Chicago radio ratings: The Drive motors up to record high ratings

WDRV-FM opens up a nearly two-point share lead on WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM

In the May survey, Hubbard’s Classic Rock station The Drive (WDRV-FM) scored their first-ever ratings victory in their 21-year history, dislodging Adult R&B V103 (WVAZ-FM) as Chicago’s top-rated music station. Not only they repeated the feat again in June, they expanded their lead over their competitors. 

The Drive topped the 6+ ratings for a second time, ahead of Audacy’s Newsradio 780 & 105.9 (WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM) and iHeart’s V103, who each tied for second place while setting yet another ratings record. The numbers may have been driven by the semi-retirement of longtime station personality Bob Stroud, who ended his daily show June 30. In May, Stroud finished first in middays. 

Overall, it was a good ratings period for Chicago’s rock stations. Audacy Triple A station WXRT-FM also scored ratings gains, placing in a tie for sixth with sister station US 99 (WUSN-FM). But challenges lie ahead as it has to do without two of its biggest stars: Richard Mline, who left June 10 to be with his ailing wife; and the departure of Lin Brehmer, who announced Tuesday he was stepping aside due to health issues. 

iHeart’s Rock 95.5 (WCHI-FM) slipped a bit but placed in a tie for thirteenth. with Univision’s Spanish Pop WPPN-FM, and the reunited Q101 brand name with WKQX finished in a three-way tie for eighteenth, up 20 percent last month. 

Another big gainer was Christian outlet WCKL-FM (97.9 K-Love), as the former WLUP jumped 50 percent to finish in a tie for 23rd place. 

On the flipside, Nexstar’s WGN-AM saw its fifth consecutive ratings drop, finishing in fifteenth place as the station lost half of its audience from January when it was in the top five. Also losing ground was Crawford’s Hip-Hop Power 92 (WPWX-FM) and Cumulus’ conservative talk WLS-AM, remaining flat in 27th place. The station recently added Steve Cochran in mornings. 

Audacy’s 670 The Score is winning the sports talk battle over ESPN 1000 (WMVP-AM) but also of note here is the streaming version of WSCR drew an 0.8 rating, tying College of DuPage’s Jazz station WDCB-FM for 29th place. 

To read the full Chicago ratings numbers courtesy of Radio Insight, click here

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