The unprecedented year of 2020 is almost over but data released Wednesday by BIA Advisory Services provides a radio scorecard for what’s now a distant memory – 2019. WTOP was radio’s top billing station in 2019 for a fifth consecutive year, billing $69.8 million, nearly $1 million more than the Hubbard all-news dynamo took in during 2018. Once again WTOP surpassed stations in much larger markets with bigger revenue bases. KIIS-FM, iHeartMedia’s Los Angeles CHR, repeated its second place finish with $59.9 million, just short of the $61 million it raked in during 2018. The influential pop station last topped the BIA list in 2014 and has been second to WTOP ever since.
In fact all of 2019’s top billers were the same as in 2018 – and in the exact same order – with the exception of a newcomer at No. 10.
Holding steady in third place is iHeartMedia hot AC “104.3 My FM” KBIG Los Angeles, with 2019 revenues of $45.2 million, consistent with its $46 million in 2018. iHeartMedia AC “Lite FM” WLTW New York ($44 million) is in fourth place, followed by clustermate CHR “Z100” WHTZ ($42 million) with identical revenues and rank positions from 2018.
Entercom sports “The Fan” WFAN-AM/FM New York remains in sixth year-over-year, posting 2019 revenues of $41.4 million, a hair less than $41.5 million in 2018. Entercom news WINS New York is seventh with $40.3 million in 2019 revenues, followed by New York news sister WCBS ($39.2 million) and Entercom news WBBM Chicago ($39 million). Revenues at the four Entercom spoken word stations are essentially unchanged from 2018.
The only new entrant on the list is Beasley Media Group’s “98.5 The Sports Hub” WBZ-FM Boston, which entered at No. 10 with 2019 billings of $37.0 billion, displacing iHeartMedia news/talk KFI Los Angeles, which ranked 10th in 2018 with $35 million in revenue.
Among owners, iHeart and Entercom each corralled four of the top 10 stations, while Hubbard and Beasley each had one. Broken out by markets, New York placed five entries, L.A. had two and Chicago, Washington and Boston landed one apiece.