Research Director, Inc.: Exclusive February PPM Analysis For New York, L.A., Chicago, San Francisco
March 14, 2016 at 2:00 PM (PT)
The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR INC., along with the data geeks from XTRENDS, are anxiously awaiting the fresh breath of spring but we are forced to gaze back – not so longingly – at the doldrums of the FEBRUARY survey. This one covered 1/28 through 2/24 and featured one, lone holiday weekend. One thing we did notice in the previous survey was that many of the designated holiday stations came back from the cold stronger than they went in and, in many cases, the year before. Let’s see if that trend continued …
NEW YORK: The Mega Mutha
Right out of the gate we have an upset. While it’s not quite a sixteen seed beating a number one, it was a bit of a surprise. SBS Tropical WSKQ (LA MEGA) surged to the #1 spot 6+ by having a down book (6.6-6.4). The station’s elevation was propelled by the decline of iHEARTMEDIA AC WLTW (LITE), which slipped back to #2 for the first time in over a year (6.7-6.3). Last year at this point the station was #1 with a 7.0 share. CBS RADIO Classic Hits WCBS-F was up for the second straight survey (5.3-5.5) to remain at #3. EMMIS Urban AC WBLS held steady at #4 as it ended a four-book slide (5.2-5.3). iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WHTZ (Z100) maintained its standing as the market’s #5 station with a small decrease (5.0-4.7).
For the second book in a row, WSKQ was #1 25-54 but with a noticeably smaller share than last time. That said, the station still led the market by two shares. iHEARTMEDIA Urban WWPR (POWER) climbed up to second place with its highest share since OCTOBER. WBLS was flat but still rose two slots to #3. WLTW had its lowest score in over a year and dropped two spots to #4 while WHTZ also fell back two to #5 with a modest decrease. Sister station iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WKTU had its best book in over a year as it moved from a tie at #8 to #6.
Last month WSKQ had a monster share, hitting double digits as it took control of the 18-34 demo. Well, this month’s share was even larger and its lead surpassed two shares as #2 WWPR was down from last month. EMMIS Top 40/R WQHT (HOT) advanced to #3 with its highest share since NOVEMBER. This bumped WHTZ back to #4 as it gave back most of last month’s big increase. WLTW was off a bit but remained at #5. It was a little more than a share brighter than last year.
WSKQ completed the demo sweep as it captured the 18-49 crown for the second consecutive survey. As a matter of fact, the top five were identical to last time with one addition. WWPR was off slightly at #2 while WHTZ was down but steady at #3. WLTW came in at #4 with its smallest share in over a year. WKTU remained at #5 with a slight increase but was joined by WQHT, which took one step forward with a solid gain.
LOS ANGELES: On KOST Kontrol
There’s a Maxwell Smart joke in there somewhere … Though it was off a bit this time (5.9-5.7), iHEARTMEDIA AC KOST remained #1 6+ for the fourth survey in a row. A year ago the station was also at #1 but with a lower score of a 5.2. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KIIS (KISS) had a huge increase (4.7-5.5), which installed the station at #2, just a heartbeat away from the top spot. CBS RADIO Classic Hits KRTH (K-EARTH) was flat and steady at #3 (4.7-4.7) while iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KBIG (MY FM) fell to #4 with its lowest total in over a year (4.8-4.5). Meanwhile, CBS RADIO Urban AC KTWV (THE WAVE) was down but up. The station advanced to #5 with a slight decrease (4.3-4.2). UNIVISION Spanish Contemporary KLVE (K-LOVE) took a hit (4.5-3.9) and slid back to #6.
KIIS took the 25-54 honors for the second month in a row and posted its highest share since APRIL. Since Santa left town, the station has picked up a little more than a share of listening. KOST was flat but that did not prevent the station from moving up to #2. KBIG again had its lowest score in over a year as it took a step back to #3. KLVE’s strong three-book surge petered out this time as it moved back to #4. This number was more in line with what the station garnered during most of 2015. Three cluster brothers were leaving their mark at #5. KRTH was a repeat offender as was CBS RADIO Adult Hits KCBS-F (JACK). Both stations were up slightly. They were joined by CBS RADIO Alternative KROQ, which advanced from #7 with its highest share in over a year. Close behind was iHEARTMEDIA Alternative KYSR (ALT 98.7). The station moved from #13 to #8 thanks to its best book in over a year.
