Bolstered in part by a Celtics team that captured fans' imaginations with a deep playoff run, resurgent WEEI (93.7) finished second in the quarterly Arbitron ratings during the spring among men 25-54, while 98.5 The Sports Hub was fourth.
WEEI, which had finished fourth in the winter ratings, two spots behind The Sports Hub, earned a 7.1 share in the most recent quarter, which covers the period from March 29-June 20. The Sports Hub had a 6.0 share.
WEEI saw significant benefits of being the flagship station for both Celtics and Red Sox broadcasts. The Celtics made a compelling run to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, while the Red Sox began the season with their usual interest and intrigue despite last September's collapse. The result was an enormous nighttime (7 p.m.-midnight) listenership in the spring for WEEI, which finished first in the time-slot with a 9.5 share. The Sports Hub was fifth (5.5).
WEEI's afternoon drive program, The Big Show with Glenn Ordway and Michael Holley, also saw a significant ratings surge in the spring, moving from third in the winter to second in the spring with a 7.9 share. It surpassed The Sports Hub's Felger and Massarotti program (third, 6.2), which had been first in the winter with a 9.8 share. It wouldn't be a stretch to suggest polarizing 98.5 host Michael Felger's frequent anti-Celtics approach had an effect on the ratings.
In morning drive, The Sports Hub's Toucher and Rich program finished second for the second straight quarter, earning an 8.0 share. WEEI's Dennis and Callahan program was third (7.3).
In midday, The Sports Hub's Gresh and Zo was second (6.8), edging WEEI's Mut and Merloni (as well as an occasional Red Sox day game), which had a 6.7.
In the 6-7 p.m. window, WEEI had a 7.3 share, good for second place, while The Sports Hub, usually featuring The Baseball Reporters hosted by Tony Massarotti, was third (7.2).
Classic rock station WZLX was first overall among men 25-54, and No. 1 during mornings, afternoons, and midday.
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.