Research Director, Inc.: Exclusive March PPM Analysis For New York, L.A., Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas
April 11, 2016 at 1:56 PM (PT)
The expectations for the month of MARCH are minimal. Sure, legend has it roaring in and bahhhing out but those are mere tales. In the radio world, MARCH is a period NIELSEN defines as covering 2/25 through 3/23. So, it is really MARCH-ish. As such, the big event of this survey – besides a rare Leap Day sighting – was the sound of brackets busting all over the place. (Yea, like you had MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE). Prepare yourself as The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. – in close cooperation with the numerically gifted mavens from XTRENDS – begin our monthly dive into the ratings fortunes of AMERICA’s largest markets. As always we begin with …
NEW YORK: Lite ‘Em Up!
The big story last month was the four-demo sweep performed by SBS Tropical WSKQ (LA MEGA). This time, that station could only go three for four (spoiler alert!) as iHEARTMEDIA AC WLTW (LITE) reclaimed the 6+ crown (6.3-6.7). WSKQ was off for the second book in a row (6.4-6.2) as it dropped back to #2. EMMIS Urban AC WBLS moved up to #3 thanks to its largest share since DECEMBER (5.3-5.5) and was just ahead of a pair of stations at #4. CBS RADIO Classic Hits WCBS-F took one step back (5.5-5.3) while iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WHTZ (Z100) used its best book since AUGUST to take one step forward (4.7-5.3). The news business was booming for CBS RADIO News WINS. The station was up for the third consecutive survey. It remained at #6 but with its highest reported number in exactly one year (4.2-4.7). One other winner this survey was iHEARTMEDIA Classic Rock WAXQ (Q104.3), which inched up to a tie at #8 with its best showing since OCTOBER (3.6-4.0).
For the third straight survey WSKQ was #1 25-54. The station was up from the previous month and held close to a two-share lead over WLTW. LITE bounced back from a very soft FEBRUARY to move back to #2. iHEARTMEDIA Urban WWPR (POWER) had its highest score since OCTOBER but still took a step back to #3. WHTZ advanced to #4 with a solid gain while WBLS fell two places to #5 with its lowest total since APRIL. WAXQ performed well here, as well, moving up three slots to a tie at #6.
WSKQ was not quite able to post a third straight double-digit 18-34 month. No matter. The station remained #1, though its margin shrank from dominant to strong because WHTZ had a rather large gain. Z100 moved up to #2 with its best showing since SEPTEMBER. WWPR was off for the second book in a row as it dropped back to #3 while WLTW moved up to #4 with its best showing since the HOLIDAY book (a month enhanced by some rare musical substances, if you will recall). EMMIS Top 40/R WQHT (HOT) lost a bit from last month’s gain and fell two places to #5.
Though WSKQ was down for the second book in a row, it managed to remain atop the 18-49 leaderboard. The station kept its lead at a share-plus even though WHTZ rose to #2 with its best performance since SEPTEMBER. WWPR was up slightly but still dropped back to #3 while WLTW remained resolute at #4 with a solid increase. The two previous occupants of the #5 position changed their relationship status to “single.” WQHT was down a bit but remained in place while iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WKTU slid back to #6 with its lowest share since the bells were ringing the sad, sad news.
LOS ANGELES: On KOST Control
One of the trends we have noticed recently is how well the holiday-infused stations held their numbers this year over last. One prime example of that is iHEARTMEDIA AC KOST. The station was #1 6+ for the fifth book in a row (5.7-5.9). What is more interesting – to our data-geek brains – is that the station was #4 in NOVEMBER with a 5.0 and #2 a year ago with a 5.1. Coming in at #2 again was iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KIIS (KISS) even though it was down a bit (5.5-5.1). Cluster sister iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KBIG (MY FM) moved up to #3 (4.5-4.8), making it a medal sweep for one cluster. A different cluster took the next two spots. CBS RADIO Classic Hits KRTH (K-EARTH) dropped back to #4 with a small decrease (4.7-4.5). And, CBS RADIO Urban AC KTWV (THE WAVE) had its best performance since MAY (4.2-4.4) to remain at #5. Meanwhile, all that chatter you heard was not from infield practice. It was iHEARTMEDIA Talk KFI-A, which advanced three squares to a tie at #7 with its highest output since SEPTEMBER (3.2-3.5).
KIIS took the top spot 25-54 for the third book in a row despite a small loss of share. KBIG had its best showing since DECEMBER to move up to #2. KOST slipped back to #3 but posted a number equal to what it had in NOVEMBER. CBS RADIO Adult Hits KCBS-F (JACK) had its highest score since JUNE as it stepped up to #4. A lot of stuff was happening at the #5 radio ranch. KRTH remained in place by being flat. Two similarly formatted stations essentially traded places. iHEARTMEDIA Alternative KYSR (ALT 98.7) moved up to the #5 spot from #8. Just two books ago it was at #13 so it appears to be on a fast track. CBS RADIO Alternative KROQ fell two places to #7.
