Posted: 12:30 pm Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

2013 year-end Atlanta radio ratings: V-103 shows vulnerability 

By Rodney Ho

V-103 has been a powerhouse for much of the past two decades, virtually always at the top of the ratings, often by wide margins. Its huge number of loyal listeners were the envy of any station in any top 10 market. Over the years, it has successfully fended off aggressive attacks from rivals on the younger (Hot 107.9) and older end (Kiss 104.1, Majic 107.5 and Praise 102.5).

In the year-end 2013 Nielsen ratings, the station remains No. 1 among all listeners, 25 to 54 year olds and 18 to 34 year olds. It finished with a 7.8 share.

But not all is copacetic.

Last year, V-103 finished with an average of 7.8 share, a drop of 14 percent from 2012. The gap between V-103 and the No. 2 station was nearly two shares in 2012. By 2013, the gap had closed to less than a share. Ratings really only started slipping off mid year. In the fall, Hot 107.9 became the top station among 18 to 34 year olds four months in a row. 95.5 FM and AM750 News/Talk WSB landed at the top of the overall ratings for three months before V-103 bounced back a bit in November.

Ryan Cameron has made changes to his morning show recently, including the arrival of Wanda Smith. CREDIT: publicity photo

Ryan Cameron has made changes to his morning show recently, including the arrival of Wanda Smith. CREDIT: publicity photo

There are a few possible reasons why V-103 became more vulnerable. One: Frank Ski‘s departure and his replacement Ryan Cameron. Ski and his partner Wanda Smith were the rock at the station for 14 years. They maintained strong ratings numbers consistently with a show that blended humor and substance. His listeners were familiar with Cameron, a huge success as a morning host at Hot for years who held fort in afternoons for much of the past decade. For several months, Cameron held Ski’s numbers. But when he added Mo Ivory and Kendra G, the chemistry seemed off and ratings slipped off sharply, especially among younger listeners. (Year over year, the morning show’s 18-34 ratings were 22 percent lower than that of Ski and Smith in 2012.)

Last month, V-103 ditched Kendra G and Christopher “Crash” Clark and brought back Smith to the morning show this week.

Looking deeper into the numbers, V-103’s 25-54 demos dropped just 4 percent year over year while 18-34 demo fell 10 percent.

The arrival of Streetz 94.5 in 2012 may be hurting V-103’s younger listening. While V-103 used to be the best second choice for younger hip-hop fans on the FM dial, Streetz is clearly diverting some of that listening.

Black listeners also have plenty of morning options, including Steve Harvey at Majic, Rickey Smiley on Hot and Tom Joyner on Kiss.All three of those stations have been gunning after V-103 for years. They provide easy alternatives if a listener is turned off by Cameron’s show for any reason.

But don’t count V-103 out. The station did show some bounce back in November after some worrisome fall numbers. It’s possible the slip off was an anomaly. The station is often compared to the New York Yankees for a reason.

Here are format breakdowns:

R&B/hip hop: As mentioned earlier, V-103 remained on top but lost a bit of audience. Kiss swapped places with Majic but both remain formidable competitors. Majic is now the No. 3 station in the market (with strong growth from Harvey’s morning show) and Kiss No. 4. Streetz, in its first full year on a very modest signal, saw its ratings jump 50 percent. Hot, with Streetz’s arrival, slipped 12 percent overall but its 18-to-34 numbers went up six percent, which is impressive given Streetz’s new presence.

Pop: B98.5 remained the top dog among all listeners and 25 to 54 year olds, with its push for a younger sound helping improve its overall ratings by about 20 percent. It’s the No. 5 station in the market, No. 4 among 25-54. Q100 is the most popular station among pop stations with 18 to 34 year olds and in the mornings across the board with the Bert Show. Star 94 slipped 21 percent year over year with a greater drop among 25 to 54 year olds than 18 to 34 year olds. Power 96.1, in its first full year, lagged behind the other three stations among 18 to 34 year olds, 25 to 54 year olds and overall.

