Research Director, Inc. Presents Exclusive April PPM Analysis For N.Y., L.A., Chicago, San Francisco And Dallas
May 12, 2014 at 1:46 PM (PT)
As we bid a fond farewell to the year’s first quarter, we look forward to a month of opening days and fewer school closings. One that brings a renewed sense of hope as spring blooms with the optimism of … well, spring.
These are the voyages of the APRIL 2014 PPM survey where The Ratings Experts at RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. probe the inner meanings of the data and do our best to put it all into perspective. For orientation purposes, the following analyses focus precisely on the dates of 3/27 through 4/23.
Now, back to the countdown …
NEW YORK: A Narrowing Of The Margin
This is all about Programming performance, not ROI. CCM+E AC WLTW (LITE) was #1 for the ninth straight book (7.0-6.8) though it might be hearing footsteps from CBS RADIO Classic Hits WCBS-F, which scored its best book since JUNE (6.1-6.6) to narrow the margin between the two stations. Could this have something to do with a certain morning show move? We are not at liberty to divulge specific daypart information in this forum. However, a quick look at CUMULUS Hot AC WPLJ might prove illuminating. The station went from a tie at #16 to #17 (2.4-2.1). CCM+E Top 40/M WHTZ (Z100) remained at #3 with its best book since AUGUST (5.5-5.6) while EMMIS Urban AC WBLS held firm at #4 (5.4-5.5). SBS Tropical WSKQ (MEGA) lost some share (5.1-4.7) but remained at #5. With the dawning of a new baseball season, the local nines found themselves in new broadcast digs. The YANKEES helped CBS RADIO Sports WFAN-F move from #14 to #11 (2.7-3.4). New METS flagship CCM+E Talk WOR-A was not quite as fortunate as it remained at #22 (1.5-1.7). Could this have anything to do with the relative potential for the teams involved? We’ll leave that to the sabermetricians.
The 25-54 margin narrowed, as well, but involved a different player. Yes, WLTW was #1 – though it ended a two-book surge. Its closest pursuer remained its cluster mate – WHTZ, which again had its best book since AUGUST. WBLS moved up a spot to #3 with its best number since DECEMBER, which bumped WSKQ back one square as it had its lowest share since the HOLIDAY book. CCM+E Top 40/M WKTU was up for the third straight month and scored its best number in over a year. Alas, it did not budge from its #5 position.
There was another narrowing of the margin in the 18-34 arena. As per usual, WHTZ was #1. However, its down trend coupled with a strong surge from CCM+E Urban WWPR (POWER) closed the gap to less than a share. Oh, and POWER also moved up two spots from #4. This dropped WSKQ back one place to #3 while EMMIS Urban WQHT (HOT) was flat and slid back a space to #4. WLTW held forth at #5 despite a down book.
Not much to see 18-49 as the top five spots remained unaltered. WHTZ was #1 with its best book since OCTOBER while WSKQ took over sole control of #2 with a loss of share. WLTW had a bigger loss of share and dropped back to #3 while WKTU remained at #4 with a slight uptick. WBLS was flat and static at #5.
LOS ANGELES: The Big Three Minus One
It has been a while – since NOVEMBER, in fact – since the top three spots contained any station outside the CCM+E cluster. This does not mean you should be shedding any tears, as they still hold down the top two places. CCM+E Top 40/M KIIS (KISS FM) was #1 for the third straight month (5.1-5.3) while CCM+E Hot AC KBIG (MY FM) moved up a slot to #2 with a flat book (4.9-4.9). The newest member of the top-three club is actually plural. CBS RADIO Classic Hits KRTH (K-EARTH) moved up from #5 with its best showing in over a year (4.2-4.7) and was in a tie with EMMIS Top 40/R KPWR (POWER), which inched up from #4 (4.6-4.7). Oh, and that was also its best book in over a year. Falling three places to #5 was CCM+E AC KOST, which scored its lowest number since, yep, NOVEMBER (5.0-4.5).
The cluster trifecta was preserved 25-54 – but just barely. KBIG was flat and remained #1 for the second book in a row while KIIS was up slightly to remain at #2. KOST again had its lowest number since NOVEMBER to remain at #3 though it was sharing the position with KPWR, which moved forward one square. CBS RADIO Alternative KROQ dropped a spot to #5 with its lowest total since OCTOBER. KRTH had another one of those best-books-in-over-a-year to move ahead four spots to #8.
