionate about 88Nine. Radio Milwaukee holds an important place in this city’s culture. It will be fun, interesting, challenging – and a privilege – to lead it.”