Washington Radio’s Day of Reckoning

Today’s the day Arbitron will issue ratings numbers for Washington D.C. radio listening during the Spring survey period (March 30 – June 21). It’s arguably the most important survey period of the year because national ad agencies make the majority of their annual buys based on these Spring ratings.

And there’s plenty riding on the results this time. Bonneville will be tracking audience shares following its frequency shift of WTOP and WGMS and its new Washington Post Radio. Three ABC Radio stations (WMAL, WRQX and WJZW) are in the process of being sold (subject to regulatory approval), and the soon-to-be new owner (Citadel) may be thinking of spinning a station or two off – possibly to Dan Snyder’s new Red Zebra (ESPN & Redskins) broadcast unit. Clear Channel’s WBIG has morphed from oldies to classic rock. All these changes are subject to the love and acceptance of Washington radio listeners. We’ll have more to say once we’ve had a peek at these ratings.