Research Director, Inc. Presents Exclusive March PPM Analysis For N.Y., L.A., Chicago, San Francisco And Dallas
April 14, 2014 at 1:46 PM (PT)
ALL ACCESS presents MARCH 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.
While spring may be breaking out all over in the previously frozen hinterlands of NIELSEN AUDIO world, the MARCH 2014 survey contained many a wintry mix that caused havoc with listening patterns. Of course, in some markets that was also a ratings boon. How did it all play out? Read on as we review the ratings performance of the top markets.
For those keeping score at home, this survey covered FEBRUARY 27th through MARCH 26th. Now, let’s go inside the numbers …
NEW YORK: Loads O’ Music
Music radio had a very good month. For the eighth consecutive survey, CCM+E AC WLTW (LITE FM) ruled the ratings roost in the city that never sleeps. The station has continued to add share since the departure of that CLAUS fellow, with its second straight up book (6.9-7.0). CBS RADIO Classic Hits WCBS-F continued to apply the pressure. Though the station remained at #2, it did score its highest number since AUGUST (5.6-6.1) as it increased its share for the third straight month. This number also included about three weeks’ worth of SCOTT SHANNON. CCM+E Top 40/M WHTZ (Z100) jumped two places to #3 after posting its best share since SEPTEMBER (5.2-5.5) while EMMIS Urban AC WBLS was off for the second straight survey (5.5-5.4) to slip a spot to #4. SBS Tropical WSKQ (LA MEGA) had its best showing since JULY (4.6-5.1) as it moved up a spot to #5. The news was a little soft for CBS RADIO News WCBS-A as the station’s three-book surge came to an end (5.3-4.2) and it fell from #4 into a tie at #7. The year-to-year comparison for CUMULUS Country WNSH (NASM FM) reveals little. This survey the station remained at #20 (1.5-1.7). Last year it was in the same position with a slightly higher share at 1.8.
Last AUGUST, WLTW slipped all the way to #3 25-54 and it caused some tongues (including ours) to do a bit of wagging. Alas, it seems that was no more than a mere flesh wound as the station notched its eighth straight #1 book in this demo with its best non-jingling-influenced share since APRIL. Cluster mate WHTZ took over sole possession of the #2 slot with its highest share since OCTOBER. Though WSKQ had its best performance since NOVEMBER, it still slipped out of a tie at #2 to land at #3. WBLS had its best month since before SANTA came to town but had to settle for remaining at #4. CCM+E Top 40/M WKTU took over sole ownership of #5 with its highest share since NOVEMBER. Meanwhile, WCBS-F dropped one place to #6 despite posting its best book since AUGUST. WNSH remained at #19 – exactly where it was a year ago.
The HOLIDAY survey was the low water mark for WHTZ 18-34 as it had its lowest share and slipped to #2. Since then, the station has been on a tear as it claimed #1 for the third straight survey with its best share since NOVEMBER. WSKQ also had its best book since NOVEMBER but remained at #2. EMMIS Top 40/R WQHT (HOT) remained at #3 despite scoring its best total since OCTOBER. CCM+E Urban WWPR (POWER) bounced back from last month and elevated its status one place to #4. WLTW was off ever so slightly but still moved back one square to #5. While WNSH did move from #20 into a tie at #16, it was not quite as strong – share-wise – as a year ago when it was #15.
WHTZ continued to forge ahead 18-49 as it was up for the third straight month to lay claim to the #1 position. Cluster mate WLTW was tied at that spot last time and even though it was up, it fell into a tie at #2 with WSKQ, which moved up a spot with its best share since JULY. WKTU was also up for the third consecutive survey but remained firmly entrenched at #4 while WBLS bounced back from a relatively low FEBRUARY to hold steady at #5.
LOS ANGELES: Another CC Sweep
We’re going to go out on a limb here but no matter what the data shows, we’re pretty certain the harsh winter we’ve had did not affect listener behavior in this market. For the fourth straight month, the top three spots were held by stations from the same cluster. Though CCM+E Top 40/M KIIS (KISS FM) did end its two-book surge (5.5-5.1), it remained at #1 for the second book in a row. CCM+E AC KOST was also down a bit (5.2-5.0), but wrested control of the #2 spot away from cluster sister CCM+E Hot AC KBIG (MY FM), which slipped to #3 with its lowest share in over a year (5.2-4.9). EMMIS Top 40/R KPWR (POWER) was completely flat (4.6-4.6) and, as a result, did not budge from the #4 position. CBS RADIO Classic Hits KRTH (K-EARTH) was also – ironically – flat, as well (4.2-4.2), but did manage to move up a spot to #5. Cluster-mate CBS RADIO Top 40/M KAMP (AMP) saw its wattage dim a bit (4.5-4.1) as it took a small step back to #6.