News/talk: WSB is the big dog as usual, with a 6.95 share, up slightly from 2012. 90.1/WABE had a relatively weak 2012 but jumped 33 percent year over year to a 3.2 share. (Especially impressive: a 5.6 share in the mornings, up from 3.8 share in 2012.) All News 106.7 improved from 1.2 share in 2012 after it started to a 1.65 share last year. Talk station 640/WGST-AM, which returned midyear after a brief swap to Hispanic sports, saw its ratings slide to a tiny 0.1 share after averaging a 1.2 share in 2012. WAOK-AM improved to a 0.59 share from 0.43.

Country: This was an excellent year for all country stations in the area. Kicks 101.5 remained the top country station, averaging a 4.23 share, up 9 percent. 94.9/The Bull was up 17 percent and closed the gap with a 4.02 share in 2013. South 107.1 jumped from 0.63 to 0.9. WNGC in Athens moved up from 0.46 to 0.53.  So country stations encompassed nearly a 10 share overall, up from a collective 8 share in 2012.

Rock: A lot of change happened in formats year over year with Dave, Project and the Bone disappearing and Radio arriving. The two stations that didn’t change formats both benefited from all the turmoil. 97.1/The River grew 33 percent year over year to a 5.77 share, jumping to sixth place overall. Rock 100.5 also jumped a third, from a 1.53 share to a 2.05 share. (The Regular Guys saw its 25-54 numbers fall but 18-34 share jump sharply.) Radio 105.7 averaged a 3.5 share, better than how 92.9/Dave FM did and comparable to how Project performed before its death.

Christian: While country music grew sharply, 2013 was a tough year for Christian stations. Praise fell 21 percent year over year from 4.2 to a 3.4 share. In 2011, the station averaged a 5.8 share. That’s a two-year decline of 42 percent. Fish 104.7 slipped from 4.4 to a 4.1 share. Joy 93.3 slipped from 0.83 to a 0.46.

Sports: The arrival of 92.9/The Game took audience away from the two other stations.  680/The Fan (with a 93.7 FM simulcast) remained the leader of the pack, falling 10 percent year over year to an average of a 1.87 share from a 2.08 share. 92.9/The Game averaged a 0.81 share in its first full year, ahead of 790/The Zone’s 0.59.  That’s a drop of 32 percent for the Zone, which suffers from a lack of an FM signal and lost its morning show midyear.

Hispanic: El Patron moved up from a 2.08 share to a 2.32 share. Its target demo 18-34 saw a much bigger jump: from a 3.3 share to a 5.2 share. La Raza 102.3 fell from 0.59 to a 0.43.

Atlanta -based Cox Media Group, which includes The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, owns Kiss, WSB, B98.5 and The River.

Here are the top 30 Atlanta radio stations, based on the average share over the first 48 weeks of 2012 for all listeners ages 6 and up. (The final four weeks are generally not taken seriously since so many people are on vacation and listening habits are thrown off.) Stations generally do not measure themselves by overall audience but specific demographics, typically 25-54 and 18-34. Still, general numbers below give you a basic feel for what direction a station is going and where it ranks compared to all other stations in the market.

Rank, radio station, average share (rank and share in 2012)

1. V-103  7.8 (1. 9.08) year-over-year trend: down

2. WSB 6.95 (3. 6.72) trend: up

3. Majic 6.81 (4. 6.26) trend: up

4. Kiss 6.69 (2. 7.17) trend: down

5. B98.5 6.68 (6. 5.47) trend: up

6. River 5.78 (10. 4.34) trend: way up

7. Hot 4.86 (5. 5.54) trend: down

8. Q100 4.63 (8. 5.11) trend: down

9. Kicks 4.23 (12. 3.7) trend: up

10. Fish 4.09 (9. 4.39) trend: down

11. Star 4.08 (7. 5.16) trend: down

12. Bull 4.02 (14. 3.33) trend: up

13. Power 3.47 (13. 3.42) trend: apples to oranges since most of 2012 was Project. Overall, last four months while it was Power were stronger than this year)

14. Praise 3.43 (11. 4.23) trend: down

15. WABE 3.21 (16. 2.42) trend: up

16. Wild/Radio 105.7 3.07 (15. 3.03) trend: flat

17. El Patron 2.33 (17. 2.08) trend: up slightly

18. Rock 100.5 2.05 (21. 1.53) trend: up

19. The Fan 1.87 (17. 2.08) trend: down

20. All News 1.66 (20. 1.68) trend: flat

21. Streetz 1.44 (24. 0.97) trend: up

22. South 107.1 0.9 (25. 0.63) trend: up

23. 98.9/True Oldies (averaged for last three months when they were on air): 0.83

