Research Director, Inc. Presents Exclusive April PPM Analysis For Houston, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Atlanta, Boston
May 12, 2015 at 1:56 PM (PT)
We’re back with a vengeance and a mission. The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC., in conjunction with the number crunchers from XTRENDS, present another exciting edition of the NIELSEN Diaries. OK, so they are really meters in this case, but you get the drift. Five more markets are in our crosshairs. This episode covered MARCH 26th through APRIL 22nd and is known as the APRIL survey. Let us begin…
HOUSTON-GALVESTON: Brought To You By The Number 6
While the tone and tenor, not to mention the composition, of the top five 6+ remained unchanged from the previous survey – one thing did stand out. All five stations cracked the six-share barrier. What makes that stat even more noteworthy was that no other station in the market was in the five-share range. The leader of the pack remained iHEARTMEDIA AC KODA (SUNNY), which had its seventh straight #1 book (6.9-7.4) with its best elf-free number in over a year. RADIO ONE Urban AC KMJQ (MAJIC) bounced back from a down book (6.3-6.8) to claim sole ownership of #2. COX RADIO Classic Rock KGLK (THE EAGLE) soared to new heights at #3 with its finest outing in over a year (5.7-6.4). UNIVISION Regional Mexican KLTN (ESTEREO LATINO) was the only member of this quintet to lose share (6.3-6.2) as it slid down a couple of spots to #4. COX RADIO Country KKBQ (93Q) remained at #5 but posted its biggest number since SEPTEMBER (5.4-6.1).
Though it was also down 25-54, KLTN managed to capture its third straight #1 book. KODA was flat and remained at #2 but was joined in that space by KGLK, which flew in from #4 with its highest share in over a year. Cluster buddy KKBQ also took a step forward – to #4 – with its best performance since JUNE. iHEARTMEDIA Alternative KTBZ (THE BUZZ) came down from #3 to #5 thanks to a slight decrease. CBS RADIO Country KILT-F (THE BULL) has been on quite the three-book tear. As recently as JANUARY it sat at #12 but has steadily gained traction. It ended up at #7 this time with its best showing in over a year.
The 18-34 deck was reshuffled this month and featured a new #1 station. RADIO ONE Top 40/R KBXX (THE BOX) returned to its familiar surroundings after a two-book absence. KKBQ advanced three places to #2 with its best book since SEPTEMBER while iHEARTMEDIA Urban KQBT (THE BEAT) inched up to #3 with a healthy increase. Last month’s market leader – KLTN – took three steps back to #4 with its smallest share since DECEMBER. KTBZ was also stuck in reverse as it dropped back to #5 with its third straight down book. Several stations outside the top five had noteworthy performances. KODA remained at #6 with its best showing since DECEMBER while KILT-F moved up into a tie at that #6 position with its fifth straight positive month. KGLK also experienced a dizzying share gain to move up a spot to #8. This was THE EAGLE’s best showing in this demo in over a year.
KLTN kept its 18-49 winning streak alive as it copped its fourth straight #1 book – despite being down from the previous survey. KKBQ used its best book since JUNE to leap three places to #2 while KODA had a solid increase to maintain its grip on #3. KTBZ had its lowest total since NOVEMBER to slip back to #4 while KBXX took a step back to #5 with its smallest share in over a year. A couple of other stations landed their best books in over a year. KGLK remained at #6 while KILT-F inched up to a tie at #8. Both had healthy gains from the previous month.
WASHINGTON, DC: More DC Gridlock
If you thought gridlock within the halls of Congress was bad, take a look at the 6+ leaderboard. Book after book the same five stations appear in, essentially, the same five spots. Could we call it Occupy Nielsen? There was one small alteration to the batting order this time but the starting line-up was unchanged. Without the benefit of paralyzing (by DC standards) weather, HUBBARD News WTOP had an expected loss (9.1-7.9). However, it remained in first place for the fourth book in a row. AMERICAN UNIVERSITY N/T WAMU was off for the third straight survey (7.2-7.1) but remained a strong #2. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WIHT (HOT) continued to recover from its holiday nadir. That station moved up a spot to #3 with its fourth consecutive up book (6.1-6.5). This pushed HOWARD UNIVERSITY Urban AC WHUR back to #4 (6.3-6.2). iHEARTMEDIA AC WASH maintained its hold on the #5 position despite a small loss of share (5.6-5.3).
There was a regime change 25-54 as WIHT moved back to #1 for the first time since NOVEMBER. The station spent a good portion of 2014 in that position so this could be the beginning of another, ahem, hot streak. WTOP stepped back to #2 with a rather large loss of share. It was just ahead of two stations locked in arms at #3. WHUR remained in place despite posting its lowest number since OCTOBER. WAMU advanced three squares even though it was off slightly. WASH again held court at #5 even with its lowest share since NOVEMBER. iHEARTMEDIA Alternative WWDC (DC-101) had its lowest output since the elves were dancing on sugar plums or something. As a result, it fell to #6 where it was tied with its older cluster brother – iHEARTMEDIA Classic Rock WBIG – which was flat but still took one step forward.
