Today: Don’t Let the Generic (Sports) Radio Ratings Numbers Fool You

Anybody can access and look at at Arbitron’s 6-plus radio ratings online…

Do a Google search – they’re all right there.

And they’re the only ratings widely available to the general public for a reason. To provide a broad, generalized view of local radio rankings, generate media attention and chit-chat and help keep Arbitron’s name in the game.

That said, everybody in the biz knows that the 6-plus numbers are the least important of all the ratings.

To that end, Arbitron requires radio stations to pay big bucks to access to the critically important ratings that provide the far more specific listener information that advertisers require.

It’s really that simple.

Now let’s take a look at the rivalry between sports radio powerhouse WHB and up-and-comer 610 Sports

Starting with May’s Top 10 stations in male listeners, 25 to 54, Monday thru Sunday, 6 a.m. to midnight.

1)  KCFX FM with a 10.2 share

2)  The Rock at a 9.3 share

3)  WHB with a 6.8 share

4)  610 Sports at a 6.6 share

5)  The Buzz with a 6.3 share

6)  Funny 102.5 FM with a 5.3 share

7)  Q104 FM at a 5.1 share

8)  The Vibe with a 4.7 share

9)  KMBZ AM & FM with a 4.5 share

10) Mix 93.3 FM with a 3.6 share

While the above demo is important to stations like WHB, 610 Sports and KMBZ, for example, it’s of far less importance to Mix 93.3 FM which targets and kicks butt in women listeners.

Now let’s take a closer look, at WHB’s Kevin Kietzman versus 610’s Nick Wright.

In adults 25 to 54, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, Kietzman’s 5.9 share ranked him No. 5 to Wright’s 4.5 share  at No. 9.

And in men 25 to 54 Kietzman was No. 2 with a 10.2 share to Wright’s 7.1 share at No. 4.

However, three afternoon baseball games and four night games that started early in May – adding 16 hours of Royals to Wright’s timeslot – likely explains in part his ratings climb to the 7.1 share.

In other words, forget the chirping about 610 passing WHB because it runs too many ads.

In fact, 90 percent of the WHB”s revenues are generated Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. And because WHB doesn‘t carry Royals games at night and on weekends, the 6-plus, seven day ratings present a skewed picture.

Kietzman is still beating Wright in the key audience demos and WHB’s morning show and Soren Petro‘s midday show are nearly double that of 610’s shows when measured head-to-head.

All that said, clearly the ressurgence of the Royals – however mild that’s been to date – is driving 610’s broader ratings. For example, 70 percent of WHB’s listeners also listen to 610. Whereas only 50 percent of 610’s listeners listen to WHB.

Further evidencing that the Royals are having an impact. Albeit mostly at night and on weekends. But not in the critical weekday timeslots and money demos.

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30 Responses to Today: Don’t Let the Generic (Sports) Radio Ratings Numbers Fool You

  1. xxMillerTimexx says:

    I don’t know what to think
    Nick Wright is not very good at what he does. I don’t care how much smoke you blow up my ass. But, I am finding myself switching over to him. When KK utters “The racin’ boys” I am out, same with the BBQ hr, the cookie/golf guy, or anytime that get on a topic that is so specific that only a handful can relate to. I can tell you this, 70% of the listeners do not give a rats ass about KU recruiting violations, or MU’s whatever. Spend time on it but Jesus, you can only beat a dead horse so much. I know Nick does the same crap but it is different crap.

  2. kansas karl says:

    how about some real numbers
    Share? only radio goons care about share. Show the rating points, the real numbers. The rest of the ad world looks at rating points, the per cent of the actual population listening to a station. Share never comes into play in time buying, either the cost per rating point is there or not, bought or not. And since WHB does not “buy” the book, they can’t use it.

  3. Grant Hinkle says:

    Wright has overtaken Kietzman for my taste
    Kietzman surrounds himself with too many yes-man. The entire staff is afraid to stand up to any of his opinions and that has hurt the conversation on 810. I’ve been listening to Wright way more because his supporting staff doesn’t seem afraid to stand-up and challenge any of his opinions.

    Congrats to Nick Wright and 610 Sports.

  4. Chet Gristler says:

    Nick is clueless – it’s like listening to an arrogant cousin
    know-it-all that actually doesn’t know squat and stutters when he gets caught in his own puffery. Real sports fans laugh at these idiotic comments about Nick Wright is this and that. If he’s skimming anyone off of 810 it’s the clowns, posers and wannabes, not the real sports fans. Of course, advertisers don’t care either way – they just want people with money.

    Millertime, 70% of the listeners don’t care about KU or MU?? LOL — your an idiot – go back to Nebraska.

