Whether or not the Redskins had anything to do with it, WMAL-AM (630) leaped over three tough competitors to regain its dominance of the market in the fall 1984 Arbitron ratings, released this week.
WMAL, which last led the pack in the winter 1984 book with a 9.4 share of the market, bounced back from a No. 4 position. But being the Redskins' radio base, executives warned, didn't provide the station's fall magic. Only 2.3 percent of WMAL's broadcast week is devoted to the Redskins, and last fall, when the Redskins had a better season, the station had only an 8.0 share.
"We just live too much by this. It is only a window in time," said Andrew Ockershausen, WMAL's vice president, cautioning against overconfidence in the ratings or the Redskins. "Being involved with the community and doing things is really the payoff," he said, citing reporter Larry Krebs, the first newsman on the scene at the abortion clinic bombing last week, and the station's cosponsorship of the city's New Year's Eve party.
Easy-listening WGAY-FM (99.5), which led the survey for the first time in 24 years in the summer 1984 book, dropped to No. 2 but remained far ahead of its closest competitor, WTKS-FM (102.3).
WWDC-FM (101.1) continued to rack up the entire hard rock audience. WLTT-FM (94.7) continued to put distance between it and the other adult contemporary stations, as did country WMZQ-FM (98.7) over competitor WPKX-FM (105.9).
Urban contemporary kingpin WKYS-FM (93.9) slipped for the third consecutive ratings period. It now holds the third slot, and right on its heels, but showing some decline, is WHUR-FM (96.3). Joe Alfenito, manager of promotions and operations for WKYS, said it was a "statistical aberration" rather than a trend. The station isn't planning to increase its advertising. Maybe that's smart -- although the extraordinary promotion effort by WRQX-FM (107.3) helped its hit and youth format maintain a healthy lead over the other contemporary hit stations, it slipped this time from 5th to 6th. WRQX's closest competitor, WAVA-FM (105.1), showed some gains, as did the hybrid contemporary hit station WASH-FM (97.1).