WTOP GM Blames Ratings Loss to WAMU on Adele, Slow Local News
Worse than WNEW
WAMU ended news station WTOP’s three-year run as Washington’s most-listened-to radio station in both March and January to March ratings, Ben Fischer reports at the Washington Business Journal.
WTOP’s general manager blames the low ratings on the winter, local news, and…Adele:
WTOP General Manager Joel Oxley said his station’s ratings have been hurt by short-term factors: a mild winter, which meant no snowstorms and the resulting rush for traffic or event news; a quiet period on the local news front and “an excellent product (Adele is one of many) for music stations such as Hot 99.5.”
The Adele thing is a little odd, but stranger still is Oxley’s claim that there’s been a “quiet period on the local news front.”
Just in the District in March, Marion Barry has been on his hate parade, Jeffrey Thompson’s house was raided, and there was a contested at-large election. Anne Arundel’s county executive was indicted for parking lot sex. And WTOP has reporters to chase those stories.
How much is news competitor WNEW affecting WTOP? DCRTV’s Dave Hughes tells Fischer that WNEW could be, just slightly, taking enough of WTOP’s viewers to give the top spot to WAMU.