NASHVILLE (Billboard) - Country radio, long the most popular radio format, is no longer on top.
Among 2,064 U.S. stations, the news/talk format now leads country, which airs on 2,024 stations — down 30 from a year ago.
News/talk has gained 40 stations since November 2007, according to M Street, a company that tracks such statistics. The format has gained 250 stations in the past five years and 450 in the past decade.
Country has lost more than 350 stations since 1998. But it’s still on top among current-driven music formats. Contemporary Christian is second with 945 outlets, followed by Spanish (922), adult contemporary, or AC (671) and top 40 (497).
Contemporary Christian continues its upward growth, adding 28 stations from a year ago and more than doubling its numbers from a decade ago. The number of Spanish, AC and top 40 stations basically stayed flat during the last year.
Other contemporary formats with more than 300 stations include alternative rock and hot AC, both with 380 stations; Southern gospel (322); and rock (310).
Jazz, which has lost outlets in New York and Philadelphia, among other markets, dropped from 153 stations a year ago to 126 in November.