Winter Arbitron ratings put WBAL-AM back on top Radio: The ratings show that in an average quarter-hour, 32,200 listeners tune in to the station.


Baltimore's longest-running game of musical chairs continues, as WBAL-AM (1090) has nudged WERQ-FM (92.3) back to second place among the city's most listened-to radio stations.

Arbitron ratings for Winter '97 place WBAL squarely atop the leader board, with an audience share of 8.5. That translates to roughly 32,200 listeners in an average quarter-hour.

WERQ, which last quarter ended a years-long monopoly of the top two positions by WBAL and WPOC-FM (93.1), finished second this go-round with an 8.0 share, roughly 30,100 listeners in an average quarter-hour. WPOC finished third with a 7.6 share (28,800 listeners).

WBAL, where ratings always go up when the Orioles are playing (and the current ratings include March's spring-training games), posted the largest gain among the Top 10 stations, climbing 1.2 share points from Fall '96. WPOC also climbed considerably, gaining 1.1 share points, second among the 10 stations.

Among those stations where listenership dropped, WHFS-FM led the way, losing nine-tenths of a point to finish with a 3.3 share. The station dropped from seventh place to 10th.

In the key morning slot (6 a.m.-10 a.m.), WBAL climbed back into the top spot it relinquished last month to WQSR. WBAL's news-oriented programming earned an 11.7 share (64,200 listeners). WQSR fell to third (43,800 listeners), behind WPOC (46,500 listeners).

WQSR also took a small hit among listeners in the age 25 to 54 category, where it dropped from first to second, behind WWMX-FM (106.5). But the news wasn't all bad for the oldies station, as it retained its morning drive-time leadership position among those same listeners. Its 35,700 average listenership share outdistanced both WPOC (28,400) and WWMX (25,300).

For all you ratings junkies out there, here's the whole enchilada: Arbitron rankings and audience share for listeners age 12 and older for Baltimore's Top 10 radio stations. Each share represents about 3,800 listeners in an average quarter-hour.

1.) WBAL, 8.5

2.) WERQ, 8.0

3.) WPOC, 7.6

4.) WWMX, 6.6

5.) WQSR, 6.0

6.) WLIF-FM (101.6), 5.6

7.) WIYY-FM (97.9), 4.0

8.) WWIN-FM (95.9), 3.6

9.) WXYV-FM (102.7), 3.5

10.) WHFS, 3.3

WBAL honors

The news folks at WBAL walked away with eight regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, presented by the Radio-Television News Directors Association.

WBAL's eight awards make it the most honored radio news operation in the country. In its region, the station was competing against news departments in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and Washington.

Among the winners:

Overall Excellence, for coverage of the January 1996 blizzard and the tornado that destroyed dozens of homes in Gamber, Md., on July 19, 1996.

Best Newscast, for Sept. 9, 1996, as Hurricane Fran moved up the East Coast.

Investigative Reporting, a three-part series by Anne Kramer about long delays at the MVA.

Documentary, an hourlong special by Sue Kopen about political and economic changes in China.

Use of sound, to John Patti, for a visit to "Jitterbugs," an Eastern Shore restaurant with a '50s theme.

The station also received awards in the categories of spot news coverage, sports reporting and news series.

Hieronimus and Bullwinkle

Watch Bob pull a rabbit out of his hat.

Tonight, Bob Hieronimus interviews a quartet of fine folks from Frostbite Falls, Minn., on "21st Century Radio," airing from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on WCBM-AM (680).

Frostbite Falls, in case you've forgotten, is the hallowed home of Rocket J. Squirrel and Bullwinkle Moose, stars of one of television's finest-ever programs, "The Bullwinkle Show."

On previous shows, Hieronimus has interviewed June Foray (the voice of Rocky, Natasha and Nell, the intended of Dudley Do-Right); Bill Hurtz, the show's director of animation, and writer Chris Jenkyns.

Tonight's guests are Ramona Ward, wife of Rocky and Bullwinkle creator Jay Ward, and Tiffany Ward, his daughter; Louis Chunovic, author of "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Book," and, once again, Bill Hurtz.

Jack Edwards surfaces

Fans of Jack Edwards, dismayed by the imminent demise of WITH-AM (1230) as a rock and roll station, take heart: Your man's neither gone nor forgotten.

You can hear Edwards on WQSR-FM (105.7) on Sundays from noon to 3 p.m., playing the oldies he first spun as Top 40 hits during his days at WCAO.

'Zone 51'

New approaches to dealing with youth violence, drugs and gangs will be the topic on Tuesday's edition of "Zone 51," airing from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on WEAA-FM (88.9).

Host Neal M. Janey's scheduled guests include Stuart O. Simms, Maryland's Juvenile Justice Secretary. Co-host duties will be handled by Ursula Battle, a reporter at the Afro-American.

Pub Date: 4/20/97

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