Your clear and dominant 18-34 market leader continued to be KIIS. The station ended a strong two-book surge but managed to maintain a share and a half lead over the #2 station. That would be the fast-tracking KYSR, which moved up one spot with its highest share in over a year. KBIG stepped up to #3 as it rebounded from a down book. Two heated rivals found themselves in a flat-footed tie at #4. iHEARTMEDIA Urban KRRL (REAL 92.3) was flat but fell from #2 while EMMIS Top 40/R KPWR (POWER) moved up a spot with its best book since DECEMBER.
The 18-49 race is a little more contested than the previous two demos. KIIS remained #1 for the third book in a row but its loss, combined with KBIG’s gain, narrowed the gap between the two leaders to less than a half-share. KOST was off slightly but stable at #3 while KYSR was up for the third book in a row to solidify its hold on the #4 position. Three stations improved their respective lots and ended up at #5. KCBS-F was flat but still moved up from a tie at #7. KROQ was off slightly but took one step forward. And, CBS RADIO Top 40/M KAMP (AMP) advanced all the way from #10 with its best book since NOVEMBER. Last month’s occupant of this contested position – UNIVISION Spanish Contemporary KLVE (K-LOVE) – dropped to a tie at #9 with its smallest share since JUNE.
CHICAGO: And Now This …
It was another #1 6+ month for CBS RADIO News WBBM-A. Though the station was off a bit (6.9-6.6), it continued to be the far-and-away market leader. iHEARTMEDIA Urban AC WVAZ (V103) claimed sole possession of second place with a slight increase (5.5-5.6). HUBBARD Hot AC WTMX (MIX) had its lowest non-Frosty-tinged share since MAY (5.2-4.9) as it slid back to #3. Though it did have a down book, iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC WLIT (MY FM) remained the #4 station (4.5-4.0) and was pacing ahead of NOVEMBER (3.3) and last year (3.6). Also at the #4 slot was iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WKSC (KISS), which moved up from #6 with its highest share since SEPTEMBER (3.7-4.0).
Though WTMX was down a bit 25-54, the station managed to take the top prize for the third month in a row. Its closest pursuer – WVAZ – was also off slightly and the gap remained above the one-share range. WKSC moved up to #3 with its best showing since JUNE while iHEARTMEDIA Urban WGCI advanced to #4 with a slight increase. WBBM-A was flat as it fell back to #5. WLIT dropped three places to #6 but that was a better position than NOVEMBER (tied at #13) and last year (tied at #10). CUMULUS Alternative WKQX ended a string of soft books as it landed its largest share since DECEMBER to move up four slots to #8.
The rich got richer 18-34. WGCI was #1 for the third straight survey with its highest share in over a year. WKSC remained at #2 with its best showing since JUNE. WTMX ended a two-book surge as it slipped back to #3. CBS RADIO Top 40/M WBBM-F (B96) was off slightly but remained in place at #4. It was joined by WKQX, which took a step forward. WLIT dropped three slots to #8 and was on familiar turf. In NOVEMBER it was #8, and last year it was tied at #9.
Over the last 14 surveys there were only three times WTMX was not #1 18-49 and two of them were when there was a BAND AID on your radio. The station was off a bit this time but saw its lead shrink to a half-share as #2 WGCI had its best showing in over a year. WKSC solidified its hold on #3 with its highest score since AUGUST. UNIVISION Regional Mexican WOJO (QUE BUENA) was up slightly to remain at #4. It was joined by WVAZ, which moved up from a tie at #6 with a solid increase. WBBM-F was down slightly to drop back to #6 and was joined by the suddenly resurgent WKQX, which advanced from #8. WLIT dropped back to #8 and was in the same position as it was in NOVEMBER.
SAN FRANCISCO: News Biz Is Good
The top three places 6+ were taken by stations that do not play songs for a living. They use their wits, guile and hot air to draw an audience. Leading the way for the twelfth time in the last fourteen surveys was CBS RADIO News KCBS-A (6.2-6.0). Moving up to #2 was KQED INC. N/T KQED with its best book since DECEMBER (5.1-5.5). This being an even year, everyone was agog over Cactus League games, which elevated CUMULUS Sports KNBR-A to #3 with its highest run total since OCTOBER (4.3-4.9). ENTERCOM AC KOIT fell two slots to #4 with its smallest share since JUNE (5.4-4.6). Two clustermates moved up and into a tie at #5. iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KIOI (STAR) was flat (3.8-3.8) as it advanced from a tie at #7 while iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KYLD (WILD) took a step forward despite a slight decrease (3.9-3.8). They both displaced another member of their cluster – iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/R KMEL – which fell back to #7 (4.0-3.7).
