Research Director, Inc. Presents Exclusive Feb. PPM Analysis For N.Y., L.A., Chicago, San Francisco And Dallas
March 17, 2014 at 1:45 PM (PT)
ALL ACCESS presents FEBRUARY 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. Considering the kind of winter most of the country has been having, probably the best thing we can say about the month of FEBRUARY is “pitchers and catchers report …”. Alas, even the beginning of spring training could not prevent the unleashing of the polar vortex on many markets. These are the kinds of events that can play havoc with station ratings – as we saw last month.
This time, we turn our gaze towards the FEBRUARY survey, which covered 1/30 through 2/26. The Ratings Experts at RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. will delve into the performances of the top stations from the biggest markets in four separate demos. As we are wont to do each month at this time, we will take a look back at the preceding 13 surveys in an attempt to divine any trends or stories.
Now, on with the countdown …
NEW YORK: We’ll Leave The Lite On For Ya’
Neither snow, nor sleet, nor freezing rain can keep CCM+E AC WLTW (LITE FM) from being the #1 station in the BIG APPLE. The station rebounded nicely from its post-HOLIDAY malaise (6.5-6.9) to maintain a firm grip on the top spot. It was presented with a new challenger in CBS RADIO Classic Hits WCBS-F – which did enjoy a one-month stay at #1 back in AUGUST. This time, the station posted its best book since that fateful month (5.4-5.6) to inch its way up one spot to #2. EMMIS Urban AC WBLS slipped one place to #3 after scoring its lowest total since MARCH (6.3-5.5). Maybe some of that aforementioned wintry mix stuff helped out CBS RADIO News WCBS-A as it landed its best number in over a year (4.9-5.3) to remain at #4. CCM+E Top 40/M WHTZ (Z100) seemed to break out of a six-month slump (4.6-5.2) as it stayed at #5. We are now in the realm of comparing apples to apples when we talk about CUMULUS Country WNSH (NASH FM) as this is the first time we can make a year-to-year comparison. Last FEBRUARY, the station debuted with a 1.6 and was in a tie at #20. This time, it was off slightly (1.6-1.5) but did manage to move up from a tie at #22 into a tie at #20.
Not surprisingly, WLTW continued to grow 25-54 in its post-HOLIDAY phase as the station remained at #1. Cluster sister WHTZ was also on the comeback trail as it moved up two spots to #2 where it tied SBS Tropical WSKQ (MEGA), which was essentially flat. WBLS scored its lowest number in over a year and slipped one place to #4. WCBS-F again had its best showing since AUGUST to remain at #5 though it was tied by CCM+E Top 40/M WKTU, which ended a four-book slide as it moved up from a tie at #7. WNSH remained at #19, which was a bit higher than last year’s #21.
For the second straight survey, WHTZ held control of the 18-34 demo as its numbers resembled what it had prior to the arrival of one S. CLAUS. WSKQ had its best book since NOVEMBER to move up a spot to #2 while EMMIS Top 40/R WQHT (HOT) also moved up a spot (to #3) with its highest total since OCTOBER. WLTW picked up some nice share to also perform the one-spot jump (to #4). Alas, all this upward mobility did cause a few problems for CCM+E Urban WWPR (POWER) as the station saw its two-book surge come to an end, causing it to fall from #2 to #5. Last year, WNSH was in a tie at #17. This year, it moved from #21 to #20 but with a lower share.
It is a heart-warming experience to see two cluster mates play so nicely in the sandbox. For the second straight month, WLTW and WHTZ were tied at #1 18-49. WSKQ was up slightly to remain at #3 while WKTU bounced back from two straight soft books to move up to #4 from #6. WBLS hit a speed bump after posting its lowest number since OCTOBER as it slipped one notch to #5. On the other hand, WWPR hit a pothole as it dropped out of the top five, landing at #7. WNSH remained at #19, which was an improvement over last year’s #20 finish.
LOS ANGELES: Ping, Meet Pong
For the last 14 surveys, three stations have taken a turn at the top spot. However, if you eliminate the SANTA factor, it has really been a two-team race. This time, the honors went to team SEACREST as CCM+E Top 40/M KIIS (KISS FM) had its best book since SEPTEMBER (5.2-5.5) to move up a spot to #1. Cluster compatriot CCM+E Hot AC KBIG (MY FM) lost enough share (5.4-5.2) to drop from the top and landed at #2. Keeping this all in the family, CCM+E AC KOST had its best non-jingly book in over a year (4.7-5.2) to inch up a spot to share space at #2. EMMIS Top 40/R KPWR (POWER) ended a small two-book slide (4.2-4.6) to take over sole possession of #4. Meanwhile, CBS RADIO Top 40/M KAMP (AMP) had its best book since SEPTEMBER (4.2-4.5) yet dropped a spot to #5.