    Grant Hinkle, Nick Wright’s “co-hosts” don’t mind standing up to him because his opinions have absolutely no substance. The guy does no research, and has anything but encyclopedic knowledge of any major sport. In other words, my 10 year nephew could and would stand up to Wright’s flimsy arguments.

    I crack up every time Hearne posts these numbers as if there is actually some kind of legit competition between 810 and 610 in any time slot, but in particular the afternoon slot. It’s so blatently obvious that these posts by Hearne are an off-handed attempt to drive people to listen to Wright as payback for the times Nick’s daddy bailed out Hearne back in the day. Wizard’s First Rule.

  5. harley says:

    stfu hearne
    this is the most incorrect miscombobulation of stats I ‘ve ever seen.
    Since when can a gossip columnist who hangs out in jazz clubs become an expert
    in media ratings? since when can you even comee close to being able to evaluate
    the ratings of media on the part of a company who does not even provide a margin
    of error.
    Again…you are out of your league. You are in no way capable of even providing a
    3rd grade evaluation of the ratings.
    As I have mentioned before…either hire and pay people who understand the
    complex nature of these ratings who can evaluate them in terms that normal
    people can understand or stick to what you know best…bashing the star and it
    employees and writing about old jazz singers. Otherwise just stop showing your
    This jumbo mumbo about ratings makes as much sense as your other attempts
    at trying to figure out whats happening in kc.
    Stop….this is pure b.s. that is not even valid from the perspective of an expert in
    the way these rating go.
    Someone is feeding you bad information…and remember bad info in…bad info out.
    Go back to writing about office squirrels and concerts…stay away from anything technical
    or complicated.

  6. kansas karl says:

    harley stfu
    You show your ignorance every time a digit hits a key, Hearne is spot on. There is no mystery to the ratings, never has been, I started with an ARB slide rule to figure out reach and frequencies. Any person using them in the real world understands how to measure the height of a tree with just a thumb.

  7. harley says:

    610 whb is the most listened to sports talk radio station in kansas city history!
    250,000 people (age doesn’t matter here)……more people listen to 610 than any
    other sports talk radio station in kc history (whb peaked at 227,000)
    and as long as the royals continue to play better ball than your “expert” predicted
    and as long as there are no fottball stories….this will continue….

  8. Hearne Christopher says:

    Isn’t Nick’s dad some sort of labor leader in KCMO? Bailed me out of what – the time my union card expired by accident?

  9. missouri harley says:

    great news:
    you ku grads can judge the size of a tree with the use of your thumb. Great…because it seems
    the owners of every mom and pop landscaping company is this town is a graduate of KU.
    so thats good…because it shows how much a diploma from that low life university if worth
    in the real world.
    Now….can you figure out hearnes new math teaser without using your finger? probably not!

  10. Hearne Christopher says:

    Take two really strong sleeping pills and call me in the morning, H Man. And I’ll try and talk you down from the ledge.

  11. Hearne Christopher says:

    Well for a bored guy, it sure did elicit plenty of hot air out of you

  12. Hearne Christopher says:

    Don’t make me make those math teasers harder!

  13. kansas karl says:

    Real or not
    A metaphor is a literary figure of speech that uses an image, story or tangible thing to represent a less tangible thing or some intangible quality or idea.

    Since at best the old ratings using diaries were intangible, and the ratings from ARB, that are now actual listening by those chosen and willing to wear the recording device, are tangible. The idea of using them as an inaccurate method of ranking listening to local radio stations is comparable to using the old boy scout method of using a thumb to measure the height of a tree. They both get close. And that is all you can rely on the ratings for, is to get close. The declaration of WHB having the largest audience is flat wrong, Super Fan Ed Beiler, on KCMO 810am 3-6p, in the late 80’s out cumed, old rating system, 610 by close to 50,000 folks. At one point he had a 12 share, 18+ and 25 share in demo 25-54 men. I have the books, plural.

  14. chuck says:

    Grag Hall has an excellent take on the
    610 – 810 te a tete, more specifically, Wright vs KK.

    Not trying to plug another web site, but, it is good.

  15. Craig Glazer says:

    Wright is simply the young vs. old
    Its not an age thing, its an attitude thing. Wright is the youth movement KK and Soren are the old guys. They act and sound tired and older than they even are. Wright has energy and so does his crew. They are upbeat and 810 is wo is me, except for K-State and Golf. I do have to admit that Soren has most of his numbers down. He does have a wealth of knowledge behind his takes. Nick has some, but mostly goes from how he feels about things. I like that. As we know I am older but come across to the younger audience with voice, content and attitude. Thats what works best. 610 wins in time due to just that. Hey its cool to have two good sports talk stations in town, NOW IF WE ONLY HAD ONE GOOD PRO TEAM TO TALK ABOUT.

