SYRACUSE -- Clear Channel country station B104.7 (WBBS) continues to dominate the Syracuse radio market, according to the latest data released by Arbitron. It's the first time in nearly four years that the radio ratings giant has released any Syracuse ratings data to the media and the general public, but the information comes with a pretty big disclaimer.
As reported here earlier this month, Arbitron's got a new policy: overall ratings data will no longer be completely "embargoed" from the public. However, the company has chosen to release data only for the stations which subscribe to its reports. If a station doesn't subscribe to the book, you won't see it on the Syracuse Arbitron ratings page here on CNYRadio.com or on any other website which offers public ratings data.
For the Winter 2012 book, the only subscribers in Syracuse are Clear Channel's six stations and the three FM stations owned locally by WOLF Radio, Inc. As a result, we can confidently report that B104.7 leads the pack with an 11.8 share among all listeners age 12+, spread across all dayparts from 6am to midnight.
Beyond there, it's impossible to rank the rest of the market without access to "the full book," which has only been released directly to subscribers. In the latest Eastlan Ratings, released in January, NPR affiliate WRVO, Cumulus-owned CHR 93Q (WNTQ), Galaxy classic rocker TK99/105 (WTKW/WTKV) and Leatherstocking's Classic Hits 92.1 WSEN all made it into the top ten, but none of those stations appear on Arbitron's public report.
When Arbitron announced the new policy, Tom Taylor mentioned in his daily Taylor on Radio-Info column that some stations only subscribe to certain reports, rather than all of them, so there's a chance we could see some of those "missing" stations return in the future.
Syracuse is a "Continuous Measurement" market for Arbitron -- meaning there are four "full books" per year, with monthly "Arbitrend" reports in between. The competing Eastlan Ratings surveys Syracuse just twice per year, so we won't have a chance to compare Eastlan and Arbitron directly until both companies release their Spring 2012 reports.
Both stations started their Spring ratings periods on March 29. Eastlan will continue to conduct telephone-based surveys through June 6, while Arbitron will sweep the market with diaries until June 20. Eastlan has been known to include all stations in its public report, even non-commercial stations and any satellite radio channels which garner enough listeners to make the survey. The company reinforced this policy in a press release following Arbitron's "subscriber only" announcement.