Early returns for WFAN’s new programming lineup suggest little change in the station’s recent ratings dynamic compared with ESPN New York.
The quarterly summer “book,” which this year covers June 22 through Sept. 13, traditionally is the least important because many hosts take vacations during that time.
But in this case, there was added interest in it when Nielsen Audio released the numbers on Tuesday because WFAN changed its midday and afternoon shows effective July 24. When Craig Carton left WFAN at the end of June, the station moved Tiki Barber from midday to join Evan Roberts in the afternoon and moved Sal Licata from overnight to midday to join Brandon Tierney.
For the summer, WFAN rated No. 1 in the morning among all New York stations with men ages 25-54, No. 2 in middays and No. 2 in afternoons compared to ESPN’s No. 10, 14 and 13.
Newsday obtained the Nielsen Audio data from a radio industry source.
For the final month of the summer, Aug. 17 through Sept. 13, WFAN was No. 1 in the morning, No. 3 in middays and No. 2 in afternoons compared to ESPN’s No. 8, 14 and 13.
The race that matters most began at the end of the summer book, with the first week after Labor Day. Early data suggests more of the same during the important autumn ratings book that runs through December.
The radio ratings wars as we have known them figure to change inalterably in autumn 2024 if ESPN New York goes through with its plan to sell its FM outlet and focus on its AM channel and streaming, a plan the New York Post reported last month.