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WFAN's 'Carton & Roberts' again leads ESPN Radio's 'Michael Kay Show' in quarterly ratings book

Evan Roberts, left, and Craig Carton sit in

Evan Roberts, left, and Craig Carton sit in the newly redesigned WFAN studio for "Carton and Roberts" simulcast on SNY, on May 24, 2021. Credit: Corey Sipkin

WFAN’s Craig Carton and Evan Roberts won their second consecutive quarterly ratings book over ESPN New York’s "The Michael Kay Show" this spring, according to Nielsen Audio research released on Tuesday.

The data covered April 1 through June 23 and showed that from 2 to 6:30 p.m., when the shows overlap, Carton and Roberts averaged 5.7% of those listening among men ages 25-54.

That was good for third overall in the New York market, according to information obtained by Newsday from an industry source.

Kay’s show ranked seventh overall with an average of 4.1% of the audience in that demographic, which both stations use to measure themselves.

In the winter book, the first full one since Carton returned to WFAN last November, Carton and Roberts edged Kay’s show, 5.3% to 4.8%.

The data includes both over-the-air and streaming audiences, but not the shows’ TV simulcast audiences.

The afternoon drive time race has been closely watched for years, first as Kay neared and passed Mike Francesa in 2019, then beat Roberts and Joe Benigno in 2020 before Carton returned after spending a year in prison.

The WFAN morning show featuring Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti finished second overall in the market, averaging 6.9% of the audience, far ahead of ESPN’s 3.6%, which was eighth overall.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., WFAN’s Maggie Gray and Marc Malusis finished third for the spring book at 5.3%. ESPN was eighth at 3.2%.

The spring book was the final one overseen by Mark Chernoff, WFAN’s senior vice president of programming and its longtime day-to-day boss. He left the station on July 1 and was succeeded by Spike Eskin.

New York Sports