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With $225 Million In Combined Revenue, Top Billers Show Staying Power Of Strong AM Radio Brands.

As broadcasters fight to keep AM radio in vehicle dashboards, BIA shines on a light on the strength of the legacy band with a breakout chart of the top AM radio stations based on revenue. The top 10 billers account for more than $225 million in annual revenue, demonstrating the staying power that well programmed, carefully managed heritage AM brands continue to command more than 100 years after the birth of AM radio.

Audacy holds the top two positions on the AM tally with a pair of heritage all-news outlets. Chicago’s “News Radio 780” WBBM-AM tops the list with $30 million in 2023 over the air revenue (up from No. 2 among AM stations in 2022), followed by “NewsRadio 880” WCBS-AM New York in second place (up from fourth) with $29.7 million. iHeartMedia news/talk “NewsRadio 740” KTRH Houston-Galveston leapt from No. 14 in 2022 all the way to third with $24.6 million in 2023 OTA billings. BIA’s Nicole Ovadia said KTRH reported the revenue jump to BIA, along with a corresponding decline in revenues for alternative rock sister “94.5 FM The Buzz” KTBZ-FM.

A pair of news/talkers tie for fourth place, each booking $23.8 million in OTA sales: iHeart’s KFI Los Angeles (up from fifth in 2022) and Cox Media Group’s WSB Atlanta (up from third). WSB-AM simulcasts on WSBB-FM.

Holding steady in sixth place is iHeart news/talk/sports KOA Denver with $21.6 million, followed by Audacy news KNX Los Angeles, which stays at No. 7 with $20.8 million. Ranked eighth for a second consecutive year, Cumulus Media’s “The Ticket” KTCK Dallas is the only sports station to make the AM top billers list with 2023 revenue of $18.1 million. The Ticket is a simulcast of KTCK-AM & FM. Two more longtime Audacy all-news outlets complete the list: KYW Philadelphia (which simulcasts on WPHI-FM) stays at ninth with $16.6 million, and KCBS San Francisco advances from 12 to 10 with $16.4 million.

Reinforcing the importance of longevity on the AM band, half of the top billers are heritage stations with three call letters.

As with BIA’s main top billers list, radio’s two largest groups dominate AM radio’s top performers: Audacy commandeers half the top 10, iHeartMedia has three stations, Cox and Cumulus Media each landed one station in the top ten.

The entire list is made up of spoken-word stations: five stations program news, three air news/talk, one has a combination of news/talk/sports, and one is sports.

Two of the top ten are in Los Angeles, and there’s one each in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston-Galveston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Denver-Boulder.

BIA says it will devote future blog posts on the Top 10 Radio Owners by revenue and Top 10 Billing Spanish Language Radio Stations in 2023.

Visit the complete BIA blog HERE.

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