June 12, 2012

107.5 WBLS Post Solid Ratings in New York City ...But There's a Problem

Where did all of the African American Listeners in the New York City Metro Area Go? WBLS is now the only source for R&B and Classic Soul
Arbitron's PPM electronic ratings system has never reflected strong numbers for radio stations featuring Urban (Hip Hop and R&B) and Urban Adult Contemporary (Classic Soul) music however with 98.7 Kiss FM no longer on the air, WBLS was expected to do very well in the May 2012 ratings. Kiss FM left the airwaves at the end of April as ESPN Radio New York took over the 98.7 FM frequency.

But we still question the numbers that show WBLS rising from a 3.5 share of the audience to a 5.7. WBLS is now the number 4 ranked station in the tri-state metro area. In it's target demo of 25-54 adults, WBLS ranked as the number 3 station in New York City just behind Lite FM and Z100. WBLS cume (cumulative audience) went from 1.86 million to 2.4 million listeners according to Arbitron.

So was wrong with the numbers??? Well in April the former 98.7 Kiss FM posted ratings of 4.0, while WBLS' saw a 3.5 in April. So naturally one would expect the former Kiss FM listeners would gravitate over to WBLS. Former Kiss FM hosts Shaila and Lenny Green are now on 'BLS. Now if you add that up...(Do the math!) the station should be somewhere in the neighborhood of at least a 7.0. So unless a whole lot of African American listeners became sports talk fans and kept their radio dial set on the new ESPN Radio 98.7 FM, the numbers don't make sense. But PPM is the flawed ratings system that the radio industry uses. And to think hirings, firings, bonuses, and advertising rates are based on this rating system.

Maybe PPM is not as bad as the boxing decision of the Manny Pacquiao Timothy Bradley fight last Saturday night, but many have argued for years since it has been put into place, that it is.

Despite what you see in the photo (the unofficial scorecard from the HBO commentator and ex-boxing judge Harold Lederman), Bradley was declared the winner of the match by a split decision.

1 comment:

  1. you are forgetting that hot 97 and power 105 takes a large chunk of what could of been wbls's whole pie share, yes nyc has the largest population of black folk anywhere in the usa, but u are also forgetting other keys to the situation that effects wbls's pie share and it's simple. for the last 18 years black radio became a format that goes by a 2 tier play list 1 for the younger crowd and 1 for the older crowd your share will be split, no one right now will come into nyc to challenge wbls because the consensus is simple let wbls be the large pie black station, what ppm and fragmented black musical radio formats have done is help form an industry wide consensus today and that is 1 is enough of course that also creates--> marginalizing a group that has a large enough population to support many stations in nyc, it's all about challenging the system and not just playing in it and winding up being played. See we haven't progressed we are regressing, but we don't wanna call it that, 1982 30 years ago at this exact same time, nyc radio's fm band was dominated by 3 stations and they weren't top 40 because z100 didn't come on until 1983 the stations that dominated the musical landscape on nyc's fm band were then upstart wrks fm, wbls fm, and wktu fm today's corporate radio industry would never have such a senario such as that play out today in nyc.


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