Presidential election provides boost to news and talk formats in latest ratings
Local news and talk formatted radio outlets like WBZ 1030, WBUR 90.9 and WGBH 89.7 thrived in one of the most contentious presidential elections in recent history this fall. So it should surprise no one that these outlets were all big winners when November's Nielsen Audio ratings were released yesterday.
The "November" survey period covered the period from October 6 through November. 2, The results for the current December survey period which ends on November 30 will be released on December 20. The December numbers will likely move the numbers for news and talk stations even higher considering it would include totals from the Election week.
But for all the ups among news/talkers and downs among music stations, classic hits rocker WROR 105.7 didn't budge from its top spot. WROR was the highest rated station among all listeners ages 6 and over. The station was still solid with a number five finish in the advertiser-coveted demo of consumers between ages 25 and 54. Patriots football rights holder, WBZ 98.5/The Sports Hub held on to #1 spot among 25-54 group as Tom Brady returned in October after sitting out first four games of the season. The Sports Hub was #3 in the all-age demographic, just barely behind WROR's sister station modern adult contemporary WMJX/Magic 106.7.
A glut of election news as well as presidential debates coverage propelled news/talker WBZ 1030 to the highest totals since the spring. WBZ-AM came in fourth(up from 5th in October). Biggest gain, however, was by Bosotn University-owned NPR affiliate WBUR 90.9 which went from 12th to 8th and added on 100,000 listners(430,000 in October and 530,000 in November). WBUR also made some noise among 25-54's where zoomed from 11th to 7th. WBUR's public radio counterpart WGBH 89.7 went from 10th to 9th with a slight audience increase. On a more conservative side of the spectrum, Entercom's talker WRKO 680 finished 15th overall and netted 10,000 more listeners(205,000 vs 215,000) while Rush Limbaugh's affiliate in Boston, Iheart Media's WKOX/Talk 1430 ended 24th with 8,000 more listeners in November(32,000 vs 40,000).