KSFI (FM-100.3, alias "FM-100") is the No. 1 Wasatch Front radio station, according to the "Fall Book" Arbitron Radio Ratings released late last month.

But is it really No. 1? These Arbitron ratings differ dramatically from the fall ratings of the Birch/Scarborough Radio Ratings Service, reported in this column three weeks ago, where "FM-100" was ranked 11th in the Monday to Sunday, 6 a.m. until midnight, quarter-hour shares, ages 12-plus.Rating KSFI a distant 11th on one ratings list and a solid No. 1 on the other represents what may be the biggest difference ever between the two ratings services locally.

For the record, Arbitron uses a written diary radio survey method, while Birch uses a telephone survey. Generally, Arbitron is thought to favor the older audience in contrast to Birch's younger slant.

Arbitron's ratings are controversial in just about every radio market in the country this winter because of similar ratings discrepancies that are appearing, coincidentially enough, when the ratings service has made an alteration in its diaries.

The fall book is Arbitron's first with a new revised diary that it describes as "soft" because of the elimination of heavy black lines and several other changes, according to "Radio & Records," the radio industry's newspaper for Jan. 20.

Anyway you figure it, these latest two fall books clearly reveal that radio ratings are just estimates, not really hard-line rankings. If you did enough radio surveys, just about every radio station might come up as a No. 1. In fact, ultimately, every radio station is No. 1 to some particular age group, format type, or audience.

In the latest Arbitron, KSFI had a 10.0 audience share. KKAT (FM-101.9) was second at 9.6 and KISN (FM-97.1 and AM-570) was third at 7.9.

KCPX (FM-98.7) was fourth at 7.3 and KSL (AM-1160) was fifth at a 7.0 share. KRSP (FM-103.5) was rated sixth at 6.3 and KBER (FM-106.5) was seventh with a 4.1 share.

KMGR (FM-107.5 and AM-1230) was eighth (4.0), KSOP (FM-104.3 and AM-1370) was ninth (3.8) and KALL (AM-910) ranked 10th (3.7 share).

- Contrast the above ratings with the top 10 in the fall Birch:

1. KCPX and KKAT (tie) 10.4; 3. KRSP-FM 9.8; 4. KSL 8.6; 5. KISN 8.1; 6. KSOP 4.9; 7. KLZX 4.4; 8. KJQN (FM-92.7, 95.5, 104.9 and AM-1490, alias "KJQ") 4.3; 9. KALL 4.2; 10. KBER 4.1; and 11. KSFI 4.0.

Who is really No. 1? Well, if you combine the two ratings by adding together the quarter-hour share figures, then a composite ranking would be like this:

1. KKAT 20.0; 2. KCPX 17.7; 3. KRSP 16.1; 4. KISN 16.0; 5. KSL 15.6; 6. KSFI 14.0; 7. KSOP 8.7; 8. KBER 8.2; and 9. KALL 7.9.

(KLZX, KJQN and KMGR would round out the top 12 with totals almost too close to call.)

This composite ratings list might be a little closer to truth, but who's really No. 1? You'll have to decide. And I'm sure your favorite station is really No. 1 to you, despite any survey statistics.

-KSL (AM-1160) - Tonight's topic on "Sportscentral" with Chris Tunis will be Weber State athletics at 6:30 p.m.

Monday's "Sportscentral" guest will be Frank Layden and Wednesday's show will feature a discussion about college football recruiting.

- The BYU at Miami basketball game airs Saturday at 5 p.m.

-KBER (FM-106.5) - The station's change toward "hit rock 'n' roll" and "fresh rock" last fall under John Edwards' leadership may finally be starting to pay off.

KBER spokeswoman Allison Egan reports that current Birch radio data shows that KBER has almost 40 percent more overall listeners now than it did last fall.

The rock station also has almost double the number of male listeners age 18-34 now and almost 10 times as many female listeners, age 18-34.

KBER will make a dramatic jump - if these figures hold true for the three-month winter Birch ratings book that comes out at the end of March.

-KLZX (FM-93.3) and KUTR (AM-860) - These two stations recently concluded their "Operation Warm" charity promotion by collecting almost 2,500 winter coats for needy persons in the Salt Lake area.

"Village Cleaners" provided free cleaning for the coats that were donated prior to delivery.

-KUER (FM-90) will broadcast three "Congo Square, New Orleans" musical specials, hosted by blues master Taj Mahal starting Monday at 9 p.m.

The final two parts in the series will air on Feb. 13 and Feb. 20, both at 9 p.m.