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Syracuse Ratings: News/Talk Battle

SYRACUSE — A quick glance at the latest audience estimates released by Eastlan Ratings would lead one to believe that Oswego-based NPR affiliate WRVO has bragging rights as the #1 station in Syracuse. But look a little deeper and it appears Clear Channel’s WSYR has maintained its spot at the top of the market, when you add the ratings for 570AM and 106.9FM together.

The way Eastlan has it listed, WSYR(AM) garnered an 8.9 rating among all listeners age 12+, initially leading one to believe the station dropped to third place. But WSYR-FM appears separately, further down the list, with a 1.8 rating. Combined, their 10.7 puts “FM Newsradio 106.9 and 570 WSYR” half-a-point in front of WRVO and Syracuse-based simulcast WRVD. Although simulcasts are usually combined (as WRVO and WRVD were), Eastlan’s decision to list the AM and FM sides separately provides insight into how WSYR’s victory comes at the expense of other Clear Channel properties.

In order to make room for WSYR to expand onto the FM dial in January, Clear Channel moved urban-formatted Power 106.9 (formerly WPHR) to the AM band, displacing the former SportsRadio 620 (WHEN). In the fall 2010 book, Eastlan said Power 106.9 had a 3.0 rating and SportsRadio 620 had a 1.8 rating. For the Spring 2011 book, Power 620 garnered only a 1.3 rating, a decline from both the urban format’s former FM frequency and the AM station’s former affiliation with Fox Sports Radio.

After combining the two WSYR lines, Clear Channel’s country B104.7 (WBBS) ranks third, with an 8.9 representing its lowest book out of the last four to be released by Eastlan.

Rounding out the top five, Clear Channel rhythmic CHR Hot 107.9 (WWHT) and Citadel CHR 93Q (WNTQ) continue their neck-and-neck battle, posting a 6.7 and a 6.4, respectively. This is the third Eastlan book in a row where the two similarly-formatted stations have had less than half a point separating them.

Visit our Syracuse Eastlan Ratings Page for the full list of ratings released this week by Eastlan. The Spring 2011 survey was conducted between March 31 and May 25. The Fall 2011 survey period will run from September 15 to November 9.

It is worth noting that the estimates provided for media publication represent the overall average of all respondents age 12+, for all 7 days of the week, 6am to midnight. As a result, the numbers here may not accurately represent any specific station’s performance in targeting specific demographic segments of the overall audience. Breakdowns for specific demographics, days of the week, timeslots, etc. are only provided to subscribers.

What About Arbitron?

Arbitron’s ratings estimates for its own Spring 2011 ratings period (which differs from the schedule Eastlan uses) may be different, but we won’t have the chance to compare; Arbitron once again has declared Syracuse a “subscriber only” market; even those “general” P12+ numbers aren’t being released to the general public.

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