24. 92.9/The Game 0.8 (19. 1.75 including 9 months of Dave FM)

25. WCLK 0.71 (29. 0.5) trend: up

26. WAOK 0.61 (30. 0.46) trend: up

27. The Zone 0.59 (22. 1.17) trend: down

28. WNGC 0.52 (32. 0.28) trend: up

29. Joy 93.3 0.46 (25. 0.82) trend: down

30. La Raza 102.3 0.43 (26. 0.59) trend: down

60 comments
TyronePatron
TyronePatron

V-103 is terrible. The Ryan Cameron Morning show fails because it just like the other Morning shows with celebrity gossip and other crap. What  Atlanta radio needs new life. We need to shift the focus from interviewing reality TV stars to interviewing real stars locally like fire fighters people we come into contact with daily. We have local radio talent here as well Angelique Allen would be a great fit. The question is does CBS radio have the guts to make the call.

knunea80
knunea80

Well I for one think that V103 finally got it right.  I don't really listen to V103 or FM radio since I got a subscription to XM radio, but I just happen to tune in this morning to V103 and it was a pleasant surprise to hear Wanda's voice on there.  I always thought her and Ryan Cameron made a great Morning show team.  I think they bring better energy to morning radio, than any of the other hosts.  I might just tune in more to V103 in the mornings now!

BrownianMotion
BrownianMotion

the music and sports talk in this city lame----they need to bring back the stews who know their stuff.  i may move back to philadelphia next year where they have real radio

PMDR
PMDR

Remember the truth: it doesn't matter what you listen to on the radio or watch on TV, unless you have a ratings book or a people meter machine.    If you do, what you listen to or what matters.  A lot.  


Otherwise, nothing. 

BSNBC
BSNBC

Stone Mountain and Snellville are all ghetto now!

Destiny57
Destiny57

Andy123 and atllantafalconno1fan.  Atlanta is a city in the deep South so I guess all these bigoted stereotyped and racist remarks makes sense. By the way, I have a credit score that exceeds 800, have never had anything repossessed nor have I ever been arrested for anything in my entire life. Guess what......I am a loyal listener of V-103.

Andy123
Andy123

Atlanta is a chocolate city so V103 being number one makes sense.  

Destiny57
Destiny57

atlantafalconno1fan, I tried to take the high road in regards to your racist remarks. I stated I resided in an upscale sub-division in Stone Mountain. You commented, there were NO upscale sub-divisions in Stone Mountain or South DeKalb county. This is a bigoted and biased statement for you to make since it is obviously UNTRUE!  The undesirable neighborhood that you went into detail to describe sounds like a sub-division that YOU  live in. It would appear to be the case since you listed so many features, components and aspects of it. One would reason that when YOU venture outside your door each morning, this is what YOU see. I also detect that you are not happy with yourself and perhaps with you life in general. Perhaps despite being White, you have achieved very little, have an undesirable low paying job and YOU cannot afford to escape your own low class, "hood". This may explain why you are so biased and negative.

MichaelJohnson
MichaelJohnson

Who listen to regular radio anymore. Most of the black stations have silly programs that laugh and gossip with the morning shows, but the black communities continue with the shootings, drugs, and prostitution. 



RackLyfeT
RackLyfeT

I love V103 . I look forward to more Indy stations though. Artists like Picasso De'France should be heard on air. http://goo.gl/cPJE4

zlovely
zlovely

I Liked Crash because he was stupid funnnnny!!!

Ryan just jumped the shark!!!  "If its not broken dont try to fix it "  he was was just great where he was !!!  Ryan cant fill Fanks shoes Sorry!!!!!!!

HennaMedina
HennaMedina

I like listening to Rayan BUT Wanda is too damn loud to hear in the morning I love MOE

atlfalconno1fan
atlfalconno1fan

@Destiny57 ..sweetie a 90 thousand dollar house in south dekalb isnt a upscale neighborhood..with cars parked on the front lawn  or on concrete blocks and folks grilling in front of the house and hanging out front instead of the back yard and the yard has bald spots from parked cars and the house itself with green mildew on them whereas the cars are washed for the 50th time this week displayed on the front lawn..thats the hood..its call hood rich

mic404
mic404

I'm personally a fan of Ryan Cameron, but I can't help but to tune into the Tom Joyner Show in the mornings. Happy to see Frank Ski gone didn't like him, he was never about Atlanta.

