Research Director, Inc. Presents Exclusive April PPM Analysis For New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas
May 11, 2015 at 1:56 PM (PT)
Spring is in the air and with it comes the end of the dreadful winter of 2015, the “hope springs eternal” beginning of the baseball season, and copious amounts of pollen. Only those first two scenarios were likely to have an effect on the numbers revealed by the APRIL survey. This one covered MARCH 26th through APRIL 22, so check your notes for accuracy.
As we do every single stinkin’ month, The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. – with ample assistance from the numbers runners at XTRENDS – examine the fates and ratings fortunes of the top markets in the country. It is a rare combination of math and mirth. Let’s begin…
NEW YORK: Mega Lite
No, it’s not a new micro-brew. It aptly describes what the market reflected during the survey. iHEARTMEDIA AC WLTW (LITE FM) captured the 6+ crown for the sixth consecutive survey (7.6-7.9). Since returning to its once-customary position atop the chart back in DECEMBER, the station has yet to dip below the seven-share threshold. In the previous eight books, it topped that number exactly one time. CBS RADIO Classic Hits WCBS-F notched its sixth straight #2 book though it slipped a little farther off the pace (6.4-6.3). SBS Tropical WSKQ (LA MEGA) had its best book in over a year (5.3-5.7) to move up a spot to #3. This is merely a taste of what is to come in the next few paragraphs. Two stations from the same cluster improved their lot by moving into a tie at #4. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WHTZ (Z100) was up slightly (5.1-5.2) while iHEARTMEDIA Classic Rock WAXQ (Q104.3) returned to the top five for the first time since JULY with its finest performance in over a year (4.9-5.2). EMMIS Urban AC WBLS was off for the third book in a row – landing its lowest share since NOVEMBER – to fall three places to #6 (5.7-4.9).
WSKQ made quite a move 25-54. The station was up for the third book in a row and logged its best share in over a year. Alas, that was only good enough to strengthen its hold on second place. That’s because WLTW had its best Frosty-free book in over a year to remain the undisputed market leader. By comparison, LITE is over a share brighter than a year ago when it was also #1. WHTZ was flat and stable at #3 while WAXQ was up to #4 – its highest rank in over a year. WCBS-F had its smallest number since JUNE but remained firmly entrenched at #5. WBLS sank to #6 with its lowest share in over a year.
It has been a while -– since AUGUST, in fact -– since WSKQ was #1 18-34. Amazingly good things happen when you score your best book since, hmm, AUGUST and the station has been en fuego for the last few books. The big battle in the Urban arena ended in a draw this survey. iHEARTMEDIA Urban WWPR (POWER) was off slightly and slid back to #2 – which ended its three-book run at #1. Meanwhile EMMIS Top 40/R WQHT (HOT) recorded its best number since JUNE to move up from #3. WHTZ bounced back from a slightly down book to remain at #4 while WAXQ strengthened its hold on #5 with its best showing in over a year. By comparison, last APRIL the station was at #12, almost three full shares below its current level. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WKTU had its smallest total since the chestnuts were roasting. It fell two spots to #7.
The order of the top five 18-49 players remained unchanged from last month. As a bonus, each station saw their shares increase. WLTW was #1 for the second book in a row while WHTZ remained at #2 with a slight increase. WSKQ was close behind at #3 with its highest share since AUGUST. WWPR was up slightly at #4 while #5 WQHT narrowed the gap twixt the two with its biggest number in over a year.
LOS ANGELES: Everyone’s Got A Story
Generally, when we analyze this market, we end up talking about a limited number of stations. The market is compressed but the usual suspects are often on top. Not this time. To begin, there was a tie atop the 6+ leaderboard. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KIIS (KISS) remained in first with its best share in over a year (5.3-5.4). It was joined by cluster sister iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KBIG (MY FM), which moved up two spots with its highest total in over a year (5.0-5.4). CBS RADIO Classic Hits KRTH (K-EARTH) was firmly entrenched at #3 with its biggest number since JUNE (5.0-5.2). iHEARTMEDIA AC KOST slipped two spots to #4 with its lowest share since OCTOBER (5.1-4.9). These four stations were well clear of the rest of the market. There was a logjam at #5 with three stations clamoring for attention. BONNEVILLE Classic Rock KSWD (THE SOUND) was flat (3.9-3.9) but moved up a slot. CBS RADIO Adult Hits KCBS-F (JACK) moved up from #8 with its best book in over a year (3.7-3.9). Completing the triad was CBS RADIO Urban AC KTWV (THE WAVE), which was up for the third straight survey as it advanced from a tie at #9 (3.5-3.9). CBS RADIO Top 40/M KAMP (AMP) had its smallest showing in over a year as it dropped three places to a tie at #8 (4.0-3.6). This was the first full survey featuring BIG BOY in his new digs. The overall results for iHEARTMEDIA Urban KRRL (REAL 92.3) were tepid as the station remained at #11 (3.2-3.1). The large dude’s former place of employment –EMMIS Top 40/R KPWR (POWER) – was down for the third book in a row (2.8-2.5) and remained motionless at #14.
