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Mike Francesa back to No. 1 for May ratings in first month of WFAN return

Francesa was tops in the audience demo of men ages 25-54 for his time slot in May.

Mike Francesa helped revolutionized sports talk radio at WFAN with Chris "Mad Dog" Russo. Nine years since they split up, Francesa remains the top-rated host in New York. After 30 years at WFAN, 2017 is his last. Watch his final year unfold as Francesa's fans, colleagues and athletes from the New York area spoke about what it will be like to no longer have this icon on the air. (Credit: Newsday staff) (Photo Credit: ESPN, WFAN)

Mike Francesa ranked first — or, in other words, “Numbah One” — for his first month back on WFAN, finishing May with an average 6.8 percent share of the audience among men ages 25-54 from 3 to 6:30 p.m., the hours during which he is head-to-head against ESPN New York Radio’s Michael Kay.

According to data from Nielsen Audio released on Monday, Kay ranked fourth with a 5.5 share for the period April 26 to May 23.

Those figures were similar to what they were when the two last went head-to-head. In the autumn book last year, Francesa beat Kay, 6.6 to 5.0, before leaving the station on Dec. 15.

Francesa returned on May 1, so the first few days of the May period covered a time when his predecessors in afternoon drive time, Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray and Bart Scott, still were in that time slot.

In April, “CMB” and Kay tied at 4.9, ranking fifth overall in the market.

“I want to thank the most loyal listeners in all of radio,” Francesa said shortly after the May numbers came out. “I also want to thank the people I work with directly at the FAN. They have made my return very enjoyable.”

Radio ratings traditionally are judged on a quarterly basis, so monthly figures are an incomplete snapshot. But in this case, they illustrate Francesa’s return to his earlier ratings status in his first full month back on the air.

The morning show featuring Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti tied for third in the market with a 5.6 share. That is an incomplete picture of that show’s total audience, because it does particularly well with listeners on internet streams, which are not included in the radio data.

ESPN’s national morning show ranked 12th in New York with a 3.6 share.

New York Sports