Research Director, Inc. Presents Exclusive August PPM Analysis For NY, LA, Chicago, SF And Dallas
September 2, 2014 at 1:45 PM (PT)
Ahhh, AUGUST. The month when half your audience is on vacation -- you just don’t know which half and which week. The least they could do is tell us so we can pick up their mail, y’know? What’s even weirder is that the so-called AUGUST survey is only half correct. This one covered 7/17 through 8/13. The good news is that, unlike the last two books, this one was not gummed up by a holiday weekend.
Once again, dear friends, The Ratings Experts at RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. -- with a valuable assist from the fine folks at XTRENDS -- bring you the stories behind the headlines in AMERICA’s largest markets. We go four demos deep in each town to find out who did what or what got done to whom. It can be a perilous journey, so fasten your chin straps...
New York: Those Oldies But Goodies
OK, so no one uses the “O” word anymore to describe the format, but library-based CBS RADIO Classic Hits WCBS-F made it two in a row at the top of the heap. The station has been on a remarkable run since the MARCH survey -- topping a six share each time. It just posted its highest number of the lot (6.4-6.9) to remain the market leader. That meant that perennial ratings champ CCM+E AC WLTW (LITE FM) was left in the runner-up position again. And, the gap got a bit wider as LITE had its lowest share in exactly a year (6.2-6.1). How long until the CHRISTMAS music starts? EMMIS Urban AC WBLS remained consistent (5.5-5.5) to hold on to the #3 spot for the fourth month in a row. One of the big stories of the month -- as you’ll soon see -- was SBS Tropical WSKQ (LA MEGA), which bounced back from a down book (4.5-5.2) to move forward one square to #4. CCM+E Top 40/M WHTZ (Z100) posted its lowest share since JANUARY (5.5-5.0) to slide two places to #5. Cluster brother CCM+E Classic Rock WAXQ (Q104.3) found its stay amongst the top five all too brief as it fell back to #6 (4.5-4.4).
Being king of the hill 6+ is all well and good when it comes to bragging rights -- and first position in the ALL ACCESS recap. But, topping the 25-54 chart is even more satisfying. WCBS-F accomplished that feat in fine fashion as it moved up from #3 with a number that is two full shares heftier than just two books ago. That’s quite a run. WSKQ again proved that last month’s share was a bit on the flukish side as it moved up three spots to more familiar turf at #2. WLTW saw its twelve-book run at #1 come to a screeching halt as it dropped to #3 with its lowest share in over a year. Perhaps there is something about this particular month as the station was also #3 a year ago. WBLS had a small bump to remain at #4 while WHTZ had its lowest month since SANTA was in town and fell three places to #5.
After a one-month hiatus, WSKQ returned to the top spot 18-34 with a healthy increase. This pushed WHTZ back to #2 as the station posted its lowest share of the year. EMMIS Urban WQHT (HOT) also bounced back from a down book to remain at #3 and widen its lead over arch-rival CCM+E Urban WWPR (POWER), which remained at #4 but shed a small bit of share. The station formerly known as NOW -- CBS RADIO Top 40/M WBMP (AMP) -- has been on quite a run since it altered its moniker. The flip happened in MAY and the station has been up in every survey since, increasing its total by almost two shares. This latest burst moved it into a tie at #5 with WLTW, which remained in place despite landing its lowest share in over a year.
WSKQ has been on quite the roller coaster over the last three books -- up, down, and up again. This latest increase placed the station back on top 18-49. This leap was aided by #2 WHTZ again scoring its lowest number of the year. WLTW held fast at #3 with only a minor loss of share while WCBS-F moved up a notch to #4 with its best book in over a year. CCM+E Top 40/M WKTU was down for the fourth month in a row and slipped back one rung to #5.