As we saw in the previous demo, CCM+E made a clean sweep of the medal positions 25-54. KIIS had its best number in over a year to move up a spot to claim the lead while KBIG slipped back to #2. Once again, KOST had its best non-KRINGLE book in over a year as it moved up a spot to #3. KPWR turned up the heat by posting its highest share in over a year as it climbed two spots to #4. It found itself tied with CBS RADIO Alternative KROQ, which slipped slightly from #3. KAMP was up for the fourth straight survey and posted its best number in over a year. Unfortunately, the ratings gods are not always fair and the station dropped a spot to #6.
You could feel the power oozing out of the speakers as KPWR scored what was easily its strongest share 18-34 in over a year. As a result, the station moved back to #1 for the first time since NOVEMBER. KIIS had its smallest number since JULY as it slipped back to #2. KBIG was off ever so slightly to remain at #3 though it was forced to share the spot with KAMP, which moved up from #4 with its best book in over a year. Despite posting its lowest score since OCTOBER, KROQ remained at #5.
The 18-49 landscape remained relatively unchanged – except for one important swap. KPWR did the whole “best book in over a year” thing again and leap frogged from #3 to #1. It totally changed places with KBIG which, oddly enough, ended up at #3. In the middle of this turmoil was KIIS, which was up slightly to stay put at #2. KAMP had its best book in over a year to hold on at #4 while cluster bro’ KROQ remained at #5 despite suffering a slight loss of ratings pressure.
CHICAGO: News Flash
Even by the standards set by typical midwestern winters, this one has been a doozy. Perhaps that is why CBS RADIO News WBBM-A was #1 for the second straight book. This time, the station produced its largest share in over a year (6.2-6.6). Normally, the kind of number CCM+E Urban AC WVAZ (V103) threw down (6.0-6.5) is good enough to own the market. Unfortunately, this time it wasn’t as the station held on to its #2 position for the third straight survey. HUBBARD Hot AC WTMX (MIX) was up for the second straight month (4.9-5.0) to remain at #3. Market historians may recall that it was about this time last year that the station went on a serious ratings tear. Could that be about to happen again? CCM+E Top 40/M WKSC (KISS) moved up a spot to #4 on the strength of its best book in over a year (4.2-4.5). CCM+E Urban WGCI lost a bit of share (4.5-4.4) as it slipped a spot to #5. How has that transition been going for CCM+E Hot AC WLIT (MY FM)? A year ago the station sat at #13 with a 3.1 share. This time around it was flat (4.1-4.1) to remain at #6. It appears the answer is – “well.”
WTMX seems to have completed its recovery from the CHRISTMAS blues as the station was #1 25-54 for the second straight book. This is where the station had been for the entire year leading up to the Yule season. WGCI was up slightly to take over sole control of #2 while WKSC, which was also up but not quite as much, slipped out of that tie to land at #3. WVAZ ended a pretty dramatic two-book slide to move up a spot to #4, which displaced CBS RADIO Top 40/M WBBM-F (B96). That station dropped to #5, thus ending its two-book surge. WLIT moved up from a tie at #10 into a tie at #6 – which compared favorably to last year when the station was tied at #14.
Last month, WGCI had its best book in over a year to re-take the #1 spot 18-34 from that SANTA dude. History repeated as the station matched that lofty figure (the ratings, not SANTA’S) to remain atop the heap. WKSC has been on a two-month tear as it posted its best number in over a year to move up a spot to #2. WBBM-F, unfortunately, had its lowest score since SEPTEMBER to drop a spot to #3. WTMX was up slightly as it moved from #7 into a tie at #4 with CUMULUS Alternative WKQX, which was off its debut number on its new frequency. WLIT shed some share as it fell a spot to #9 but that is a far, far better place to be than the tie at #17 it had a year ago.
18-49 bore a strange resemblance to the previous demo as WGCI matched its best book in over a year from last survey to remain at #1. WTMX was off slightly but remained at #2 while WKSC was off in a less slightly way to stay at #3. WBBM-F was also off a bit as it held on at #4 though it shared the space with WVAZ, which moved in from #7 with a nice increase. WKQX‘s second book in its new digs saw the station lose a bit of share but that was enough to drop it from #5 to #8. WLIT was down a spot to #9 but is ahead of the game vs. last year’s tie at #17.
SAN FRANCISCO: We Built This City …
Perhaps rock and roll was the foundation, but right now the penthouse is occupied by the spoken word. For the second straight survey, the top two spots were the property of non-music entities. CBS RADIO News KCBS-A had its best book in over a year (5.3-6.0) to remain at #1. And, we can be sure that snow or sleet or the like had nothing to do with that number. Coming in at #2 for the second book in a row was KQED INC N/T KQED, which had its highest number since APRIL (5.2-5.3). CBS RADIO Top 40/M KMVQ (NOW) had the presence of mind to move up a spot to #3 (4.5-4.6). CCM+E Top 40/R KMEL had its finest showing since SEPTEMBER (3.8-4.2) as it made a leap to #4. Cluster mate CCM+E Hot AC KIOI (STAR) was flat and happy to remain at #5 (4.1-4.1). No football plus no baseball equaled a low score for CUMULUS Sports KNBR-A as the station dropped eight places to #11 with its lowest run total since MARCH (4.7-3.1).
