Mike Francesa

Former WFAN host Mike Francesa might be letting out a couple of “Bah, humbug!” exclamations these holidays. The Nielsen Audio ratings are in for the final full period of Francesa’s show, spanning Sept. 14 to Dec. 6, and while Francesa again beat sports talk rivals like ESPN New York’s Michael Kay, he finished second to Lite FM. As Neil Best of Newsday writes, that’s partly about Lite FM’s strong couple of weeks in the period where they switched to holiday music:

WFAN ranked second in afternoon drive time for the last full ratings book of the Mike Francesa era, according to data released Tuesday by Nielsen Audio that covered Sept. 14 through Dec. 6.

From 3 to 7 p.m., WFAN averaged 6.6 percent of the audience in the key demographic of men ages 25-54. That trailed only WLTW, also known as “Lite FM,” at 7.1, helped as usual by its holiday music format, which this year began on Nov. 20.

Francesa chronicler Funhouse had the perfect commentary on how the often ratings-obsessed Francesa might view this:

Of course, this doesn’t include the much-publicized final week of Francesa’s show, and that might have helped him. (Then again, it might not have; that would have given WLTW another week of holiday music.) And of course, it’s not exactly shocking that holiday music is popular, and it’s probably more important to Francesa that he once again beat Kay (who finished fourth with 5 per cent of the key-demo audience), especially given the way Kay bragged about a ratings win this summer and Francesa called it “a complete fabrication.” But still, it’s pretty funny that lots of people were passing up impassioned rants about the Giants benching Eli Manning to listen to “Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer.” Maybe Rudolph needs his own sports talk show…


About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing.

  • I would have thought in a city with so many non-Christians (myself included), Lite-FM’s ratings would have gone down.

  • John Lee

    This is stupid and pathetic fake news even from a completely incompetent and worthless journalist from Andrew Bucholtz. I could careless for Francesa, but no class from Andrew Bucholtz in highlighting the irrelevant stories in Francesa’s last week of the show. Advertisers only care for sports talk’s core audience (male, 18-55), not holiday shopping people listening to holiday music.

    • Howard Stern

      It’s also ridiculous because holiday music ALWAYS does great in the ratings. Tell me Francesa beat holiday music every year until this one (hint: he didn’t) and then I’d listen. Otherwise, this is a non-story.

  • John Vicari

    The Michael Kay Show is a better show than Francesa’s. Francesa won the ratings because of people tuning in for his last few months not because of quality. Many of his fans will come over regret they hadn’t changed sooner and Kay, LaGreca and Rosenberg will dominate WFAN’s new team for years to come.