WTOP (FM) Takes Over the Top Billing Station

According to the most recent estimates, WTOP (FM), the all news station in Washington, D.C., was the highest billing station in 2010. BIA/Kelsey estimates the station billed more than $57 million, providing news and information to its local market in a year with significant political and economic news to report. KIIS (FM), a CHR station in Los Angeles, was second with $54 million. No other station billed more than $50 million in 2010.

The table below shows the top 10 billing stations throughout the entire U.S.

* Note that there is a pending deal of WTOP (FM) sold by Bonneville to Hubbard Broadcasting

Of the top 10 billing radio stations, five are AM stations, and seven have either a news, talk or sports format. The audiences of such programming are very attractive to national and local advertisers, and thus, these stations can generate substantial revenues.

Most of these stations have long histories of generating substantial revenues as nine of the 10 were in the top 10 for 2009. The only new station breaking the top 10 was WFAN (AM), which was right out of the top 10 at 12 for 2009 and has been in the top 10 in previous years. WGN (AM), the News/Talk station in Chicago, slipped out of the top 10 this year to 11, only slightly behind No. 10, KROQ (FM).

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Jim Farley

    Mark, your headline says AM, but WTOP is on 3 FM sticks, no AM.
    Not too shabby for a radio statioin in Market # 9……..

  2. Mike Reynolds

    This is a key indicator of the demise of commercial radio. Not one station exceeds 58 million dollars revenue in 2010?. The top biller is in market 9?.
    Good news for WTOP, bad news for the industry overall.

    Cue up Gordon Lightfoot “When suppertime came, the old cook came on deck sayin’. Fellas, it’s too rough to feed ya. At Seven P.M. a main hatchway caved in, he said Fellas, it’s been good t’know ya”

  3. KSTEW

    mike has just about written an obituary for commercial radio…true commercial radio is “challenged” however the death song has been sung before…tv, music on cable, satellite, mp3’s, pandora, wireless web, smart phones…but yet commercial radio remains…of course the fact is we will never see pre telcom96 days ever again but the ship is far from sinking…we’re in rough seas for sure…but we will remain upright and floating for ever, modified but sailing no the less

  4. Mike Reynolds

    KSTEW- I am hoping this is not the obituary for commercial radio. However this is pretty scary. It actually sounds a warning for the safe FM music stations without distinctive positioning and or personalities. The publicly traded companies with their self-destructive ways have committed high crimes and treason against their own industry.

  5. Bruce Holberg

    Went back to a BIA list from 2005. Number one was KROQ with $67,600 (now $39,000). WINS second with $60,800 (now $41,000). WLTW billed $58,900 ($44,300) Somehow the article missed #3, but five of the top billers were FM, four AM. Clearly, the band doesn’t matter…the number of avails matters…but I always have insisted that the localism and relevance to peoples’ everyday lives matters most. It is our last, best hope.

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