Charleston Chew: West Virginia Radio OK’s New Nielsen Pact

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Thanks to a just-signed agreement, Nielsen Audio will once again be providing ratings measurement for West Virginia Radio Corp.‘s collection of AM and FM radio stations in Market No. 197.


The deal, announced Thursday, provides the broadcast media company focused on the Mountaineer State access to data in Charleston, W. Va., population 208,200.

West Virginia Radio Corp. operates seven stations in Charleston:

  • News/Talk WCHS-AM 580, which uses two FM translators at 96.5 MHz and 104.5 MHz
  • Bloomberg News affiliate WKAZ-AM 680, which uses an FM translator at 95.3 MHz
  • WKAZ-FM “Tailgate 107.3,” offering an Adult Hits presentation similar to “Bob” and “Jack FM” stations
  • “Superstar Country” WKWS-FM 96.1
  • Rhythmic CHR WRVZ-FM 98.7 “The Beat”
  • ESPN Radio affiliate WSWW-AM 1490, with an FM translator at 106.7 MHz
  • WVAF-FM “V100,” an AC at 99.9 MHz

The deal ends a two-year absence of West Virginia Radio Corp. in publicly released Nielsen Audio ratings for the market; Spring 2017 ratings are the most recent in which the company’s stations appear.

Now, West Virginia Radio can use Nielsen Audio data when pitching clients. And, for non-subscribers, a better idea of how the market’s radio stations perform can be had. But, it still won’t be perfect: Bristol Broadcasting has not been a Nielsen Audio subscriber since fall 2016.

Without Bristol and West Virginia, Nielsen Audio “ratings” reports for Charleston released to the public have only included top-rated WKLC-FM and LM Communications’ co-owned WMXE-FM.

The return to Nielsen Audio by West Virginia Radio gives the company’s Charleston stations access to Nielsen’s local market report, PD Advantage and Tapscan’s suite of services.

Explaining the decision to resume Nielsen Audio ratings, West Virginia Radio President/CEO Dale Miller said, “Having reliable research is more important now than at any other time, and we feel that Nielsen Audio is a partner in our business, allowing us to generate true ROI. We tried plan B for a time, but you can budget cut yourself out of the business.”

Nielsen Audio Managing Director Brad Kelly added that West Virginia Radio delivers “a large and compelling platform for advertisers in Charleston and across much of the great state of West Virginia.”

West Virginia Radio also operates in Morgantown, Clarksburg, Fairmont, Elkins, and Martinsburg, W. Va.

The company is known as the home of the late Lacy Neff, who died June 1, 2016 at the age of 49 after losing his battle with amyloidosis and multiple myeloma. During his radio career, Lacy earned two National Marconi Awards, presented by the NAB, for “Small Market Personality of the Year.” He also led West Virginia Radio Corp. to three Marconi Awards. Neff was inducted into the West Virginia Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2014.

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