The story was a bit shorter 25-54. KIIS was #1 for the third straight survey after posting its best number in over a year. KBIG inched up to #2 with its best showing in exactly a year. KOST was off for the fourth book in a row as it slipped back to #3. So far in 2015 KRTH has been on an up-and-down journey. This month’s installment was up as the station advanced three spaces to #4 – pretty much where it was in FEBRUARY. KCBS-F was flat and slid back to #5. KAMP dropped four places to #8. KSWD moved up a couple of spots to #6. This was the fifth consecutive up book for the station.
The same players were playin’ in the top five 18-34. KIIS had its best book in over a year – again – to remain a dominant #1. KBIG was flat yet moved up to #2. It remained almost three shares behind its clustermate. KRRL could not match last month’s big book as it slipped back to #3. Still, considering the station was #22 in this demo in JANUARY, the news is not all that bad. KAMP was off slightly but held onto #4. KPWR was still at #5 but was down for the third straight book. During that span the station has lost over two shares.
There wasn’t much change 18-49, either. KIIS was up for the fourth book in a row to remain a powerful – yet benevolent – #1. KBIG was up slightly to remain at #2 while KOST held on at #3 despite its fourth consecutive down book. KRTH and KAMP swapped positions. The former moved up to #4 with a slight increase while the latter stepped back to #5 with its smallest number since DECEMBER.
CHICAGO: Brought To You By The Letter V
Back in DECEMBER as the cold winds blew in from LAKE MICHIGAN, iHEARTMEDIA Urban AC WVAZ (V103) was forced out of the top spot 6+. Of course, a certain gentleman in red velvet and ermine may have had a hand in that. Well, V103 returned to its former place of glory this survey with its best book since – ironically – DECEMBER (6.5-6.9). With the weather switching from gawd awful to merely miserable, the need for news waned, as well. As a result, CBS RADIO News WBBM-A had its lowest share since AUGUST (6.8-5.4) as it dropped back to #2. HUBBARD Hot AC WTMX (MIX) remained at #3 with a small decrease (5.6-5.2). These three stations clearly outpaced the rest of the pack. Two head-to-head competitors shared the #4 position. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WKSC (KISS) remained in place (4.2-4.0) while CBS RADIO Top 40/M WBBM-F (B96) moved up a spot with its best book since OCTOBER (3.9-4.0).
After cruising along at #2 25-54 for the last four books, WVAZ finally made a move and returned to the top spot for the first time since DECEMBER. WTMX saw its three-book stay at #1 come to an end. The station slid back to #2 after losing a chunk of share. WKSC was off a bit but steady at #3 while WBBM-F had its best showing since JULY to move up a spot to #4. CUMULUS Alternative WKQX had quite the book. The station advanced five squares to #5 with its highest share in over a year. UNIVISION Regional Mexican WOJO (LA QUE BUENA) had its smallest share since AUGUST to drop back two places to #6.
The battle royal raged 18-34 as WBBM-F took control of the market with its best showing in over a year. The station shoved competitor WKSC aside as KISS slid back to #2 with its second straight down book. WVAZ advanced three places to #3 with its highest total since DECEMBER while WKQX advanced to #4 with its best book since NOVEMBER. iHEARTMEDIA Urban WGCI slid three spots to #5 with its lowest number since OCTOBER. WTMX dropped two spots to #6 with its lowest share since Santa was hogging the limelight. As a rule, The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. refrain from looking outside the top 10 in any demo. With that rule in mind, this is the first look we had at the Country battle. Incumbent CBS RADIO Country WUSN (US 99.5) ended a two-book slide to move up three spots to #10. iHEARTMEDIA Country WEBG (BIG) was up slightly as it advanced two squares to a tie at #11.
WTMX extended its 18-49 winning streak to four in a row despite losing a chunk of share. WVAZ moved up to #2 with another strong showing while WKSC slid back to #3 as it ended a three-book surge. WBBM-F had its best performance since JULY to remain at #4. WKQX also had its highest share since OCTOBER to move up two spots to #5. WOJO slipped back to #6 after a decent share loss. The Country stations passed each other this time around. WUSN moved up three spots to #17 while WEBG fell back one slot to #18.
SAN FRANCISCO: News Rules
Since seizing control of the market 6+ back in JANUARY, CBS RADIO News KCBS-A has continued to strengthen its vise-like grip. The station was #1 for the fourth book in a row (6.2-6.3) and was well ahead of the rest of the market. Thanks to our friend compression, everyone else was fighting for second place. This time that spot was shared by two stations. ENTERCOM AC KOIT remained in place as it ended a three-book slide (4.5-4.8). The GIANTS were back so CUMULUS Sports KNBR-A was feasting on the play-by-play. The station moved up from #9 with its best book since the WORLD SERIES ended (3.7-4.8). CBS RADIO Hot AC KLLC (ALICE) had its highest share in over a year (4.2-4.5) to advance to #4 while iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/R KMEL moved up to #5 with a slight increase (4.1-4.3). Compression giveth and compression taketh away. Last book CBS RADIO Top 40/M KMVQ (NOW) and KQED INC N/T KQED were tied at #3. Both stations experienced a tiny decrease (4.3-4.2) yet fell three spots to tie at #6. Something seems to be brewing with ENTERCOM Top 40/R KRBQ (Q102). The station made its first appearance on the chart in AUGUST with a 0.6 share. It had been languishing in the mid-one’s but popped this time (1.6-2.6) to move from a tie at #25 to #13.
