A look at Chicago media spend in February


Chicagoland natives were quite occupied in February listening to, watching, and reading nearly 900,000 ads.  Agencies and their clients invested over $211,000,000 for the month to thoroughly reach every corner of the market. How did that $211,000,000 get divided across 52 Chicago media outlets by the leading ad clients? Mostly in household names and brands well known in the Windy City.

New data from Media Monitors

Top 6 TV Stations  $90.7 million [#1 WLS-TV — $24.9 million]
Top 3 Newspapers  $83.4 million [#1 Sun-Times — $40.8 million]
Top 10 Radio Stns.  $15.1 million [#1 WLIT-FM — $ 3.5 million]
Top 10 Local Cable Nets  200,800 spots [#1 TBS – 24,900 spots]
Top 9 Local TV Stations  174,100 spots [#1 WLS-TV – 23,400 spots]
Top 20 Local Radio Stns.  170,400 spots [#1 WBBM-AM – 13,000 spots]
Top 3 Local Newspapers      3,400 ads [#1 Sun-Times – 1,380 ads]

From the comprehensive local data on TV stations across 50 markets, among the Chicago TV stations that fetched the most ad revenue were WLS-TV, WGN-TV, and WMAQ-TV.  All three of those popular stations topped $15 million in a very windy February; yes, there was a Mayoral election in February that added stereotypical hot air to the seasonal cold air.

From the far-reaching local Cable TV network monitoring detailed in 50 markets, the cable leaders in Chicagoland were different than some other major market leaders.  Nevertheless, the five highest cable network spot share leaders nearly surpassed the top floor of the Sears Tower.

TBS  24,900 spots  12.4% share of local market cable spots
TNT  23,600 spots  11.7% share of local market cable spots
Lifetime 22,500 spots  11.2% share of local market cable spots
USA  21,600 spots  10.8% share of local market cable spots
A&E  20,400 spots  10.2% share of local market cable spots 
   Total  56.3% share of local market cable spots

Not surprisingly, given the legendary Chicago fondness for brash politicians, hot and cold sports, and strong declarative talk – Chicago radio was led by mostly AM stations for ad messages.  However, FM stations led in radio dollars.

WBBM-AM #1.) 13,000 spots  WLIT-FM #1.] $3.5 million
WLS-AM #2.) 12,400 spots  WVAZ-FM #2.] $1.7 million
WMVP-AM #3.) 11,500 spots  WBBM-FM #3.] $1.6 million
WUSN-FM #4.)   9,500 spots  WTMX-FM #4.] $1.5 million
WSCR-AM #5.)   9,400 spots  WDRV-FM #5.] $1.2 million
WGN-AM #6.)   9,400 spots  WBBM-FM #6.] $1.2 million