Chicago Radio Ratings: WLIT finishes second overall

The Drive is tops for the third straight month; WOJO dominates demos

Who needs Rudolph anyway? 

That’s the attitude iHeartMedia’s classic hits heavy-AC outlet WLIT has after scoring its highest non-Christmas ratings in years. 

According the July Nielsen Audio numbers released Monday, WLIT place second, up 13 percent from June, finishing behind Hubbard’s The Drive (WDRV-FM). Generally, WLIT dominates in November and December with Christmas music but unlike previous years when they fell to the middle of the ratings pack, WLIT has maintained their momentum, ranking near the top.

WLIT is now the highest-rated station in iHeart’s cluster, ahead of Adult R&B station V103 (WVAZ-FM) who ranked in a tie for third place with Chicago Public Media’s WBEZ-FM. As for The Drive, the classic rock station finished on top of Chicago’s radio ratings for the third consecutive month. 

Meanwhile, Nexstar’s WGN-AM had a nice bounce back, up 27 percent from last month but still ranked in a tie for tenth with 101.9 The Mix (WTMX) as opposed to a third-place finish months ago. 

Among sports talkers, Audacy’s The Score (WSCR-AM) was comfortably ahead of ESPN 1000 (WMVP-AM.) However, the Daily Herald reported last week the rankings for both are below sports talkers in other cities, through the poor performance of Chicago’s sports teams in the past year might be part of the reason for the listener tune-out. 

As we know, the overall numbers don’t tell the story as demos is what brings the billing and revenue in. While The Drive dominated overall, it was TelevisaUnivision’s Que Buena 105.1 (WOJO-FM) who took the demo crown in adults 25-54 and adults 18-49, while finishing second in adults 18-34, behind Audacy’s US99 (WUSN).

Several radio stations who ranked out of the top ten overall did quite well. iHeart’s Kiss 103.5 (WKSC-FM) remained ahead of Audacy-owned Top 40 rival B96 (WBBM-FM) in all metrics, with a third place finish in adults 18-34 and a fifth place one in adults 25-54. B96 sister station 104.3 Jams finished fifth in adults 18-34 although it remains to be seen what impact WSHE’s rebranding has on the station as it goes into a more classic hip-hop lean. Cumulus’ Q101 (WKQX) finished fourth in adults 18-49, while US 99 (who did finish sixth overall) came in second in the demo. 

On the downside, iHeart’s less-than-impressive Rock 95.5 (WCHI) was also the same way in the 25-54 demo, falling from a tie in fourth place to a tie for 11th. Overall, the station is in 15th place. 

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