Arbitron delivers early landslide for Johnny B.

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January was no fluke for Jonathon Brandmeier. That’s because in February, ratings for the WGN-AM (720) morning personality were even higher.

Arbitron figures released Monday showed Brandmeier’s morning show up 91 percent from a year ago among listeners between 25 and 54, the key advertising demographic. From 5:30 to 9am weekdays, he ranked fifth with a 4.2 percent share  — up from the 2.2 share his predecessor, Greg Jarrett, had in February 2011. He also vastly outperformed the Tribune Co.-owned news/talk station overall, which ranked 20th with a 2.3 share of adults.

In January, Brandmeier’s first full month on WGN, his adult audience share was up 44 percent over January 2011.

Brandmeier made news of another kind Monday when he commandeered a 30-minute in-studio interview with Senator John McCain, who had showed up at Tribune Tower to appear on WGN-TV’s morning newscast to promote Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. A producer mistakenly directed McCain to the WGN radio studio, where Brandmeier seized the opportunity. “I had no idea he was going to stop by,” he later said. “Not the slightest.”

For the record, morning drive in Chicago continues to be dominated by Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart, now in their 16th year together on The Mix, Hubbard Radio’s hot adult-contemporary WTMX-FM (101.9). In February they led the market with a 7.7 percent share of adults.

At the other end of the Arbitron spectrum, Merlin Media’s all-news WIQI-FM (101.1) did what few believed possible: It declined in the ratings. In the 25-to-54 demo, FM News 101.1 dropped from 32nd place with a 0.7 share in January to 35th with a 0.5 share in February. Among listeners 12 and older, the station fell from 36th place with a 0.5 share in January to 45th place with a 0.3 share in February.

Chicago radio’s top 20 stations

Here are the top 20 stations among adults between 25 and 54 in February, followed by average audience share from 6am to midnight Monday through Sunday, according to Arbitron:

  • WDRV-FM (97.1) 5.2
  • WTMX-FM (101.9) 5.2
  • WVAZ-FM (102.7) 5.2
  • WXRT-FM (93.1) 4.5
  • WLUP-FM (97.9) 4.5
  • WKSC-FM (103.5) 4.4
  • WOJO-FM (105.1) 4.2
  • WUSN-FM (99.5) 4.0
  • WLS-FM (94.7) 3.9
  • WLIT-FM (93.9) 3.9
  • WGCI-FM (107.5) 3.7
  • WBBM-FM (96.3) 3.2
  • WBBM-AM (780)/WCFS-FM (105.9) (simulcast) 3.2
  • WLEY-FM (107.9) 3.1
  • WSCR-AM (670) 3.0
  • WMVP-AM (1000) 2.7
  • WPPN-FM (106.7) 2.6
  • WILV-FM (100.3) 2.5
  • WNUA-FM (95.5) 2.5
  • WGN-AM (720) 2.3


Here are the top 20 stations among listeners age 12 and older in February, followed by average audience share from 6am to midnight Monday through Sunday, according to Arbitron:

  • WGN-AM (720) 5.7
  • WBBM-AM (780)/WCFS-FM (105.9) (simulcast) 4.9
  • WVAZ-FM (102.7) 4.7
  • WLS-FM (94.7) 4.6
  • WTMX-FM (101.9) 4.5
  • WDRV-FM (97.1) 4.4
  • WOJO-FM (105.1) 4.0
  • WKSC-FM (103.5) 3.9
  • WLS-AM (890) 3.9
  • WUSN-FM (99.5) 3.9
  • WXRT-FM (93.1) 3.8
  • WLIT-FM (93.9) 3.6
  • WLUP-FM (97.9) 3.6
  • WGCI-FM (107.5) 3.4
  • WBBM-FM (96.3) 3.3
  • WLEY-FM (107.9) 2.3
  • WSCR-AM (670) 2.2
  • WNUA-FM (95.5) 2.2
  • WILV-FM (100.3) 2.2
  • WPPN-FM (106.7) 2.2

 


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