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McFeely blog: KFGO still tops local radio ratings while Christian music station climbs the charts

Life 97.9, which plays Christian contemporary hits, has second consecutive good ratings book

The latest radio ratings show KFGO holding onto first place.
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FARGO — KFGO continues to be the top-rated local radio station, but the real news might be a Christian music station that until recently didn't garner much attention from listeners.

KFNW-FM, on the dial as Life 97.9, tied for seventh in the Fargo-Moorhead market in the latest Nielsen ratings, according to the website RadioOnline.com . KFNW garnered a 5.1 share in the Fall 2021 book, tying with classic rock station 107.9 The Fox.

A ratings share is the percentage of those listening to radio in Fargo-Moorhead who are listening to a particular station for an average 15-minute span. So of all the people listening to radio at a particular time, 5.1% were listening to KFNW.

It's an impressive number, and the second straight ratings book in which KFNW did well. In the Spring 2021 ratings, it pulled a 4.6 share. Prior to that, the station would regularly get a 2.5 share or less.

Life 97.9 plays Christian contemporary hits. It is owned by the University of Northwestern-St. Paul and is operated as a non-profit, listener-supported station that relies on donations.


KFGO topped the ratings again, as it has done for most of the past couple of decades. The heritage news-talk station got a 9.7 share, down slightly from the 10.3 share it received in the spring.

KFGO is owned by Wisconsin-based Midwest Communications.

Contemporary hits station Y-94, also owned by Midwest Communications, was second with a 7.7 share. Radio Fargo-Moorhead's Big 98.7 was next with a 7.2 share.

The complete ratings, according to Radio Online :

StationFormatOwnerFall 2021 share
KFGO-AMNews/TalkMidwest Communications9.7
Y-94-FMCHRMidwest Communications7.7
Big 98.7Hot ACRadio Fargo-Moorhead7.2
106.9 The EagleClassic HitsRadio Wahpeton-Breckenridge6.2
Froggy 99.9CountryMidwest Communications6.2
Bob 95CountryRadio Fargo-Moorhead5.6
Life 97.9Christian CHRUniversity of Northwestern5.1
107.9 The FoxClassic RockRadio Fargo-Moorhead5.1
Q 105.1RockRadio Fargo-Moorhead4.1
WDAY-AMNews/TalkForum Communications4.1
The FlagNews/TalkBakken Beacon Media3.6
740 The FanSportsMidwest Communications3.1
101.9 Jack FMAdult hitsMidwest Communications3.1
96.9 Hits FMRhythmic CHRRadio Fargo-Moorhead2.1
The City 94.5AlternativeRadio Fargo-Moorhead1.5
Bison 1660SportsRadio Fargo-Moorhead1.5
KFNW-AMReligiousUniversity of Northwestern0.5
KMJO-FMClassic CountryMidwest CommunicationsN/A
Mike McFeely is a columnist for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. He began working for The Forum in the 1980s while he was a student studying journalism at Minnesota State University Moorhead. He's been with The Forum full time since 1990, minus a six-year hiatus when he hosted a local radio talk-show.
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