There is only one blemish on KIIS’s 18-34 resume over the last fourteen books and that was caused by a big guy in a red suit. The station was #1 with its highest share since OCTOBER. iHEARTMEDIA Urban KRRL (REAL 92.3) was off slightly but did move back up to #2 after a three-book absence. KYSR ended a three-book slide and jumped five places to #3. Curiously, the station had the exact same share it did in DECEMBER when it was #6. KBIG was down for the third straight survey as it slipped back to #4. EMMIS Top 40/R KPWR (POWER) stepped back to #5 with its lowest share in over a year. KLVE dropped back to #6 with a small decrease.
The top three 18-49 remained unchanged from last survey. KIIS was #1 and in more familiar ratings turf. KBIG was down slightly but remained at #2 while KOST held on at #3 despite a slight decrease. The new neighbor was KYSR, which jumped five places to #4 with its highest score in over a year. KLVE took one step back to #5 with its lowest share since NOVEMBER. For the last three books, SBS Regional Mexican KLAX (LA RAZA) was hanging at or near the top five. That ended with a flourish this time as the station dropped six spots to a tie at #11.
CHICAGO: This Just In …
Ever since DECEMBER, the 6+ ratings for CBS RADIO News WBBM-A have been quite strong. The station was #1 for the second book in a row (6.8-6.9). This could be events-related or seasonal as last year the station was also #1 but with a 7.4 share. HUBBARD Hot AC WTMX (MIX) continued to recover from the egg nog-induced hangover as it moved up to #2 with its best grade since AUGUST (5.2-5.5). It was tied with iHEARTMEDIA Urban AC WVAZ (V103), which remained stationary despite posting its lowest total since AUGUST (6.0-5.5). iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC WLIT (MY FM) continued to hold on to its numbers. The station remained at #4 (4.7-4.5). Prior to Santa’s arrival, the station was tied for #8 and a year ago it was #5 with a 4.1. iHEARTMEDIA Urban WGCI had its best performance since JULY (3.5-3.8) and moved up three slots to #5. TRIBUNE N/T WGN-A dropped to #7 with a noticeable decrease (4.2-3.6).
For the ninth time in the last 14 surveys, WTMX was #1 25-54. The station also landed its largest share in over a year and led returning #2 player WVAZ by almost two full shares. WLIT was off a bit but remained steady at #3. A year ago the station had sunk to #10 so it did a much better job of hanging on to its holiday shares this time. WBBM-A had a small increase but that allowed the station to skip two steps to #4. Last month’s #4 duet remained together but one rung lower than before. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WKSC (KISS) and WGCI both had small decreases. HUBBARD AC WSHE had its best showing since SEPTEMBER as it rose seven places to a tie at #9.
WGCI had its best 18-34 performance in over a year and finished at the top for the second book in a row. WKSC was up slightly to remain at #2. It was partnered with WTMX, which took one step forward with its highest share since MARCH. CBS RADIO Top 40/M WBBM-F (B96) took a bit of a hit and dropped back to #4. WLIT was flat but still moved forward two squares to #5. A year ago it was #9. Also moving up to the #5 hole was CUMULUS Alternative WKQX, which continued its post-holiday recovery. UNIVISION Regional Mexican WOJO (QUE BUENA) returned unopened most of last month’s big gain and dropped two slots to #7.
WTMX was #1 18-49 for the second book in a row and for the eleventh time in the last fourteen books. WGCI was off slightly but still a solid #2 while WKSC maintained its vise-like grip on #3 despite a small decrease. WOJO held steady at #4 despite a modest loss of share while WBBM-F used a slight decrease to advance one space to #5. WVAZ dropped two spots to a tie at #6 with its lowest mark in over a year. WSHE advanced from #15 to #9 with its best performance since JULY.
SAN FRANCISCO: Move Along, Nothing To See Here
That CBS RADIO News KCBS-A was #1 6+ is news of the dog-bites-man variety. After all, the station accomplished that feat for the twelfth time in the last fourteen surveys. However, it did return to the six-share section after a two-book hiatus (5.8-6.2). The next three stations appeared as they were last time. ENTERCOM AC KOIT was #2 (5.6-5.4). A year ago the post-holiday blues were a little stronger. The station was also #2 back then but with a much lower 4.7 share. KQED INC N/T KQED was off slightly at #3 (5.2-5.1) while #4 CUMULUS Sports KNBR-A was still batting cleanup (4.4-4.3). iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/R KMEL moved up to #5 with its best book since APRIL (3.7-4.0).
