Last October, after faltering ratings, SportsRadio 94.1 said goodbye to midday host Michael Barkann, moved his co-host Ike Reese to the afternoon, and launched a brand-new show with former 97.5 the Fanatic host Joe DeCamara and former Eagles fullback Jon Ritchie.
So far, it's looking like WIP's moves paid off.
In the 2017 summer ratings book, which uses data gathered for a three-month period to measure the popularity of stations and shows, DeCamara and Ritchie's midday show is up 67 percent over last year in the all-important demographic of men 25 to 54, according to Nielsen numbers obtained by the Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com. That was good enough to finish in third place, improving on last year's eighth-place finish.
Overall, it was a great quarter for WIP, which gained a full share over last year and finished third overall in the market, up from seventh place over the same period last year. WIP finished nearly three full shares ahead of the Fanatic, which ended the period in 10th place with ratings that were basically flat compared with last year. The new data cover the period of June 22 to Sept. 13.
At the Fanatic, Harry Mayes, who was left without a regular midday co-host when Rob Ellis left in July, stayed flat compared with last year and remained in 11th place. Jason Myrtetus, the station's acting program director, is now Mayes' permanent co-host, so we'll see if some stability can help the Fanatic become competitive again during middays.
In the mornings, longtime WIP ratings powerhouse Angelo Cataldi managed to grow his ratings 22 percent over last year, ending the period in third place. Cataldi's contract at the station is up at the end of the year, and he has hinted multiple times that he's seriously considering retiring, something for which his 97.5 rival Anthony Gargano must be rooting.
Gargano, who had once narrowed the ratings gap with Cataldi, remained flat compared with last year, dropping him two points to seventh place. Some bright news for Gargano is the addition of former Daily News reporter Bob Cooney, who finally fills the hole left vacant since February after former co-host Jon Marks bolted for WIP. Like the midday show, we'll see if some stability can help Gargano grow ratings during football season.
Mike Missanelli remains the only bright spot for the Fanatic. Unlike the spring ratings book, Missanelli managed to grow his ratings slightly to remain in third place. But WIP's duo of Chris Carlin and Reese have narrowed the gap, moving up to fifth place with a 22 percent ratings increase. In fact, the two have steadily gained ratings shares every month since they launched their show last November. It'll be interesting if Reese, a popular former Eagles player, can help WIP close the ratings gap in the afternoon during football season.