If you throw out the influence of Yule tunes, two stations have traded places at #1 25-54 for the last year. It was KBIG’s turn to drive the bus as it swapped spots with KIIS. The former was up slightly while the latter could not nearly replicate last month’s rather large share. KOST completed the CLEAR CHANNEL medal sweep by remaining at #3 despite losing a bit of share. The two stations that were tied at #4 in FEBRUARY were at it again in this survey. Both KPWR and CBS RADIO Alternative KROQ matched down books.
For the second book in a row, KPWR took top honors in the 18-34 category. Though its share was off slightly, it opened up a comfortable lead over #2 KIIS as that station had its lowest total in over a year. KBIG was down for the second straight month but managed to take complete control of the #3 spot because KAMP slid to #4 with its lowest score in over a year. KROQ remained at #5 despite scoring its lowest share since OCTOBER.
The usual suspects controlled the top spots 18-49 with KPWR coming out the biggest winner for the second straight month. The race here is very close as KIIS and KBIG – despite down books – were tied at #2. KAMP had its smallest share since JUNE to remain at #4 though it was caught by cluster bro’ KROQ, which moved up from #5 even though it, too, was off a bit.
CHICAGO: Flat Is Good
Though CCM+E Urban AC WVAZ (V103) is accustomed to leading the pack, for the last three surveys the station was – quote – mired at #2. This time, while its orbit remained stationary (6.5-6.5), it reached apogee by returning to the top spot. This forced CBS RADIO News WBBM-A to take one small step back to #2 – ending its two-book run at #1 (6.6-6.1). HUBBARD Hot AC WTMX (MIX) continued to hover around #3 (5.0-4.9) – something it has done for three books running. CCM+E Top 40/M WKSC (KISS) also remained in place at #4, despite securing its best point total in over a year (4.5-4.8). The station is currently on a three-book run that has increased its share by a full point. CBS RADIO Country WUSN (US 99.5) landed its highest number (3.8-4.0) since NOVEMBER to move up two places to #5. This dropped CCM+E Urban WGCI back to #6 as it posted its lowest total since MAY (4.4-3.9). It was in a flat-footed tie with cluster sister CCM+E Hot AC WLIT (MY FM), which remained in place despite a slight decline (4.1-3.9).
Though it was down for the second straight month, WTMX extended its string of #1 25-54 books to three in a row. Once again, WKSC had its best performance in over a year as it moved up a spot to #2 and narrowed the gap to a mere share point. WVAZ was also up slightly and was rewarded with a one-place jump to #3 while WGCI had its lowest share since JUNE to fall two places to #4. CBS RADIO Top 40/M WBBM-F (B96) was down ever so slightly but managed to hold on to its #5 position. WLIT had its lowest share since NOVEMBER and dropped from a tie at #6 into a tie at #12.
As seen in the previous two demos, WGCI had a noticeable decline in its 18-34 number – the lowest total since JULY. However, the station still held on to the #1 spot. WKSC remained at #2 with a down book but the combination of ratings movements narrowed the gap to almost a share. CUMULUS Alternative WKQX seemed to be enjoying its new frequency digs as the station moved from a tie at #4 to #3. WTMX was left alone at #4 even though it was up for the third straight book. WBBM-F had its lowest share in over a year and fell two spots to #5 where it was tied with CRAWFORD Urban WPWX (POWER), which moved up from #6. WLIT was flat and remained motionless at #9.
For the first time since OCTOBER, WTMX scaled the 18-49 summit to plant its flag at the #1 position. This despite the fact its share was off slightly. WGCI helped that cause by scoring its lowest number since JUNE as it slipped back to #2 where it was tied with WKSC. KISS moved up from #3 even though its shares were flat. Last month’s tie at #4 was broken. WVAZ was up slightly to remain in place while WBBM-F dropped to #5 with its lowest share since JULY. WLIT was down a bit to remain at #9.
SAN FRANCISCO: A Two-Team Race
Though the song may assert that they built this city on rock and roll, the ratings reality is that information-related programming garners the most attention. For the third straight month, the top two positions were held by stations that do not play songs for a living. CBS RADIO News KCBS-A had its best number in over a year (6.0-6.3) to remain on top. KQED INC N/T KQED scored its best number in exactly one year to remain at #2 (5.3-5.6). Beyond that, we find some serious market compression as the next six stations are separated by a mere half point. CCM+E Top 40/R KMEL had its best book since SEPTEMBER to move up a spot to #3 (4.2-4.3). CBS RADIO Top 40/M KMVQ (NOW) had its lowest share since JUNE (4.6-4.1) to drop a spot to #4. CCM+E Hot AC KIOI (STAR) was off slightly (4.1-4.0) to remain at #5 while cluster mate CCM+E Top 40/R KYLD (WILD) had its best score since SEPTEMBER (3.5-3.9) to leap three places to #6. CCM+E Rhythmic AC KISQ (KISS) had its best showing in over a year (3.6-3.8) to remain at #7 where it was tied with CUMULUS Sports KNBR-A, which moved in from #11 (3.1-3.8).
