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WJFK takes hit in ratings after Stern's exit
[April 29, 2006]

WJFK takes hit in ratings after Stern's exit

(Washington Times, The (KRT) Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) Apr. 29--CBS Radio's WJFK-FM (106.7) lost a significant portion of its market share in the first ratings period since Howard Stern left for satellite radio, according to Arbitron Inc. ratings released yesterday.

"The Junkies" morning show on WJFK lost about one-third of Mr. Stern's audience from the previous ratings quarter, dropping the station from 10th to 16th in the 6 a.m.-10 a.m. period. Overall, WJFK dropped from 13th to 18th, and "The Don & Mike Show" in afternoon drive, which dropped from fifth to 15th, still finished first in many key male demographics, said Michael Hughes, general manager of CBS Radio in Washington.

"Coming off of Howard's best book last year, there was a decline of only 30 percent," and the numbers grew month over month during the winter quarter, Mr. Hughes said. "I'm real excited about the base for the Junkies."

Overall, Howard University's WHUR-FM (96.3) seized the top spot from all-news WTOP, which dropped into a second-place tie with adult urban station WMMJ-FM (Majic 102.3). Urban music station WPGC-FM (95.5), also a CBS property, dropped from second to fourth, while WKYS-FM (93.9) finished fifth.

The January-March rankings are based on the average quarter-hour share for listeners 12 and older, which measures the percentage of people in the D.C. area listening to a specific station in 15-minute periods throughout the day.

Mr. Hughes said WJFK's dropping five spots in overall listeners 12 and older was "of little concern to us or advertisers that target our audience," but acknowledged that the station has "work to do in middays."

Mr. Stern's replacements nationwide also suffered in the ratings, while his new employer, Sirius Satellite Radio, now has 4.5 million subscribers -- up from 3.3 million at the end of 2005 when it added more than 1.1 million in the fourth quarter alone.

The morning shows on Clear Channel Radio's WWDC-FM (101.1), WMZQ-FM (98.7) and WITH-FM (Hot 99.5) showed solid growth in that time slot in the 12 and older demographic.

Jim Farley, WTOP's vice president of news and programming, said the station had its fourth best quarter ever in the marketing-desirable 25-54 age demographic, which was promising because the quarter did not produce a major news event or winter storm, to attract more listeners.

WTOP was simulcast on 103.5 FM and 107.7 FM, and 1500 AM and 820 AM during most of the winter quarter; 1500 AM and 107.7 FM officially became Washington Post Radio on March 30, the first day of the spring book ratings period.

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