Nielson Topline Radio Ratings are out through January. As was the case in December, 710ESPN leads KJR by a decent amount. In fact, in both months, 710ESPN’s rating is over 30% that of its competitor in the overall AQH Share, Persons 6+, Mon-Sun, 6AM-Midnight category.
Without question, both stations went long on Seahawks/NFL talk during this time, as it was the closing months of the season. But it also goes beyond 710ESPN having the Seahawks’ radio rights. Radio people often say having a team’s rights don’t substantially move the needle when it comes to ratings. And in the case of these two stations, 710ESPN has kept its lead over KJR for some time. Both have made changes in their late morning shows in the past year or so, thought that time period isn’t the ratings driver that one finds in the morning or afternoon drive shows.
This doesn’t mean changes are in store for KJR. But there are opportunities for both stations to experiment and innovate. However, their corporate parents are quite different, with KJR owned by audio giant iheart Media while 710ESPN is part of the much smaller Bonneville International, with stations in four western U.S. markets. For all we know, these owners could be satisfied with the current situation. Though from what I can tell, listeners of either would say there’s room for improvement.