Chicago radio ratings: Another victory for V103

Joe Soto

Two years after he succeeded the late syndicated superstar Doug Banks on WVAZ 102.7 FM, Joe Soto continues his predecessor’s winning streak as the most popular afternoon personality in town.

Soto, a 38-year veteran of Chicago radio, moved up from evenings on the iHeartMedia urban adult-contemporary station after the much-loved Banks died in April 2016. He’s been a success from the start.

V103

Nielsen Audio ratings released Monday show V103 in first place overall and first place in middays, afternoons and evenings. V103 syndicated morning host Steve Harvey is in third place, behind Eric Ferguson of Hubbard Radio hot adult-contemporary WTMX 101.9 FM and the duo of Felicia Middlebrooks and Pat Cassidy of Entercom all-news WBBM 780 AM and WCFS 105.9 FM.

Entercom’s new classic hip-hop WBMX 104.3 FM had another strong showing in March, finishing fourth overall and first among listeners between 25 and 54 (the group most sought by advertisers) as well as 18 to 34 and 18 to 49.

The demise of WLUP 97.9 FM in early March sent the former Cumulus Media station’s listeners in droves to Hubbard Radio classic rock WDRV 97.1 FM, which has advertised heavily on TV in recent weeks. Entercom adult album alternative WXRT 93.1 FM also appeared to benefit from The Loop’s departure after 41 years on the air here.

Among the month’s biggest losers was Tribune Broadcasting news/talk WGN 720 AM, the new radio home of White Sox baseball, which fell from 13th to 22nd overall — just ahead of Cumulus Media news/talk WLS 890 AM, a chronic underperformer.

The latest Nielsen Audio survey ran from March 1 to 28.

Here are Chicago’s top 30 radio stations from 6 a.m. to midnight Monday through Sunday, as measured by Nielsen Audio in March, followed by format and average share of listeners age 6 and older (with February share in parentheses):

1. WVAZ 102.7 FM urban adult contemporary, 6.1 (6.6)
2. (tie) WBBM 780 AM/WCFS 105.9 FM all news, 5.1 (5.3); WTMX 101.9 FM hot adult contemporary, 5.1 (4.9)
4. WBMX 104.3 FM classic hip hop, 4.5 (4.0)
5. (tie) WDRV 97.1 FM classic rock, 4.2 (3.3); WOJO 105.1 FM Mexican regional, 4.2 (3.7)
7. WUSN 99.5 FM country, 3.9 (3.0)
8. (tie) WLS 94.7 FM classic hits, 3.5 (3.4); WRME 87.7 FM soft rock oldies, 3.5 (3.6); WXRT 93.1 FM adult album alternative, 3.5 (3.1)
11. (tie) WKSC 103.5 FM Top 40, 3.1 (3.0); WLIT 93.9 FM adult contemporary, 3.1 (3.3); WSHE 100.3 FM adult contemporary, 3.1 (3.3)
14. (tie) WGCI 107.5 FM urban contemporary, 3.0 (3.2); WLEY 107.9 FM Mexican regional, 3.0 (2.6)
16. WBBM 96.3 FM Top 40, 2.9 (2.8)
17. WKQX 101.1 FM alternative rock, 2.8 (2.8)
18. (tie) WBEZ 91.5 FM public radio news talk, 2.5 (2.2); WPPN 106.7 FM Spanish adult contemporary, 2.5 (2.7)
20. WPWX 92.3 FM urban contemporary, 2.4 (2.2)
21. WSCR 670 AM sports talk, 2.3 (2.5)
22. WGN 720 AM news talk, 2.2 (3.1)
23. WLS 890 AM news talk, 2.0 (2.0)
24. (tie) WEBG 95.5 FM country, 1.5 (1.7); WMVP 1000 AM sports talk, 1.5 (1.5)
26. WCKL 97.9 FM Christian adult contemporary, 1.3 (3.2)
27. WFMT 98.7 FM classical, 1.2 (1.4); WJKL 94.3 FM Christian adult contemporary, 1.2 (1.1); WVIV 93.5 FM Spanish contemporary, 1.2 (1.1)
30. WIND 560 AM news talk, 1.1 (1.3)

Here are Chicago radio’s top 10 morning shows from 6 to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday, as measured by Nielsen Audio in March, followed by host and average share of listeners age 6 and older (with February share in parentheses):

1. WTMX 101.9 FM Eric Ferguson 7.3 (7.7)
2. WBBM 780 AM/WCFS 105.9 FM Felicia Middlebrooks and Pat Cassidy 7.1 (7.2)
3. WVAZ 102.7 FM Steve Harvey 5.2 (5.6)
4. WOJO 105.1 FM Raúl Molinar, Carla Medrano and Andrés Maldonado 4.7 (4.4)
5. WDRV 97.1 FM Brian Sherman and Steve Tingle 4.0 (4.0)
6. WSCR 670 AM Mike Mulligan and Brian Hanley 3.8 (3.9)
7. WLEY 107.9 FM Alberto Terry “El Terrible” Cortez 3.7 (3.5)
8. WXRT 93.1 FM Lin Brehmer 3.5 (3.2)
9. WBMX 104.3 FM Ed Lover (as of April 12) 3.3 (3.0)
10. WKSC 103.5 FM Christopher “Fred” Frederick and Angi Taylor 3.2 (3.0)

Here are Chicago radio’s top 10 afternoon shows from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, as measured by Nielsen Audio in March, followed by host and average share of listeners age 6 and older (with February share in parentheses):

1. WVAZ 102.7 FM Joe Soto 5.6 (5.9)
2. WOJO 105.1 FM Sylvia del Valle, Jose Gutierrez and Carlos Ivan Paez 5.0 (4.1)
3. (tie) WBMX 104.3 FM 4.8 (4.3); WTMX 101.9 FM Kevin “Koz” Koske and Jennifer Roberts 4.8 (4.7)
5. (tie) WBBM 780 AM/WCFS 105.9 FM Kris Kridel and Keith Johnson 4.5 (5.0); WUSN 99.5 FM Mike Kasper 4.5 (3.4)
7. WDRV 97.1 FM Steve Seaver 3.9 (2.7)
8. WLS 94.7 FM Ron Parker 3.5 (3.2)
9. WLIT 93.9 FM Mick Lee 3.3 (3.4)
10. (tie) WBBM 96.3 FM Eric Tyler 3.2 (3.2); WKSC 103.5 FM Brady Broski 3.2 (3.1)

Monday’s comment of the day: Frank Kurtz: Driving around this weekend while surfing the FM dial, I noticed that 93.9 (WLIT) is now playing from a song list that is much more “nostalgic” than it used to be and has apparently morphed into a classic rock, Top 40 hits station. The songs seemed to be from the ’70s and ’80s and some were were right off of the Me-TV FM playlist. I’m certainly not complaining, but perhaps WLIT is now going to try and fill the void that was left from the old 104.3.