Once again, WIHT hit double digits 18-34. This time the station posted its best score since MAY. Because RADIO ONE Urban WKYS (KISS) was flat at #2, the gap between the two widened to five-and-a-half shares. WWDC was off here, as well, but managed to remain at #3. CBS RADIO Top 40/R WPGC repeated at #4 with a slight increase. A surprise entrant into the top-five club was CUMULUS Top 40/M WRQX (HITS). The station moved up six places to #5 with easily its best book since dropping its “mix” moniker. Last month’s tied-at-#5 duo were no longer tied or at #5. WBIG dropped to #7 with its smallest share since NOVEMBER while iHEARTMEDIA Country WMZQ fell to a tie at #8, ending a two-book run.
This was the fourth straight win 18-49 for WIHT and, for good measure, the station had its best book in over a year. It led #2 WHUR by three full shares. WKYS had its best performance since JULY as it jumped four spaces to #3. WWDC remained at #4 despite a down book and it was joined by WASH, which was also down but moved up anyway. WTOP reported its lowest total since the reindeers ruled and dropped four spots to a tie at #7.
PHILADELPHIA: Doing More With Less
While that may be the mantra at many broadcast outlets, it also applied to the performance of JERRY LEE RADIO AC WBEB (MORE). Yes, the station was #1 for the eighth book in a row but ever since SANTA went on vacation, the station has been on a downtrend (6.6-6.5). What this has done is bring MORE back to the rest of the market. Two stations moved up and into a tie at #2. CBS RADIO Classic Hits WOGL had its best book since the holiday season (5.6-6.0) to advance from #5 while GREATER MEDIA Classic Rock WMGK took two steps forward (5.7-6.0). iHEARTMEDIA Urban AC WDAS was off slightly (5.8-5.7) and stepped back to #4. CBS RADIO News KYW-A reported in with its lowest share since the HOLIDAY survey (6.1-5.4) and it fell three spots to #5. CBS RADIO Country WXTU pulled out of a slump with its best showing since NOVEMBER (4.2-4.9) to move up five places to a tie at #6. At about the halfway point of the survey, the station formerly known as WIRED – CBS RADIO Top 40/M WZMP (AMP) – switched identity, calls, and format. Though it is too early to get a complete read, it was up (2.3-2.7) as it remained at #18.
It has often been said that PHILADELPHIA is a rock town. The 25-54 standings will back that statement up as the top three stations are various flavors of the genre. GREATER MEDIA Active Rock WMMR landed its fourth straight #1 book. It was followed by two stations that were tied at #3 last month and advanced that tie to #2 this time. iHEARTMEDIA Alternative WRFF (RADIO 104.5) had its best book in over a year while WMGK merely matched its best. WBEB slid back to #4 with its lowest total since NOVEMBER. They were all tied up at #5. WDAS remained in place with its lowest share since AUGUST while iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WIOQ (Q102) took one step forward despite a slight decrease. WXTU had a strong increase to move up to a tie at #10.
You can’t fight the power. For the fourth straight survey, iHEARTMEDIA Urban WUSL (POWER) was #1 18-34. This ended a three-book slump and increased its lead to a full share over WRFF, which remained at #2 with its best showing since JULY. WBEB ended its three-book slump as it remained at #3 while WXTU moved up to #4 with a slight increase. WIOQ was off a bit and slipped back to #5. The fresh coat of paint on WZMP may have helped. The station had its best book in exactly a year as it advanced three squares to a tie at #6.
WMMR was up slightly 18-49 and that was good enough to keep the station at #1 for the fourth book in a row. WRFF used its best book in over a year to move up to #2, just edging out WBEB, which stepped back to #3 thanks to a slight loss of share. WUSL moved up to #4 with a nice increase while WIOQ slid back to #5. WMGK had its best book in over a year to step up to #6 while WXTU moved in at #7 with its highest total since DECEMBER.
ATLANTA: The People’s Choice
CBS RADIO Urban WVEE (V-103) is known as “The People’s Station.” For the third book in a row, they have made their choice loud and clear. V-103 had its best 6+ book in over a year (7.8-8.5). The next three stations share the same parking spaces. COX RADIO Talk WSB-A remained at #2 as it ended a two-book slide (7.0-7.4). COX RADIO Urban AC WALR (KISS) bounced back from a couple of down books (5.4-6.4) to advance two places to #3. COX RADIO AC WSB-F took a step back to #4 (6.5-6.3) while SALEM Christian Contemporary WFSH (FISH) moved back to #5 despite netting its best catch in over a year (5.6-6.2).
