Research Director, Inc. Presents Exclusive Oct. PPM Analysis: Houston, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Atlanta
October 28, 2014 at 1:44 PM (PT)
They renewed our contract so The Ratings Experts at RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. return for another installment of “How The Ratings Turn.” As always we salute our double-play combo partner XTRENDS, which always provides the proper throw.
In case you forgot, this analysis focuses on the results of the OCTOBER survey. A survey that took place mostly in SEPTEMBER as it covered 9/11 through 10/8. Some things to keep in mind for this time period are: the beginning of the gridiron schedule, the end of the baseball regular season and start of the playoffs, and the ROSH HASHONAH holiday in week #3. Any, all, or none of these market factors could have had an effect on a station’s ratings.
Now, on with the show …
HOUSTON-GALVESTON: The Majic Continues
Last month, RADIO ONE Urban AC KMJQ (MAJIC) surprised casual observers by claiming a share of first place along with iHEARTMEDIA AC KODA (SUNNY). This time the stations went their separate ways, leaving MAJIC alone at the top with its best share in over a year (6.7-6.9). SUNNY set a bit (6.7-6.2) with its lowest share since APRIL. There was a tie this book but it was at #3. COX RADIO Country KKBQ (93Q) remained in place with its lowest share since RUDOLPH shone his nose so bright (6.1-5.9). It was joined by RADIO ONE Top 40/R KBXX (THE BOX), which had its best book since JUNE (5.6-5.9) and highest ranking since JANUARY. UNIVISION Regional Mexican KLTN (ESTEREO LATINO) moved in to the #5 hole with its best showing in over a year (5.1-5.8). This displaced COX RADIO Classic Rock KGLK (THE EAGLE), which dropped back to #6 (5.2-5.3). iHEARTMEDIA N/T KTRH-A has been on quite the roll over the last few surveys. It posted its highest number in over a year (4.4-5.0) to move up two spots to #7. As recently as AUGUST, it was languishing at #16 with a 3.1 share.
KLTN had a rather large increase in its 25-54 share and, as such, surged to the market lead. It moved up from #3 with its best performance in over a year. KODA took a step back to #2 with its lowest share since MAY. KBXX moved up a spot to #3 with its largest share since Grandma had that unfortunate incident with a deer. Despite its lofty perch overall, KMJQ slipped two spots to #4 on the strength – or lack thereof – of its lowest book since MAY. There was a pairing at #5. KKBQ stayed right there with its lowest share in over a year while iHEARTMEDIA Alternative KTBZ (THE BUZZ) moved up a spot despite recording its smallest number since MAY. Worthy of note is CBS RADIO Country KILT-F (THE BULL). The station simulcasts TEXANS games with its AM brother. Though the station only moved up two spots to #9, it did produce its best share in over a year.
It was a good month to be KBXX as the station landed its best book of the year to retain its 18-34 crown. KLTN was also having quite the month as it moved up two spots to #2 with its best showing in over a year. iHEARTMEDIA Urban KQBT (THE BEAT) and KKBQ were both off slightly as they fell to #3 and #4, respectively. KTBZ remained at #5 with its lowest share since JANUARY.
BXX ended a three-book slide while maintaining a firm grip on the top spot 18-49. However, KLTN continued its recent surge here as it moved up to #2 with its best book in over a year to trail the leader by less than half a point. KKBQ again had its lowest share in over a year as it slipped back to #3 while KTBZ moved forward to #4 despite posting its smallest number since MAY. KQBT also moved up a spot – to #5 – even though it was off slightly. KODA had its lowest total in over a year as it fell two places to #6.