For the second time in the last three books, KQED assumed the #1 position 25-54 even though it was totally flat this time around. KIOI moved up two places to #2 even though it was off slightly. The station’s rise was aided by KMVQ’s demise as the station posted its lowest total since JUNE to drop two spots to #3. UNIVISION Spanish Adult Hits KBRG ended its two-book surge to take a step back to #4. KMEL was up for the third month in a row to move up two spots to #5 where it was tied with cluster mate KYLD, which rode its third straight positive book to a four-spot jump.
The 18-34 battle is really a race for second place, well, third place really. KMEL was in double digits for the second book in a row and held a commanding four-share lead over #2 KYLD, which had its best showing since NOVEMBER. KISQ had its highest share in over a year to move from #4 into a distant #3 position. KIOI was up slightly to gain a space to #4 while KMVQ had its lowest number in over a year to fall two places to #5.
KMEL is accustomed to leading the 18-49 pack, but beginning in NOVEMBER, it spent four books in a trail position. Last month it returned to the top – though it was tied with KMVQ. This time, it assumed outright ownership of the lead by scoring its best point total since SEPTEMBER. KYLD also had its best book since SEPTEMBER to leap three places to #2. KMVQ abdicated its share of the lead after landing its lowest share since JUNE and it ended up at #3. KQED moved up two spots to #4 with a slight share increase while KIOI dropped out of a tie at #3 – ending up at #5 – even though it only lost a bit of share. KBRG also dropped out of a tie at #3 – landing at #6 – with its lowest share since SEPTEMBER.
DALLAS-FT. WORTH: A Never Ending Kiss
CCM+E Top 40/M KHKS (KISS) is a model of consistency. The station has been #1 in 13 of the last 14 surveys (guess who kept the station out of the top) with a strong, reliable range of numbers. Though it was down slightly (7.6-7.5), it remained atop the leaderboard. CUMULUS Country KPLX (THE WOLF) had plenty to howl about as it scored its highest number in over a year (5.8-6.4) to remain at #2 and narrow the gap somewhat. As a point of comparison, THE WOLF is a full two shares stronger than at this point a year ago. SERVICE Urban KKDA (K104) was totally flat (4.9-4.9) to remain at #3 while CCM+E Classic Rock KZPS (LONE STAR) was up for the second straight book (4.2-4.6) to move up one place to #4. SALEM Christian Contemporary KLTY had its lowest total since JULY (4.7-4.3) and slipped one spot to #5. RADIO ONE Top 40/R KBFB (THE BEAT) saw its two-book surge come to a grinding halt (4.2-3.7) as it fell three places into a tie at #8.
As with the overall ratings, KHKS continued its dominance of the 25-54 demo. Though it was flat, it maintained its nearly two-share lead over #2 KPLX, which was also flat. KZPS moved forward one square to #3 on the strength of its best performance since MAY while KKDA took a step back to #4 even though it was flat. KLTY had its lowest total since JULY but managed to move forward one spot to #5 where it was tied with CCM+E Active Rock KEGL (THE EAGLE), which soared up three spots with its highest total in over a year. KBFB followed its best book in over a year with something a bit lighter as it fell from a tie at #4 into a tie at #7.
Nothing deters KHKS from dominating 18-34 as it was up slightly to expand its lead over #2 KKDA, which was completely flat. KPLX crept very close to the #2 position with its best showing in over a year while KBFB remained in place at #4 despite a bit of a share droop. KEGL had its strongest showing in over a year to remain at #5 while CCM+E Alternative KDGE (THE EDGE) slipped out of that same #5 position and landed in a tie at #7 after shedding some share.
And finally, KHKS completed the sweep by taking the 18-49 crown as it always seems to do. KKDA was in its customary role of the #2 station but was comforted by the fact it received its best score in over a year. KPLX also had its highest share in over a year, which propelled it to a one-space rise to #3. KBFB slipped somewhat and fell back a spot to #4 where it was tied with KEGL, which moved up from #5 with its best book in over a year. KLTY dropped two places to a tie at #7 with its lowest total since JULY.
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Stay tuned for out next thrilling adventure as we examine the fates and fortunes contained within HOUSTON, WASHINGTON, DC, PHILADELPHIA, ATLANTA and BOSTON.