WERQ-FM still dominates

Radio and Television

Ratings: The urban contemporary station is victorious in the battle to keep the loyalty of area listeners.

April 28, 1999|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF

Despite a morning-show shake-up that might suggest otherwise, WERQ-FM (92.3) and its urban contemporary format remain firmly atop Baltimore's ratings heap, more than 12,000 listeners ahead of the competition.

Just two weeks after the station fired long-time second-banana Tony Boston from its morning show, Arbitron ratings for the first three months of 1999 place 92-Q 3.5 ratings points ahead of second-place WPOC-FM (93.1). Each point represents about 3,600 listeners in an average quarter-hour.

Auguring even better for WERQ's parent company, Radio One, is the strong fourth-place finish of sister-station WWIN-FM (95.9), up from sixth place for the last quarter of 1998.

WERQ's morning show, which since March 1 has paired Boston with newcomer Brian Carter, is top-rated in its time slot among listeners 12 and over (with about 1,000 more listeners in an average quarter-hour than second-place WBAL-AM) and finished second among listeners 25-54 (about 1,300 listeners behind top-rated WQSR-FM).

"We are very, very pleased with the consistency of 92-Q staying No. 1," said General Manager Pam Somers, whose station topped the overall ratings for the sixth straight quarter. "Obviously, we owe this to the listeners."

Overall, ratings for the first quarter of 1999 closely reflected those for the last quarter of 1998. None of the top 10 stations improved their ratings share by more than three-tenths of a point. Among those whose listenership declined, the only dramatic change was for WWMX-FM (106.5), which dropped 1.7 points and fell from third to eighth place.

For all you ratings groupies out there, here's the whole truth, the Arbitron ratings and audience share for listeners 12 and older for Baltimore's top 10 radio stations.

1. WERQ-FM (92.3), 9.7

2. WPOC-FM (93.1), 6.2

3. WBAL-AM (1090), 5.8

4. WWIN-FM (95.9), 5.7

5. WQSR-FM (105.7), 5.7

6. WLIF-FM (101.9), 4.9

7. WIYY-FM (97.9), 4.4

8. WWMX-FM (106.5), 4.3

9. WXYV-FM (102.7), 3.8

10. WCAO-AM (600), 3.6

Examining the Y2K bug

Folks who haven't yet figured how much they should worry about the Y2K bug may want to check out a town hall meeting scheduled for May 7 at Morgan State University that will be broadcast live on WEAA-FM (88.9).

"Y2K: Myths, Realities and Solutions" will try to separate fact from fiction when it comes to the computer crisis that may occur when clocks roll over to Jan. 1, 2000. The panel discussion will be moderated by WEAA's David Brown, Craig Thompson and Sandi Mallory, and will include Elliott Schlanger, of the city's Information Technology Board; William Campbell, of the state Emergency Management Agency; and Jessica Brown, of BGE.

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Alice Parham Ballroom of Morgan's McKeldin Center.

WEAA will also be discussing the Y2K problem during its "two-way talk programming," May 2-6. The programs air 6 p.m.-midnight Sundays and 7 p.m.-9 p.m. weekdays.

Kids choose the winners

Kids get their pop-culture say Saturday night, as Nickelodeon broadcasts its 12th annual Kids' Choice Awards, live from UCLA's Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles.

Rosie O'Donnell will once again serve as host. Scheduled performers include 'N Sync, TLC and Brittney Spears, while presenters are Drew Barrymore, Tara Lipinski, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, David Arquette, David Spade, Jessica Biel and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos.

Among the awards to be presented: favorite movie ("A Bug's Life," "Dr. Dolittle," "The Rugrats Movie" or "The Waterboy"), favorite TV show ("All That," "Boy Meets World," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" or "7th Heaven"), favorite sports team (Chicago Bulls, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos or New York Yankees) and favorite song (Aliyah, "Are You That Somebody?"; Backstreet Boys, "Everybody"; Will Smith, "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It"; or Will Smith, "Miami").

The show begins at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Cable lineup changing

Comcast cable customers in Baltimore County, remember: You've got a new cable lineup beginning at 6 a.m. Saturday. If you get confused, don't panic: just check The Sun's daily TV grids or the Television book you received with Sunday's paper.

TV's top shows

Here are last week's top TV shows, according to A. C. Nielsen Co. figures:


1 Friends NBC 14.4

2 20/20-Wednesday ABC 12.4

3 Frasier NBC 12.2

4 (tie) Touched by an Angel CBS 12.2

5 60 Minutes CBS 12.1

6 Will & Grace NBC 12.0

7 Law and Order NBC 11.8

8 Dateline, Friday NBC 11.7

9 Dateline, Wednesday NBC 11.6

10 48 Hours CBS 11.0

The rating is the percentage of homes equipped with a TV in use.

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