WASHINGTON, DC: All The News That Fits
Though it was down for the second month in a row, HUBBARD News WTOP remained your market leader (7.8-7.5). However, this was the station’s lowest share since we were walking through that wonderland known as winter. HOWARD UNIVERSITY Urban AC WHUR remained at #2, with its highest total in over a year (6.5-6.9). iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WIHT (HOT) moved up to #3 with its finest showing since MAY (6.1-6.6). This dropped AMERICAN UNIVERSITY N/T WAMU back to #4 as it had its smallest number in over a year (6.3-6.1). Those four stations separated themselves from the rest of the market. Coming in at #5 – up from #7 – was iHEARTMEDIA AC WASH, which bounced back from its lowest book of the year (4.3-4.6). RADIO ONE Urban AC WMMJ (MAJIC) fell back to #6 (4.8-4.3). CUMULUS Talk WMAL-A has been on a nice run since MAY. The station has been flat or up in every book and ended up this survey at #7 (3.9-4.2) – its best showing since JANUARY. And, what of the local sports clubs? CBS RADIO Sports WJFK (THE FAN) saw a bit of gain thanks to the NATS heartbreaking playoff run (2.9-3.2) to move up to #15. It was also the station’s best number in over a year. As for RED ZEBRA Sports WTEM-A – the home of the hapless, we mean, REDSKINS – it posted a healthy share increase (2.0-2.9) to move up two spots to #18. Needless to say, this was the station’s highest share since last season.
As is often the case, the same five stations were in the top five 25-54 – though the order changed somewhat. For the ninth book in a row, WIHT was #1, and this time landed its best number since MARCH. Cluster-mate iHEARTMEDIA Alternative WWDC (DC101) had a nice gain and moved up to #2 from #4. There was a gathering at #3, featuring two stations. WTOP was the incumbent while WHUR dropped back from #2. WAMU rounded out the top five in the exact place it was last time, though it posted its best book since MAY.
WIHT continued to crush it 18-34. The station positively owns this demo, posting strong double-digit shares, survey after survey. RADIO ONE Urban WKYS (KISS) remained its closest competitor but the spread is approaching five shares. CBS RADIO Top 40/R WPGC remained at #3 though it was down for the third book in a row with its smallest share in over a year. WWDC claimed sole ownership of #4 with a solid increase. CBS RADIO Hot AC WIAD (FRESH) moved up to #5 with its largest number since APRIL. iHEARTMEDIA Country WMZQ saw its three-book stay in the top five evaporate as it dropped three places to #7. It was joined by WHUR, which roared up from a tie at #13 with its best showing since JANUARY.
To no one’s surprise WIHT was #1 18-49. That makes ten books in a row or, alternatively, all year. WHUR was over three shares back at #2. WWDC was up enough to elevate its status from a tie at #5 to #3 while WKYS slipped a spot to #4 just by being flat. They were playing two at #5. WIAD remained in place with a flat performance. It was joined by cluster sister WPGC, which slid from #3 with a slight decrease.
PHILADELPHIA: That Was Quick
And we’re not referring to the former EAGLES wide receiver. Last month, iHEARTMEDIA Urban AC WDAS surprised some people by landing the top spot and relegating WEAZ-FM RADIO AC WBEB (MORE FM) to the wild-card position. That victory was short-lived as MORE moved back to the top with its best book since JUNE (6.6-7.1) while WDAS dropped back to #2 (6.7-6.2). Despite the loss of share, it was the station’s second-best book of the year. BEASLEY Country WXTU was up for the second month in a row (5.6-5.9) to move up to #3. This pushed CBS RADIO Classic Hits WOGL back to #4 as it scored its lowest share since JANUARY (6.4-5.7). Behold the power of the shield. CBS RADIO Sports WIP-F had its best book since, well, last season as it gained six places in its rise to #5 (3.7-5.3). GREATER MEDIA Classic Rock WMGK slipped to a tie at #6 with its lowest output since FEBRUARY (5.5-5.0). Its fellow bunk-mate, GREATER MEDIA Active Rock WMMR, remained in place from last survey, despite a slight decrease (5.1-5.0). There must have been something newsworthy last month because CBS RADIO News KYW-A had its best showing since last winter’s brutal storms. It moved up two spots to #8 (4.0-4.7).
