Eagles season has been a boon to both Philadelphia sports radio stations, as every show saw ratings increases over last quarter. But once again, 94.1 WIP has topped rival 97.5 The Fanatic, this time in the 2017 fall ratings book, which uses data gathered from Sept. 14 to Dec. 6 to measure the popularity of stations and shows.
WIP ended the quarter up 22 percent over last year to finish second in the market among men ages 25 to 54, a key demographic desired by both radio stations, according to numbers obtained from Nielsen. WIP finished more than three shares ahead of the The Fanatic, which ended the quarter in seventh place.
In the mornings, Angelo Cataldi (who recently extended his contract with WIP) and his crew remained dominant, crushing The Fanatic's new duo of Anthony Gargano and former Daily News reporter Bob Cooney. Cataldi nearly doubled Gargano's ratings share and finished the quarter up over last year, ending in second place. Gargano, whose ratings were slightly down compared to last year, finished the quarter in seventh place. At this point, the days of Gargano narrowing the ratings gap with Cataldi seem like a distant memory.
For middays, WIP's duo of Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie continued their upward trend with a third-place finish, up a whopping 32 percent over last year. At The Fanatic, despite Gargano's diminishing lead-in, the new midday team of Harry Mayes and Jason Myrtetus have also managed to slightly grow their ratings share compared to last year. The duo finished the quarter in sixth place, and the hope for The Fanatic has to be that some long-needed consistency in the midday spot can help it retain listeners.
The only real bright spot for The Fanatic was popular afternoon host Mike Missanelli, who ended the quarter in second place over WIP's duo of the now-departed Chris Carlin and Ike Reese, who landed in third. But Carlin and Reese once again narrowed the ratings gap, and it looks like Carlin's replacement, Jon Marks, has at least continued that trend in December. We'll have to wait and see if Missanelli's new telecast on NBC Sports Philadelphia, which is scheduled to launch in the first quarter of 2018, will have any impact on his radio ratings.
New program director Eric Johnson took over at The Fanatic on Dec. 4, and said his immediate goal was to close the overall gap with WIP.
"My first order of business will be a bit of tightening up, hoping to make the shows a little hotter, a little more fast moving," Johnson said. "I think the station just needs a little more of an in-your-face presence to really reflect the Philadelphia market."