Long Island native and WFAN afternoon host Evan Roberts in...

Long Island native and WFAN afternoon host Evan Roberts in studio doing his show with co-host Joe Benigno at the WFAN studio in Manhattan on Jan. 15, 2020. Credit: Shelby Knowles

WFAN’s Craig Carton and Evan Roberts built on their lead in the afternoon drive time ratings race in April, the first month in which ESPN New York’s "The Michael Kay Show" was heard from 2 to 6:30 p.m. rather than 3 to 7.

That change in schedule, which took effect on March 29, allowed for a longer and more straightforward head-to-head assessment of the shows’ audiences. (The WFAN show runs until 7 p.m.)

For the 4 ½ hours in which the programs now overlap, Carton and Roberts ranked third overall in the New York market among men ages 25-54 from April 1-28, averaging 6.4% of those listening in that key demographic, according to Nielsen Audio data obtained by Newsday from an industry source.

Kay finished fifth, averaging 4.2% for the month.

The two stations traditionally judge themselves on full, quarterly "books," so the April data should be considered akin to the first intermission of a hockey game.

But it continued an upward trend for WFAN since Carton returned in November and was paired with Roberts. WFAN’s performance has improved every month, and if the April gap is maintained or grows, the contest will become a rout.

For the full winter book from January to March, Carton and Roberts won, 5.3-4.8, when head-to-head against Kay, but that gap was 5.6-4.4, its biggest to that point, in March.

The data includes both over-the-air and streaming audiences. But it does not include Kay’s simulcast on the YES Network. Starting on Monday, Carton and Roberts will have a simulcast of their own, on SNY from 4 to 6 p.m.

From 6 to 10 a.m., WFAN was first in the market with 7.7% of the audience among men ages 25-54 and ESPN New York was ninth with a 3.6.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. WFAN was third at 6.2% and ESPN New York was ninth with a 3.3.

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