This was the ninth straight #1 25-54 book for WVEE. #2 WSB-F was flat and saw the gap widen to almost two shares. CUMULUS Top 40/M WWWQ (Q100) was stable at #3 despite a small loss of share. WSB-A popped its best number since NOVEMBER to move up to #4 while WALR ended a three-book skid to vault six spaces to #5. COX RADIO Classic Hits WSRV (THE RIVER) has seen its numbers yo-yo the last few books. This time the station was walking the dog as it fell back to #6. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WWPW (POWER) saw its five-book surge come to a halt as it dropped back to #7.
That sound you just heard was WVEE crushing the market 18-34. Not only was it in its customary #1 position, it landed its best book in over a year. Wait, there’s more. The station hit double-digits for the fourth book in a row and the seventh time in the last eight surveys. Even though WWPW had its best book in over a year to move up to #2, V-103 still led the market by over five shares. WWWQ was flat yet managed to advance one square to #3 while RADIO ONE Urban WHTA (HOT) fell two spots to #4 with its lowest share of 2015. WFSH swam upstream to #5 with its best showing since it was a-caroling while WSB-F fell to #6 with its smallest number since DECEMBER.
WVEE completed the Grand Slam by capturing the 18-49 crown again. The station matched its best book in the last year – hitting double digits again – and extended its lead over #2 WSB-F – which was off a bit – to almost four shares. WWWQ was still at #3 though with its lowest share since the HOLIDAY book while WWPW remained at #4 with a small decrease. WHTA was also off slightly as it held on at #5. WALR had its best performance since MAY to advance six places to #6.
BOSTON: The Hits Just, Well, You Know
It has been quite a three-book run for GREATER MEDIA Classic Hits WROR. What started 2015 with a #3 ranking and 5.4 share ended up at #1 with an 8.1 in MARCH. You would logically expect a “but” at this point. While the station was down (8.1-7.4) in APRIL, it was also #1 6+ for the third straight survey. Three stations were wrestling for control of the runner-up position. GREATER MEDIA AC WMJX (MAGIC) remained in place despite landing its lowest number since NOVEMBER (6.6-6.3). The other two members of that triumvirate were flat and formerly tied at #3. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WXKS (KISS) and CBS RADIO News WBZ-A. Both went 6.3-6.3. GREATER MEDIA Country WKLB had its lowest share since the HOLIDAY book (5.8-5.4) but remained at #5. While they cannot deflate balls, the RED SOX can inflate ratings. Case in point: ENTERCOM Sports WEEI-F moved up three spots to #6 (4.1-4.9). And that was before the pitching coach was fired.
For the second book in a row, WROR was #1 25-54. However, it ended a three-book surge, which allowed WXKS to move into a tie for the lead thanks to a slight increase. CBS RADIO Sports WBZ-F (THE SPORTS HUB) was down for the third book in a row – and at its lowest point since SEPTEMBER – but the station still managed to hold on to third place. WMJX was flat and stable at #4. Two cluster mates moved up and into a tie a #5. CBS RADIO Classic Rock WZLX advanced two places with its best book since JANUARY while CBS RADIO Hot AC WBMX (MIX) took one step forward with its highest share since OCTOBER. WKLB dropped six spots to #11 with its smallest total in over a year. This decline did not appear to be caused by iHEARTMEDIA Country WBWL (THE BULL). The station’s share was not very beefy as it slid back a spot to a tie at #20.
WXKS was flat 18-34. This matched its lowest share in the last 14 surveys. However, thanks to #2 WKLB’S second down book in a row, KISS was able to recapture the market lead by a whisper-thin margin. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/R WJMN (JAM’N) posted its lowest number in over a year but remained at #3. GREATER MEDIA Rhythmic AC WBQT (HOT) moved forward a spot to #4 with its finest showing since Santa was in town. Speaking of the big guy, WMJX dropped back to #5 with its lowest share since before “he” was in town. A few stations outside the top five had some strong gains in this survey. CBS RADIO Top 40/M WODS (AMP) remained tied at #6 but with its best book since AUGUST. ENTERCOM Active Rock WAAF moved up a couple of spots to tie AMP thanks to its best book in over a year. iHEARTMEDIA Alternative WBOS (RADIO 92.9) used its best book since NOVEMBER to move forward two paces to #8.
Sometimes flat is good. Witness WXKS, which did not see its share change from last month but that was good enough to keep the station at #1 for the third book in a row. What’s more, #2 WKLB’s down book widened the gap between the two by a half share. WBZ-F was down to its lowest share since SEPTEMBER but held on at #3. It was joined by WMJX, which moved up two spots despite a slight loss of share. WBOS had its best showing in exactly a year to move up to #5. WROR saw its three-book surge end abruptly and it fell back to #6.
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We will return momentarily with more banter and repartee about DETROIT, MIAMI, SEATTLE-TACOMA, PHOENIX, and MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL. You have been warned.