Destiny57
Destiny57

I could trade negative comments back and forth with you atlfalconno1fan, but this would be the manner in which a person from the hood, a thug, an under-educated or perhaps the person that you are trying to unfairly stereotype might respond. Instead, I will stay the classy, educated, intelligent lady that I am. You state, "there are NO upscale sub-divisions in Stone Mountain" or South DeKalb county." Have you visited my sub-division to make that biased statement? It is apparent that you feel that any neighborhood that you perceive as having a majority of African-American residents, cannot by your definition, be considered Upscale.  Allow me to enlighten you. In 2014, there are a large segment of us that do not feel that we have to live in your area and take pride in our OWN schools and sub-divisions. And YES, my sub-division is definitely UPSCALE, according to anyone's standards...... and YES , we WELCOME all races, religions, genders and people!

Justineisu
Justineisu

It is unfair to include WCLK and WAOK in these ratings as they are small stations which cannot bereceived allover the city.

Justineisu
Justineisu

I love music but I do not like most radio stations because there is too much foolishness among the personalities and not enough variety inthe music.   Instead of rotating with new artists in that genre, they play the same old artists.

TommyBoy!
TommyBoy!

Ryan Cameron's show just had too many personalities.  I think he should have just added Mo Ivory, making it him, Crash, and Mo (if I'm not mistaking, it was once him, Crash, and Elle in the afternoons - which worked really well).  Instead, they fire Crash and bring back Wanda Smith??  That's a strange combination.  I have a feeling Mo won't be around much longer...which sucks because I really like her and think she adds value to the show.


CBS should have given Frank Ski the syndication deal he wanted.  If you think about it, he's really among the last of a dying breed when it comes to traditional, on-air personalities.  He could be intellectual (like his interview with Coretta Scott King), then turn around and joke with Wanda Smith, then go host a party.  That's not a shot at Ryan Cameron - because he's talented, as well.  But with him being so silly, it automatically puts him in competition with Ricky Smiley, Steve Harvey, and a slew of other comedians-turned-djs.  So then it boils down to who's funnier (Probably Ricky and Steve since they are professional comedians), and that's who people will tune into. 

atlfalconno1fan
atlfalconno1fan

@BellaRandolph ...it shows in your post you havent gotten out of the Detroit of the south much(Atlanta)its my opinion and i,m sticking to it...Atlanta is a segregated wanna be..and v103 is for hood rats...i suggest you get out travel a bit litsen to WBLS New york/k101san fran..Seattle...and vancouver radio station s and come back and listen to backwater 103

atlfalconno1fan
atlfalconno1fan

destiney57@UPSCALE SUBDIVISION in stn mtn??...please ..not anymore..stn mtn =hood...as well as most of south dekalb...

Destiny57
Destiny57

V-103 is currently and has been the #1 radio station in metro Atlanta for quite some time. Like it or not, it is what it is. Sorry to disappoint those who are obviously NOT happy about this. Their advertising rates are also the highest in the area. Sponsors and advertisers pay according to the numbers and the Nielson numbers justify the ratings. Do you think they would pay more to advertise on V-103 if this was not true? By the way, I am a listener of the morning show and has been for years. I am not a thug nor do I reside in the ghetto. I am college educated , live in an upscale sub-division in Stone Mountain, Ga. and have never been arrested in my life. I am also a taxpayer and law-abiding citizen of these United States. There are several Urban radio stations in metro Atlanta so, V-103 is NOT my only choice. This is the truth but some just can't handle the truth!

atlfalconno1fan
atlfalconno1fan

v103 top radio??...only if your from the ghetto ,a thug,or totally uninformed...travel to other cities..Seattle,San francisco radio will knock your socks off...everything in Atlanta remain segregated still in 2014 in Atlanta including radio...black this white this ..so lame..seattle and san fran,portland,L.A  denver mix it all up...once again Atlanta remains 15 to 20 yrs behind 

atlfalconno1fan
atlfalconno1fan

atlanta remains behind again in every catagory..race relations ,economics,planning...radio here is awful a shame in the 9th largest metro area in the country..Seattle,San francisco,charleston,sc,los angeles.miami way better radio....sad part is folks accept mediocrity here...

gadem
gadem

wait? what? are you talking to me Ryan?

