By Steve Kabelowsky Contributing Columnist Published Dec 03, 2013 at 3:03 PM Photography:

In years past, reporting on radio ratings in Milwaukee in November meant talking about which stations switched to holiday music and when they switched over.

It was easy comment fodder, too. Throw the news out there and watch the readers weigh in about how they switched off the station and will never listen again. Lo and behold, those same listeners will find their way back to the presets in the car. The numbers don’t lie.

Now, the landscape has changed.

Most of the stations that were bidding for Santa’s nice list now just mix in the occasional Christmas tune. The only one that has completely made the switch was WZTI-AM 1290 Martini Radio.

In Milwaukee, WMIL-FM 106.1 maintains its lead among the stations that are reported in the market. With the personal people meters (PPM), the country station saw a rise of two-hundredths of a point, scoring a 10.6 in November. News-talk WTMJ-AM 620 claimed second place with a 7.4 and oldies station WRIT-FM 95.7 was third with a 6.6.

Here are the reported ratings from the Nielsen-owned measuring service. All of the stations available in our market are measured, but are not represented in this list (because they don’t pay for the service):

  • WMIL-FM, Country: 10.6
  • WTMJ-AM, News Talk Info.: 7.4
  • WRIT-FM, Oldies: 6.6
  • WISN-AM, News Talk Info.: 6.5
  • WMYX-FM, Hot AC: 6.5
  • WXSS-FM, Pop CHR: 5.9
  • WLUM-FM, Alternative: 4.3
  • WLWK-FM, Adult Hits: 4.3
  • WKKV-FM, Urban: 4.0
  • WLDB-FM, AC: 3.2
  • WRNW-FM, Pop CHR: 2.9
  • WUWM-FM, News Talk Info.: 2.5
  • WHAD-FM, Talk/Personality: 1.2
  • WSSP-AM, All Sports: 0.5
  • WZTI-AM, Adult Stand./MOR: 0.5
  • WYMS-FM, AAA: 0.3
  • WMSE-FM, Alternative: 0.2
  • WOKY-AM, All Sports: 0.2

WATCHING THE CELEBRITIES: If you are a fan of "TMZ," you are not alone. The fast-moving entertainment news show is a guilty pleasure for many viewers. The syndicated program grew in ratings over the past three years on WITI-TV Fox 6.

Airing at 6:30 p.m. weeknights, the show grew 168 percent among women 25-49, WITI reported. Using the ratings breakdown from October, the show grew 111 percent among adults 25 to 49 compared to the same month in 2010.

HELPING OTHERS: WISN-TV Ch. 12’s phone bank for the Hunger Task Force raised $112,000. The funds nearly doubled last year's event that raised around $60,000. Donations from viewers tallied $62,000, and it was boosted by an anonymous viewer who agreed to match the first $50,000 raised.

HOLIDAY TRAIN: WISN's Sally Severson will be aboard the Holiday Train when it arrives in Milwaukee at 7:45 p.m. on Wednesday. The ABC affiliate is partnering with the Hunger Task Force at 5 p.m. for its "$2 Or 2 Cans at Santa's Workshop."

Milwaukee's train depot will be transformed into Santa's Workshop in anticipation of a visit by Santa Claus on the train. There will be cookie decorating, ornament making and assistance from the United States Postal Service to help kids write and mail a letter to Santa.

For $2, or two cans of a non-perishable food item, visitors get to enjoy the festivities and see the arrival of the Holiday Train.

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.