Jan 17, 2012

Ratings for new format WESA-FM down 50 percent from WDUQ days

Audience numbers for news WESA-FM, the former WDUQ jazz/news station in Pittsburgh, have dropped 50 percent since June 2011, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, from a 1.6 Arbitron share that June to a .8 share in December. "It's not surprising there's some audience loss because of the jazz loss," pubradio consultant John Sutton told the paper. "What is surprising: Usually when you streamline your format, you see an increase in listening among the remaining listeners. And that hasn't happened yet."

Tammy Terwelp, WESA director of content and programming, said she considers the downturn typical for a new format, and the low December number doesn't concern her. "Holiday listening patterns of people are so unlike their normal listening patterns," she said. "People are off from work, shopping, traveling. It's really a mixed bag."


Lee Ferraro said...

The Post-Gazette reporting is flawed, it's based only on November, 2011 topline audience estimates v. June, 2011 audience estimates. WESA's arbitron PPM encoders were turned off for a couple days in November and Thanksgiving day audience was estimated at zero listeners. A more thorough analysis showed a weekly CUME of 143,000 listeners for WDUQ based on 6 months of measurement prior to the format change. WESA had a weekly average CUME of 103,000 for 5 months of measurement, months which included several days of missing data, holidays and a 10 day member campaign. I imagine anyone reading this realizes that stations lose audience immediately following a major format change before the station begins to build new audience.

Lee Ferraro said...

Just an FYI: WESA, Essential Public Media is a wholly-owned subsidiary of WYEP, there are no partners.

Dru said...

Editor's note: Lee Ferraro is general manager of WYEP. WESA is a subsidiary of that station.