Despite the Buggles’ claims, video evidently did not kill the radio stars at WYBC.
The station finished third in the greater New Haven area according to an Arbitron report which was released as an advanced portion of the fall ratings. The FM side of WYBC — Yale’s student-run radio station — scored an overall rating of 6.7, which marks a jump from the 5.0 it had received the year before. This figure represents the percentage of those listeners in the market who are tuned in to a particular radio station
Arbitron Inc., an international media and marketing research firm, uses daily diaries that are given proportionally to residents based on demographic factors as a way to survey what stations and shows people are listening to.
Caroline Nathan ’04, WYBC president and general manager, was pleased with the report.
“I think it’s a tribute to everyone who’s involved with the FM side of the programming, both the students and the employees,” Nathan said.
Nathan is a Yale Daily News staff columnist.
In addition to the station’s full-time non-student employees, there are also eight student disc jockeys, as well as many other students who work on the AM side of the station.
WYBC also garnered the number-one spot on weekday evenings. Angela Malerba, the station’s disk jockey for this time slot, said taking a high volume of callers helps her to gain an audience.
“I encourage people to call up,” Malerba said. “They love to hear themselves on the air.”
Malerba, who has worked for WYBC since April of last year and has held this time slot since last September, said that by relating to a demographically diverse audience she is able to attract more listeners.
Juan Castillo, the station’s FM programming director, said high ratings were not uncharted territory for the station, which had received a rating of 6.9 before WZMX 93.7, a competing station now based in Hartford, came to Connecticut.
As WZMX began playing more rap and other music targeted toward younger New Haven residents, WYBC saw its ratings slip.
“We had a decision to make,” Castillo said. “We decided to become the adult station.”
Castillo attributed this jump in ratings to this shift in the radio station’s focus in playing older songs that are already established hits, such as more music from the 1970s and 1980s.
“A good WYBC song is a song that people can sing to,” said Castillo.
Castillo also credited listener parties — which sometimes attract nearly 2,000 people — with the station’s success of late. The parties are designed to bring listeners from different demographics together. In addition to the parties, the station has a live broadcast every Thursday night from the Neat Lounge on Temple Street.
“I know it has helped our ratings,” Castillo said. “It has brought back those listeners that now choose us over 93.7,” Castillo added, referring to those younger listeners in the 25-35 age bracket.
While WZMX did experience a ratings drop, it still finished second overall with a rating of 7.8, Castillo said.
Nathan said another possible reason for the station’s increase in ratings could be its recent relocation in the fall of 2001 to new studios. The new home of WYBC gives both the students and the employees at the station access to advanced technology.
“[The new studios] just provide so many ways for us to increase our listenership,” Nathan said.