SYRACUSE -- It used to be unheard of, but it's now happened at least three times within the past year -- iHeart Media's country-formatted B104.7 (WBBS) was not ranked #1 in the latest Nielsen ratings. The once-dominant station, which is now almost completely devoid of locally-based DJs, fell to second place among those stations to have their numbers released to the public.
The numbers, released on January 13, reflect Nielsen's findings over the three month period of October through December 2021. The Syracuse market, ranked #100 in the country, is continually measured via diaries, and rolling three-month estimates are published monthly.
Available to the general public, including outlets like CNYRadio.com, are overall average audience estimates for all persons age 12+, Mon-Sun 6am-Midnight. Non-subscribing stations, like those owned by Galaxy Media, are excluded from the reports Nielsen makes available to the public. Their ratings are only disclosed to those stations and ad agencies which pay for the "full" book.
You won't have to go far from B104.7's Plum Street studios to find the market's new leader. It's just down the hall. iHeart's news/talk simulcast on 570 WSYR and 106.9 WSYR-FM took the top spot, edging out B104. 7 by less than half a point. WSYR also came out as the big winner for Syracuse's monthly ratings reports in May and June 2021.
The battle among the Salt City's CHR stations goes -- as it often does -- to Cumulus-owned 93Q (WNTQ), which ranked 3rd in the market, nipping closely at B104.7's heels. Competitor Hot 107.9 (WWHT), over at the iHeart camp, came in 6th on Nielsen's list, with a 4.9.
Between Q and Hot, there's a tie for fourth place, split between iHeart adult contemporary Y94 (WYYY) and locally-owned classic hits 93.5/103.9 The Dinosaur (WSEN-FM).
Following Hot 107.9, it's Oswego-based NPR news/talk affiliate WRVO posting a 4.7 share.
Locally-owned New Country WOLF 92.1 is next, followed by Cumulus rocker 95X (WAQX).
Another tie follows, with Syracuse University NPR affiliate 88.3 WAER and Craig Fox's rhythmic 96.5 The Beat each pulling in a 2.3 share of the audience.
Further down the list WSYR-FM's HD3 subchannel, featuring contemporary Christian music, is the only HDRadio subchannel to make the book, with a 0.2 share. (The fact that HDRadio is still not widely available -- going on 20 years after its debut -- doesn't help matters much.)
Again, it's important to note that Nielsen excludes non-subscribing stations from the numbers it releases to the public. We do not know where Galaxy-owned stations like classic rock TK99/TK105, classic hits Sunny 102, modern rock K-Rock, or ESPN Radio fit into the rankings shown above.