Exclusive September PPM Analysis: Washington, Philadelphia And Atlanta
October 3, 2012 at 12:48 PM (PT)
ALL ACCESS presents SEPTEMBER PPM market highlights, compiled by the Ratings Experts at RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. and powered by XTRENDS, radio's #1 PPM and diary analysis tool. All numbers reflect subscriber only data.
WASHINGTON, DC: The Voters Have Spoken
For the third time in the last four months, there is a new leader in our Nation’s Capital. And to think we’re still a month away from the election. For the third time this year, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY N/T WAMU topped an 8 share (7.1-8.0), which provided the jet fuel needed to land at #1 -- a feat it last accomplished in MAY. CCM+E Top 40/M WIHT (HOT) slowly but surely clawed its way back to the top spot it last visited in JUNE. A second straight up book (7.0-7.4) moved it back to #2, supplanting HUBBARD News WTOP, which was on a two-book slide till it rested at #3. Holding steady at #4 was HOWARD UNIVERSITY Urban AC WHUR, which was off slightly from the previous survey (6.8-6.4), but was still over a share above where it was a year ago. The big leap-of-the-week belonged to CCM+E Classic Hits WBIG, which returned to the top 5 for the first time in over a year (4.5-5.3). What was truly remarkable about its efforts is that one year ago WBIG was wallowing at #14, almost two shares below its current level.
Falling out of the top 5 for the first time in over a year was CCM+E AC WASH. That usually happens when you match your worst book in the last year (5.2-5.2). Another top-5 refugee was RADIO ONE Urban AC WMMJ (MAJIC), which fell to #7 (5.2-4.9). Cluster-mate RADIO ONE Urban WKYS (KISS) was off slightly from its best book in over a year (4.5-4.4), but still managed to hold on to #8. For the previous two surveys, CBS RADIO Top 40/R WPGC experienced its best book in over a year. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and it ended up at #9 (4.7-4.2). The fresh-faced new kid in the top 10 was CCM+E Alternative WWDC (DC-101), which jumped from #13 to #10 (3.2-3.6). Two stations had their top-10 privileges revoked. CUMULUS Hot AC WRQX (MIX) slipped slightly to #11 (3.7-3.4), while CCM+E Country WMZQ culminated a four-book slide with its worst book in over a year (3.7-2.9), dropping to #16.
You can’t get much hotter than WIHT 25-54 as it notched its 9th straight #1 book. By our math, that means it has been #1 for all of 2012. WHUR held steady at #2 and is more than a share-and-a-half ahead of last year’s pace. The news was somewhat tepid for WTOP as it held at #3, but it's a full two shares off where it was a year ago. WAMU’s rise was not nearly as dramatic as we saw with 6+ and it stayed at #4. WASH reversed a two-book slide and returned to the top 5 at #5. WKYS fell out of the top 5 and is now sharing space with cluster-mate WMMJ. Keep an eye on a couple of stations going in opposite directions. WPGC was on a pretty dramatic two-book slide while its cluster brother CBS RADIO Sports WJFK (THE FAN) was on an equally dramatic two-book upswing and has play-off baseball in their future (Go NATS!).
This marked the 13th time in the last 14 surveys that WIHT hit #1 18-34, and it held a substantial lead over WKYS, which landed at #2 for the third consecutive book. WPGC was safely nestled at #3 despite a two-book slide, but it has to be happy with the fact it's well ahead of where it was last year. WWDC posted its best book since a rather freakish APRIL to maintain its presence at #4. WASH held on to #5 despite taking the kind of hit that will leave a mark. Watch out for CBS RADIO Hot AC WIAD (FRESH-FM), which springboarded its way from a tie at #16 to #6.
WIHT was so dominant 18-49 that only twice this year has its lead at #1 been below two shares. A year ago, WKYS couldn’t crack the top 5 in this demo and now it enjoyed its third consecutive #2 book. WWDC received a rather large injection of listener support and jumped from #8 to #3. This caused WHUR to fall back a step to #4. WAMU moved up to #5 off its best in-demo book in over a year. Funny how those things work out. Meanwhile, WPGC was on a two-book slide that had seen them drop from #2 all the way to #7.
PHILADELPHIA: We Sense Movement
There was some serious movement within the top 10 in this survey. The top-three stations remained the same even though each experienced the uncomfortable feelings accompanying a down book. CBS RADIO News KYW-A was #1 for the second book in a row (6.7-6.5). This was exactly where it was a year ago even though it suffered through some painful audience shrinkage during that time. Coming in at #2 was WEAZ-FM RADIO AC WBEB (B101), which recorded its worst book in over a year (6.1-5.9). CCM+E Urban AC WDAS maintained its solid grip on #3 (5.9-5.8) with its second-lowest audience total of the year. Sometimes, flat is good as GREATER MEDIA Active Rock WMMR discovered. By going 5.3-5.3, it managed to move up a slot to #4, where it's marching cheek-by-jowl with cluster-mate GREATER MEDIA Classic Rock WMGK, which performed the vaunted leap-of-the-week by moving from #8 to #5 (4.6-5.2). This was their first foray to the top 5 in over a year.