For the third month in a row, KPWR owned the top spot 18-34. As an added bonus, it secured its best number in over a year. Though it was up, the gap got narrower as KIIS ended a two-book slide. KBIG had its lowest number in over a year but kept its grip on #3 while CBS RADIO Top 40/M KAMP (AMP) did the same exact thing in holding on to #4. There must be something going on as KROQ also had its lowest book in over a year yet did not move an inch from #5.
KPWR’s hold on the top spot 18-49 ended after two months even though the station was flat. The issue was that KIIS bounced back from its lowest book in over a year to reclaim the top spot. KBIG’s version of the lowest book in over a year dropped it back to #3 while KAMP remained at #4. KROQ’s smallest share since OCTOBER dropped the station back a spot to #5.
CHICAGO: Cubs Win!
Sorry to toy with you like that CUBS fans but, despite their lack of prowess on the diamond, they have proven beneficial in our world. More on that in a moment. First, for the second straight book, CCM+E Urban AC WVAZ (V103) held down the top spot (6.5-6.7). CBS RADIO News WBBM-A remained at #2 despite a noticeable loss of share (6.1-5.6). HUBBARD Hot AC WTMX (MIX) held on at #3 despite its second down book in a row (4.9-4.7) and CCM+E Top 40/M WKSC (KISS) stayed stuck in position at #4 (4.8-4.5). And here’s where the CUBS come in. Skeptics would say: “yea, fourth place again.” That may not cut it in the NL CENTRAL but here it ain’t bad. TRIBUNE N/T WGN-A had its highest run total since AUGUST (3.8-4.5) to move up from #8. CBS RADIO Country WUSN (US 99.5) had its strongest outing since NOVEMBER (4.0-4.3) yet fell back a spot to #6.
For the fourth month in a row, WTMX was the 25-54 chart topper even though it landed its lowest total since SANTA was crooning. This allowed WVAZ to get this close to the top as the station moved up from #3 with its best number since DECEMBER. WKSC ended a three-book surge to fall back to #3. CBS RADIO Top 40/M WBBM-F (B96) was flat but managed to move up a position to #4. It found itself tied with HUBBARD Classic Hits WDRV (THE DRIVE), which cruised in from a tie at #7 with its highest number in over a year. CCM+E Urban WGCI had its smallest output since MAY and dropped a couple of spots to #6.
All sorts of stuff happened 18-34. First, thanks to its comfy new frequency complete with enhanced broadcasting power, CUMULUS Alternative WKQX became the #1 station with its best book in, like, ever. WGCI had lost three full shares over the last two books. This time it had its lowest total in over a year and slipped to #2. WKSC shed a bit of its share to slip to #3. Then, we had three stations move up the chart to converge at #4. WVAZ came up from #7 with its highest total in over a year while WUSN launched itself from #8 with its best book of the last 14. WBBM-F ended a two-book slide to inch up from a tie at #5. This upward mobility did cause some fallout. WTMX was flat but dropped three places to #7 while CRAWFORD Urban WPWX (POWER) dropped the same number of squares to #8 with its smallest number in over a year.
In the great melting pot that is 18-49, WTMX was off for the third straight book yet managed to keep its crown for the second month in a row. WVAZ moved up two places to #2 with its third straight up book while WKSC fell back a spot to #3. WGCI fell two places to #4 with its smallest share since MAY while WBBM-F held on at #5.
SAN FRANCISCO: Talk The Talk
For a city that was supposedly built on rock & roll, the current radio hierarchy is decidedly devoid of rhythm. And, not only are the top three spots taken by stations that specialize in wordsmithing – there is a perceptible gap between this trio and the rest of the market. For the fourth straight book, CBS RADIO News KCBS-A was the top dog (6.3-6.0). Moving up to #2 (from a tie at #7) was CUMULUS Sports KNBR-A (3.8-5.4). This was the station’s best number since the last time the GIANTS were playing meaningful games. KQED INC N/T KQED continued to solidify its reputation as one of the strongest non-commercial stations in the country even though it slipped a spot to #3 (5.6-5.3). We pause for a few tenths of a share … then came CBS RADIO Top 40/M KMVQ (NOW), which remained at #4 (4.1-4.4) followed by CCM+E Top 40/R KMEL, which dropped two places to #5 (4.3-4.0).
