Chicago radio ratings: Lite FM rises and shines with sounds of Christmas

Melissa Forman

More than 2.2 million listeners tuned in to “Chicago’s Christmas Music Station” in December, giving iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLIT 93.9-FM another humungous victory across the board in the latest audience survey.

Nielsen Audio ratings released Tuesday delivered Lite FM its highest overall share in at least four years.

Marking its 20th year of airing nonstop holiday music from early November to late December, Lite FM also finished first in mornings with Melissa Forman, middays with Robin Rock, afternoons with Mick Lee and evenings with the syndicated Delilah Rene.

Nexstar Media Group news/talk WGN 720-AM reversed a four-month downturn in overall share, rebounding from 11th place to seventh and earning top 10 finishes in mornings, middays and evenings. Cumulus Media news/talk WLS 890-AM continued its recent slide, falling from 15th to 18th.

One notable anomaly was the sudden rise of WFMT 98.7-FM, the Window to the World Communications classical music station, to fourth place in evenings. The previous month it ranked 25th.

Here are Chicago’s top 30 radio stations from 6 a.m. to midnight Monday through Sunday, as measured by Nielsen Audio from December 3 to January 6, followed by format and average quarter-hour share of listeners age 6 and older (with previous month’s share in parentheses):

1. WLIT 93.9-FM adult contemporary, 14.3 (9.5)
2. WVAZ 102.7-FM R&B, 8.0 (8.4)
3. WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM all news, 6.8 (6.8)
4. WBEZ 91.5-FM public radio news talk, 4.3 (4.4)
5. WTMX 101.9-FM hot adult contemporary, 3.9 (4.1)
6. WDRV 97.1-FM classic rock, 3.8 (4.4)
7. WGN 720-AM news talk, 3.7 (2.8)
8. WOJO 105.1-FM Mexican regional, 3.3 (3.9)
9. WLS 94.7-FM classic hits, 2.9 (3.9)
10. WXRT 93.1-FM adult album alternative, 2.6 (3.5)
11. WKSC 103.5-FM Top 40, 2.5 (2.5)
12. (tie) WPPN 106.7-FM Spanish adult contemporary, 2.4 (2.1); WRME 87.7-FM soft rock oldies, 2.4 (2.9)
14. WBMX 104.3-FM classic hip hop, 2.2 (2.3)
15. WUSN 99.5-FM country, 2.1 (2.6)
16. (tie) WSCR 670-AM sports talk, 2.0 (1.7); WLEY 107.9-FM Mexican regional, 2.0 (2.2)
18. (tie) WLS 890-AM news talk, 1.7 (2.2); WSHE 100.3-FM adult contemporary, 1.7 (1.9)
20. (tie) WBBM 96.3-FM Top 40, 1.6 (2.1); WCHI 95.5-FM rock, 1.6 (1.7); WFMT 98.7-FM classical, 1.6 (1.2); WGCI 107.5-FM hip-hop, 1.6 (1.8); WKQX 101.1-FM alternative rock, 1.6 (1.8)
25. WVIV 93.5-FM Spanish contemporary, 1.2 (1.0)
26. WCPT 820-AM progressive talk, 0.7 (0.9)
27. (tie) WCCQ 98.3-FM country, 0.6 (0.6); WCKL 97.9-FM contemporary Christian music, 0.6 (0.6); WMVP 1000-AM sports talk, 0.6 (0.7)
30. WERV 95.9-FM classic hits, 0.5 (0.4); WGRB 1390-AM gospel, 0.5 (0.5)

Here are Chicago radio’s top 10 morning shows from 6 to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday, as measured by Nielsen Audio:

1. WLIT 93.9-FM Melissa Forman
2. WVAZ 102.7-FM Steve Harvey
3. WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM Pat Cassidy
4. WBEZ 91.5-FM “Morning Edition”; “BBC Newshour”
5. WTMX 101.9-FM Eric Ferguson, Brian “Whip” Paruch and Violeta Podrumedic
6. WGN 720-AM Bob Sirott
7. WDRV 97.1-FM Brian Sherman and Steve Tingle
8. WOJO 105.1-FM Raúl Molinar, Carla Medrano and Andrés Maldonado
9. WSCR 670-AM Mike Mulligan and David Haugh
10. WRME 87.7-FM

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:

1. WLIT 93.9-FM Robin Rock
2. WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM Cisco Cotto
3. WVAZ 102.7-FM Bioncé Foxx
4. WDRV 97.1-FM Bob Stroud
5. WTMX 101.9-FM Nikki Chuminatto
6. WGN 720-AM John Williams, Anna Davlantes
7. WBEZ 91.5-FM “1A”; “Reset”; “Fresh Air”
8. WOJO 105.1-FM Rafael “El Primo Rafa” Bautista
9. WRME 87.7-FM
10. (tie) WLS 890-AM Chris Plante; Rush Limbaugh; WLS 94.7-FM Greg Brown

Here are Chicago radio’s top 10 afternoon shows from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, as measured by Nielsen Audio:

1. WLIT 93.9-FM Mick Lee
2. (tie) WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM Keith Johnson and Lisa Fielding; WVAZ 102.7-FM Joe Soto
4. WBEZ 91.5-FM “All Things Considered”; “Marketplace”
5. WTMX 101.9-FM Chris Petlak and Lisa Allen
6. (tie) WDRV 97.1-FM Steve Seaver and Janda Lane; WOJO 105.1-FM Sylvia del Valle
8. WKSC 103.5-FM Brady Broski
9. WLS 94.7-FM Erin Carman
10. (tie) WXRT 93.1-FM Marty Lennartz; WBMX 104.3-FM Sean “Sonic” Leckie

Here are Chicago radio’s top 10 evening shows from 7 p.m. to midnight Monday through Friday, as measured by Nielsen Audio:

1. WLIT 93.9-FM Delilah Rene
2. WVAZ 102.7-FM Keith Sweat
3. WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM Bob Conway; Andy Dahn
4. WFMT 98.7-FM
5. (tie) WBMX 104.3-FM; WGN 720-AM John Records Landecker, Chicago Blackhawks hockey
7. (tie) WBEZ 91.5-FM “Marketplace”; “The Daily”; “Fresh Air”; “1A”; “BBC World Service”; WKSC 103.5-FM Jordan “JRDN” Foster; WLS 94.7-FM Kid Kelly
10. (tie) WXRT 93.1-FM Ryan Arnold; WGCI 107.5-FM Zach Boog; WDRV 97.1-FM; WOJO 105.1-FM Jesus “Chuy” Gonzalez

(Copyright © 2021 The Nielsen Company.)