Research Director, Inc. Presents Exclusive March PPM Analysis For New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco
April 13, 2015 at 1:48 PM (PT)
As we were preparing this report, we thought long and hard about using the headline: MARCH Madness. After all, this is a deep dive into the MARCH survey and there was a certain alliteration to that title. But, then the lawyers got involved. They reminded us that the NCAA owns all the rights to that particular phrase and that even though the term “madness” could be applied to any survey, it was probably prudent that we avoided its usage here.
So, the MARCH survey, which spanned 2/26 through 3/25, was devoid of anger issues. It did feature more lousy winter weather and the beginning of a certain basketball tournament. Otherwise, it was just another month.
As always, The Ratings Experts at RESEARCH DIRECTOR. INC. – in concert with the crew at XTRENDS – spend countless unbillable hours putting this together for your entertainment. We hope you enjoy.
NEW YORK: The Usual Suspects
Over the last 14 surveys, the same five stations have populated the top five in the 6+ arena. During that time only one other station managed to join the club via a tie at #5. At the top of the heap for the fifth book in a row was iHEARTMEDIA AC WLTW (LITE FM), which had its best jingle-bell-free number in over a year (7.0-7.6) as it widened its lead over the #2 station. CBS RADIO Classic Hits WCBS-F had a small gain (6.2-6.4) to remain in the runner-up position for the fifth straight survey. EMMIS Urban AC WBLS was off for the second month in a row (5.8-5.7) but held steady at #3. Last month’s tie at #4 was broken as SBS Tropical WSKQ (LA MEGA) remained steady with a slight increase (5.2-5.3) while iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WHTZ (Z100) slid back to #5 with a slight decrease (5.2-5.1). You may be wondering which station was able to crack the top five over the last 14 books. That would be iHEARTMEDIA Classic Rock WAXQ (Q104.3) which tied at #5 back in JULY. This time the station inched up to #6 (5.0-4.9).
Last year, WLTW came roaring out of the holiday season and remained #1 25-54 all the way until AUGUST. It looks like the station is repeating that string as it was #1 for the fifth straight survey and – again – landed its best reindeer-less month in over a year. WSKQ moved up to #2 for the first time since SEPTEMBER with its best book since JUNE. WHTZ remained at #3 despite a slight decrease while WBLS fell a couple of places to #4 with its smallest share since DECEMBER. WCBS-F ended a three-book slide but stayed put at #5.
If you exclude the DECEMBER and HOLIDAY books, iHEARTMEDIA Urban WWPR (POWER) has been #1 18-34 in the last three surveys. WSKQ moved up into a strong #2 position with its highest output since OCTOBER. EMMIS Top 40/R WQHT (HOT) was up slightly to remain at #3 while WHTZ dropped to #4with its lowest share in over a year. The station is off almost two-and-a-half shares from last year’s #1 pace. WAXQ could not maintain last month’s lofty share but remained at #5. It was joined by iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WKTU, which moved up a spot despite a down book.
WLTW bounced back to #1 18-49 with its highest non-elf-influenced number since JUNE. WHTZ’s hold on #1 proved to be tenuous as it fell back to #2 with a small decrease. WSKQ had its best showing since OCTOBER to remain at #3 while WWPR kept control of the #4 slot with a modest increase. WQHT had its finest showing since MAY as it inched up to #5. This displaced cluster sister WBLS, which slipped back to #6.
LOS ANGELES: Big Boy Rules, iHEART Drools
We’re all aware of the morning drama that was whipping the market into a frenzy, but first, the folks at iHEARTMEDIA continue to lead the market 6+. Last month, two stations were knotted at #1. That was not the case this time as iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KIIS (KISS) took control with its highest share since NOVEMBER (5.2-5.3). Cluster sister iHEARTMEDIA AC KOST ended its four-book stay at #1 (5.2-5.1) as it took one step backward to #2. CBS RADIO Classic Hits KRTH (K-EARTH) remained at #3 (5.1-5.0) but was joined by iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KBIG (MY FM), which moved up from #4 (5.0-5.0). CBS RADIO Top 40/M KAMP (AMP) was a distant #5 (4.3-4.0). BONNEVILLE Classic Rock KSWD (THE SOUND) has been on quite the run lately. It was up for the third straight survey (3.7-3.9) and logged its best share in over a year to land in a tie at #6. This was the first full book with legendary morning host MARK THOMPSON sitting in the air chair. Speaking of legendary morning hosts, about halfway through this survey, BIG BOY assumed control of the jock lounge KEURIG for iHEARTMEDIA Urban KRRL (REAL 92.3). Overall, the station moved up three spots to #11 with its best showing in over a year (2.5-3.2). For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, and that led EMMIS Top 40/R KPWR (POWER) to slip five spots to #14 (3.6-2.8). Just two books ago the station was #5.