SixFive
SixFive

"Black listeners also have plenty of morning options..."

Well, I listen to talk radio in the morning, but I guess since I'm a "black listener" - I better go back to the options laid out in this article.
 

It's amazing what people still SAY/THINK in 2014.  We would never talk about country or rock music ratings and write about the trending using terms like "white listeners."

Destiny57
Destiny57

I really do miss Frank and Wanda from the V-103 morning show. Frank offered the mature professional audience insights into the music industry, newsworthy entertainment related topics in addition to spinning music. Wanda, on the other hand kept things funning, interesting and light. They made a great duo. I met Wanda several  times at the radio sponsored FSO shows. She was very down to earth and very thankful and appreciative to her fans. She always made me feel good to see her. I will always remember that. I also met Frank in person at the show and at  Frank Ski's Restaurant and Lounge. He was also warm, friendly and expressed his appreciation for my being a fan of the show and a patron of his restaurant.


I agree with a lot of listeners that Ryan Cameron's personality and format is not the best for the Morning show slot. Most of his audience are younger people who can tolerate the over the top, silliness. All Kendra G. seemed to talk about was her "hair weave". I DID like  Crash Clark and thought he added diversity to the show and felt he fit in quite nicely. I love Mo Ivory as she is a very articulate and intelligent woman. She definitely brings value to the show and should NOT be replaced. I also follow her when she is on the, Georgia Gang on Sunday mornings. Perhaps Ryan Cameron can get it together to keep V-103 on top. I do not like to see anyone fail .

RichardHill
RichardHill

Ryan's audience is 18 -34 which is afternoons. They never should have given him the morning show. Worst year for V-103. Ryan will be gone by mid summer. Let them ratings keep going down.Mo Ivory should have stayed on News & Talk. Good luck!!!!   

zaythelegend
zaythelegend

 I agree with some of the other comments. I love V-103, but I listen to it less because the personalities suck. They really could have done better. Not to mention the consistency of songs played throughout the day. Dang! It's ridiculous. Before I get out the car I could hear one song on V-103, then get back in the car 10 minutes later and hear the same song playing on the same show! That's ridiculous! We like variety. That's why I like Q100 and Streetz 94.5. Q100 because they play a great mixture of all of the best hits. Streetz because hip-hop/r&b is my fave genre but they play more music and more of a variety as well. Keep it up Streetz and Q100! Great personalities on Q100 and Streetz as well. Great article and reviews @RodneyHo

CAlex2
CAlex2

@RodneyHo I'm curious how 1230 The Fan 2 is doing in the drive home slot. I think the Paul Finebaum Show is going to take over the sports talk market from 2-6pm. Any feedback on that so far in 2014?

jcinnga
jcinnga

100% of Atlanta radio is useless.  100% of it.  Don't believe me?  Just travel to any other city and see for yourself.  Atlanta has the worst radio of any major market I've ever been to, and I spent 25+ years traveling throughout the United States.  Yes, Atlanta radio ratings mean nothing because by comparison to everywhere else, Atlanta radio sucks.

ReallyAJC
ReallyAJC

What's the difference in Top Dog and Big Dog?

AaronSmith174
AaronSmith174

Does Nielsen/Arbitron still give a automatic 10% numbers boost to urban programed stations? I know it was standard practice for many years. Although I see no reason VEE wouldn't be #1. It would be more surprising if a country or rock station was number 1. I have only lived in this market for about 3 years and in that time I have seen about 6 radio format changes or tweaks. Unfortunately, since 96 when the laws changed so that companies could buy up multiply stations in markets there really hasn't been any true local radio stations. Just a desert of boring segues and lifeless jocks. The Media giants have just turned the stations into cookie cutter, carbon copies of each other. 

Iluvnutella
Iluvnutella

Must be inside the perimeter....Greater Atlanta......especially where the decent law abiding tax payers live, there is no way V is no.1

paulpan
paulpan

Where are 98.9, the rock oldies station, and my favorite, WRAS, which has NO COMMERCIALS?  Yeah!