KOIT managed to maintain a tenuous hold on the #1 spot 25-54 as the station lost a painfully large chunk of share. It was well off NOVEMBER’s pace but a bit ahead of last year. KNBR-A was close behind. The station jumped six places to #2 with its highest point total since SEPTEMBER. Three stations were claiming to be #3 and all three were correct. CBS RADIO Hot AC KLLC (ALICE) was flat and remained in place. KYLD dropped back from #2 with a slight decrease while KQED moved up from a tie at #4 with a slight increase. UNIVISION Spanish Adult Hits KBRG dropped five places to #9. For a good part of 2015, ENTERCOM Top 40/R KRBQ (Q102) was doing well before it got run over by a reindeer. This time the station bounced back with its best book since OCTOBER to rise five levels to a tie at #7.
The top three stations 18-34 remained in place but all had down books. KMEL was #1 for the third month in a row while KYLD was #2 for the fifth straight survey. Meanwhile, UNIVISION Regional Mexican KSOL (QUE BUENA) took a hit but held firm at #3. KOIT had a small gain to move up to #4. It was on par with NOVEMBER (tied at #4) and well ahead of last year (tied at #9). Also moving up to #4 – from #10 – was KRBQ, which landed its best book since NOVEMBER. CBS RADIO Top 40/M KMVQ (NOW) dropped two places to a tie at #7 with its smallest share in over a year.
As with the previous demo, the top three stations 18-49 had down books. However, in this case the top two traded places. KYLD assumed control with a small decrease, which pushed KMEL back to #2 because it had a not-as-small decrease. KOIT held on at #3 but with its lowest score since JUNE. Two stations moved up to spend time together at #4. KLLC advanced from #6 with a slight increase while KRBQ had its highest share since NOVEMBER to move up from #8. Two other stations dropped out of the top five and landed at #6. KBRG fell from #4 with its lowest share since DECEMBER while KSOL stepped back from #5 with its smallest presence since the chestnuts were a-roasting.
DALLAS-FT.WORTH: A Kiss Begins With K
We hope that’s not a copyright violation … Generally speaking iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KHKS (KISS) is the dominant performer – especially 6+. However, beginning with Santa’s arrival, the station was #2 for three books in a row. Even when it recaptured the lead last month, it did so by a slim margin. This time the station remained on top (6.3-6.0) but the margin widened because some of the delegates pledged to #2 CBS RADIO Classic Hits KLUV (K-LOVE) defected, leaving the station with its lowest share since NOVEMBER (6.1-5.3). Beyond that we present the world of compression. UNIVISION Regional Mexican KLNO (LA QUE BUENA) moved up three places to #3 with its best book in over a year (4.3-4.7). CUMULUS Country KPLX (THE WOLF) also moved up from #6 but ended up in a three-way tie at #4 (4.3-4.4). The other two members from that trio – iHEARTMEDIA Classic Rock KZPS (LONE STAR) (4.5-4.4) and SERVICE Urban AC KRNB (4.5-4.4) – were recently housed at #3. iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KDMX (NOW) fell four spots to #7 as it ended a two-book surge (4.5-3.9).
What a difference a survey makes. Last month, KHKS had a massive increase to reclaim the 25-54 demo. This time the station gave all of it back. Though it was still #1– staying ahead of KLNO, which moved up from #4 – it led by the slimmest of possible margins. KZPS was off slightly to remain at #3 and was joined by KLUV, which dropped from #2 with its smallest number since NOVEMBER. KPLX ended a rather dramatic three-book slide and rose five places to #5. Last book’s #5 duo was neither #5 nor a duo. CBS RADIO Adult Hits KJKK (JACK) fell to #8 with its lowest share since AUGUST while KDMX ended up at a tie at #9, thus ending a two-book surge.
Finally, a big gain and dominant performance for KHKS. The station was #1 18-34 with a large-caliber bullet – landing its largest share since NOVEMBER. And, it led the market by almost three shares. RADIO ONE Top 40/R KBFB (THE BEAT) remained at #2 but lost a chunk of share. KLNO moved up to tie for second place as it ended a three-book slide. KPLX jumped three places to #4 with its best book since SEPTEMBER. iHEARTMEDIA Active Rock KEGL (THE EAGLE) held steady at #5 with a slight loss. SERVICE Urban KKDA (K104) had a slightly larger decrease and ended up at #6. KDMX dropped from #3 to #10 as it suffered through its lowest book in over a year.
Though KHKS lost a chunk of 18-49 share, it was easily #1 again. KLNO moved up three places to #2 as it bounced back from a down book with its highest score since DECEMBER. KBFB remained at #3 despite giving back all the gains it was given last month. KJKK had its smallest share since SEPTEMBER but managed to stay in place at #4. KEGL was down but somehow managed to move up to #5. KDMX fell from #2 into a – get this – five-way tie at #6 along with KLUV, KPLX, KZPS and KRNB.
That’s a wrap for the first day. Still two more to go. Next time it’s HOUSTON-GALVESTON, WASHINGTON, DC, PHILADELPHIA, ATLANTA and BOSTON. In the meantime, feel free to react or reach out via the platforms below.