WPOC-FM rides airwaves to top of winter rating

April 26, 1993|By Steve McKerrow | Steve McKerrow,Staff Writer

Country music radio station WPOC-FM (93.1) moved back into first place in Arbitron's winter ratings, surpassing news/talk station WBAL-AM (1090).

WPOC, which ranked behind WBAL in the fall ratings, jumped from a 7.5 to an 8.2 audience share among listeners 12 and older. WBAL, whose strongest ratings are linked to the Baltimore Orioles schedule, held steady at a 7.7 share. (The share is the percentage of all listeners tuned to a particular station in a given quarter-hour.)

WPOC held first place in the winter 1992 ratings, too. In the most recent report, which covers the period Jan. 7 to March 31, it also ranked first among listeners in the 25-54 age group for the fourth time in five rating periods.

Robert Moody, general manager of WPOC, said he was "a little surprised" by his station's ranking in the 12-and-older category because morning personality Laurie DeYoung had been on maternity leave for most of March. He said he also had expected WBAL to pick up listeners with the beginning of spring training games and its heavy coverage of the March blizzard.

"I think this says a lot about the job that Terry Norman did filling in for Laurie and the way our news department scrambled the troops to cover the blizzard," Mr. Moody said.

The most dramatic advance in the winter ratings was made by news/talk station WCBM-AM (680). The conservative station cracked the top 10, moving from a 3.2 share in the fall to a 5.1, good for seventh place.

QA The improvement, said station spokesman Brian Costantini, was driven by the afternoon programming, with syndicated host Rush Limbaugh followed by local host Tom Marr.

In addition to gaining listeners through a promotional push that began in January, Mr. Costantini said, the station evidently has served as an outlet for people dissatisfied with the arrival in Washington of a new Democratic administration.

Mr. Limbaugh, who also has a syndicated late-night television show (at 1:30 a.m. weeknights on WMAR-Channel 2), has been a leading national critic of the Clinton administration.

TOP 10 STATIONS

The following are the Arbitron rankings and audience share for listeners 12 and older for Baltimore's top 10 radio stations:

8.Station .. ... ... ..Fall .. ... ... .Winter

... ... ... ... ... .1992 .. ... ... .1993

1 WPOC-FM (93.1) .. .7.5 .. ... ... ..8.2

2 WBAL-AM (1090) .. .7.7 .. .. .. ... 7.7

3 WLIF-FM (101.9) .. 7.1 .. .. .. . . 7.2

4 WXYV-FM (102.7) ...6.3 .. ... ... . 6.7

5 WWMX-FM (106.5) .. 5.5 .. ... ... ..5.3

6 WQSR-FM (105.7) .. 5.7 .. .. ... ...5.2

7 WCBM-AM (680) .. ..3.2 .. ... ... ..5.1

8 (t) WERQ-FM (92.3) 4.9 .. ... ... ..4.0

(t) WIYY-FM (97.9) ..5.8 .. ... .... .4.0

WHFS-FM (99.1) .. 3.4 .. .. .. .. .3.4

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