Hurricane Sandy boosts ratings for NYC’s all-news radio


As most predicted, all-news radio in the New York City market showed big ratings spikes in November, the latest Arbitron ratings show. Just-released figures for the first three weeks of November show that CBS Radio’s WCBS-AM and WINS-AM became the place to tune—especially as the power went out across large swaths of the region.

CBS RadioEven with the average for the whole three weeks, WCBS-AM jumped from 3.9% of the radio audience to 5.3%.

WINS rose from 4.1% to 4.8%, which is particularly remarkable because the station lost its transmitter for 17 hours after the storm and then operated at low power for several more days.

“Our signal problems knocked us off the air at 11 p.m. on Oct. 29 and we remained off until 4 p.m. on Oct. 30,” Ben Mevorach, WINS director of news and programming told The NY Daily News. “Even when we returned to air, we were at one-fifth of full strength for several days.”

Still, Mevorach noted, more than 3.6 million people tuned to WINS that week. WCBS-AM had similar numbers, plus a near-record jump while WINS was off the air.

Cumulus’ News/talk WABC-AM and Buckley Broadcasting’s WOR-AM, which moved to virtually full-time storm coverage, saw increases in their audience as well.

In New Jersey, WKXW-FM (New Jersey 101.5) saw about a 50% jump in its audience share.

See The NY Daily News story here