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Vancouver Radio Ratings, Spring 2009. A Sea Change.

Vancouver Spring 2009 radio ratings

The Vancouver 2009 Winter radio ratings were published this morning, and the news is huge! For the first time ever, Canada's public broadcaster, the CBC, has emerged as the top-rated radio station in the market, besting long-time market leader CKNW by almost a full percentage point. Only four short years ago, in 2005, CBC Radio One scored a paltry 5 percentage points, behind eight other stations. Now, CBC Vancouver is number one!

Tom Monaghan, VP media director of Vancouver-based advertising agency Cossette Media told the Globe and Mail's Fiona Morrow that recent developments in the city's radio scene had made an impact on the figures, noting the arrival of The Peak and some re-branding among other stations.

"It's a balancing out of the marketplace," he told Morrow. "And, to be honest with you, it's CKNW's audience that has declined - it's not that we're seeing a dramatic increase with the CBC, and it's a relatively small increase anyway."

Taking a look at the ratings above (click on the graphic at the top for the fullscreen graph), apart from the local CBC radio outlet, AM650 (formerly CISL) emerges as the other big winner, tripling their ratings in the past year with a move to the low-key "All Time Favourites" format, a format they assumed when Jimmy Pattison's AM600 went dark in the autumn of 2008.

In the morning slot, 6 - 9 a.m., CBC Radio One pulled in an unprecedented 16.9, with JACK a distant second at 9.4, and the other morning shows emerging as also-rans, averaging 5.1 (the Team) to 7.7 (QM-FM). News1130 registered 9.0 in the morning, with Rock 101 and Virgin tied at 6.4, CKNW dipped to 6.1, JR-FM held steady at 5.7, with Virgin and CFOX tied at 5.3. CFUN, AM730, CISL and The Peak are the bottom dwellers (1 point each). CKCL, 104.9 (oldies), remains stuck at 3 percentage points.

Otherwise, for the most part, the 2009 Winter radio ratings book is stand pat. One supposes that the Team 1040 (CKST) has reason to celebrate (as the Canucks do well, so does the Team), reaching 4.0 for the first time. And Jimmy Pattison can't exactly be thrilled with a rating of 1.0 for The Peak, his new triple-A radio station (can't sell many ads with a 1.0 rating).

PugetSoundRadio has published a further demographic breakdown of the numbers, which shows perennial favourite 103.5 QM-FM and 96.9 JACK-FM in the lead 25 - 54, and CHQM out in way out in front with women 25 - 54.

The folks at RadioWest (from whom we appropriated the graphic) have also begun to weigh in on the Winter 2009 radio ratings book, the commentary in the early going focusing on the "erosion of the once Giant 98."

With the portable people meter coming to Vancouver as early as this fall, to record local radio ratings, we'll see what effect, if any, the new technology has on recording radio listening preferences on the Lower Mainland.

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at April 2, 2009 11:41 AM in Radio


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