UTICA-ROME -- Townsquare Media's 100,000-watt country blowtorch Big Frog 104 (WFRG) has once again claimed the top spot in Nielsen's semi-annual audience estimates for the market. At first glance, Townsquare's entire cluster appears to have swept the entire market.
The key word is "appears" because Nielsen only makes public the ratings for stations that hold a paid subscription to its full ratings report. Syracuse-based Galaxy Communications stopped subscribing to the reports years ago, before Nielsen bought out Arbitron. As a result, we can't see how stations like K-Rock (WKRL) or Mix 102.5 (WUMX) ranked against Townsquare or the stations owned by Utica-based Roser Communications Network.
Even if they were all available, the numbers released by Nielsen only give a broad, overall average of ratings among all listeners ages 12 and up, averaged over the entire week between 6am and midnight. Only stations and ad agencies with a subscription to "the book" have access to data regarding specific target demographics or specific dayparts.
Big Frog 104 continued its run as the market's leader, with an 11.8 -- an improvement over the previous Spring 2022 book, but still nearly 2 points below where it was a year ago.
WFRG is followed by its next-door neighbor, adult contemporary Lite 98.7 (WLZW), which clearly benefitted by promoting morning co-host Kaylin to brand manager last January -- the station continued to increase its audience, hitting double digits for the first time in at least two years with a 10.9, just as Kaylin announced her departure for a Cumulus-owned station in Columbia, SC.
Longtime classic rocker 96.9 WOUR appears third on the publicly-viewable rankings, with a 6.3, virtually flat from the Spring book, and a slight increase year-to-year. Classic hits 96.1 The Eagle (WODZ) follows, also virtually flat year-to-year.
The addition of a simulcast at 106.9 FM doesn't seem to be much help for 97-year-old WIBX 950. Although the news-talker rebounded to a 4.6 following the Spring book's 2.8 showing, that's still below the 5.9 rating the station posted last fall, before the FM translator signed-on.
Listed 6th and 7th on the public ratings are two of Roser's properties: the CHR simulcast of 97.9 and 105.5 Kiss-FM (WSKS/WSKU) posts a 4.6, nearly two points off the Spring, while Bug Country (WBUG/WBGK) posts a 2.1, which is nearly double its Spring 2022 number, and a marked improvement from the 0.7 it posted last Fall.
Bug Country's 2.1 in this most-recent book appears to tie with SUNY Oswego's NPR news/talk affiliate WRVO, but if you look further down Nielsen's list, WRVN -- the Utica-based simulcast of WRVO -- is listed separately for some reason. When you add WRVN's 0.8 to WRVO's 2.1, that puts the NPR affiliate between Kiss-FM and Bug Country.
Also posting a 2.1 is Roser's Talk! 100.7 (WUTQ). The list wraps up with Cumulus Media's CHR 93Q (WNTQ) from Syracuse, which has the distinction of being the only out-of-market station (without an in-market simulcast) to appear on the list.