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Published: Wednesday, 10/29/2003

WKKO tightens hold on radio audience

BY RUSS LEMMON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

WKKO-FM (99.9) has never been more dominant.

In Arbitron's summer survey, it effectively lapped the field. The country station's audience share was double that of the No. 2 station, WRVF-FM (101.5).

WKKO's programming is simulcast on WTOD-AM (1560). They combined for a 15.4 percent audience share among listeners age 12-plus, compared to 7.7 percent for WRVF, which has an adult contemporary format. (WKKO and WTOD had 14.7 and 0.7 shares, respectively.)

While WKKO has been No. 1 for 31 consecutive ratings periods, dating back to 1996, there hasn't been a bigger gap between the No. 1 and No. 2 stations in the market during that time.

Program director Gary Shores, who has been at the station since 1981, can't remember K-100 having a tighter grip on No. 1. “This very well could be the largest lead, especially if you include WTOD,” he said.

This marked the fourth consecutive ratings period that WKKO was No. 1 in each of the four weekday time slots, perhaps the best indicator of its dominance in the market.

WKKO's morning show, hosted by Shores and Harvey J. Steele, was No. 1 for the seventh consecutive ratings period.

Shores & Steele had a 16.2 share among listeners 12-plus. An average of 69,700 listeners tuned in at some point from 6 to 10 a.m. They averaged 15,000 listeners during a typical 15-minute interval.

Arbitron's 12-week summer survey, conducted from June 26 to Sept. 17, was the final one for three morning hosts - Denny Schaffer on WVKS-FM (92.5), Mark Standriff on WSPD-AM (1370), and Brian Casey on WWWM-FM (105.5). All three made quiet departures: WVKS finished No. 3; WSPD tied for fifth; WWWM fell four spots, to No. 9.

One of the summer's biggest surprises was the WIOT-FM (104.7) morning show - hosted by Indianapolis-based Bob & Tom - finishing No. 2, going from a 8.8 share among listeners age 12-plus to a 9.9 share. Schaffer, who was on WVKS for only about half of the ratings period, saw his 12-plus share fall from 9.2 to 8.0.

It was also the final ratings period for WSPD afternoon talk-show host Scott Sloan. WSPD went from a tie for 11th to No. 7. Schaffer replaced Sloan at the start of the fall ratings period.

In the daylong ratings (daily, 6 a.m. to midnight), WRVF finished No. 2 for the second consecutive ratings period. WVKS, which has a contemporary hits/pop format, was No. 3 with a 7.4 share. Oldies station WRQN-FM (93.5) and WIOT, which has a rock format, tied for fourth with 6.9 shares.

WIMX-FM (95.7), which has an urban adult contemporary format, made a big jump, going from No. 10 to a tie for sixth with news/talk WSPD. Urban contemporary WJUC-FM (107.3) remained No. 8. Adult contemporary WWWM fell from No. 4 to No. 9, while classic rock WXKR-FM (94.5) dropped from No. 7 to No. 10.

The newest entry into the Toledo radio market, Cornerstone Church-owned WXQQ-FM (96.9), finished in a tie for 18th. The station unveiled its contemporary hits/dance format three days before the start of the summer ratings period.

Arbitron's fall ratings period began Sept. 18 and ends Dec. 10. Arbitron conducts four 12-week surveys each year.



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