From left to right, producer Tommy Lugauer, Craig Carton, Evan...

From left to right, producer Tommy Lugauer, Craig Carton, Evan Roberts and producer Chris McMonigle in WFAN's newly redesigned studio for the "Carton and Roberts" simulcast on SNY on May 24, 2021. Credit: Corey Sipkin

WFAN’s Craig Carton and Evan Roberts got off to a strong start in the quarterly winter ratings book against ESPN’s Michael Kay, finishing ahead by a healthy margin in the first month.

From 3 to 6:30 p.m., when the shows go head-to-head, WFAN finished third among all stations in the New York market among men 25-54, with an average of 6.1% of those listening.

ESPN New York Radio finished fifth overall during that time frame at 4.9, according to Nielsen Audio data obtained by Newsday from an industry source.

The period measured covered Jan. 6 through Feb. 2.

The early ratings lead is significant because it comes on the heels of Kay winning the autumn 2021 book after losing the previous two to Carton and Roberts. Kay rode a strong October to a 5.7 rating in the fall, ahead of a 4.6 for WFAN.

While both stations traditionally judge themselves by men ages 25-54, WFAN tends to do far better among men 55 and over. Because of that edge, if one counts all people 12 and up, Carton and Roberts nearly double Kay’s audience.

WFAN’s morning show featuring Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti finished second in the market in January with a huge 9.2 rating — behind only the Spanish-language station WSKQ. ESPN was 13th at 2.7.

The new midday show featuring Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney was eighth at 4.0, and ESPN was 12th at 2.7.

All data includes both over-the-air and streaming numbers but not the shows’ TV simulcasts.

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