The Francesa, Kay Battle Rages On


Nielsen released New York City ratings on Wednesday and in the battle for afternoon sports talk supremacy, WFAN’s Mike Francesa and ESPN’s Michael Kay are both number one. It all depends on what you read this morning and it all depends on how they interpret the ratings. There’s no doubt about one thing – it’s close.

Mike Francesa

If listeners in New York take a look at Newsday today, Francesa won the ratings ratings battle. “Mike Francesa of WFAN finished first overall in the New York-area radio ratings for the quarterly spring “book,” which covers March 28 to June 19, edging ESPN New York’s Michael Kay in another close race between the afternoon shows. From 3 to 6:30 p.m., Francesa averaged 6.6 percent of the audience among men ages 25-54, a demographic both stations primarily use, according to data from Nielsen Audio. Kay averaged 6.4 and was second overall in the market.”

Michael Kay

If listeners get wind of an ESPN press release Kay is the winner: “According to Nielsen, for the second consecutive ratings book, 98.7FM ESPN New York’s The Michael Kay Show beat WFAN in afternoon drive among men 25-54 from 3-6:30 p.m. ET in the New York market. The Michael Kay Show garnered a 6.4 share, making it the top sports show during afternoon drive, compared to 6.1 for WFAN. The Nielsen spring ratings book ran from January 28 – June 19.”

Of course, by now we all know part of the problem with getting a clear picture has to do with streaming, and how Nielsen credits stations. ESPN runs the same ads so Nielsen reports their ratings as one number. WFAN inserts ads so listeners are reported as two numbers and added together. When you look at the numbers as one (without adding in Francesa’s streaming numbers) Kay wins. When you add in Francesa’s streaming numbers, Francesa wins. calls it selective math. The New York Post says both men should be happy.

Kay will be off for awhile after having vocal cord surgery


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