EastOTP
EastOTP

with that said- 92.9's main issue is having hosts that don't have a good pulse of the Atlanta fans and topics they want to discuss. They need more HOME GROWN talent. There are a couple of good options there, but plenty of room for improvement.

EastOTP
EastOTP

I am a loyal 680 listener other than when they go to national shows- at which point i switch to 92.9 the game (they're local 24/7). I hope the game stays on as legit competition, if for no other reason than to convince 680 they need a STRONGER fm signal than the 93.7.


Susan89
Susan89

I don't care for V-103.  I stopped listening to it years ago - for the most part.  I did try to listen to it a few months ago, but the females they had on the show didn't have a clue about life or reality.  They really worked my last nerve, so I had to turn the station.  The music they play, on the outside of Sunday morning, is nothing but trash for the most part.

Sebastian1386
Sebastian1386

790 the Zone is a "SINKING SHIP" just a matter of time before they throw in the towel.

ukwildcat
ukwildcat

No city in the country has as poor a radio offering as Atlanta.  Every station playing the same ten songs all day every day, and some at the very same times.

pebblebeach
pebblebeach

@TommyBoy!  I also agree with you 100%. Cannot listen to foolishness so early in the morning, maybe late in the afternoon. Send Ryan back to afternoon and get me someone with substance for my morning ride delivery into the office.

mmackjr
mmackjr

@TommyBoy! I agree with your assessment of Frank Ski as a talented DJ.  He is doing fine as a DJ in Washington DC now and he is just down the road from his listening audience in Baltimore since he is a native Bmore resident....ATL is nothing but glimmer and shallow with self obsorbed wannabees, and  lack serious substance for Black professionals and serious young, aspiring professionals

Andy123
Andy123

@Destiny57

But what are they advertising?  They aren't adverting quality dining and shopping.  Take a wild guess at what percentage of V-103 listeners have a credit score below 600, have had a repossession and have been to jail at least once.  

Calel
Calel

@Destiny57 


There ARE no "upscale sub-divisions" in Stone Mountain.........anymore. 

BellaRandolph
BellaRandolph

@atlfalconno1fan This is a pretty pathetic post atlfalconno1fan.  You bemoan the city being segregated, right after spouting a very bigoted and ignorant opinion.  I doubt that you did any research into the living conditions of the people who listen to V-103.  I didn't either, but my guess is that despite Rodney boiling the listeners down to just their race, the audience is made up of people who enjoy listening to r&b mixed with hip hop.  It's also made up of people who like that V-103 has strong on air personalities, who have been on the air for decades.

BellaRandolph
BellaRandolph

@SixFive Rodney is usually a great guy, but that sentence was incredibly stupid.  I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt, and assume that he really doesn't believe that all black people only listen to V, KISS, or Hot, and that he didn't mean that to sound as offensive as it was.

kayman
kayman

@RichardHill Actually, his numbers has came back up in the morning in the last 2 months, so I wouldn't be so quick to say he will be gone.  There is a 3 way tie between him, Ricky Smiley, and Rashan Ali with 18-34 year olds.  Meanwhile, he is #1 with 25-54 year olds.  As long as he has the money demographic, 25-54 year olds, CBS will be happy with Ryan and V-103.  CBS only cares about the bottom line otherwise V-103's sister station WPGC in Washington DC would have been toast, but it's a huge moneymaker for CBS.  WPGC is back to being an "urban" again although its ratings are struggling.

RodneyHo
RodneyHo moderator

@paulpanSorry. True Oldies/98.9 averaged a .37 during its time on air, which would have left it just outside the top 40. WRAS averaged a 0.15.

RodneyHo
RodneyHo moderator

@ukwildcatCome on! Don't you like "Royals" by Lordes for the 3,000th time?

SixFive
SixFive

@BellaRandolph Hey, thanks!  I've read Rodney's blogs quite a bit, and I agree - this in no way speaks to his character.  I knew immediately what he meant vs. what he said.  But, we have to bring these things to people's attention so that they are more cognizant of how they might be perceived. 

RGonzalez1983
RGonzalez1983

@SixFive @BellaRandolph So what exactly did he mean?  Because it's defintely an odd thing to say in 2014.  I'm "black," and I don't listen to any of the stations featured in this article.  I don't feel like I have any options.