DAVID LEE ROTH's Ratings Just A Shadow Of HOWARD STERN's

David Hinckley of The New York Daily News has issued the following report:

In the year's least surprising radio development, morning host David Lee Roth's early ratings at WFNY (92.3 FM) have taken a steep drop from the heights of his predecessor, Howard Stern.

WFNY's parent CBS says this is a valley it expected to enter while it rebuilds former Stern slots and stations, though some people in radio warn that it could signal a more serious problem.

It's also unclear where displaced Stern listeners are going.

Arbitrend ratings released yesterday show that in January, Roth's first month, WFNY's morning share among its target audience of 18- to 34-year-olds fell from 13.8% to 1.3%.

Shares in other age groups dropped less drastically, and single-month numbers in radio, where ratings are done in three-month clusters, can show wide fluctuations. So CBS says it's not worried.

"Everyone knew there would be a drop," said Rob Barnett, president of programming at CBS Radio. "We're starting a new radio station, introducing new personalities people are discovering every day, in a format that's been very successful for us in other markets.

"This is just the beginning for this station and these hosts. We've said all along it's an 18- to 24-month process and we would never judge any show by one 30-day [ratings report]."

Read the rest of the article at www.nydailynews.com.

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