CBS Radio Sees Ratings Share Surge in ’09

Following format changes at seven radio stations in the top 10 markets, CBS Radio saw its ratings share surge 10 percent last year. In addition, CBS Radio finished the year as the No. 1 radio cluster in five of the top 10 markets, including New York, Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia and Boston. In Chicago alone, CBS Radio increased its average quarter-hour share by 11 percent.

CBS Radio’s ratings results were earned the old fashioned way: by focusing on programming. The group made a number of significant changes in the top 10 markets including the launch of Top 40 stations in Los Angeles, New York and Detroit, challenging the current ratings leader. In Washington, D.C., CBS Radio dumped its Adult Alternative format for its “Fresh” brand of Adult Contemporary and turned Talk WJFK-FM into All Sports.
CBS also launched a Sports station in Boston, replacing an aging Rock brand. In Dallas, CBS replaced a Rhythmic Adult Contemporary format with Spanish.

For example, ratings for AMP Radio in Los Angeles jumped 120 percent. To build on the momentum, CBS pulled out its checkbook and signed Carson Daly to host mornings.
On the other coast, 92.3 NOW’s ratings are up 50 percent, the station’s highest ratings performance since Fall 2005. That station is also getting a new morning host with the debut of Nick Cannon on Jan. 19.

As a Spanish formatted station, KMVK-FM grew its share by more than 50 percent. Ratings for the new WBZ-FM, the market’s first FM Sports Talk station, are up 41 percent over its previous Rock format.

CBS’ ratings analysis, released Tuesday (Jan. 5) was based on Arbitron portable people meter ratings for persons 12 between Dec. 2009 and Dec. 2008. Boston comparisons were based on PPM ratings for Dec. 2009 and Fall Diary 2008.