Los Angeles: My Way Is The High Way
If our math is correct -- and it often is -- this is the eighth survey of the year. Over those eight books, only three stations have been #1 overall. For the second month in a row -- and third time this year -- CCM+E Hot AC KBIG (MY FM) reigned supreme with its best share since JANUARY (5.0-5.3). Cluster sister CCM+E Top 40/M KIIS (KISS) -- which has four #1s under its belt this year -- moved up a spot to #2 by rebounding from its lowest book of the year (4.6-5.0). The only other member of the 2014 #1 club -- CBS RADIO Classic Hits KRTH (K-EARTH) -- slipped a spot to #3 despite a slight increase (4.7-4.9). CCM+E AC KOST moved up to #4 with its best book since APRIL (4.2-4.4) while EMMIS Urban KPWR (POWER) slipped back to #5 with its smallest total since JANUARY (4.4-4.3). CBS RADIO Top 40/M KAMP (AMP) got dangerously close to cracking the top five. It remained at #6 with its highest share since FEBRUARY (3.9-4.2). One topic of discussion could be CCM+E Talk KFI-A, which scored its best number since DECEMBER (2.9-3.3) to leap three places into a tie at #8.
The top three from the previous demo were replicated 25-54. KBIG strengthened its hold on #1 with a slight increase while KIIS held steady at #2 with a slightly larger increase. KRTH vaulted three spots to #3 with its second-best book of the year. KPWR dropped back one step to #4 with a slight decrease while KOST moved back to #5 with a flat performance. KAMP was also flat and was forced back one spot to #6. UNIVISION Spanish Contemporary KLVE (K-LOVE) only moved up one square to #7 but the station had a strong share increase.
Back in FEBRUARY, KPWR wrested control of the 18-34 demo and has not loosened its grip since. The station was off slightly but retained a commanding lead over #2 KIIS, which also suffered a slight loss of share. KBIG had a nice increase but remained where it has been for the entire year -- #3. It is not often that you see an Old -- er, Classic Hits station in the top five in this demo, but KRTH did it for the third month in a row -- moving up to #4. By comparison, exactly a year ago the station was sitting in a tie at #13 with exactly half its current share. KAMP was flat and fell a spot to #5. KLVE was en fuego, moving up three places to #7 with its highest share in over a year.
Make it two books in a row with KBIG at #1 18-49 and make it three books in a row that the station has increased its share. KIIS ended a three-book slide as it moved up to #2, which bumped KPWR back to #3. POWER matched its lowest total of the year. KAMP was up slightly to remain at #4 while KRTH jumped two places to #5. Last month’s tie at #5 was broken but not in a good way. KOST was up slightly but slipped to #6. CBS RADIO Alternative KROQ was flat and fell to #7. Big doings for LIBERMAN Regional Mexican KBUE (QUE BUENA). The station had its best book since DECEMBER and leapt six spots to a tie at #10.
Chicago: Making A Move
The top three players all lost share, the top four remained in place and one station made another move. But first, we start at the top where CCM+E Urban AC WVAZ (V103) had its sixth straight #1 book despite losing some share (6.1-5.9). CBS RADIO News WBBM-A was #2 -- for the sixth straight survey -- as it also had a slight decrease (5.5-5.4). HUBBARD Hot AC WTMX (MIX) held on at #3 (4.9-4.8) while CCM+E Top 40/M WKSC (KISS) took over sole possession of fourth place (4.5-4.7) with its best book since MARCH. Now for the mover. A year ago, CUMULUS Classic Hits WLS-F was sitting at #16 with a 2.7 share. Over the last few months, the station’s fortunes have certainly changed and it finally cracked the top five with its highest share in over a year (4.4-4.6). This led to the demotion of CBS RADIO Country WUSN (US 99.5), which fell a couple of places to #6 with its smallest number since APRIL (4.5-4.3).
