For millions of listeners in America's largest radio market, it's a good morning every morning. Inside Radio's latest edition of “By The Numbers” spotlights the top 25 stations in New York morning drive, based on weekly cume persons 12+ using Nielsen’s September 2021 PPM survey.
Leading the pack is iHeartMedia CHR “Z100” WHTZ with “Elvis Duran And The Morning Show.” Celebrating 25 years in mornings and 15 in syndication, originating from Z100's New York studios, Duran and crew reach 641,800 listeners in the market weekly, close to one in 18 people in the tri-state area.
"I think our show succeeds on so many levels because of the long-term relationship with our audience,” Duran says. “We are a show of friendship and fun, while trying to be entertaining. We have a wonderfully large cast of folks, and there is literally someone for everyone listening. Our audience has grown up with us, they've changed with us, and we adapt every day for them. I think that's why so many listeners have stuck around with us for 25 years or more."
In second is Audacy classic hits WCBS-FM's “Scott Shannon in the Morning,” with a 605,400 weekly cume. With the exception of a couple of years in Los Angeles, Shannon has been waking up New York since 1983, when he flipped the “on” switch on Z100. Having started at CBS-FM in 2014, Shannon has now spent more time there than as head zookeeper of “The Z Morning Zoo.”
“Our show connects because we are authentic,” Shannon says. “We share moments of our lives and relate them with topical headlines we find interesting, insightful and funny. [Our] unique cast comes from different walks of life but share commonalities that the listeners connect with. We work hard to let people know we are also a family, and there are times when we have disagreements, but like any family, we try to work them out.”
This close to second, with a 605,300 weekly cume, is iHeart's adult contemporary “Lite FM” WLTW with “Cubby and Christine Mornings,” hosted by New York radio veterans Cubby Bryant and Christine Nagy. “What makes our show land with our audience is a great balance of topics and real life stories people can relate to along with the music variety,” Bryant says. “It also doesn't hurt that our show is friends on and off the air, and I think our listeners can feel that. There's also something to be said with Christine's and my 25-plus years on air in New York City, [so] many listeners have grown up with us."
Like iHeart, Audacy also places two stations and shows in New York's morning drive top five, with hot AC WNEW's “Karen Carson in the Morning” fifth. "We work to be authentic,” Carson says. "It makes us all on the show feel so great about what we’re doing when listeners call to say they listen because we’ve become their friends or part of their family. We all get along so well in studio and have so much fun on air. It puts the audience in a good mood to start their day.”
Four nationally-syndicated or network-emanated morning shows, two based in New York, finish in the top 10. Both Z100's Duran and iHeart R&B/Hip-Hop “Power 105.1” WWPR's “The Breakfast Club,” with DJ Envy, Angela Yee and Charlamagne Tha God, broadcast from their New York stations, while fourth-ranked Mediaco adult R&B WBLS' “Steve Harvey Morning Show” and 10th-place news/talk pubcaster WNYC-FM's “NPR Morning Edition” are based in Los Angeles and Washington, DC, respectively.
Also inside New York mornings' top 10 are two additional iHeart stations at numbers six and seven: hot AC WKTU's “Carolina With Greg T In The Morning Show” and classic rock “Q104.3” WAXQ's Jim Kerr “Rock & Roll Morning Show,” the latter boasting the longest-tenured morning host in the market, Kerr having first hosted mornings in 1974 on WPLJ. Audacy also places one more in Nielsen's top 10 with all news WINS, featuring morning drive anchors Lee Harris and Brigitte Quinn.
In addition to iHeart and Audacy, other station owners represented with more than one morning show include: Mediaco, with Steve Harvey on WBLS and, at No. 11, Rhythmic CHR “Hot 97” WQHT's “Ebro In The Morning” with Ebro Darden, Laura Sylez and Peter Rosenberg; and New York Public Radio, with WNYC-FM and “Morning Edition,” and classical WQXR's Jeff Spurgeon.
Just below the top 10 are Spanish Broadcasting System's two entries: tropical “La Mega” WSKQ's New York-based syndicated “El Vacilón de la Mañana,” and Spanish hits “93.1 Amor” WPAT-FM's “La Bodega de la Mañana” hosted by Bolivar Valera and Arlette Borrelly. Also placing a pair below the top 10 is Univision, with Spanish CHR “La X” WXNY's “La Gozadera” with Brea Frank and Shino Aguakate, and Spanish news/talk WADO's “Buenos Días América” with Ino Gómez and Dr. Edilberto Mejía Torres.