The top three positions 25-54 remained unchanged from the previous survey. KIIS was #1 with its best showing in over a year while KOST remained at #2 with its third straight down book. KBIG remained in place at #3 with a small decrease. Two stations moved up the ranks and joined forces at #4. CBS RADIO Adult Hits KCBS (JACK FM) moved up from #5 despite a small decrease while KAMP advanced from #6 with a slightly smaller decrease. KRTH dropped three spots to #7 with a slightly larger decrease. KSWD was up for the fourth book in a row. A year ago the station was sitting at in a tie at #20 but inched up to #8 this time. KRRL and KPWR essentially switched positions. The former moved up five spots to #10 while the latter fell seven places to a tie at #15.
KIIS was up for the third book in a row and had its best 18-34 share in over a year to maintain its stranglehold on #1. One of the positives about the PPM experience is that the little device can record dramatic changes rather quickly. No more huddling by the dot matrix waiting for three-month-old data. KRRL made an, ahem, big move as it moved from #11 to #2 – almost doubling its share in the process. KBIG took a small hit but remained at #3 while KAMP did the same in standing firm at #4. KPWR took the expected big hit and fell three spots to #5. CBS RADIO Alternative KROQ fell out of the top five and landed at #7.
The top five positions 18-49 remained unchanged from last month. KIIS made it a demo sweep with its highest total in over a year while KBIG did not move from #2 despite a small loss. KOST continued to man the #3 spot while KAMP was content at #4. Both stations suffered small decreases. KRTH rounded out the quintet with a down book. KRRL has gone from #20 to a tie at #12 to its most recent location at #6 while KPWR has gone #4 to #6 to #10 in the same period.
CHICAGO: This Just In – It’s Cold
This shocking revelation is likely what kept CBS RADIO News WBBM-A atop the 6+ leaderboard for the third month in a row. The station was off a bit (7.4-6.8) and was hearing footsteps from iHEARTMEDIA Urban AC WVAZ (V103), which remained at #2 but got a lot closer (6.3-6.5). HUBBARD Hot AC WTMX (MIX) had its best book in over a year to remain alone at #3 (5.2-5.6). These three stations were well ahead of the rest of the pack. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WKSC (KISS) was flat and stable at #4 (4.2-4.2) while CBS RADIO Top 40/M WBBM-F (B96) was also flat (3.9-3.9) but moved up a notch to #5. iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC WLIT (MY FM) continued its post-holiday descent (4.1-3.6) as it fell two spots to a tie at #7. It was joined by the hard chargin’ CBS RADIO Classic Hits WJMK (K-HITS), which moved up from #14 with its best book in over a year (2.9-3.6).
The rank and file order 25-54 was unaltered from the previous survey. WTMX was the leader in the clubhouse for the third straight book with its highest share in over a year. WVAZ was flat at #2 while WKSC had its best book since SEPTEMBER to remain fixed at #3. UNIVISION Regional Mexican WOJO (LA QUE BUENA) was up for the third consecutive survey at #4 while WBBM-F was up slightly at #5. WJMK’s magical month continued as the station jumped seven spots to #6. Just two books ago it was ranked in a tie at #17. That’s what you call a hot streak.
The file remained the same 18-34 but the rank changed a bit. WKSC was down a bit but #1 for the second book in a row. iHEARTMEDIA Urban WGCI moved up to #2 with a slight increase, which bumped WBBM-F back to #3 as it was off for the second straight month. WTMX advanced one square to #4 thanks to its highest share in over a year, which forced CUMULUS Alternative WKQX to take a step back to #5.
Once again, WTMX landed its best number in over a year. This time it was 18-49 and that action resulted in the station retaining the crown for the third straight survey. WKSC was up slightly at #2 but drifted a little farther behind the leader. WVAZ was up slightly and a solid #3 while WBBM-F was flat and stable at #4. WOJO inched up a spot to #5 with its highest share since NOVEMBER while WKQX fell a couple of places to #7 as its three-book surge came to an end. WJMK had strong gains here, as well. The station jumped seven spots to #8.
SAN FRANCISCO: The Scramble For Second
Market compression is certainly a term we hear frequently. In the City By The Bay, that played out for a host of stations. Excluded from that group was CBS RADIO News KCBS-A as it was #1 6+ – by a wide margin – for the third book in a row (6.6-6.2). The next six stations were all separated by half a share. ENTERCOM AC KOIT was the leader of that group at #2 (4.7-4.5) with its lowest share since NOVEMBER. The next two stations advanced into a tie at #3. CBS RADIO Top 40/M KMVQ (NOW) was flat (4.3-4.3) as it moved up from #4. KQED INC N/T KQED advanced three places with a small increase (4.0-4.3). CBS RADIO Hot AC KLLC (ALICE) had a small loss (4.4-4.2) but that led to a two-spot fall to #5. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/R KMEL was also flat (4.1-4.1) but dropped to #6 while its cluster compatriot iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KYLD (WILD) advanced four spots to #7 with its best performance since JULY (3.5-4.0).
