JAN 11th UPDATE — Arbitron has revised its “topline” ratings to include Townsquare Media’s four stations. As a result, we have revised our chart, and we have posted a new story to recap the ratings, in light of the new information. The story which follows was posted a few days earlier, when the original “topline” data only included stations owned by Roser Communications Network.
UTICA-ROME — Following yesterday’s coverage of the latest Arbitron radio ratings from Syracuse, we were hoping to analyze the Utica-Rome market’s latest numbers today. But there isn’t much to see. For quite some time, Arbitron has allowed the general public to see ratings only for stations which subscribe to its full report… and for the Fall 2012 book, released this week, only one cluster appears on the public chart.
That lone subscribing cluster is the locally-owned Roser Communications Network. As a result, the latest list only goes three stations deep. While the absence of stations owned by Galaxy Communications, Leatherstocking Media Group or Arjuna Broadcasting is nothing new, there is one very notable change this time around. Connecticut-based Townsquare Media, the market’s only corporate player, has pulled out. Townsquare’s four stations — which usually hold at least the top two spots, and sometimes the top three — no longer appear on Arbitron’s list of subscribing stations for the market.
It appears to be a market-specific change, rather than companywide, as Townsquare stations still appear on the public charts for other upstate New York markets like Buffalo and Albany-Schenectady-Troy.
Unless you happen to subscribe to the full book (read: you work at Roser or a subscribing advertising agency) there’s no telling whether country Big Frog 104 (WFRG) managed to maintain its usual dominance over the market, or if it may have been unseated by AC sister Lite 98.7 (WLZW), which has been known to take the top spot from time to time. While it’s safe to assume the two stations led the pack either way, it’s usually not been so easy to predict how the latest book treated classic hits Oldiez 96.1 (WODZ) or news/talk WIBX 950.
On the bright side, the Fall 2012 survey brings good news for the three Roser brands which appear on the public list. The CHR simulcast of Kiss-FM (WSKS/WSKU) gained more than a full point spring-to-fall, posting a 7.0. The two Bug Country stations (WBGK/WBUG) also clocked a gain, from a 2.5 in the spring, to a 3.3 in the fall. And it appears listeners followed along as Roser moved WUTQ-FM from two AM stations and an FM translator to a lone “full” FM signal, as the hybrid news/talk/music station posts a 1.7 for the fall, a slight increase from the spring, and basically flat from the same ratings period a year earlier.
Our Utica-Rome Arbitron ratings page has the latest chart, which shows how the three aforementioned Roser stations did during the Fall 2012 book, along with the numbers we have from stations that were previously released in the four previous books. Also notably absent from the chart this time — the handful of Clear Channel stations from Syracuse which typically enjoy some “spillover” into the western half of the Utica-Rome market.
In the past, the competing Eastlan Ratings service shared its Persons 12+ report for all stations in the market, including non-subscribers and non-commercial stations. Although Eastlan also surveys the market spring and fall, it uses a different schedule than Arbitron, and it employs different methodologies in determining audience size estimates. The “topline” data from Eastlan’s Spring 2012 report was not released to the general public, and it’s not yet known if the company will continue to hold the data, or release it for the Fall 2012 report. (We hope to know soon.)