98.5 Rolls In The Rating

98.5 Rolls In The Rating

The May ratings for Boston sports radio are out. According to the Twitter account Boston Radio Watch, 98.5 The Sports Hub pulled off a resounding win over WEEI. Here are how the three drive-time slots turned out. 

6-10 am

98.5’s Toucher & Rich: 13.5

WEEI’s Greg Hill Show: 6.6

Toucher & Rich have been the morning show staple at 98.5 since the station launched in 2009. Hosts Fred Toucher, Rich Shertenlieb and John Wallach have created a loyal fan-base. Their program consistently does well in the ratings. 

The Greg Hill Show took over the slot in July, 2019. The WAAF hosts Greg Hill and Danielle Murr joined to give WEEI a different sound in morning drive. 

10 am - 2 pm

98.5’s Zolak & Bertrand: 15

WEEI’s Dale & Keefe: 3.5

After a couple different renditions of the mid-day show at 98.5, Zolak and Bertrand have settled into the slot. Former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak and Marc Bertrand frequently attract listeners.  

Dale Arnold and Rich Keefe have the dubious honor of being the lowest rated show out of the six slots. Since being moved from the afternoon window to mid-days in July of 2018 the show has struggled to consistently pull in listeners. 

2-6 pm

98.5’s Felger and Mazz: 19.4

WEEI’s OMF: 4.1

Hosts Michael Felger and Tony Massarotti have been a ratings behemoth since 98.5’s inception. The show does not just win ratings books after ratings book, they dominate the competition.  

Longtime WEEI personality Glenn Ordway, along with retired athletes Lou Merloni and Christian Fauria, are the station’s afternoon drive show. The 15.3 gap in the ratings between shows is the biggest discrepancy out of the three match-ups. 

These numbers are quite astounding. WEEI’s three shows combine for a 14.2 rating, which just barely edges out Toucher & Rich’s stand alone rating of  13.5. 98.5 has two shows that have higher ratings than what WEEI produces from 6 am to 6 pm. 

It begs the question of what can WEEI do to close the ratings gap? Just a couple of years ago, when the station had Kirk Minihane, Gerry Callahan, and Michael Holley, the ratings were competitive. 

In 2017 WEEI even had beat 98.5 in total share. From June 22nd to September 13th, the station had a higher overall ratings in the coveted demographic of males 25-54. WEEI had a 8.8 share compared to The Sports Hub’s 8.5. 

All of that changed for good in less than 36 months. The gap has never been wider for these two stations. Even when The Sports Hub exploded onto the scene, WEEI eventually fought back to respectable finishes. It does not appear WEEI has the firepower to pull off that maneuver again.

Whatever they decide to do, it seems clear a change must occur. If not, WEEI might have to alter its sports talk format entirely.

Follow Chad on Twitter @shutupchadjones

Written by Chad Jones

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