Talk is still tops in big five radio markets

David Bray dives into the latest PPM numbers from Numeris.
StatsRadio Motion Design Studio

By David Bray

While there have been significant changes in measurement methodology for many of the other Canadian radio markets, PPM in the big five keeps rolling on.

The new PPM release from Numeris completes the thirteen-week period covering February 28 to May 29. Once again, all listening for this period occurred during the subsiding stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. It may be worth noting that instead of driving to and from work, many are still working from home. This, in turn alters the nature of drive time.


Bragging rights at the top of the ratings heap go to CBC Radio One, delivering a 14.1% share for A12+ (though it’s down from 15.9%). Taking the top spot with women 25 to 54 is adult contemporary station CHUM-FM, delivering a 15.8% share (up from 15.1%). Once again, classic rock station BOOM-FM is on top for males 25 to 54, posting an 11.5% share (up from 10.4%), as well as with women 18 to 34 with a 14% share. Q107 leads the way for men 18 to 34 with a 12.9% share (we will have to wait and see what effect the departure of John Derringer will have, if any).


Talk station CKNW grabs the number one spot for A12+ with a 12.6% share of hours tuned (down from 13.1%).

Taking the top spot for women 25 to 54 is JR Country with 16.4% (up from 15.7%). Rock station CFOX holds the lead for men in the same age group, delivering a 10.0% share (though that has dipped from 14.8%). CKNW is also out in front for men 18 to 34 with an 11.7 % share of hours tuned.

But here’s a new one: when it comes to women 18 to 34, soft adult contemporary station 104.3 The Breeze has jumped in front with a 14.0 % share.


In the only of the big five markets to not have a talk station at the top, country station CISN takes number one with A12+, posting a 10.2% share of hours tuned (up from 9.0% in the last book). Adult contemporary station NOW! holds top spot for women 25 to 54, delivering a 14.0% share (up from 11.8 %). NOW! also tops the list for men 25-54 with a 12.0% share (down from 13.0%).

For men 18 to 34, it is a tie between hits station UP 99.3 and classic rock station K97, both at 12.6%. KISS 91.7 led with women 18 to 34 delivering a 17.9% (up from 15.7%).


CBC Radio One leads the way for A12+ with a 10.9% share (down from 13.1%).

Hits station 90.3 AMP Radio Radio is popular with women, taking the number one spot for 25- to 54-year-olds (delivering a 9.7% share, up from 8.6%) and 18- to 34-year-olds (12.3% share). For men 25 to 54, alt rock station X92.9 rules with a 12.8% (down from 13.2%), while also leading with men 18-34 by delivering a 15.2%.


Among Francophone audiences, talk station CHMP 98.5 FM is number for A12+ with a 24.0% share (up from 22.8%). For Anglophones, new station CJAD 800 leads with a 27.2% (down from 28.7%).

Adult contemporary station 105.7 Rhythme-FM is tops with Francophone women 25 to 54, delivering a 15.1% share (down from 17.1%). Among Anglophones in the same demographic,  fellow adult contemporary station The Beat 92.5 is well out in front with a 29.5% share (up from 26.9).

For Francophone men 25 to 54, CHMP 98.5 FM is on top at a 26.1% share (up from 23.0%). For Anglophones, rock station CHOM is number one at 19.3% (down from 20.0%).

David Bray is president of Bray & Partners Communications.