Though it landed its lowest share since APRIL, WMMR maintained a firm grasp on the #1 position 25-54. This was the seventh straight survey it ended up on top, and it had a solid margin over WXTU, which moved up to #2 with a flat book. WDAS slipped a little as it slid back to #3 while WBEB moved up to #4 with a solid gain. That fast-paced CHIP KELLY offense drove WIP-F up field five slots to #5 as the station posted its biggest share since the fans were booing SANTA. iHEARTMEDIA Urban WUSL (POWER) was off for the second straight book as it fell to #6 while WMGK dropped four places to #8 with its smallest share in over a year.
Back in JULY, WXTU was concluding a three-book stay at #1 18-34. Then, it fell off the pace for a couple of months. That all changed with this survey as the station returned to the top with its best showing since – surprise – JULY. Going back to that same month, WBEB has gone from #5 to #2 back to #5. It yo-yoed its way back to #2 this time with a solid increase. WUSL ended its two-book run at #1 with a bit of a power outage as it dropped back to #3. WMMR remained as consistent as ever at #4 while iHEARTMEDIA Alternative WRFF (RADIO 104.5) dropped two spots to #5 with its lowest share in over a year.
As we saw in the above demo, WXTU returned to the top spot 18-49 as it followed the same pattern. WMMR dropped to #2 just by being flat while WBEB moved forward two spots to #3 with its best book since MAY. Two stations moving in opposite directions hooked up at #4. WUSL dropped from the second spot while WDAS parlayed a slight increase into a move up from #6. WRFF had its smallest number since we were listening to sleigh bells and slid two places to #6. The offensive-minded WIP-F used play-by-play to its fullest advantage and sprinted from #14 to #8.
ATLANTA: The Talk Of The Town
From FEBRUARY through JUNE, COX RADIO Talk WSB-A was the #1 station in town. It seemed to lose its way for a few books after that, but for the second month in a row, it was back on top with its best number since FEBRUARY (7.2-7.6). CBS RADIO Urban WVEE (V-103) remained firmly entrenched at #2 with its highest share since JANUARY (7.0-7.1). COX RADIO AC WSB-F (B98.5) held fast at #3 with its best share since JULY (6.4-6.6) while COX RADIO Urban AC WALR (KISS) was still at #4 despite landing its lowest share in over a year (6.1-5.9). The next two spots were occupied by members of the animal kingdom. SALEM Christian Contemporary WFSH (THE FISH) swam upstream a couple of places to #5 with its best book since HOLIDAY time (5.3-5.6). Meanwhile, iHEARTMEDIA Country WUBL (THE BULL) was put out to pasture after a four-month stay in the top five, slipping to #6 (6.0-5.3).
After seeming to fall over the edge a couple of months ago, WVEE has returned with a vengeance 25-54. This was the second straight month the station was in its customary position at #1 and it held a two-plus share lead over the rest of the market. There must have been something in the water at the COX RADIO plant as two of their stations had quite the month. WSB-F moved up three spots to #2 with a slight increase while WSB-A also did a three-step jump – to #3 – with its highest share in over a year. This upward mobility did create a few casualties as the two stations occupying the #2 slot last month moved down the chart. RADIO ONE Urban AC WAMJ (MAJIC) dropped to #4 while WUBL ended up on a slab at #5. COX RADIO Classic Hits WSRV (THE RIVER) was not drinking the same water as its cluster mates as it fell three places to #7 with its smallest number in over a year.
This was the eighth straight #1 18-34 book for WVEE and oh, what a book it was. The station hit double digits – its best performance in over a year – and was just killing it. RADIO ONE Urban WHTA (HOT) was off but still at #2 though it trailed the leader by almost three shares. CUMULUS Top 40/M WWWQ (Q100) remained at #3 with a small increase but it was joined by iHEARTMEDIA Alternative WRDA (RADIO 105.7), which moved up by matching its best book of the year. WSB-F remained at #5 despite landing its highest number since FEBRUARY.
