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 has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.