In my Friday media column, I've generally moved away from reporting on the monthly Arbitron ratings for WEEI and The Sports Hub. The quarterlies are much more relevant and, with a larger base of data, often more revealing. And with both stations having a ton of listeners, the majority of whom probably jump back and forth depending upon the topic, the monthly updates were beginning to feel redundant.
The exception, obviously, is when there's something particularly significant worth noting. And the October Arbitron numbers, covering the period of Sept.15-Oct. 12, certainly qualifies since it was WEEI's first full month of simulcasting on 93.7 FM.
So how did it go for WEEI? Well. Very well, actually. As it also did for the Sports Hub.
WEEI finished third overall in the October monthly with a 7.5 share among men 25-54, up from a 4.6 (9th) in September. The Sports Hub was first (9.9, up from 8.2 last month), with WZLX second (8.4).
The Sports Hub continued to produce outstanding ratings; its programming finished first in morning drive, middays, and afternoon drive among men 25-54 as well as among men 18-49 and 18-34.
But WEEI was first in the 7 p.m.-midnight window, while the Sports Hub was 10th. And the station's ratings improved significantly from September across the board among men 25-54. Here is the show-by-show progress over the last month.
Dennis and Callahan: September: 5.1 share (5th); October: 8.3 (2d, tie)
Mut and Merloni: September: 2.3 (15th); October: 6.6 (3d)
The Big Show: September: 4.7 (6th); October: 8.2 (2d).
Planet Mikey, some Red Sox broadcasts: September: 8.7 (2d); October: 10.9 (1st).
Again, it's one month, and huge conclusions shouldn't be drawn. But it's fair to stay the outlook is still excellent for The Sports Hub, while the decision to move to FM is already showing signs of being a tremendously effective one for WEEI.
And any doubts that the city could support two highly-rated sports talk stations were eliminated long ago.
Update: Don't have the official Arbitron numbers for the midday and afternoon drive programs on 98.5 yet. Will update when I do. I do know that from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. in October, The Sports Hub had a 10.9 share, while from 3 p.m.-7 p.m., it had an 11.5.
Update, part 1: Felger and Mazz had an 11.6 share in the 2 p.m.-6 p.m. day part, while Gresh and Zolak had a 10.9 during the midday.
Update, part 2: With the share of Boston listeners of Providence-based 103.7 included, WEEI's total men 25-54 numbers look like this:
Overall: 7.8 share
Mut & Merloni: 7.0
Big Show: 8.3
Planet Mikey (7 p.m.-midnight): 11.8.
About Touching All The Bases
Irreverence and insight from Chad Finn, a Globe/Boston.com sports writer and media columnist. A winner of several national and regional writing awards, he is the founder and sole contributor to the TATB blog, which launched in December 2004. Yes, he realizes how lucky he is.