Fresh Listen: June’s Country Winners

The June PPM numbers have brought optimism to a variety of formats from CHR to Adult R&B to Country. In the second day ratings, released July 14, there was good news for WKLB Boston (5.1-5.7), WYCD Detroit (4.1-5.1), and KNIX Phoenix (5.5-6.0, No. 2 overall in the market). All three stories were part of overall gains for the format in those markets. There were three occasions in the day’s Country Aircheck ratings blast when ratings expert Chris Huff noted a station’s largest cume since before COVID.

Taking a Fresh Listen to all three stations shows the Country format in various places as it expands musically after the previous years’ positioning emphasis on “new country.” What the stations did share was an emphasis on touring and ticket giveaways—always a big deal for Country in the summer, but particularly this summer. 

We heard WYCD Detroit with Audacy Country format midday host Katie Neal’s Katy & Company program. WYCD was giving away Luke Bryan Farm Tour 2021 tickets as part of its “Endless Ticket Summer.” It was also talking a lot about the upcoming Faster Horses festival. Russell Dickerson was going to be Katie’s guest tomorrow; today it was Jason Aldean scheduled for her “Superstar Power Hour.” Here’s WYCD just before 1 p.m. on July 14:

  • Chris Stapleton, “Tennessee Whiskey (Live)”
  • Brett Young, “Lady”
  • Thomas Rhett f/Maren Morris, “Craving You”
  • Jake Owen, “Made For You”
  • Keith Urban, “Long Hot Summer”
  • Kane Brown, “Cool Again”
  • Cole Swindell, “Single Saturday Night”
  • Luke Combs, “Even Though I’m Leaving”
  • Dierks Bentley, “Living’
  • Old Dominion, “I Was On a Boat That Day”
  • Carrie Underwood, “Before He Cheats”
  • Old Dominion, “One Man Band”
  • Zac Brown Band, “Toes”
  • Lainey Wilson, “Things a Man Oughta Know”
  • Eli Young Band, “Even If It Breaks Your Heart”
  • Lee Brice, “One of Them Girls”
  • Andrew Jannakos, “Gone Too Soon”

Country 102.5 WKLB BostonWKLB (Country 102.5) Boston is positioned as “Boston’s Hottest Country” and one of its new titles this hour was staged with a “Summer of New Country” sweeper, but it also had a “All the Country” sweeper that played over a library title. Middayer Carolyn Kruse had a homegrown “Local Catch” feature, playing a lengthy snippet of Eliza Smith’s “Country High,” just before the Blake Shelton song below. Here’s the station at 1 p.m. on July 14:

  • Sam Hunt, “Breaking Up Was Easy In The ‘90s”
  • Luke Bryan, “One Margarita”
  • Carrie Underwood, “Jesus, Take the Wheel”
  • Dierks Bentley, “Living”
  • Blake Shelton, “Minimum Wage”
  • Darius Rucker, “Come Back Song”
  • Chase Rice f/Florida Georgia Line, “Drinkin’ Beer Talkin’ God Amen”
  • Kelsea Ballerini, “Yeah Boy”
  • Lee Brice, “One of Them Girls”
  • Taylor Swift, “Tim McGraw”
  • Scotty McCreery, “You Time”
  • Lady Antebellum, “Downtown”
  • Cole Swindell, “Single Saturday Night”

102.5 KNIX Phoenix iHeartMedia CountryKNIX Phoenix bills itself as ‘Today’s Best Country and All Time Favorites,” but most of the imaging this week is a call to “Rally the Valley” on behalf of the Phoenix Suns. Middayer Double-L was promoting an upcoming interview with 98 Degrees (something she promoted while backselling Rascal Flatts) and soliciting listener questions. There was also a break on behalf of the station’s beer partner, Arizona Light Lager. Here’s KNIX at 2 p.m. on July 14:

  • Chris Lane, “I Don’t Know About You”
  • Carrie Underwood, “Before He Cheats”
  • Chase Rice f/Florida Georgia Line, “Drinkin’ Beer Talkin’ God Amen”
  • Luke Combs, “She Got the Best of Me”
  • Dierks Bentley, “Gone”
  • Lee Brice, “One of Them Girls”
  • Trace Adkins, “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk”
  • Luke Bryan, “Down to One”
  • Keith Urban w/Pink, “One Too Many”
  • Lauren Alaina, “Road Less Traveled”
  • Luke Combs, “Forever After All”
  • Garth Brooks, “That Summer”
  • Jordan Davis, “Almost Maybes”
  • Jason Aldean, “Blame It On You”

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