WFAN radio in New York continues to lose listeners in the Post-Mad Dog Russo Era

Published on: 3rd June, 2009

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WFAN radio in New York continues to lose listeners in the Post-Mad Dog Russo Era  | read this item

Just in case you were wondering how WFAN Sports Radio in New York was doing in the Arbitron radio ratings in 2009, here’s a quick breakdown of the most recent results, covering the period from January 2009 through March 2009:

Jan      Feb     Mar

19 WFAN-AM All Sports 3.0 2.7 2.1
20t WNYC-FM News Talk Information 1.2 1.4 1.6
20t WCAA-FM Latino Urban 1.7 1.7 1.6
22 WXRK-FM Pop Contemporary Hit Radio 1.5 1.5 1.4
23 WRXP-FM Album Adult Alternative 1.1 1.1 1.3
24 WLIB-AM Gospel 1.3 1.0 1.2
25t WNYC-AM News Talk Information 1.0 0.9 1.1
25t WKJY-FM Adult Contemporary 1.1 1.1 1.1
25t WBLI-FM Pop Contemporary Hit Radio 1.0 1.0 1.1
25t WALK-FM Adult Contemporary 1.2 1.1 1.1
25t WADO-AM Spanish News/Talk 1.0 1.2 1.1
30 WKXW-FM Talk/Personality 1.1 1.0 1.0
31 WEPN-AM All Sports 1.1 1.1 0.9

In bold, above are the ratings for the two New York-based sports talk stations, The Fan and WEPN, the ESPN affiliate. As you can see, the powerhouse that has been WFAN is corroding, having lost nearly a third of its overall audience in just two months, going from a 3.0 share of the listening market to a 2.1 rating. This is being reflected in far fewer advertisers coming aboard and far less revenue for the station. Rumors are flying around this town that the just-signed five year contract the station entered into with Mike Francesa, it’s afternoon drive time host, is being discussed in the stations’ executive offices as too heavy a weight for the station to bare for the next several years. Discussions are underway to try to extricate themselves from the deal or change the financial elements of the contract. If Francesa refuses to change the payment structure, the FAN may be forced to layoff several other on-air personalities to save the big bucks for their drive-time dude.

In contrast, WEPN has fallen but at a much lower percentage of their previous numbers, going from a 1.1 in January to a 0.9 rating, losing two tenths of a percent.

Still, the FAN retains its position as the dominant sports talk station in New York, just a little less so than it used to be.

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