Research Director, Inc. Presents Exclusive April PPM Analysis For Houston, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Boston
May 13, 2014 at 1:46 PM (PT)
Welcome back for our second analytical round. We are focusing on the APRIL 2014 PPM survey, which covered 3/27-4/23. And, we are looking at the ratings performance across four demos. You will note that we are only allowed to quote actual numbers in 6+. For the other demos, you’ll have to read between the lines, if you catch our drift.
Now, on with the show …
HOUSTON-GALVESTON: A New Sheriff In Town
2014 has been a year of incredible change in the radio ratings landscape. One format change has had a ripple effect on so many stations. However, on the surface, all that shifting should have had minimal effect on the fate of COX RADIO Country KKBQ (93Q). The changes that have swirled throughout the market did not affect any of KKBQ’s direct competition. For the second month in a row, the station was #1 (7.0-7.3) and seems to be setting ratings records with every survey. CCM+E AC KODA (SUNNY) remained at #2 but fell a little bit further off the pace (6.5-5.9) – its lowest number since AUGUST. RADIO ONE Urban AC KMJQ (MAJIC) was up slightly to remain at #3 (5.7-5.8). There was a three-way logjam at #4. Erstwhile market leader RADIO ONE Top 40/R KBXX (THE BOX) bounced back a bit (5.0-5.4) to move up a slot from a tie at #5. COX RADIO Classic Hits KGLK (THE EAGLE) dipped slightly (5.7-5.4) to drop down from a tie at #3. UNIVISION Regional Mexican KLTN (ESTEREO LATINO) matched its best book of the year (5.0-5.4) to also move up from a tie at #5. The station at the root of all these market changes – CCM+E Urban KQBT (THE BEAT) – was up slightly (3.6-3.9) and correspondingly rose in rank from #12 to #10.
Though it was down for the third straight book, KKBQ kept the top spot 25-54 for the fourth straight survey. It also maintained a solid lead over KLTN, which remained at #2 with a slight increase. Again, KODA had its lowest number since AUGUST as it slipped one spot to #3. CCM+E Alternative KTBZ (THE BUZZ) moved up a spot to #4 on the strength of its best book in over a year. KGLK was ushered aside by that move and slid back to #5.
Despite all the machinations in the market, one constant remained – KBXX dominated 18-34. However, last month it looked like KKBQ was poised to end THE BOX’s reign as it got as close as it could without forging a tie. This month, the stations went in opposite directions and KKBQ was closer to #3 KLTN – which had its best book since AUGUST – than it was to #1. KQBT is certainly in the conversation for #2 but this time it was off enough to drop a spot to #4. KTBZ remained a more distant #5 with a slightly down book.
Make it four months in a row that KKBQ has been the market leader 18-49. The station just posted its lowest number in that run but maintained a comfortable advantage over the two stations tied at #2 for the second straight survey. KBXX and KLTN both had pleasant increases. KODA remained at #4 despite scoring its lowest number since OCTOBER and it was tied by KTBZ, which moved up a spot thanks to its highest number since that very same month.
WASHINGTON, DC: Wonks Win
There is no question that our nation’s capital is hungry for information. Unfortunately for those of us who live here, much of that concerns the abysmal traffic conditions. The folks at HUBBARD News WTOP don’t seem to mind as the station was #1 for the fourth consecutive survey, despite shedding a bit of share (8.9-8.0). You can count on one hand the number of non-commercial stations that consistently land at the top of the charts. AMERICAN UNIVERSITY N/T WAMU is consistently one of them. The station was off slightly this survey (7.1-7.0) but still rose a spot to #2. CCM+E Top 40/M WIHT (HOT) was the leading music station even though it fell to #3 overall (7.2-6.7). HOWARD UNIVERSITY Urban AC WHUR – which is not a non-comm despite its ownership – held firm at #4 (6.0-5.9) while CCM+E AC WASH returned to the top five for the first time since SANTA was aimlessly wandering the halls (4.6-5.0). RADIO ONE Urban AC WMMJ (MAJIC) posted its lowest number since NOVEMBER (5.0-4.6) to drop out of the top five and land at #6.
The top five stations 25-54 remained completely unchanged from the previous survey. WIHT copped top honors for the third book in a row. WTOP reported in with its lowest share since SANTA was the top story but held on at #2. WHUR made it a #2 twosome as it moved up one spot despite a slight loss of share. WAMU was also off slightly but stood still at #4. CCM+E Alternative WWDC (DC101) was the only station in the top five to actually increase its share but it still did not budge from the #5 position.
