Chicago is still a classic rock town

These rankings are based on quarter-hour ratings (AQH) from people aged 6 and over who listen Monday through Sunday. Data: Nielsen Audio. ; Graphic: Erin Davis/Axios

👋 Hi, this is Justin. Since columnist Robert Feder retired in July, the lack of daily media coverage in Chicago has been painful.

Why is this important: There’s no shortage of media news, whether it’s investigating the production of bogus newspapers, revealing new newscasts or announcing the retirement of trusted presenters.

.📈 The plot: After Nielsen audio released their September radio ratings for our metro area, we decided to pick up — a bit — where Feder left off.

State of play: Chicago is a radio city.

  • Take a trip downtown to the Museum of Broadcast Communications to learn about the history of the radio exhibit.
  • But the days of radio domination by stations like WGN, WBBM-AM and WGCI are over. New streaming technology and the pandemic have helped change our listening habits.

🤘 Steer the news: The Drive (WDRV) remains the last of the city’s classic rock stations. In September, the station was by far the most popular listening experience.

🎄 Finalist: Lite (WLIT) ratings typically plummet outside of its popular year-end and all-holiday lineup, but the soft rock station continues to do well without it.

  • Watch them reclaim the No. 1 spot when they begin filming Bing Crosby and Gene Autry classics in November.

🗣 The other side: Summer is usually down for talk radio. WBEZ and WGN-AM both saw declines from August through September, but are expected to rebound as Election Day approaches.

  • 📻 And the once-dominant Top 40 stations that now compete with streaming music services haven’t reached the top 10.

To note : These ratings do not break down time slots or specific demographics.

Full disclosure: I worked for a number of these stations.

📫 Which is your favorite radio station? We want to know in our informal Axios Chicago reader poll for a story next week.

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