By Steve Kabelowsky Contributing Columnist Published Jan 02, 2014 at 3:12 PM Photography:

December is a time where the holidays, family traditions and work schedules will change our normal media and radio listening habits.

Area radio stations know this and programming directors do their level best to plan accordingly. But the truth lies in the numbers, which set the rates at which the stations will charge for commercial air time. Thanks to the Tom Taylor Now newsletter, we get a glimpse of the results of the Nielsen Audio ratings for subscribing stations.   

Country station WMIL-FM 106.1 continues its run as the most listened to station in the market with a 9.4 rating, and Journal Broadcast-owned WTMJ-AM 620 finished in second place with a 7.7.

Speaking of WMIL, if you were listening last Sunday morning, you may have heard me talk about the big stories in media in 2013 with "Conversations" host Dan O’Donnell. The show on community affairs runs on Clear Channel stations WMIL, WRIT-FM Oldies 95.7, WRNW-FM 97.3, WKKV-FM V100.7 and WOKY-AM 920.

It should be noted that WZTI-AM 1290 Martini Radio was the first in the market to switch to an all Christmas music format. The tactic was a pretty huge deal a number of years ago as it was an annual watch to see which station would flip over. In recent years, as the ratings system changed to personal people meters (PPM) in our market, the practice has waned.

Just as it says above, this list of December ratings only includes the stations that subscribe to Nielsen:

  • WMIL-FM, Country: 9.4
  • WTMJ-AM, News Talk Info.:  7.7
  • WRIT-FM, Oldies: 6.4
  • WMYX-FM, Hot AC: 5.8
  • WXSS-FM, Pop CHR: 5.7


  • WISN-AM, News Talk Info.: 5.6
  • WKKV-FM, Urban: 5.3
  • WLWK-FM, Adult Hits: 4.4
  • WLUM-FM, Alternative: 4.0
  • WLDB-FM, AC: 3.9


  • WRNW-FM, Pop CHR: 3.0
  • WUWM-FM, News Talk Info.: 2.3
  • WHAD-FM, Talk/Personality: 1.2
  • WYMS-FM, AAA: 1.2
  • WZTI-AM, Adult Standard/MOR: 0.9


  • WMSE-FM, Alternative:                0.4
  • WSSP-AM, All Sports: 0.4
  • WOKY-AM, All Sports: 0.1

DUAL SCREEN: While watching the NFL playoffs this weekend, you may be able to keep the TV on the NFC games – including the Green Bay Packers tilt against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday – while catching up with the AFC on a computer or mobile device without having to switch channels.

For the first time ever, CBS Sports will stream its coverage of the AFC playoff games on Streaming coverage includes the national broadcasts of the AFC Wild Card Playoff Game on Sunday, Jan. 5, the AFC Divisional Playoff Games on Saturday, Jan. 11 and Sunday, Jan. 12, and the AFC Championship Game on Sunday, Jan. 19.  Live streams of CBS Sports’ AFC playoff games will be available to fans on laptops, desktops and tablets at

NEW YEAR’S EVE COVERAGE: One lesson that rookie reporters learn is to pre-interview people before putting a microphone in their face and letting them speak live on the air.

So, it was surprising when Phil Keating, who was covering the final minutes of 2013 in Miami for Fox News, put a microphone in front of a woman to report on her joy of ringing in the new year.

"Say something to the nation," Keating said.

"We got five minutes ‘till 2014 and we’re gonna f*ck sh*t up!" the woman replied.

Steve Kabelowsky Contributing Columnist

Media is bombarding us everywhere.

Instead of sheltering his brain from the onslaught, Steve embraces the news stories, entertainment, billboards, blogs, talk shows and everything in between.

The former writer, editor and producer in TV, radio, Web and newspapers, will be talking about what media does in our community and how it shapes who we are and what we do.