Kay Francesa

It’s a matter of he said, he said in the afternoon sports talk radio battle in New York City. Depending on who is reporting the numbers and what sources and hours you look at, both Michael Kay on “ESPN NY 98.7” WEPN-FM and Mike Francesca on Entercom’s “The Fan” WFAN-AM/FM can claim victory in the Spring Book.

A release from WEPN-FM claims Kay is the overall winner, saying in the 3-6:30pm daypart “The Michael Kay Show” garnered a 6.4 Men 25-54 share, compared to Francesa’s 6.1 in the Spring Book (March 26-June 19).

“We are really pleased that The Michael Kay Show has become the destination for New York sports fans,” Senior VP/GM Tim McCarthy said in the release. “Michael, Don [La Greca] and Peter [Rosenberg] will continue to serve these fans in the most entertaining way possible.”

However, the New York Post says adding in WFAN’s streaming numbers during that same time frame brings “The Fan” up to a 6.6 for the Spring Book, which would mean Francesa could claim victory.

Confused yet? There’s more. When looking at the actual 3-7pm daypart, WEPN-FM has nearly a two-share lead in the Men 25-54 demo in the just released June 2019 PPMs. Francesa is on from 3-6:30pm, while Kay’s show continues to 7pm on days without a scheduled game broadcast. Inside Radio cannot report specific numbers outside of 6+. What we can report is that Francesa and WFAN-AM/FM leads WPEN-FM in afternoon drive overall in the June 2019 PPMs, with “The Fan” posting a 3.3 (6+) compared to WEPN-FM’s 2.8 (M-F 3-7pm).

The ratings war has been muddied this year, with each station reporting numbers differently. Entercom sells on-air advertising separately from WFAN’s stream on Radio.com and therefore cannot truly combine the over-the-air numbers with streaming stats when presenting to advertisers. “ESPN NY 98.7” uses Total Line Reporting, which under Nielsen measurement combines WEPN-FM’s streaming stats with its over-the-air numbers.