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Jul 18 2007

Terry Hazlett breaks them down


The most recent Pittsburgh radio ratings trends, that is. The numbers are now in for “spring phase 2,” covering the month of May, and the Observer-Reporter‘s intrepid radio-TV columnist thinks the bloom is well and finally off the rose at “Bob FM” WRRK-FM (96.9), licensed to Braddock.

“For about a year, it was the talk of the town. It had a playlist of thousands of songs. It would intentionally follow Madonna with Lynyrd Skynyrd or seque from the Backstreet Boys to Led Zeppelin. It had very little interference from disc jockeys,” Hazlett says. “But eventually, it tightened its playlist — and listeners noticed. Its first-person drop-in lines (‘Bob is going out to buy some more CDs,’) became annoying. And people began noticing there wasn’t much of a Pittsburgh feel to the station.”

Hazlett thinks the decision by “3-W-S” WWSW-FM (94.5) to add more ’70s and ’80s songs has won the station back some disaffected Bob listeners and reversed its recent ratings slide: “Would someone who liked the Beach Boys also listen to Huey Lewis? Turned out the answer was yes.”

You can look at the ratings trends for ages 12-and-up at Radio & Recordswebsite. Anyone looking for big surprises will be disappointed; heritage rocker WDVE-FM (102.5) retains its death-grip on first place among all listeners, with news-talk KDKA (1020) in second and country “Y-108” WDSY-FM (107.9) in third. WWSW bounces up to fourth place, while “FM NewsTalk” WPGB-FM (104.7) drops to fifth.

The sample sizes for these ratings are small, so it’s probably too soon to evaluate what impact, if any, 93.7’s format switch from “K-Rock” to all-talk “The Man Station” had; but there’s no appreciable change so far.