It borders on ridiculous how WIHT dominates 18-34. Last survey it had a more than five-share lead over #2 RADIO ONE Urban WKYS (KISS). This time it shrunk to just under that because HOT was off slightly and KISS had its best book since NOVEMBER. CBS RADIO Top 40/R WPGC ended a two-book slide but was stuck at #3 while WWDC was flat and happy at #4. CBS RADIO Hot AC WIAD (FRESH) moved forward one pace to #5 with its best performance in over a year. This knocked WASH back a peg to #6 as it had its second straight down book.
Much like the previous demo, WIHT is the owner and operator of 18-49. The station was off slightly but maintained a three-plus share lead over #2 WHUR, which had its lowest score since the SANTA book. WKYS was up slightly to remain at #3 where it was joined by arch nemesis WPGC, which leapt in from #7 with its best book in over a year. WASH slipped a spot to #5 even though it had a small increase. WTOP posted its lowest score since the holly was hanging and fell from a tie at #4 to #9.
PHILADELPHIA: Less Is Still More
They may change the name but the location remained the same. WEAZ-FM RADIO AC WBEB (MORE) was a dominant #1 for the second straight book despite posting its lowest number of the year (8.6-8.0). It had a new #2 to contend with as BEASLEY Country WXTU rose two spots thanks to its best book in over a year (5.7-6.1). This caused CBS RADIO Classic Hits WOGL to take one small step back to #3 (6.3-5.9). GREATER MEDIA Active Rock WMMR moved up a space to #4 thanks to a slight increase (5.5-5.6) while its slightly older and less tattooed cluster brother GREATER MEDIA Classic Rock WMGK used its flat book to break into the top five (5.2-5.2). The news was far less engaging last month as CBS RADIO News KYW-A reported its lowest number in over a year (6.0-4.5) as the station dropped four spots to #7. Hope springs eternal for PHILLIES fans as their unfounded optimism helped CBS RADIO Sports WIP-F end a three-book slide (3.6-4.2) as it moved from a tie at #11 into a tie at #8.
WMMR’s on again/off again love affair with the #1 25-54 position was on again as the station was up enough to edge out WBEB, which ended a two-book surge. This back and forth could go on for a while. WXTU was flat but remained firmly entrenched at #3. WMGK was up slightly to gain a square to #4 while CCM+E Alternative WRFF (RADIO 104.5) returned to the top five with a slight increase in share. WOGL popped its lowest share since DECEMBER and fell from #4 into a tie at #6.
Things changed rather abruptly 18-34 thanks to CCM+E Urban WUSL (POWER). The station made a two-spot jump to #1 with its best book since JULY. WXTU had a pretty healthy increase, as well, but fell back to #2 by the smallest of margins. WBEB remained a little farther off the pace as it dropped to #3 while WRFF remained at #4 even though it shed some share. WMMR has lost almost two full shares in this demo over the last two books and slid from a tie at #4 to #5.
Once again, WXTU posted its best 18-49 book in over a year. However, this time it allowed the station to move forward two paces to #1. WBEB had its lowest number since its pre-SANTA days and fell back into a tie at #2 with WMMR, which was down for the third straight survey. WUSL had its biggest book since JULY to remain at #4 while WRFF held fast at #5 with a slight increase. CCM+E Top 40/M WIOQ (Q102) dropped one spot to #6 despite a slight increase in share.
ATLANTA: Keep Talking
For the third straight month – and sixth time in the last nine surveys – the AM/FM simulcast of COX RADIO Talk WSB-A was #1. It even widened its lead despite a flat book (7.3-7.3). That was because cluster sister COX RADIO Urban AC WALR (KISS), at #2, had its lowest showing since NOVEMBER (7.2-6.7). CBS RADIO Urban AC WVEE (V-103) moved up a spot to #3 (6.3-6.4). It was followed by yet another Urban AC – RADIO ONE WAMJ (MAJIC) – which moved up two spots to #4 (5.4-5.9) where it was joined by COX RADIO AC WSB-F (B98.5), which fell from #3 thanks to its lowest total in over a year (6.7-5.9). Cluster brother COX RADIO Classic Hits WSRV (THE RIVER) also scored its lowest share in over a year (5.6-4.9) as it slid from #5 into a tie at #7.
WVEE continued its uninterrupted string of #1 25-54 books even though it was down for the third straight survey – losing almost two full shares in the process. That said, it still has a full share lead over WAMJ – which moved up two spots to #2 after ending a two-book skid. WSB-F remained at #3 despite a down book. WALR scored its best book since AUGUST, which allowed it to move up four places to #4. WSRV had its lowest number in over a year in this demo and dropped from #2 to #5 where it was tied with CCM+E Country WUBL (THE BULL), which remained in place with a flat book.
