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January Format Counts: Country, Religion And News/Talk Remain A Solid 1-2-3.


With the first month of 2024 in the books, Inside Radio/PrecisionTrak's monthly format counts show the top 10 in the same order as they've been since July 2023, when the religion format – encompassing religious teaching, hymns, and other related content – passed news/talk to claim a steady second place.


From top-ranked country to 10th-place top 40, there's a comfortable gap in total stations between every format in the top 10, the widest of those for January 2024 between third- and fourth-ranked news/talk and contemporary Christian, where the former boasts 642 more outlets than the latter.


The smallest difference is the nine stations between eighth- and ninth-place classic rock and sports, two formats which likely share a significant amount of male listeners. While the difference between them has been as close as just two stations during last February and March, sports has yet to pass classic rock's total.


In the past year, the biggest-gaining formats among the top 10 are religion, adding a net 31 stations (+1.5%) since January 2023, and contemporary Christian, up by 26 (+1.9%). Fifth-ranked Spanish-language formats and seventh-place classic hits are also double-digit gainers, the former adding 17 stations (+1.3%) and the latter 12 (+1.0%) year-over-year. Adding the least is top 40 with just 5 (+0.9%).


Losing the most stations since last January are news/talk (-17, -0.8%) and both country and sixth-ranked variety, the latter including stations with three or more distinct formats, either block-programmed or simultaneously (-14 each, -0.6% and 1.1%). Losing the fewest are classic rock and sports, shedding four apiece (both -0.6%).


Looking at formats just below the top 10, 11th-ranked adult contemporary, 52 stations behind top 40, has also lost 14 outlets over the past 12 months (-2.5%). Hot AC at 12th, with 94 fewer stations than AC, shed 11 for a 2.4% loss, while alternative rock, itself 21 in back of hot AC, has lost just one station year-over-year (-0.2%).

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