We had dual winners of the 25-54 demo this book and it featured a return of the familiar. For the first six books of the year, WTMX was the market leader. Then, last month WVAZ assumed control. This time the stations share the spotlight. MIX was up slightly while V103 was off a little. WKSC had another strong showing but had to settle for remaining at #3. CBS RADIO Top 40/M WBBM-F (B96) was off for the second month in a row but did not move from the #4 position. WUSN also shed some share but held firm at #5. As recently as MARCH, WLS-F was foundering in a tie at #20. Now, it has risen all the way to #6, a spot it shares with three other stations: HUBBARD Classic Hits WDRV (THE DRIVE), CUMULUS Alternative WKQX, and UNIVISION Regional Mexican WOJO (LA QUE BUENA).
A year ago, WKQX was ranked in a tie at #13 18-34. Then, a miraculous thing happened -- the station got a better signal. Since then, it has been ranked consistently in the top four. This time, it worked its way back to #1 with its highest share since it received its new found power in JANUARY. This bumped WBBM-F back to #2 where it was tied with cluster bro’ WUSN. US 99.5 jumped three places on the strength of its best book in over a year. CCM+E Urban WGCI had its lowest share in over a year and fell back a spot to #4 where it was tied with WKSC, which moved up from a tie at #5. For the last seven books, WTMX was either flat or up and over two shares in that time. Alas, the streak ended and the station slipped two spots to a tie at #6.
WTMX is now on a six-book winning streak 18-49 even though it was flat for the second straight survey. WKSC had its highest share in over a year to take sole control of the #2 position and pull noticeably closer to the market leader. There was a three-way at #3. WBBM-F fell a spot with its second straight down book while WVAZ moved up one place despite a slight loss of share. WKQX moved up two spots with its best showing ever. To put things in perspective, just prior to its power upgrade, the station was ranked at #19. It has more than doubled its share since. Its cluster mate – WLS-F – was sitting at a tie at #23 as recently as MARCH. It has almost doubled its share since then and currently resides at #9.
San Francisco: It’s Not Dead Yet
You’d be hard pressed to find another market in the country where the top two spots are occupied by a part of the dial that has been pronounced dead in many quarters. Ever since opening day, two stations have led the market. For the second month in a row, CBS RADIO News KCBS-A was #1 even though it posted its lowest share since JANUARY (5.6-5.3). Though the GIANTS only recently have shown signs of making it a race in the NL WEST, CUMULUS Sports KNBR-A continued to benefit from play-by-play. The station remained at #2 with a slight increase (5.1-5.2). We move to the other side of the dial as CCM+E Top 40/R KMEL moved up a spot to #3 with its best book in over a year (4.7-4.9). This forced KQED INC News/Talk KQED back to #4 as it scored its lowest share since OCTOBER (4.9-4.7). CBS RADIO Top 40/M KMVQ (NOW) was off slightly (4.7-4.5) and dropped back to #5.
For the second book in a row -- and seventh time in the last 14 surveys -- KMVQ was #1 25-54. The station was down slightly. Apparently, baseball has some appeal for the “adult” demo as well. KNBR-A ended a two-book slide and advanced three bases to #2. CCM+E Hot AC KIOI (STAR) took over complete control of the #3 slot with its highest share since FEBRUARY. ENTERCOM AC KOIT dropped two spots to #4 thanks to a small share decrease. KMEL gave up its tie at #3 for less comfy surroundings at #5 just by losing a small bit of its share.
After perusing the first two demos, one could come to the conclusion that KMEL had a less-than-good book. Then, you take a look at 18-34. Clearly, this is the station’s wheelhouse as it hit double digits for the seventh book in a row. Cluster competitor CCM+E Top 40/R KYLD (WILD) was in its usual #2 position. However, after posting its lowest number since JANUARY, it trails the leader by over four shares. KOIT, at #3, was flat, but that’s OK. This matched its best roasted-chestnut-free book of the last 14. KIOI ended its three-book surge and slipped to #4 while KMVQ remained at #5 as it bounced back from a down book. Though KNBR-A did not impress the young folks, moving up a spot to #12, things could change dramatically if the GIANTS do make a post-season run. Last OCTOBER, the station was #4.