Back in JANUARY, iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KIOI (STAR) kind of surprised everyone by shooting to #1 25-54. The following two books were not nearly as kind to the station as it eventually landed at #6. But this time it shot back up to the top with its best book in over a year. This dropped KLLC back to #2 even though ALICE scored its best book in over a year, too. KOIT slipped back to #3 despite a slight increase. KMVQ fell two places to #4 with a slight decrease. KMEL moved up to share the #4 slot with its highest share since DECEMBER. Baseball was very, very good for KNBR-A as the station moved up five spots to #6. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KYLD (WILD) could not match last month’s big share and it moved back three spots to a tie at #7.
Up or down, KMEL always dominates 18-34. This was an up month so it just increased the lead over #2 KYLD, which was off a full share this survey. KMVQ posted its best number in over a year but remained a distant #3. Seemingly out of nowhere KRBQ had its biggest share in, like, ever and moved up five spots to #4. KIOI ended a two-book slide but couldn’t advance from its previous #5 hole. iHEARTMEDIA Rhythmic AC KISQ (KISS) slipped two spots to #7 while CBS RADIO Alternative KITS (LIVE 105) had its lowest share since OCTOBER, which led to a four-place drop to #8.
KMEL had its best 18-49 book in over a year to claim the #1 title for the third consecutive survey. KMVQ was at #2 again despite a slight decrease. KIOI moved back to #3 with its best performance in over a year while KLLC remained at #4 despite a big jump to its highest share in over a year. KYLD lost a chunk of share to drop two spots to #5. To illustrate how compressed this demo is, WILD had the exact same share as it had in FEBRUARY when it was #3. There were a couple of movers to keep an eye on. KNBR-A advanced five spots to #8 while KRBQ jumped from #19 to a tie at #9.
DALLAS-FT.WORTH: Smile, You’re On KISS Cam
Why not, the station seems to dominate everything else. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KHKS (KISS) was flat (7.6-7.6) but that was good enough to capture the top spot 6+ for the fourth book in a row. iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KDMX (NOW) was living in the moment as it landed its largest share in over a year (4.2-5.4) to move up three spots to #2. This displaced CBS RADIO Classic Hits KLUV (K-LOVE), which dropped into a tie at #3 (4.9-4.7) with CUMULUS Country KPLX (THE WOLF), which advanced from #4 (4.5-4.7). iHEARTMEDIA Classic Rock KZPS (LONE STAR) returned to the top five for the first time since AUGUST with its highest share in over a year (3.8-4.6). SALEM Christian Contemporary KLTY was down for the third straight month (4.6-4.4) as it slid to #6.
KHKS has been on a tear 25-54. This was the fifth book in a row the station increased its share and was at its highest point in over a year. KDMX moved up to #2 in this demo, as well, with a huge increase over last month. KLTY slipped back to #3 with its smallest share since DECEMBER. Last month, two stations were tied at #7. They both advanced into the top five this survey. KZPS had its best book since the frost was on the radio to end up at #4. KPLX moved up to #5 with its best showing since JANUARY. The two stations that were at #4 last month broke up. CUMULUS Country KSCS fell to a tie at #7 while KLUV ended up at a tie at #9. SERVICE Urban AC KRNB ended up dropping six stories to join that tie at #9.
As seen in the previous two demos, 18-34 had the same one-two punch. Of course KHKS was #1 as it hit the mythical double-digit mark. KDMX moved forward four spots to #2 with a really large share increase. SERVICE Urban KKDA (K104) was off slightly as it slid back to #3. Last month’s three-way at #3 was disbanded. KPLX sank to #4 despite a healthy increase. RADIO ONE Top 40/R KBFB (THE BEAT) stepped back to #5 despite an increase that was almost equally robust. iHEARTMEDIA Active Rock KEGL (THE EAGLE) fell the farthest – to #6 – even though it was flat.
Both KHKS and KDMX continued the trend they established this survey. They each had their best 18-49 book in over a year and were #1 and #2, respectively. KPLX had experienced a couple of soft months but had a resurgence this time as it climbed five rungs to #3. The two stations conjoined at #5 last month were together again but at #4. They were KKDA and KBFB with the latter having its best book since OCTOBER. KLTY was down for the third book in a row and dropped to #6. This was not as severe as what happened to UNIVISION Regional Mexican KLNO (LA QUE BUENA), which dropped from a tie at #2 to #9.
That brings the first period to a close. We’ll be back after intermission with a look at HOUSTON-GALVESTON, WASHINGTON, DC, PHILADELPHIA, ATLANTA, and BOSTON. While you’re anxiously awaiting our next installment, feel free to reach out to The Ratings Experts at RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. We help our clients win and we could do the same for you.