Yes, WVEE was #1 18-49 again and this time posted its best book since the beginning of2014. As with the previous demo, it held a dominant lead of two-and-a-half points over the second-place station. That was WSB-F, which moved up a spot with a slight increase. WWWQ also used a modest gain to leap three places to #3 while WUBL moved down a couple of stalls to #4 with its lowest share since MAY. Last month’s logjam at #4 was broken. WHTA slipped to #5 while WAMJ ended up at #6. Both stations lost a chunk of share they would rather have kept.
BOSTON: Ten For Ten
This is the tenth month of the year and, coincidentally, also the tenth NIELSEN survey of 2014. Every single, stinkin’ time iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WXKS (KISS) has been #1. Its most recent performance was a small increase (6.9-7.0) but since every other station in the top five was down, the lead expanded. GREATER MEDIA Classic Hits WROR was still #2 though it was down for the second month in a row (6.6-6.2). On the surface it would appear that GREATER MEDIA Country WKLB was paying the price for having a new competitor even though it remained at #3 (6.4-6.0). However, its rival did not crack the top 20 this book, so maybe this drop was due to other things. GREATER MEDIA AC WMJX (MAGIC) moved up in rank to #4 despite a down book (6.1-5.8). CBS RADIO Classic Rock WZLX had its smallest share since MAY (6.4-5.6) and slipped two places to #5. It is pretty widely agreed that this is a good sports town. The ratings seem to support that fact as two sports stations had very good books. CBS RADIO Sports WBZ-F (THE SPORTS HUB) moved up two places to #7 with its best book since MAY (3.6-4.7). Meanwhile, ENTERCOM Sports WEEI-F raised its game four spots to #9 with its highest score since NOVEMBER (3.2-4.2). Could this have been due to the demise of the RED SAWX, the gnashing of teeth over the phantom demise of TOM BRADY, or both?
WXKS extended its 25-54 dominance to 10 books in a row with a solid performance. It had nearly a two-share lead over the new #2 in town. That would be WBZ-F, which used the power of the hoodie to score its best share since JANUARY to move up from #9. The tie for second from last month is history. WMJX moved down to #3 after losing a chunk of share while WZLX ended up at #4 with its lowest total since APRIL. WKLB also lost a chunk as it slipped to #5. Its previously unmentioned competitor – iHEARTMEDIA Country WBWL (THE BULL) – had its lowest number since the flip as it dropped three spots to #20. CBS RADIO Hot AC WBMX (MIX) ended another brief stay in the top five, sliding to #6 with a down book.
By posting its second straight up 18-34 book, WXKS got dangerously close to returning to double-digit territory. As strong as that performance was, WKLB’s might have been a bit better as it moved up to #2 with its best book since MAY and narrowed the gap to less than a share. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/R WJMN (JAM’N) fell back to #3 with its least productive book since JUNE. GREATER MEDIA Rhythmic AC WBQT (HOT) held fast at #4 with a flat performance while WMJX remained at #5 despite taking a decent hit. Sports fans – or, at least PATRIOTS fans – come in all ages as WBZ-F moved up six spots to #7. This is one of the strongest demo cells for WBWL but it dropped three spots to #13 with a big share loss.
And finally, we come to 18-49. And, once again we found WXKS in the cat-bird seat with another stellar performance. WKLB moved up to #2 with its best book since JUNE though it was still almost two shares from the lead. WBZ-F came charging through the line with its highest score since FEBRUARY. It rose from #8 to #3. WMJX dropped two spots to #4 while WJMN remained at #5. Two stations fell from the top five and landed together at #6. WBMX dropped one space while WZLX fell two, thanks to its lowest share since APRIL.
That’s our story and we’re sticking to it. Your feedback is welcome. Our contact info is below. Also, if you think The Ratings Experts at RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. can help you find and tell your story – we stand at the ready to serve.
Round three is waiting in the wings as we examine DETROIT, MIAMI, SEATTLE, PHOENIX and MINNEAPOLIS in our next issue.