Well, something happened recently that has never happened before. I’m sharing the news here because as someone who follows WDAV, you are a very important part of this story.
On Thursday, February 24th, while eating my lunch at my desk as I usually do, I got the monthly email informing me that the latest radio ratings report for WDAV was available. I opened it dutifully, prepared to scan it for insights to share with the management team here at the station about how the station performed in January 2022 as far as numbers of listeners, the amount of time they spend listening to WDAV, and when that listening occurs.
I glanced at the first page of the Market Ranker, as the report is called, which lists all the radio stations in the Charlotte region in descending order based on each station’s “share” of radio listening in the area. I found that I had to really focus and look closely to make sure I wasn’t misreading what I saw, because I was completely unprepared for what the ranking showed.
In the most recent ratings report from Nielsen Media, WDAV ranked as the Number 1 station in the Charlotte radio market based on its share of 6.5 percent, with an average of 6,100 listeners tuned in each quarter hour and averaging 102,900 individual listeners over the course of a week.*
This was exciting enough in its own right, because it had never happened before in all the years that WDAV has existed, though in recent years we have occasionally been in the top 10. But the next day, industry publications noted that this was not just a first in our area. It turned out that this was the first time a classical music station has ever led its market in the modern era of radio ratings!
We’re delighted that so many radio listeners in the Charlotte region care about classical music and turn to WDAV to experience it. Public media like WDAV isn’t traditionally driven by the ratings, but this landmark does serve to demonstrate the impact we have in the community, and the special way in which we engage with our listeners. According to this Nielsen survey, on average WDAV listeners spent seven hours and thirty minutes a week with the station – and a significant number of our audience of almost 103,000 individuals spent much more than that! It’s a commitment of time and attention that is in marked contrast to the relationship most people have with radio these days.
It’s very heartening for everyone who works at WDAV, whether on air or supporting our programming behind the scenes, to know that the effort has earned the station this milestone moment. But we are also very aware that without the loyalty of our listeners, it simply would not have happened.
So, I write these words with deep appreciation for your role in WDAV’s ongoing growth over more than four decades. Because of it, we can continue to provide this timeless and enduring music in the coming weeks, months, and years. We truly couldn’t do it without you.
– Frank Dominguez, General Manager
*Nielsen Topline Radio Ratings, January 2022, Charlotte Metro, Persons 6+, Monday – Sunday, 6 a.m. –Midnight, Average Quarter-Hour Share and Audience, and Weekly Cume.