A year after being knocked off their perch by iHeartMedia CHR 102.7 KIIS-FM Los Angeles, Hubbard News 103.5 WTOP Washington DC has reclaimed the spot as the nation’s top billing radio station in BIA/Kelsey’s annual report.
WTOP and its suburban simulcasters had its revenue rise from $63.5 million in 2014 to $65 million in 2015 to regain the lead, while continuing to be the only station outside of the top three markets to appear in the top 10 list. WTOP has now been the top billing station for five out of the past six years. KIIS-FM’s slight drop from $65.9 million to $64.7 million placed it second, while iHeart CHR sister “Z100” WHTZ New York placed third at $48.4 million.
Sports helped two of the biggest gainers as CBS’ WFAN New York rose from seventh to fourth with a $6 million increase, while the one year stay of the Chicago Cubs (with the stations breaking simulcast) helped WBBM/WCFS Chicago move from tenth to sixth. The Cubs will move to CBS sister “670 The Score” WSCR for the 2016 season.
The full Top 10 consists of:
1) Hubbard News 103.5 WTOP Washington – $65 million ($63.5 million in 2014)
2) iHeartMedia CHR 102.7 KIIS-FM Los Angeles – $64.7 ($65.9 in 2014)
3) iHeartMedia CHR 100.3 WHTZ New York – $48.4 ($51 is 2014)
4) CBS Sports 660 WFAN/101.9 WFAN-FM New York – $47 ($41 in 2014)
5) CBS News 880 WCBS New York – $45 ($49.2 in 2014)
6) CBS News 780 WBBM/105.9 WCFS Chicago – $43.8 ($39.2 in 2014)
7) iHeartMedia Hot AC 104.3 KBIG Los Angeles – $42.9 ($43.6 in 2014)
8) iHeartMedia AC 106.7 WLTW New York – $40 ($41.5 in 2014)
9) CBS News 1010 WINS New York – $39.5 ($41 in 2014)
10) iHeartMedia Talk 640 KFI Los Angeles $37.8 (Not ranked in 2014)
Dropping out of the top 10 was CBS Alternative 106.7 KROQ Los Angeles following its $40.2 million billing in 2014.
After sitting at number two in 2014, Hubbard Radio’s Washington, DC news station, WTOP-FM, has moved back to the number one spot as the country’s top revenue-producing radio station in 2015, bumping last year’s leader, iHeartMedia’s KIIS-FM of Los Angeles, to the second spot, according the first quarter edition of BIA/Kelsey’s 2016 Investing In Radio® Market Report. WTOP-FM took in $65 million in advertising revenues in 2015, as overall industry revenues dipped slightly to $14 billion. Despite slipping to number two, iHeartMedia garnered a significant share of U.S. radio revenues, with five stations in the top 10.
In 2015, U.S. over-the-air radio revenues were $14 billion, with online generating $710 million. BIA/Kelsey forecasts both sources of radio income to continue growing at a slight pace over the next few years, reaching $15.9 billion overall in 2020.
“Despite declining OTA revenues, radio remains an important part of the local marketing mix, as the fourth largest local media segment, with more than 10 percent of the local ad revenue pie,” said Mark Fratrik, senior vice president and chief economist, BIA/Kelsey. “We do expect a slight bump in overall U.S. radio revenues this year, boosted by political spending and double-digit increases in online revenues.”