Though we can’t show you the actual numbers, trust us when we say that the top five stations 25-54 were separated by a half share. KLLC was off slightly but remained on top for the second book in a row. KMVQ and KOIT were locked in mortal combat at #2. The former moved up a spot with a slight increase while the latter remained stationary with a slight decrease. KYLD made a major move. The station shot up five places to #4 with its highest total since JUNE. KMEL also improved its lot. It moved forward two steps to #5 with its best book since DECEMBER. The three stations that were tied at #4 last month all fell back farther in the standings. iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KIOI (STAR) landed at #6 even though it was flat. UNIVISION Spanish Adult Hits KBRG dropped to #8 thanks to its lowest share since OCTOBER. And, iHEARTMEDIA Rhythmic AC KISQ (KISS) gave back almost all of last month’s gain to end up at #9.
There wasn’t any compression 18-34 as two brothers from the same cluster continued to dominate. KMEL was down but in its customary role as market leader. KYLD had its best book in over a year to remain at #2 – a full share behind the leader. Two shares even further back was KMVQ, which also had its best book in over a year to hold on at #3. CBS RADIO Alternative KITS (LIVE 105) was flat but advanced to #4. KIOI remained at #5 with a slight decrease and was joined by a new partner – KISQ – which slipped from #4 with a modest decrease.
The top three stations 18-49 were separated by less than half a share. KMEL was #1 for the second book in a row while KMVQ narrowed the gap with a small increase at #2. KYLD remained at #3 despite posting its highest score since JULY. KLLC was off slightly but remained locked at #4. KIOI took total control of the #5 position largely because KBRG dropped back with its lowest share since DECEMBER.
DALLAS-FT.WORTH: Shuffling The Deck
The top five players 6+ remained the same. As is usually the case in every book that doesn’t feature that large, bearded man in the red suit on its cover, iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KHKS (KISS) was #1. By a lot (7.9-7.6). CBS RADIO Classic Hits KLUV (K-LOVE) had its best Santa-free book in over a year (4.5-4.9) to advance three paces to #2. SALEM Christian Contemporary KLTY fell back a spot to #3 as it was down for the second book in a row (5.1-4.6). CUMULUS Country KPLX (THE WOLF) had its smallest litter in over a year (4.8-4.5) but managed to cling to the #4 position. iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KDMX (NOW) ended a five-book surge (4.9-4.2) as it slipped back two spots to #5.
Last month KHKS had its best 25-54 book in over a year. This time it improved on that number to remain at #1. KLTY lost a chunk of share but did not move from #2. These two stations led the rest of the pack by a noticeably wide margin. SERVICE Urban AC KRNB moved up to #3 with a slight increase. It was closely followed by three stations spending quality time together at #4. KDMX dropped back from #3 with a small decrease. The other two stations greatly improved their fortunes. CUMULUS Country KSCS advanced from #9 as it ended a three-book slide while KLUV moved forward from #8 with its best frost-free share in over a year. The two stations that spent time together at #5 last survey broke up and went their separate ways. KPLX ended up in a tie at #7 even though it was flat while iHEARTMEDIA Active Rock KEGL (THE EAGLE) nested at #10 with its lowest share since OCTOBER.
There was a lot of furniture rearranged 18-34 but the new décor did not affect the top two stations. KHKS was its usual dominant self even though its three-book surge was halted. SERVICE Urban KKDA (K104) also ended a three-book surge but remained a solid – if distant – #2. There was a threesome at #3 and they all moved up to get there. KEGL advanced from #5 with a slight increase while RADIO ONE Top 40/R KBFB (THE BEAT) moved up from #6 with a slightly better increase. KPLX rebounded from a disastrous FEBRUARY as it swooped in from #8. Two other stations fell out of the top five. KDMX slipped three spots to a tie at #6 as it lost a chunk of share while CBS RADIO Regional Mexican KMVK (LA GRANDE) dropped six spots to #10 as it ended a three-book surge.
KHKS was off slightly from last month’s huge number but that did not affect its #1 18-49 ranking. It had an almost four-share lead over the rest of the field – which suddenly became quite compacted. KDMX ended a six-book surge but remained at #2. It was joined by UNIVISION Regional Mexican KLNO (LA QUE BUENA), which moved up five spots with its best book in over a year. KLTY fell back a slot to #4 with its lowest share since DECEMBER and was just ahead of two stations at #5. KKDA slipped back from #4 with a slight decrease while KBFB advanced from a tie at #7 with its highest share since OCTOBER. KEGL had its wings clipped in its descent from #5 to #7 due to its lowest total since OCTOBER.
That’s a wrap for round one of our exclusive analysis for ALL ACCESS. The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. return in a moment with more pithy commentary. This time our targets will be HOUSTON, WASHINGTON, PHILADELPHIA, ATLANTA, and BOSTON. In the meantime, feel free to reach out to us via the platforms below. See how we can help you win in the ratings.