After a two-month hiatus, KMVQ returned to the top spot 25-54 by the narrowest of margins over last month’s #1 station KQED, which has dropped back to #2 despite losing only the tiniest bit of share. Things are extremely tight at the top. UNIVISION Spanish Adult Hits KBRG was up slightly to hold on at #3 while KIOI was flat to remain at #4. CBS RADIO Hot AC KLLC (ALICE) had a best-book-in-over-a-year experience for the second straight survey as it finally cracked the top five. KNBR-A fell from #5 to #11, but its share was equal to last year’s so it may be safe to say this is a seasonal thing.
Last month, we were writing (with surprise) at how low KMEL’s 18-34 numbers had fallen. And, even though it was still #1, it had failed to hit double-digits for the fourth straight survey. Well, that sad story is now history as the station once again hit double-digits as it increased its lead over the rest of the market to three-plus shares. Sister station CCM+E Top 40/R KYLD (WILD) was in its customary #2 position after posting its best number since NOVEMBER. KMVQ bounced back from a down book to move up a slot to #3. CCM+E Rhythmic AC KISQ (KISS) was off slightly but still managed a two-place advancement to #4. KIOI came off its best book in over a year with something a little less tasty as it fell two spots to #5. SBS Regional Mexican KRZZ (LA RAZA) did much the same thing as it dropped from a tie at #4 into a tie at #6.
Ties seemed to be the in thing for 18-49. KMVQ was off for the third straight book but remained at #1 though it was in a dead heat with KMEL, which moved up from #2 with its best number since NOVEMBER. KIOI remained at #3 despite being off slightly but that opened the door for KBRG, which moved up from a tie at #4 despite a flat performance. KYLD had its best showing since NOVEMBER to move up a spot to #5 while KQED vacated its tie at #4 and ended up at #6 simply because it had a lower number than last month. Funny how those things work out.
DALLAS-FT. WORTH: Kiss Again
As the sounds of jingling bells continue to recede in the distance, CCM+E Top 40/M KHKS (KISS) watched its numbers continue to increase. The station was #1 again (naturally) and while its numbers remain strong (7.4-7.6), they were not quite in the eight-share range we saw last summer. Still, it is ahead of last year’s 7.2 pace. CUMULUS Country KPLX (THE WOLF) had much to howl about as it had another stellar performance – its best in over a year – to remain at #2 (5.6-5.8). SERVICE Urban KKDA (K104) was off from last month’s record high (5.3-4.9) but had enough juice to remain at #3. SALEM Christian Contemporary KLTY was #4 for the third straight book even though it was down (4.9-4.7). CCM+E Classic Rock KZPS (LONE STAR) was up slightly to remain in a tie at #5 (4.1-4.2) though it was dancing with a new partner. RADIO ONE Top 40/R KBFB (THE BEAT) had its best book in over a year – by far – to move up from #9 (3.3-4.2). CCM+E Hot AC KDMX (NOW) had its lowest number in over a year – by far – to drop from a tie at #5 all the way to #10 (4.1-3.3).
As is usually the case, KHKS was #1 25-54 with its second straight up book. KPLX strengthened its hold on #2 with its best performance in over a year. KKDA had its best number since NOVEMBER to move from a tie at #5 to #3. Meanwhile, KZPS was up slightly but still fell from a tie at #3 into a tie at #4 with KBFB, which came roaring in from #9. KLTY was completely flat but still fell from a tie at #3 down to #6. CUMULUS Sports KTCK-A (THE TICKET) had its guest pass to the top 5 revoked as the station dropped a couple of places in the standings to #7.
The natural order of the 18-34 universe remained virtually unchanged with one modification. KHKS was flat but still maintained a two-plus share lead over KKDA at #2, which was up for the second straight month. KPLX had its best book since MARCH but could not budge from the #3 position. KBFB was stuck at #4 even though it had its best book in over a year. CCM+E Active Rock KEGL (THE EAGLE) was off slightly but remained at #5. However, it was joined by CCM+E Alternative KDGE (THE EDGE), which rebounded from a down book to move up from #9.
The seemingly unending string of #1 18-49 books continued for KHKS. Even though it was down slightly, it kept a solid two-share lead over #2 KKDA, which had its best book since SEPTEMBER. KBFB is on fire. The station had a huge book, which propelled it from #7 to #3. KPLX dropped from a tie at #3 to #4 even though it had its highest number in exactly one year. KLTY was off a bit but still moved from #6 into a tie at #5 with KEGL, which swooped in from #9. KTCK had its ticket punched as the station slid from #5 into a tie at #7. KDMX turned in its lowest score in over a year as the station dropped from a tie at #3 into a tie at #10.
Thank you for spending a portion of your broadcast day with us. Stay tuned to this same channel for our next installment, highlighting the comings and goings of HOUSTON, WASHINGTON, DC, PHILADELPHIA, ATLANTA and BOSTON.
In the meantime, feel free to reach out to us with any comments, suggestions or corrections. You can find us in all the usual places.