  16. shecky says:

    Can you clarify, Hearne?
    If I’m reading this correctly, you’re saying that at least part of Wright’s 25-54 male share gain is driven by Royals games. A few weeks ago, I thought your stated position was that Wright was clearly gaining ground on KK which had little/nothing to do with the Royals. In fact, you even deleted a couple of my posts challenging your position.

    Am I misintrepreting this, or have you changed your position?

  17. Irishman says:

    Local Sports Talk in KCMO is DEAD
    Way too much local sports talk in this town and it all sucks…….. Here is a way around it.
    1. 5am-6am Mike and Mike 810 whb
    2.6am-10am Dare,Mike&Mike,Comedy Radio anytime commercials go i tune out
    3.10am-11am Voice of Merrill KMBZ 98.1FM awesome on FM
    4.11AM-2PM Jim Rome Show best in the country funny and has great interviews
    5.2pm-3:10 or so pm Tool time in Kansas city Comedy radio afternoon sports talk sucks here
    6.3:11pm- till home Church of Lazlo
    8. One ? Why does HARLEY act like he knows it all? EVERYONE HATES THE KNOW IT ALL DOUCHE LATE IRISH

  18. Hearne Christopher says:

    All of the ratings in this comparison were PPM. No diary to PPM.

  19. Hearne Christopher says:

    Grag, huh? How quickly we forget

  20. Hearne Christopher says:

    Grag, huh? How quickly we forget

  21. Cliffy says:

    @shecky …
    Hearne said a few days ago he was going to eat some crow on that take. I think he did with this article. Good for him.

  22. Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

    Glazer…still desperately holding on to 610 AM as if
    they are worth a shit. They suck. Their personalities suck. Their takes suck. Their talent sucks. It’s pretty bad when old tired schmucks like Keitzman and SoreAss Petroleum are mopping the floor with you in the ratings. Piss on 610. They are bush league.

  23. Funny says:

    boo hoo 810
    Funny watching the almighty 810 back pedle and they are using Hearne to do it for them! Check out bottomline. 810 is crying that’s “not fair” everywhere they can.

  24. xxMillerTimexx says:

    Chet Gristler
    Millertime, 70% of the listeners don’t care about KU or MU?? LOL — your an idiot – go back to Nebraska.

    I am a MU fan, I was being general. The fact that some issues that are covered only pertain to certain groups. Classy move with the name calling though!

  25. Jack's Harry says:

    Jack Smack
    610 sports is claiming they have more listeners and they do. My boys at 810 need to grow up. They are in denial with the “yeh but during the time when we make 90% of our money and trade most of the shit we don’t pay taxes on….we beat them”. 610 never said they beat Keitzman. 610 never said with men 25-54 from 6a-7p , Mon -thru friday , average quarter hour share points or whatever boohoo whiney bullshit criteria you want to place on an audience measurement. 610 said they have more listeners, and they do.
    “Boo hoo” says 810, “that number includes the Royals. That s not fair we used to have the Royals” Of course it includes the Royals.That’s why stations pay for the rights to air play by play.
    810 sounds like a bunch of crybabies.

  26. Listener without a home says:

    Nick’s real problem is vocal quality
    I’ve tried to listen to Nick Wright, but after about 5 minutes, I am forced to tune out. He needs vocal coaching to relax his throat–his vocal quality is tight, pinched, UNPLEASANT. So I like his energy. I like that he talks about his feelings. I just can’t stand the sound of his voice! He could fix that. He can’t go nationwide until he does.

    Whereas KK has a good voice but is a terrible human being.

  27. Markus Aurelius says:

    I can’t believe the # of people that support Entercom
    ….on here. Seriously?? They are just plain evil and treat their KC employees no better than rodents. Not to mention the ad dollars that they earn don’t stick around KC in any meaningful way. All their money gets sent back to Philly. Suck up KC business’ $$ and ship it back east. Sorry, 810 would have to have inferior on-air talent (which it does not) before I’d ever consider investing my time (which translates into $$$ leaving KC) listening to 610. Have any of you ever talked to people that have worked for Entercom? The company treats people like just another expendable commodity. Heck, I don’t listen to Wright or Fescoe very much but in the limited time I’ve heard them (mostly during long commercial breaks on 810) I’ve heard them both talk indirectly about how people are treated there.

  28. shecky says:

    @ Cliffy
    Thanks for your comment. I guess I missed Hearne’s previous mention of eating crow.

  29. Entercommer says:

    hey Markus
    Hey marcus,

    Entercom employs over 175 people who all live, spend money and support families in KC. What does Union emply? I like working here, I am treated very well and wouldnt work for anyother radio company in town.

  30. Hearne Christopher says:

    It was a doozy!

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