The Salt Lake radio market has hit the top 30 mark.

Arbitron, the company that ranks radio listening, recently rated the Salt Lake market as the nation's 30th largest radio area. Arbitron ranks more than 300 U.S. radio markets based on total population.

As Utah's Forum for Radio (utahradionews.proboards2.com) pointed out this week, this a milestone for Salt Lake City.

I recall when the market was ranked as No. 38, probably 15-plus years ago. Several years ago, the Provo area was included in the ratings, which boosted the market rankings. Now the market covers Ogden to Provo.

New York, Los Angeles and Chicago are Nos. 1, 2 and 3, respectively.

The San Antonio radio market is now No. 31, Kansas City at No. 32 and Las Vegas ranks at 33. Cleveland ranks No. 29, Cincinnati is 28 and Sacramento is 27.

Boise, Idaho, is No. 100, and Denver checks in at No. 21.

RADIO HAPPENINGSJoe Johnson of "Johnson and Johnson" on KUBL had a bizarre duct-tape contest last week. The DJ had strips of duct tape placed all over his bare-skinned torso. The finalist in a listeners' contest who pulled off a lucky tape strip received trip to see Carrie Underwood perform.

KZHT will begin its annual "Secret Santa" contest Dec. 1. Unlike most radio events, this one seeks to help the needy. Nominations can be made at www.971zht.com for someone you know who will struggle with Christmas financially this year. Last December, KZHT helped 14 people.

— As previously reported, KSL topped the latest Arbitron rankings for the Salt Lake market with a 7.4 percent audience share. Back in 1993, KKAT was the No. 1 station with an 11.9 share. Double-digit numbers are rare these days as the listening market is much more diverse.

— Some complain about Salt Lake radio stations beginning to air holiday music just after Halloween this year. In 2005, KSRR began playing all Christmas music on Oct. 24 — one of the earliest starts ever and a week sooner than this year.

TEN YEARS AGO IN SALT LAKE RADIO — Mills Crenshaw is president and talk-show host of KWUN, AM-1230. ... Web sites begin to be a big component of local radio stations.