Chicago radio ratings: The Drive, 94.7 WLS sound like big winners

Greg Brown (Photo: Tony Lossano)

Rock oldies turned to ratings gold for two Chicago radio stations in the latest Nielsen Audio survey.

Hubbard Radio classic rock WDRV 97.1-FM and Cumulus Media classic hits WLS 94.7-FM jumped to a tie for second place, according to the July ratings report released Monday.

Finishing just behind iHeartMedia urban adult-contemporary WVAZ 102.7-FM, The Drive and 94.7 WLS overtook Hubbard hot adult-contemporary WTMX 101.9-FM and Entercom all-news combo WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM in the overall rankings.

Leading the way for 94.7 WLS was veteran midday personality Greg Brown, one of Chicago radio’s all-time greats, who finished first 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. He and Bob Stroud of The Drive tied for first in middays among listeners between 25 and 54 — the demographic most sought by advertisers.

The stellar performances of The Drive and 94.7 WLS were attributed in large part to the demise of their two direct competitors — classic rock WLUP and classic hits WJMK — both of which changed formats in recent months.

Another big winner was Weigel Broadcasting’s soft rock/oldies WRME 87.7-FM, which delivered its highest total audience share ever and tied for ninth place with Entercom adult album alternative WXRT 93.1-FM. In addition Me-TV FM finished in the top 10 in middays, afternoons and evenings.

The Nielsen Audio survey ran from June 21 to July 18.

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

1. WVAZ 102.7-FM urban adult contemporary, 6.1 (6.0)
2. (tie) WDRV 97.1-FM classic rock, 4.9 (4.8); WLS 94.7-FM classic hits, 4.9 (4.2)
4. WTMX 101.9-FM hot adult contemporary, 4.8 (4.9)
5. WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM all news, 4.6 (4.8)
6. WOJO 105.1-FM Mexican regional, 4.0 (4.3)
7. (tie) WBMX 104.3-FM classic hip hop, 3.9 (3.6); WUSN 99.5-FM country, 3.9 (3.5)
9. (tie) WRME 87.7-FM soft rock oldies, 3.7 (3.3); WXRT 93.1-FM adult album alternative, 3.7 (3.7)
11. WSCR 670-AM sports talk, 3.4 (3.5)
12. WKSC 103.5-FM Top 40, 3.3 (3.5)
13. WLIT 93.9-FM adult contemporary, 3.1 (3.5)
14. (tie) WGCI 107.5-FM urban contemporary, 3.0 (3.3); WGN 720-AM news talk, 3.0 (2.4); WSHE 100.3-FM adult contemporary, 3.0 (3.0)
17. WBBM 96.3-FM Top 40, 2.8 (2.9)
18. (tie) WKQX 101.1-FM alternative rock, 2.7 (3.0); WPPN 106.7-FM Spanish adult contemporary, 2.7 (2.7)
20. (tie) WBEZ 91.5-FM public radio news talk, 2.4 (2.5); WLEY 107.9-FM Mexican regional, 2.4 (2.6)
22. WPWX 92.3-FM urban contemporary, 2.2 (2.1)
23.(tie) WEBG 95.5-FM country, 1.7 (1.9); WLS 890-AM news talk, 1.7 (1.5)
25. (tie) WCKL 97.9-FM contemporary Christian, 1.3 (1.6); WVIV 93.5-FM Spanish contemporary, 1.3 (1.3)
27. WMVP 1000-AM sports talk, 1.2 (1.3)
28. (tie) WFMT 98.7-FM classical, 0.9 (1.0); WMBI 90.1-FM Christian ministry, 0.9 (0.9)
30. WERV 95.9-FM classic hits, 0.8 (1.1)

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

1. WTMX 101.9-FM Eric Ferguson, Melissa McGurren and Brian “Whip” Paruch 7.1 (7.5)
2. WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM Felicia Middlebrooks and Pat Cassidy 6.6 (6.9)
3. WVAZ 102.7-FM Steve Harvey 5.5 (5.7)
4. WOJO 105.1-FM Raúl Molinar, Carla Medrano and Andrés Maldonado 5.1 (5.4)
5. (tie) WDRV 97.1-FM Brian Sherman and Steve Tingle 4.7 (4.2); WGN 720-AM Steve Cochran 4.7 (4.0)
7. (tie) WLS 94.7-FM Dave Fogel and Kim Berk 4.1 (3.6); WXRT 93.1-FM Lin Brehmer 4.1 (4.0)
9. WSCR 670-AM Mike Mulligan and Brian Hanley 3.9 (3.7)
10. WLEY 107.9-FM Alberto Terry “El Terrible” Cortez 3.3 (3.2)

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

1. WLS 94.7-FM Greg Brown 5.8 (4.9)
2. WVAZ 102.7-FM Bioncé Foxx 5.7 (5.7)
3. WDRV 97.1-FM Bob Stroud 5.1 (5.3)
4. WTMX 101.9-FM Lisa Allen 4.3 (4.2)
5. WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM Cisco Cotto and Kris Kridel 4.1 (4.3)
6. (tie) WOJO 105.1-FM Rafael “El Primo Rafa” Bautista 4.0 (3.9); WRME 87.7-FM, 4.0 (3.3)
8. (tie) WUSN 99.5-FM Drew Walker 3.9 (3.7); WXRT 93.1-FM Terri Hemmert; Marty Lennartz 3.9 (4.0)
10. WLIT 93.9-FM Robin Rock 3.8 (3.9)

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

1. WVAZ 102.7-FM Joe Soto 5.7 (5.7)
2. WDRV 97.1-FM Steve Seaver 5.0 (4.6)
3. (tie) WLS 94.7-FM Ron Parker 4.9 (3.8); WTMX 101.9-FM Kevin “Koz” Koske and Jennifer Roberts 4.9 (4.8)
5. WUSN 99.5-FM Mike Kasper 4.5 (3.8)
6. WRME 87.7-FM, 4.1 (3.2)
7. (tie) WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM Kris Kridel and Keith Johnson 3.8 (4.3); WOJO 105.1-FM Sylvia del Valle, Jose Gutierrez and Carlos Ivan Paez 3.8 (4.7)
9. (tie) WBMX 104.3-FM Sean “Sonic” Leckie 3.7 (3.7); WKSC 103.5-FM Brady Broski 3.7 (3.8)

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

1. WVAZ 102.7-FM Chris Michaels 7.5 (7.1)
2. WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM Mariam Sobh; Bob Conway 5.1 (5.0)
3. (tie) WBMX 104.3-FM Julian Jumpin’ Perez 4.4 (4.9); WLS 94.7-FM Tom O’Toole 4.4 (3.5); WSCR 670-AM Laurence Holmes; Julie DiCaro; Chicago Cubs baseball 4.4 (5.2)
6. WGCI 107.5-FM DJ MoonDawg (Michael Muniz) 4.3 (4.2)
7. WDRV 97.1-FM Phil Manicki 4.2 (4.0)
8. (tie) WKSC 103.5-FM Erik Zachary 3.9 (3.8); WRME 87.7-FM, 3.9 (3.8)
10. WTMX 101.9-FM Chris Reese 3.8 (4.2)

Tuesday’s comment of the day: Larry Miles Hillyard: Say what you want naysayers, the guy [Bobby Bones] runs a great show. I’m an ex-rock radio programmer, and gravitate to Bobby’s show over and over. Relatable, great interviewer, constant flow of relevant guests and a down to earth supporting cast of showmates. You’ll find yourself tuning in. The show is country based, but relates to everyone. I did 24 years on-air, and would drop everything to be a cast member on that show!