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Portland, Maine, Leaps in Market Rankings

Atlanta slips two slots in Arbitron list; Hudson Valley joins at market 39

When it comes to radio market rankings, generally it’s better to be larger. Your station GM would rather be in market 20 than market 30.

Several cities have moved up the Arbitron ladder in the annually updated fall list of market ranks, based on population estimates.

Several markets chose to be redefined for the 2011 survey under Arbitron’s new Metro Redefinition Policy. These include New Orleans (which moves up from market 52 to market 47); Des Moines, (91 to 73); and Corpus Christi (137 to 111).

Portland, Maine, redefined itself all the way up from market 168 to market 90, a ranking change of 78 slots. Other small markets making big gains this way include Amarillo, Bryan-College Station and Jonesboro.

Brand new to the rankings is Hudson Valley, which joins at market 39 and has an estimated 1.46 million people age 12+.

In the top 10 markets, Atlanta fell two slots to the ninth position, while Philly and Washington moved up to 7 and 8 respectively.

Among markets falling in rank by more than a slot or two were San Jose, Jacksonville, Toledo, Gainesville-Ocala and Monterey-Salinas-Santa Cruz.

The nation’s biggest Arbitron radio markets remain New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Dallas/Ft. Worth.

The list uses 2010 census data. “Arbitron’s population estimates are updated every year,” the company wrote. “As a result, the update with Census 2010 data should have limited impact on Arbitron estimates. Any unusual change in the fall population estimates should not be interpreted as one-year shifts in the population but rather corrections to previous under- or overestimates.”

Read the rankings here (PDF).