'Thank God I'm a Country Station,' croons top-rated WPOC-FM

AIR CHECK

July 22, 1995|By Steve McKerrow | Steve McKerrow,Sun Staff Writer

The country music of WPOC-FM (93.1) edged out the news, talk and Orioles baseball of WBAL-AM (1090) in the spring quarter radio ratings, and officials at both stations say the long baseball players' strike may have been a factor.

The Arbitron audience figures for all listeners 12 and older gave WPOC the narrowest of victories, 0.1 "share" for the months of April through June. (One share represents about 3,600 listeners in an average quarter-hour.)

The ranking reverses the pattern of recent years in which WBAL reigned strongly in first place during the baseball season because of its Orioles games. The ratings also mean WPOC has ranked consistently No. 1 for a full year. WBAL slipped out of first in the summer quarter last year, after the baseball strike brought games to a halt.

"I think this country thing is starting to catch on," joked Bob Moody, WPOC program director, in reaction to the ratings yesterday.

He said the strike-delayed baseball season and disaffection of fans may have changed listening patterns, but "it's hard to tell for sure" what role these factors played.

He said WPOC has established itself with a stable cast of voices and has won recognition as a top station in the country music format in the United States. The station is again among five finalists for large-market station of the year in the annual County Music Association Awards, he said, and midday personality Teri Norman is among five finalists for large-market personality of the year.

At WBAL, "The ratings did not reflect the same kind of increase that we usually get from Orioles baseball," acknowledged Jeff Beauchamp, WBAL vice president and station manager.

The major league season didn't begin until May 1, and that may explain WBAL's lower numbers.

"Is it because fewer people are listening or because there were fewer games? . . . If we had played April ball, there's no doubt in my mind that we'd be number one," he said.

Talk show notes

* "The Brian Wilson Show" left the air at WCBM-AM (680) this week.

The host resigned after Monday's 4 p.m-7 p.m. broadcast, confirmed both Mr. Wilson and station manager Sean Casey yesterday.

But Mr. Wilson said he is in conversation with another Baltimore station and expects to return to the air soon.

RADIO RATINGS

Here are the spring Arbitron rankings and audience share for listeners 12 and older for Baltimore's top 10 radio stations.

Rank Station ... ... ... Winter ... ... Spring

1 WPOC-FM ... .. ... ... 8.1 .. ... ... 8.5

2 WBAL-AM ... .. ... ... 7.4 .. ... ... 8.4

3 WLIF-FM ... .. ... ... 6.2 .. ... ... 6.8

4 WWMX-FM ... .. ... ... 5.6 .. ... ... 5.6

5 WQSR-FM ... .. ... ... 5.5 .. ... ... 5.3

6 WERQ-FM ... .. ... ... 5.5 .. ... ... 5.1

7 *WHFS-FM .. .. ... ... 3.4 .. ... ... 4.9

7 *WXYV-FM .. .. ... ... 6.1 .. ... ... 4.9

9 WOCT-FM ... .. ... ... 3.6 .. ... ... 4.0

10 WIYY-FM .. .. ... ... 4.0 .. ... ... 3.9

Each share represents about 3,600 listeners in an average quarter hour. An asterisk (*) denotes a tie.

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