For the second straight survey, WVEE was the top dog (or is that dawg?) 18-34 as it posted its best number since AUGUST. The station widened its lead over RADIO ONE Urban WHTA (HOT), which remained at #2 with a slight increase. CUMULUS Top 40/M WWWQ (Q100) was off slightly to remain at #3 where it was aligned with CCM+E Alternative WRDA (RADIO 105.7), which moved up from #5 with its highest share in over a year. Cluster mate CCM+E Top 40/M WWPW (POWER) was flat but slipped a spot to #5.
As per the norm, WVEE was the far-and-away market leader 18-49. The station was up slightly from the previous survey and continued to maintain a healthy lead over the #2 station. This time it was WAMJ, which moved up a spot with a slight increase. This forced WSB-F – which had a down book – to drop back to #3 where it fell into a tie with WHTA, which parlayed a small increase into a two-spot jump. WUBL wasn’t BS-ing around after posting its best number in over a year. It stormed from #7 to #5. WWWQ was down for the third consecutive survey and slipped from #4 to #6.
BOSTON: Mind The Gap
Way back when SANTA was the personality of the moment, GREATER MEDIA AC WMJX (MAGIC) took CCM+E Top 40/M WXKS (KISS) to the ratings woodshed – by a full five shares. Since then, KISS has been #1 and MAGIC #2, with KISS leading by never less than 0.7. Well, things got a bit tighter in this book as KISS was flat (7.2-7.2) and MAGIC had its best elf-free book in over a year (6.5-7.0). GREATER MEDIA Country WKLB had its best showing since OCTOBER (6.3-6.4) to inch forward one spot to #3. CBS RADIO News WBZ-A ended a two-book surge (6.4-5.9) to drop back to #4. GREATER MEDIA Classic Hits WROR remained at #5 despite ending a three-book positive run (5.8-5.5).
The gap between WXKS and WMJX 25-54 is more like a gulf. KISS was #1 for the fourth straight survey and maintained a comfortable lead over MAGIC. Both stations were up slightly. WKLB posted its lowest score since the HOLIDAY season to remain at #3. It was joined by CBS RADIO Classic Rock WZLX, which ended a two-book slide to rise from #6. GREATER MEDIA Alternative WBOS (RADIO 92.9) ended its two-book slide and in so doing, moved forward two steps to #5. A couple of cluster buddies were moving in the opposite direction. CBS RADIO Sports WBZ-F (THE SPORTS HUB) dropped two places to #6 with its lowest book since AUGUST. Meanwhile, CBS RADIO Hot AC WBMX (MIX) scored its lowest share since NOVEMBER to also drop two places – landing at #7.
Over the previous four surveys, three different stations were #1 18-34. Add a fourth to that mix as things got real interesting in APRIL. WKLB moved from #2 to #1 with its best book since JULY. It gets better. Since the HOLIDAY survey, the station has come close to doubling its share! CCM+E Top 40/R WJMN (JAM’N) ended a rather dramatic two-book skid to jump from #3 into the co-leader position. WXKS was up slightly but still fell two places to #3. WMJX had its best RUDOLPH-free book in over a year to rise two spots to #4 while cluster sister GREATER MEDIA Rhythmic AC WBQT (HOT) slipped a spot to #5 with its smallest share since OCTOBER. WBZ-F had its lowest total since AUGUST and fell from #5 to #7.
Over the last 14 surveys, the only time WXKS was not #1 18-49 was when that jolly old elf was making a mess of things. The station was up slightly this time but saw its lead over the #2 station slip to a mere two share points. That #2 station was WMJX, which had its best non-holiday-themed book in over a year to move up from #4. WKLB was off slightly and dropped to #3. Two stations were upwardly mobile and ended up tied at #4. WBOS ended a two-book slide to inch up from #5 while WJMN did the same in moving in from #7. WBZ-F fell three spots in the standings to #6 with its lowest output since AUGUST.
Thus concludes round two of our exclusive ratings analysis for ALL ACCESS. If you ever want to reach The Ratings Experts at RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. -- whether it’s to comment on what we see or to talk baseball -- feel free to use any of the platforms outlined below.
Stay tuned for our third and final round where we divine the secrets of DETROIT, MIAMI-FT. LAUDERDALE-HOLLYWOOD, SEATTLE-TACOMA, PHOENIX, and MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL. That will appear on your screen in due course.