The quarterly Arbitron radio ratings are out, and the winter numbers show surprising dips for the music driven WLWK-FM (94.5), better known to listeners as Lake FM and long-time classic rocker WKLH-FM (96.5).
In the most-important broad measure, listeners 25 to 54, WLWK dipped from third place overall in winter 2009 to a 12th place tie with WQBW-FM (97.3), better known as "The Brew." These latest ratings, measuring listening from Jan. 7 to March 31.
First off, the top five stations in the 25-54 category are WHQG-FM (102.9), WISN-AM (1130), WTMJ-AM (620), WXSS-FM (103.7), and WMIL-FM (106.1). In winter 2009, the top five were WKLH-FM (96.5), WHQG, WXSS and WLWK tied for third, followed by WMIL.
WKLH dropped to eighth place.
In the measure of all listeners 12 and older, far less important in the radio business, the top five in the first quarter of 2010 were WTMJ, WISN, WXSS, WMIL and WKKV-FM (100.7). In winter 2009, the top five were WTMJ, WXSS, WISN, WKKV and WMIL.
The best ratings comparisons are to the same quarter, since radio listening is seasonal.
It's important to note that a dip in one quarter could just be a quirk in the numbers. It's too early to draw any conclusions.
In the mornings: From 6 to 10 a.m. weekdays, the top five stations among listeners 25 to 54 are WHQG, known as "The Hog," a tie between WKLH and WTMJ, WXSS, known to listeners as "Kiss FM," WISN, and WKKV in fifth.
That's a big bump for WISN, which was tied for ninth place in winter 2009.
Among all listeners, 12 and older, the morning finish is WTMJ, WHQG, WISN, WXSS and WKLH.
In the afternoon: From 3 to 7 p.m., among listeners 25 to 54, the finish is WISN, WXSS, WTMJ, WMIL and WKKV. In winter 2009, it was WISN, WKLH, WMIL and WLWK tied for third, and WXSS and WMYX-FM (99.1) tied for fifth.
Among all listeners, 12 and older, the top five are WISN, WXSS, WTMJ, WMIL and WKKV.
Almost the end: The winter 2009 ratings are the second-to-last quarter to be measured using diaries from a sample of listeners.
The spring quarter will be the final, before Arbitron switches to portable people meters to determine radio listening in the Milwaukee market, the nation's 37th largest.
That new ratings technology could cause a major shakeup in who's on top and who's not.
On TV: Channel 4 has become the first broadcast network affiliate to adopt Time Warner Cable's "Start Over" technology in the Milwaukee market. Digital cable customers can re-start both prime-time network shows and the station's local newscasts without a DVR. Start it by hitting the blue "select" button at the top of the remote.
- Milwaukee Police Officer Vidal Colon, wounded a year ago in the line of duty, is a finalist in the "America's Most Wanted" All-Stars competition for first-responders. Voting runs through Monday. You can vote once a day at the competition's website.
- Greg Kinnear will play John F. Kennedy and Katie Holmes will play Jackie Kennedy in the History Channel's first scripted mini-series,"The Kennedys." It's on the schedule for airing next year.
- The best TV news of the week is that Ricky Gervais will again host NBC's "Golden Globes" broadcast. The awards are scheduled for Jan. 16.
The latest from the Muppets: Over the past few months, the Muppets have been releasing videos on YouTube and the latest offering is this Kermit commentary on a previous release of "Bohemian Rhapsody."
Here it is:
Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for OnMilwaukee.com. He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.
A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.
In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at OnMilwaukee.com.
When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.