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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

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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.

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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
KDSUVarietyNDSU1.0
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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