Of the eight books so far this year, KMEL has been #1 18-49 in six of them. The station held on to the top spot with its best performance in over a year. KMVQ moved up into the secondary position with its highest share since FEBRUARY. This bumped KYLD back to #3 as it had its lowest share since FEBRUARY. KIOI and KOIT traded spaces with the former moving up to #4 with its best book since JANUARY and the latter dropping back to #5 with a small share loss.
Dallas-Ft. Worth: The Battle For Third Place
Two stations have clearly separated themselves from the rest of the market. Though CCM+E Top 40/M KHKS (KISS) is not nearly as dominant as a year ago, it remained strong enough to stay put at #1 (6.2-6.1). Last AUGUST the station was also #1 but with an 8.0 share. CUMULUS Country KPLX (THE WOLF) has been stalking the leader for several months -- managing to achieve a tie back in MAY. This time, it ended a two-book slide (5.6-5.7) to remain a close #2. The rest of the market is so compressed that it is not uncommon to see wide swings in the rankings. SALEM Christian Contemporary KLTY bounced back from an uncharacteristically bad book (3.5-4.4) and regained the six spots it lost last month as it returned to #3. CCM+E Classic Rock KZPS (LONE STAR) moved forward one step to #4 with a small increase (3.9-4.2). SERVICE Urban KKDA (K104) had its highest share since MARCH (3.6-4.0) as it moved up three spots to #5. It was in a tie with CUMULUS Country KSCS, which fell from a tie at #3 (4.3-4.0). CBS RADIO Classic Hits KLUV (K-LOVE) saw its four-book run in the top five come to an end. The station had its lowest number since FEBRUARY (4.3-3.7) and dropped four spots to #7.
As with the 6+ figures, KHKS has become a less dominant #1 25-54. Its numbers are off by about the same ratio as seen above. However, it has a much wider lead on the rest of the field. KZPS moved up to #2 with its best showing since MARCH while KPLX dropped to #3 with its third straight down book. KLTY has had an interesting ride over the last few books. It has gone from #5 to a tie at #14 and back to #4. Two stations clocked in at #5. CBS RADIO Adult Hits KJKK (JACK) had its best book in exactly one year to move up from a tie at #10 while KKDA advanced from a tie at #6 with its third straight up book. CCM+E Active Rock KEGL (EAGLE) dropped four places to #8 thanks to its smallest output since JANUARY.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have ourselves a true horse race 18-34. Of course KHKS was #1 but with its smallest share in over a year. #2 KPLX picked a great time to end a three-book slide. The net result was the narrowest gap of the last 14 surveys. KKDA jumped two spots to #3 with its best book since MARCH while CBS RADIO Regional Mexican KMVK (LA GRANDE) moved forward five paces to #4 with its best score in over a year. RADIO ONE Top 40/R KBFB (THE BEAT) lost a chunk of share and fell back to #5.
For the seventh book in a row, KHKS was flat or down 18-49. It was off two full shares from a year ago yet managed to maintain its lead over #2 KPLX, which bounced back from a down book. KKDA advanced to #3 with its third straight up book while CCM+E Alternative KDGE (THE EDGE) moved up two spots to #4 with a flat performance. There was a foursome on the tee at #5. CCM+E Hot AC KDMX (NOW) moved up from a tie at #8 with a slight increase, while KZPS had its best score since MARCH to zoom in from #11. KEGL fell from #3 with its lowest share since JANUARY while UNIVISION Regional Mexican KLNO also moved up from a tie at #8 with a slight increase. KSCS ended a seven-book run and fell five spots to #9.
This concludes round one of our exclusive analysis for ALL ACCESS. As always, we could not do this without the help of our friends at XTRENDS. If you would like to see what The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. could do as part of your Sales or Programming teams -- feel free to reach out at the platforms listed below.
Bookmark this spot for our next round, featuring HOUSTON, WASHINGTON, DC, PHILADELPHIA, ATLANTA, and BOSTON.