To say that the GIANTS have a rabid fan base would be an understatement. Just look what happened to KNBR 25-54. No baseball on the radio in MARCH – #10. Baseball on the radio in APRIL – #1. KQED was off a little to drop to #2 where it was barely ahead of KMVQ, which remained mired at #3. UNIVISION Spanish Adult Hits KBRG bounced back from a down book to hold steady at #4. Two stations were locked in combat at #5. CCM+E Top 40/R KYLD (WILD) was off slightly to remain in place while cluster sister CCM+E Hot AC KIOI (STAR) dropped from #2 with its lowest score since SANTA was running things. KMEL was down enough to drop it two spots to #7.
At this point you may get the feeling that this was not the best of book experiences for KMEL. Hold judgment until you see that the station was – once again – the dominant player 18-34. After reaching its nadir in JANUARY, the station has ripped off three straight double-digit books and owns a three-plus share lead over cluster sister KYLD at #2. There is a huge gulf between these two stations and the rest of the field. KMVQ bounced back from an unusually low book to move up two spots to #3 while CCM+E Rhythmic AC KISQ (KISS) slipped a spot to #4. KIOI also had a bit of a ratings dip and dropped to #5. Baseball was very, very good for KNBR as it rose from a tie at #17 to #6.
This marked the third straight book with KMEL as the #1 18-49 station. KMVQ got within shouting distance as it moved up to #2 – which displaced KYLD, causing it to drop back a spot to #3 despite a flat book. KBRG moved forward two spots to #4 with its best showing since DECEMBER while KNBR hit the ball hard and moved up seven places in the line-up to #5. KQED was off a bit and fell two notches to #6 while KIOI also experienced a two-notch drop and wound up at #7.
DALLAS-FT. WORTH: A Two-Team Race
If this were a race to the playoffs, we would have a division winner and a wild card and … everyone else. CCM+E Top 40/M KHKS (KISS) continued to lead the pack by a comfortable margin as it strolled to another #1 book (7.5-7.2). CUMULUS Country KPLX (THE WOLF) continued to nip at KISS’s heels as the station was #2 for the fourth straight survey (6.4-6.1). Then came everyone else. SALEM Christian Contemporary KLTY moved up a couple of spots to #3 (4.3-4.6) while CBS RADIO Classic Hits KLUV (K-LOVE) also performed the two-spot jump to end up at #4 (4.0-4.3). CCM+E Classic Rock KZPS (LONE STAR) edged up a spot to #5 despite a down book (4.6-4.1). Meanwhile, SERVICE Urban KKDA (K104) surprisingly landed its lowest number since AUGUST (4.9-3.7) to drop four places to #7.
25-54 was pretty much a mirror image of 6+ in terms of the same two stations separating themselves from the rest of the pack. KHKS was off slightly to remain a clear #1 while KPLX was a strong #2 despite a slight loss of share. KLTY was up slightly and jumped two spots to #3 while KZPS had its lowest number since the SANTA book to fall one place to #4. CCM+E Active Rock KEGL (THE EAGLE) remained at #5 despite a down book where it was joined by SERVICE Urban AC KRNB, which parlayed a small share increase into a large rank jump – moving in from a tie at #11. Cluster brother KKDA may have been a casualty of this as it fell from #4 into a tie at #11.
The top five players (or should that be playa’s?) remained unchanged 18-34 though there was a small change in the order. KHKS was naturally #1 by a significant margin. KPLX moved up to #2 with its best book in over a year and could make this an interesting race. KKDA landed its lowest book since MAY and fell back to #3 while RADIO ONE Top 40/R KBFB (THE BEAT) was off slightly but remained at #4. KEGL was also off slightly but kept its firm grip on #5.
Even though KHKS landed its lowest 18-49 book since JULY, it remained a solid and distant #1 over the new #2 station. That was – surprise – KPLX, which moved up from #3 with its best book in over a year. KKDA continued its spiral by posting its lowest number since JULY. It fell a spot to #3 where it was tied with KEGL, which moved up a spot despite a slight share loss. KBFB was down for the second book in a row and fell back one place to #5.
Thus concludes round one of our exclusive ratings analysis for ALL ACCESS. If you have any questions, comments, corrections, or kudos feel free to reach out to us via the platforms listed below.
Stay tuned for round two, which spotlights HOUSTON-GALVESTON, WASHINGTON, DC, PHILADELPHIA, ATLANTA, and BOSTON.