Meanwhile, BEASLEY Country WXTU suffered its second consecutive down book to drop to #6 (5.3-5.1). Its pain was mild compared to that of CBS RADIO Classic Hits WOGL. Way back in JULY it was completing its third straight month at #1. Now, after three straight down books, it has plunged to #7 (5.9-5.0). CCM+E Alternative WRFF (RADIO 104.5) was on a minor two-book slide and slipped slightly to #8 (5.0-4.9). CCM+E Top 40/M WIOQ (Q102) also discovered that flat can be good (4.5-4.5) and held steady at #9. Breaking into the top 10 for the first time in over a year was CCM+E Hot AC WISX (MIX), which was on a six-book tear to reside at #10 (4.0-4.3). CCM+E Urban WUSL (POWER 99) came face-to-face with the dark side of flat and fell out of the top 10 to #11 (4.1-4.1)
Even though WMMR recorded its worst 25-54 book in 2012, it managed to extend its #1 streak in this demo to 8. However, WXTU is nipping at WMMR's heels posting its best in-demo book in over a year. It's over two share points ahead of its pace from last year. WRFF jumped up a slot to #3 while the magic continued for WMGK, which posted its best in-demo numbers since JUNE and is now tied for #4 with WDAS. Two stations suffered through the painful irritation of big-time audience drain. WBEB fell from #2 to #6, its first time out of the top 5 in, like, a really long time. And, WOGL dropped completely out of the top 10 with its worst book of the year.
We think we can now dub 2012 the year of WRFF, at least in 18-34. The station has been #1 in every single book of 2012 and had a commanding lead over #2 WUSL. WIOQ rebounded from its worst book of the year to slip into the #3 position, supplanting a suddenly reeling WMMR. While now on a three-book slide, BEASLEY Top 40/R WRDW (WIRED 96.5) held its own at #5.
Even with two straight down books, WRFF managed to hold on to a comfortable lead 18-49, just ahead of the resurgent WIOQ, which moved up a slot to #2. Last month’s #2, WMMR, is feeling the effects of its worst book since SANTA was here and woke up at #3. Both WXTU and WUSL had their best shares in over a year and were rewarded with a share of fourth place.
ATLANTA: Urban Domination Continues
This marks the sixth month in a row that Urban radio has owned the top 3 slots in ATLANTA. CBS RADIO Urban WVEE (V-103) has been a dominant #1 for the entire year and continued the trend (9.2-9.0). COX RADIO Urban AC WALR (KISS) maintained its hold on #2 (7.4-7.3) and is well ahead of its standing of a year ago. Coming in at #3 was RADIO ONE Urban AC WAMJ (MAJIC) (6.3-6.4). A year ago at this time it was the #9 station. Following the HOLIDAY book, COX RADIO AC WSB-F (B98.5) experienced some tough sledding, but has since righted the ship (talk about a mixed metaphor) and held steady at #4 (6.0-5.9) -- exactly where it was a year ago. The leap-of-the-week came courtesy of its cluster brother COX RADIO Talk WSB-A, which returned to the top 5 for the first time in a couple of surveys. Still, it's over two shares lower than it was this time last year.
Apparently, RADIO ONE Urban WHTA (HOT) (5.5-5.4) and CUMULUS Top 40/M WWWQ (Q100) (5.5-5.4) had this thing going. Last survey it was tied for #5; this time it’s #6. Go figure. One year ago today, COX RADIO Classic Hits WSRV (THE RIVER) was mired in 14th place. Now, it's at its highest ranking in over a year – #8 (4.5-4.9). SALEM Christian Contemporary WFSH (THE FISH) is swimming downstream, dropping to #9 (4.9-4.6). The stars were not aligned for LINCOLN Hot AC WSTR (STAR); it's on a three-book plunge and just posted its worst ratings in over a year to fall to #10.
The song remained the same in 25-54. WVEE remained uber-dominant at #1 and was a marvel of consistency. A year ago both WALR and WAMJ were tied for #5 in this demo. They were #2 and #3, respectively, with each adding more than a share to their audience totals. WWWQ was exactly where it was a year ago at #4, while WHTA took over sole possession of #5. WSB-F fell out of the top 5 and, despite a recent growth spurt, it was well off its pace of last year. Meanwhile, WSTR was on a four-book slide and just posted its worst numbers in over a year.
Last month, it looked like there might actually be a battle looming 18-34. As it turned out, that was merely a flesh wound. WVEE tightened its grip on #1 -- a position it held for longer than we can remember. Last month’s challenger, WHTA, had its second-worst in-demo book of 2012 and fell into a tie for #2 with WWWQ.
Coming up on the outside was CCM+E Top 40/M WWPW (POWER), which posted its best numbers this year and inched up to #4. This caused cluster sister CCM+E Top 40/R WWVA (WILD) to slip to #5. At least it’s all in the family.
Another demo, another domination for WVEE. This time it was 18-49 and even after posting its worst numbers of the year, there was no station even close enough to be considered competition. WWWQ was a distant #2, supplanting the suddenly slumping WHTA. WAMJ was a solid #4 while WSB-F maintained a tenuous hold on #5, just ahead of WALR.