MIX Tops Ratings

MIX Tops Ratings

MIX 101.5/WRAL-FM became the #1 rated radio station among the Triangle’s 25 to 54 year old listeners. In the spring ratings published by Arbitron, the station had an 8.3 Average Quarter Hour Share, which is the estimated average number of persons who listen to a station for a minimum of five minutes.

Among the 25 to 54 year old bracket, MIX leapt from #3 one year ago to #1 out of the 24 radio stations in the metro area. The Early Morning Show, after undergoing changes in personnel and content, now ranks #2, up from #6 this winter and #4 one year ago.

In the Monday to Friday ratings, morning listeners in the 25-54 age range totaled 12,100 per quarter hour, as compared to 7,300 one year ago, an increase of 65%. The midday ratings increased to #1 from #5 one year ago, and the afternoon show has enjoyed the #1 spot all year, up from # 3 one year ago.


Joe Wade Formicola
WRAL-FM Program Director
In a topsy-turvy business, WRAL-FM Program Director Joe Wade Formicola is happy about the ratings but knows it’s a constant challenge to react to changes in the industry and keep up with the interests of the listening audience. Formicola came on board at MIX in December of 1999.
General Manager Ardie Gregory said, “I think that Joe Wade has the station to the point that it is meeting the needs and expectations of our core listeners. He has added personality to some very strong call letters and the ratings are starting to reflect the increase in both more people listening and for longer periods of time. I couldn’t be happier; I hope they last!”

Ardie Gregory
WRAL-FM
General Manager

In like Flynn: Morning team rises

By Adrienne M. Johnson
STAFF WRITER

Six months ago, when Angela Flynn joined WRAL-FM’s (MIX 101.5) early morning show with Bill Jordan and Schatzie, listeners weren’t exactly welcoming. “We were initially bombarded with complaints,” general manager Ardie Gregory says. Bill and Schatzie fans thought the show didn’t need fixing, and they wondered whether Flynn’s addition meant the demise of Schatzie. But Gregory and program director Joe Wade Formicola believed that with the right addition, their morning show numbers could grow. They answered listeners’ complaints with a plea to give the threesome a little time.

It seems their faith has paid off. In the spring Arbitron rating – the latest numbers – the station’s morning show moved from No. 6 to No. 2, behind WDCG-FM’s (G105) “Bob and Madison Showgram.” Demographically, the station has fared especially well. Looking at adults 25-54, the morning show went from drawing a 6.5 percent share in winter 2000 to a 9.5 percent share in the spring numbers, a 51 percent increase. A share is the estimated average number of people who listen to a station for at least five minutes.

Gregory says the change came as part of an overhaul she wanted throughout the station. “I felt we needed to put some personality back into the radio station,” she says. In that vein, the station also added Nicci O’Hara to afternoons with Rob Poulin. The move gave the time block more of a “show” feel. Now it’s the top-ranked afternoon block.

To Formicola, who hired Flynn about a month after he arrived at the station, it makes sense that the trio works. With Jordan, he says, the audience had a well-known veteran. Schatzie offered the voice of hip, single youth. “But there was definitely something missing,” he says. It was the voice of 30ish married women with children. In came Flynn, 36, from a Fayetteville station. Opinionated and on her second marriage, she is managing a blended family and has a baby on the way. “Now we have a show that pretty much relates to everyone we wanted to talk to,” Formicola says. Formicola and Gregory expect more growth in the ratings. “We’re just six months into this,” says Gregory. “We have plenty of growth potential ahead of us.”

Joe Wade’s return: If the name Formicola sounds familiar, it’s because MIX’s program director used to be a well-known – and well-respected -morning show personality. From 1980 to 1987, Formicola hosting a morning show on WKIX-AM, what’s now “850 The Buzz.” Back then it had a country format. How good was Formicola? Good enough to win a 1984 Billboard award for disc jockey of the year. “He knows what people like,” says Eddie Weiss, Formicola’s former general manager at WKIX. “He knows what the streets are about. The next hot thing that’s happening, he’ll be involved in it. It’s a remarkable talent.” Formicola left Raleigh and went back to his hometown Detroit. He bounced between formats successfully; in 1988 he won a Country Music Association Award for his hosting skills, a prize coveted because it can be won only once. But he wanted to come back to the area, where his wife and children were born. Now he says he’s here to stay. “This is where I want to finish my career.”

Reprinted from the final August 21st edition of the News and Observer Day Section, page E1. Copyright 2000 by The News & Observer Publishing Company.

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