KOIT was up from the previous month to extend its #1 25-54 winning streak to nine. This year’s share was over a share heftier than last. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KYLD (WILD) had its best score in over a year as it moved up to #2. A year ago it was #9. CBS RADIO Hot AC KLLC (ALICE) ended a two-book slide as it inched up to #3. KQED remained at #4 with a slight increase and a new partner. UNIVISION Spanish Adult Hits KBRG joined the top five from #6 with its best performance in over a year.
Two stations dominate the 18-34 demo book after book. Up until OCTOBER it had been KYLD’s to lose but at that point it switched positions with cluster buddy KMEL. Both stations were up this time. Top dog KMEL had its best showing since MAY while #2 KYLD had its largest share since NOVEMBER. UNIVISION Regional Mexican KSOL has carved out a nice niche at #3. It is over two shares behind the leaders but holds a slightly larger than a share lead over everyone else. Starting at #4 the market gets pretty compressed. KBRG had a slight increase but moved up four slots to #4. CBS RADIO Top 40/M KMVQ (NOW) was flat but still advanced two spaces to #5. It was tied with KOIT, which remained in place despite losing a chunk of share. KIOI dropped three places to #7.
The 18-49 race got a lot tighter. KMEL and KYLD were still #1 and #2, respectively, but the gap narrowed to the smallest margin possible. KOIT was flat and happy at #3 especially compared with last year when it was tied for #8. KBRG had its best book in over a year to hold firm at #4 while KSOL remained at #5 with a flat performance. KIOI’s roller coaster ride continued as it dropped four places to #9.
DALLAS-FT.WORTH: A Big Fat Kiss
Reports of the demise of iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KHKS (KISS) may have been slightly exaggerated. True, the station was merely #2 6+ for the last three surveys and was not the seven-share dominator it once was. But, as with all good champions, it fought back and took control of the market with its best book since SEPTEMBER (6.0-6.3). This ended the three-book winning streak for CBS RADIO Classic Hits KLUV (K-LOVE). The station slipped back to #2 (6.6-6.1) but was much stronger than either NOVEMBER (4.3) or last year (4.5). It seemed everyone else was tied. iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KDMX (NOW) moved up three slots to #3 (4.2-4.5) and ended up sharing space with iHEARTMEDIA Classic Rock KZPS (LONE STAR), which made a five-step jump (4.1-4.5). But wait, there’s more. SERVICE Urban AC KRNB remained in place at #3 with a small decrease (4.8-4.5). The twosome at #4 last month moved on to #6. UNIVISION Regional Mexican KLNO (QUE BUENA) and CUMULUS Country KPLX (THE WOLF) have now been tied for three straight surveys. Both went 4.6-4.3 this time.
Order was restored to the 25-54 universe, as well, because KHKS returned to the #1 spot with a large increase over the previous month. KLUV slid back to #2 despite a slight increase. It was #9 in NOVEMBER and #8 last year. KZPS stepped up to #3 with its highest share since MAY while KLNO dropped back to #4 with a small decrease. Two stations moved up to join forces at #5. KDMX advanced four squares with a small increase while CBS RADIO Adult Hits KJKK (JACK) was flat but took one step forward. CUMULUS Sports KTCK-A (THE TICKET) was up for the second book in a row and at its highest point in over a year. It moved up five places in the standings to #7. KRNB saw its three-book surge grind to a halt as the station dropped from #5 to a tie at #8.
There wasn’t much change 18-34 where the race is always for second place. KHKS was #1 again but saw its lead shrink to under two shares. That was because RADIO ONE Top 40/R KBFB (THE BEAT) moved up to #2 with its best book in over a year. This pushed KDMX back to #3 even though it scored its highest share since AUGUST. KLNO was steadfast at #4 with a slight decrease. Two stations were in the #5 lounge. SERVICE Urban KKDA (K104) was flat and motionless while iHEARTMEDIA Alternative KEGL (THE EAGLE) took one small step forward with a slight increase.
KHKS got a little of its 18-49 mojo back. It was #1 for the second book in a row but with its highest score since SEPTEMBER. KDMX moved up to #2 with its best showing since NOVEMBER. KBFB moved up three slots to #3 with its highest output since SEPTEMBER while KJKK was flat and remained anchored at #4. KLNO had its lowest score since OCTOBER and dropped from #2 to #5. KLUV slipped to #7, which was still better than the #14 it had in NOVEMBER and the tie at #11 it posted last year.
Those are the facts as we see them. Stay tuned for our next episode featuring the hijinks of HOUSTON-GALVESTON, WASHINGTON, DC, PHILADELPHIA, ATLANTA, and BOSTON. In the meantime feel free to correct, criticize or cajole the Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. via the platforms below.