WRCH, WYBC, WEBE, WCTY Are Top-Rated Stations in CT's Local Radio Markets

The top-ranked radio stations in the Hartford-New Britain market area in November were WRCH-FM, WTIC-FM, and WHCN-FM (River 105.9), according to the latest Nielson Audiosurvey information. Grouped in a flat-footed tie for fourth are three stations:  WKSS-FM, WWYZ-FM and WZMX-FM. Public radio station WNPR-FM is next in the ratings, followed by WTIC-AM, the only AM station to break into the top ten.  The Hartford area is the 52nd largest radio market in the U.S., with a population of 1,081,300.  It is the largest radio market in Connecticut.

Twenty years ago, in 1997, the ratings were also led by WRCH (Lite 100.5), but the runner-up that year was WTIC-AM.  The two stations jockeyed for the ratings lead for the next few years, with WTIC-AM taking a short-lived lead in 2001.  By 2015, WTIC-AM had fallen to eighth, as the dominance of FM stations grew. 

In the New Haven market, the top ranked station in the most recent ratings is WYBC-FM, Yale University’s Urban Adult Contemporary station, followed by WPLR-FM, WKCI-FM, and WEZN-FM.  WYBC has led the ratings race in the nation’s #121 ranked radio market for the past two years.  The population of the New Haven market is 430,300, according to the most recent ratings.

Greater Bridgeport is the #124 ranked market, with a population of 421,100, and its top-rated station is WEBE-FM, playing an adult contemporary format.  Next in the rations are WEZN-FM, WPLR-FM and WICC-AM.

In the Stamford-Norwalk radio market, the dominance of New York based stations is apparent, after Bridgeport’s WEBE-FM, which tops the local ratings.  The two top runners-up are WCBS-AM, New York City’s all-news station, and WHTZ-FM (Z100), with a contemporary hits format.  WEZN-FM, New York sports station WFAN and Urban Adult Contemporary WBLS-FM rank next.  Stamford-Norwalk is the 148th ranked market in the Nielsen Audio reports, with a population of 323,400.

The New London market ratings are led by country station WCTY-FM, followed by WQGN-FM (Q105), WNLC-FM and WKNL-FM.  The market, ranked #178, has a population of 238,300.

According to the second-quarter 2017 Nielsen Total Audience Report, Americans spend 87 percent of their AM/FM radio listening tuning into their three favorite stations (based on the amount of time spent with each). Perhaps even more interesting is that 58 percent of all listening goes to just one station, the listener's favorite station.

Nationally, more than two-thirds of listening happens away from the home. According to the report, at least 65 percent of American adults listen to the radio away from the home between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. during weekdays. And consumption peaks at 75 percent outside of the home during the afternoon drive time, between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. during the week.