WMXD tops radio ratings
Syndicated Steve Harvey leads charge
October 18, 2006
BY JOHN SMYNTEK
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
Clear Channel-owned WMXD-FM, led by syndicated morning star Steve Harvey and syndicated afternoon personality Michael Baisden, again assumed the overall Detroit radio listenership throne Tuesday in the quarterly Arbitron ratings report.
Comic Harvey is posing the biggest threat ever to WRIF-FM morning kings Drew Lane and Mike Clark. Among all listeners 12 and older, Harvey scored a 9.4, up a rousing 3.1 points from the past quarter. The rough-talking Lane and Clark, scored an 8.0. In the advertiser-important age 25-54 category, Harvey moved to the No. 2 slot with a 10.8 mark, trailing only WRIF's 11.7 score -- which was down from a 13.9 the previous quarter.
Harvey's radio ascendance is one of the quickest in Detroit radio history. He replaced Tom Joyner (who moved to Radio One's WDTK-FM) in September '05. He vanquished Joyner in the ratings and now becomes the first syndicated show in the modern radio era to lead the morning race among all listeners.
Baisden is No. 1 among all listeners in the 3-7 p.m. weekday time slot with a 5.8, besting WKQI's Beau (5.4). In the 25-54 race, Baisden beat WKRK talkers Deminski & Doyle 6.8 to 5.3.
The other big story was not unexpected: Last quarter's No. 1 station, country WYCD-FM, tumbled to 10th place as more of its audience was siphoned off by new country station WDTW. WDTW moved upward from a 1.9% slice of the audience last summer as a rock hits station to a 2.7 mark as a country player.
Earlier this year, Clear Channel-owned WDTW tried a classic ploy: splitting the listenership of a ratings leader with a monopoly format. It mimics the WMGC move to get Jim Harper five years ago to split WNIC's soft rock audience -- then No. 1 in ratings and ad revenue.
Tiger play-by-play carrier WXYT scored a 6.3 mark from 7 p.m.-midnight weekdays to help the sports talk station stay in the top 20 overall for two consecutive quarters -- something it has rarely done since it went whole hog for sports talk and play. Its CBS-owned sister, all-news WWJ-AM, slid to a tie for seventh among all listeners. That's its poorest ranking in the past five quarters.
Other morning stars among all listeners, following Drew & Mike: WJR's Paul W. Smith, with 7.2% of Detroit's ears; WWJ's Jasina & Donovan, with a 6.8: WOMC's Dick Purtan, with a 5.0; and WMGC's Jim Harper, with a 4.8. Morning hierarchy in the 25-54 group, after Drew & Mike and Harvey: WWJ's Jasina & Donovan, with a 5.3; WKQI's Mojo in the Morning, with a 5.0; and Harper, with a 4.9.
JOHN SMYNTEK can be reached at 313-222-5169 and firstname.lastname@example.org