October radio ratings: MPR News up, sports not so much

Note: Due to a data entry error, I under-reported K102’s rating. This post has been corrected to reflect the country’s station’s October win.

I’m still crispy from Election Night, so this will be briefer than usual. 

In the October ratings book, country station K102 rebounded into first place, racking up a 9.4 share of the 6 a.m.-midnight listening audience and topping KDWB (8.7). The bronze went to KQ (7.9), while KS95 (5.6) regained fourth place over a slumping 93X (5.4). None of these numbers were remarkable in the context of 2010 monthly numbers.

Calendar factors propelled three other stations. On the eve of the election, MPR News posted its highest rating (4.7), since April. On the sports side, 1500 ESPN slipped a bit (4.1) as the Twins exited the playoffs in the book’s final week, while Vikings-fueled KFAN began its rise (from 2.9 to 3.9).

It worth noting that the sports stations now grab 8 percent of listeners. A year ago — when the Twins were nearly as good and the Vikings were better — it was 9.3 percent. For the first time since going all-sports in April, 1500’s year-to-year number fell by more than a tenth of a point. KFAN was down nearly a full point, which may reflect the Vikes’ awfulness.

Here’s the top-stations tracker:

And the talkers:

Finally, the year-over-years, at right.

KDWB is still the big winner, even though the station has plateaued recently.

The other big mover is 93X, with WLTE, K102, KOOL108, KHTC (ex-B96), LOVE105, KMOJ and The Current showing gains.

KQ and KS95 are still the big losers, though the past 12 months have been no picnic for WCCO (which rose this month), MPR News, KFAN, Cities 97, KTLK (despite the Tea Party) and MyTalk107.

Again, these numbers are not the ones advertisers track to. Instead, they’re the best measure of what everyone in town still listens to.

I’m going to try to get some drive-time, advertiser-demo rankers in a few days, especially in afternoon drive where I hear there’s a pretty good battle between ESPN’s Joe Soucheray and KFAN’s Dan Barreiro, with WCCO’s Michele Tafoya well back. That’s if you exclude music, which always holds down the first few spots.

But all that after I catch my breath.

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