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Published: Tuesday, 8/3/2004

WKKO strengthens ratings hold

BY RUSS LEMMON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

WKKO-FM (99.9) is back to its old self.

The Cumulus-owned country station, which survived a scare but remained No. 1 in the previous ratings period, finished comfortably ahead of the competition in Arbitron's spring survey.

It marked the 34th consecutive ratings period, dating back to 1996, that WKKO has been No. 1 overall (Monday to Sunday, 6 a.m. to midnight). Arbitron conducts four 12-week surveys each year.

Among listeners age 12-plus, WKKO's audience share was 12.8 percent during the spring survey, which ran from April 1 to June 23, up from a 10.6 percent the previous ratings period.

Clear Channel's WRVF-FM (101.5), which has an adult contemporary format, finished No. 2 for the fifth ratings period in a row. However, its audience share dropped from 9.8 to 8.4, allowing WKKO to tighten its grip on No. 1.

In the morning race, WKKO's Gary Shores and Harvey J. Steele were No. 1 for the 10th consecutive ratings period. Their 12-plus audience share increased from 12.6 to 13.9.

WIOT-FM (104.7), which airs nationally syndicated Bob & Tom, finished No. 2 in the morning-drive time slot for the third time in the last four ratings periods. Among listeners age 12-plus, the Clear Channel station's morning share went from 8.2 to 9.6.

The morning show on WVKS-FM (92.5), hosted by Johny D., moved up one spot to No. 3 with an 8.1 share. It was Johny D.'s highest share since taking over as host in September; he had 8.0 and 7.8 shares in his first two ratings periods.

WRVF's morning show, hosted by Mitch & Mary Beth, fell from No. 2 to No. 4. Its audience share, which was 10.0 during the winter survey, dropped to 7.7.

WKKO's morning show had the most listeners - an average of 67,400 people tuned in at some point between 6 and 10 a.m. It also had the most listeners during a typical 15-minute interval - 13,900.

Clear Channel-owned WVKS averaged 58,700 listeners from 6 to 10 a.m., besting WRVF (44,600) and WIOT (44,000). WIOT averaged 9,600 listeners during a typical 15-minute interval, compared to 8,100 for WVKS and 7,700 for WRVF.

WKKO was also No. 1 in two other weekday time slots - 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Bill Manders) and 3 to 7 p.m. (Craig Snyder).

The most competitive time slot was 7 p.m. to midnight, where contemporary hits/pop WVKS (Kramer) had a 12-plus audience share of 11.1, compared to 10.5 for WKKO (Cliff Smithers). It was the second ratings period in a row that WVKS beat WKKO during this time slot.

Longtime WVKS morning-show host Denny Schaffer, who now hosts an afternoon talk show on WSPD-AM (1370) moved up two spots to No. 3 in his time slot. His 12-plus audience share went from 6.3 to 8.5 percent; the number of listeners during a typical 15-minute interval increased by 2,300, to 7,700.

Among listeners age 25 to 54, which is the demographic that advertisers covet, WKKO was No. 1 overall, followed by WIOT and WRVF. In the morning race, WIOT was No. 1 in the key demographic, followed by WKKO.

Arbitron's summer survey began July 1 and runs through Sept. 22.



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