SYRACUSE -- Despite losing more than two whole ratings points, Clear Channel country station B104.7 (WBBS) retained the the top spot in the latest audience estimates for the Syracuse radio market. Nielsen Audio just released its numbers from the Fall 2013 survey period.
WBBS fell from an 11.6 in the Summer book, down to a 9.2. While a drop of more than two points would give some other stations in the market a notable drop in the overall rankings, B104.7 had enough of a margin to retain its lead: in fact, no other Nielsen-subscribing station in Syracuse has managed to get anything higher than an 8.4 in any of the four most-recent ratings periods. As noted by this morning's Tom Taylor Now national radio newsletter, WBBS now boasts a 57-book win streak, spanning more than 14 years.
But it's worth noting that the aforementioned 8.4 also happened in this same Fall 2013 book, and it goes to Cumulus Media's 93Q (WNTQ), the best book that CHR-formatted station has enjoyed out of the past six books. (Looking back further on our Nielsen Audio Syracuse chart, WNTQ is the only other station in the market to reach a 9.0, which it did twice in 2012.)
Next in line is the two-station simulcast of NewsRadio 570 WSYR and 106.9 (WSYR-FM), posting a 6.6. That's a a fraction of a point lower than the twin 7.3's the stations pulled in the Spring and Summer books. Nipping at its heels, is Clear Channel sister station Hot 107.9 (WWHT), with a 6.5... that's more than a full point lower than the 7.8 it had in both of the past two books.
Another Clear Channel station follows; AC-formatted Y94 (WYYY) regained half a point since the Summer to finish the Fall book with a 5.3; without a week-to-week breakdown, it's tough to say for sure, but part of that uptick could be due to WYYY going all-Christmas for the last few weeks of the book. National trades have often reported a general uptick in ratings for stations that go all-Christmas, though the gain wasn't quite as impressive in 2013 as it was in previous years.
One more Clear Channel station follows: Power 620 (WHEN) and its urban AC format had its best book of all 2013, with a 4.5 in the Fall, a notable increase from the previous survey's 2.7.
Locally-owned New Country WOLF 105.1 also had its best book of the year, with a 3.2, enough to trade spaces with Cumulus active rocker 95X (WAQX), which drops a few tenths of a point from the Summer, to a 2.9 in the Fall book. Its sister, classic rocker 105.9 The Rebel (WXTL), is next on the list, posting a 2.1 -- its second-best book of 2013.
Hot AC MOViN' 100.3/96.5 (WMVN) is next on the list, with a 1.4, its second-best book of 2013 (though just barely higher than the 1.2 it had in the Spring and Summer), while Cumulus sports talker The Score 1260 (WSKO) finishes out the Fall 2013 book, with a 0.5 rating.
The usual disclaimer for radio ratings: Nielsen Audio only allows the media and the general public to see the "top line" (Persons 12+, Monday-Sunday, 6am-Midnight) ratings for stations which actively subscribe to Nielsen's services. Non-subscriber stations are still rated, but omitted from the "public" release of the numbers. Accordingly, it's impossible to provide "rankings," as we do not know where the non-subscribers fall among the subscribers. Among the notable non-subscribers are Galaxy Communications (whose holdings include K-Rock, TK99, ESPN Radio) and Leatherstocking Media Group (owner of 92.1 WSEN, Oldies 1050 and CNY Talk Radio).
Furthermore, the "top line" ratings provide only an overall look at each station's performance; they do not necessarily reflect a station's performance within specific timeslots or target audience demographics.
The Syracuse market is a "continuous measurement" market, with "full" ratings reports issued quarterly, and monthly "trend" reports issued to subscribers only. The month-long break between the end of the Fall 2013 book on December 4 and the start of the Winter 2014 book on January 2 are the only weeks when the market isn't being rated. The current Winter 2014 survey period runs through March 26, and the Spring 2014 book starts the very next day.