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Radio AM to FM: August 18, 2000

Web Ratings

Arbitron -- the company that compiles ratings for radio stations throughout the country has refined the process of rating web stations, or internet-based streaming audio services.

Effective with the last report released in late July, Arbitron now rates web stations by using what the company calls Aggregate Tuning Hours (ATH), the sum total of all hours that listeners tune to a given channel during the month. ATH may be considered a census of web listeners, where each stream is supposedly counted in arriving at a web station's ratings. Previously the company ranked stations on cumulative listeners and time spent listening, much as it does for broadcast stations.

The system is not without kinks, however. By measuring actual web streams, the company is not taking into account more than one listener per stream, leaving out any groups that may be "tuned" to a webcast say at work or home. But perhaps the greatest limitation is the time constraint: Arbitron released the most recent report in last July -- containing listener estimates for the month of February!

Regardless, here are the top-10 ratings for the month of February:

1. NetRadio Hits CHR (

2. NetRadio 80s Hits CHR (

3. Virgin Radio Hot AC (

4. NetRadio The X Alternative (

5. NetRadio Vintage Rock/Classic Rock (

6. Netradio Smooth Jazz (

7. WJZW-FM/Washington (

8. Tom Joyner Morning Show (

9. WPLJ/New York (

10. KQRS-FM/Minneapolis (

Some other notable stations in the report include Pure Rock KNAC, ( which came in at 12th, L.A.'s own KLOS ( at 26th, sister talk station KABC ( at 27th, and Groove Radio, which has a great sound even though I hate the music, which came in at 42nd. There were many so-called Adult Album Alternative stations on the list, a good sign for AAA-formatted KACD (Channel 103.1 FM), which will soon be available only on the web.

You can see a complete list of the top-50 web stations at

Did I say That?

Only on the web? Well it may not be true. 850 AM in Thousand Oaks is apparently going to simulcast the webcast of the internet Channel once the FM signal leaves the air. Currently AM 850 simulcasts KXTA's (1150 AM) all-sports format.

Did I Hear That?

A recent ad for Fry's Electronics on Mix 95.9 as well as a handful of other radio stations throughout California mentioned each of their stores by location .... including one on what was pronounced as "Sup-Ul-Veeda Boulvard." Apparently the ad was made out of town.


Copyright © 2000 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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