All-news radio got a big storm surge from Hurricane Sandy, the latest Arbitron ratings confirm. Just-released figures for the first three weeks of November show that both WCBS-AM (880) and WINS (1010 AM) became go-to places. Even with the average for the whole three weeks, WCBS-AM jumped from 3.9% of the radio audience to 5.3%. WINS rose from 4.1% to 4.8%, which is particularly remarkable because the station lost its transmitter for 17 hours after the storm and then operated at low power for several more days. “Our signal problems knocked us off the air at 11 p.m. on Oct. 29 and we remained off until 4 p.m. on Oct. 30,” says Ben Mevorach, WINS director of news and programming. “Even when we returned to air, we were at one-fifth of full strength for several days.” Still, Mevorach noted, more than 3.6 million people tuned to WINS that week. WCBS-AM had similar numbers, plus a near-record jump while WINS was off the air. News/talk WABC (770 AM) and WOR (710 AM), which also moved to virtually full-time storm coverage, saw increases in their audience share as well. Ironically, this followed several months of nearly full-time election talk which, unlike previous… Read full this story
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