Research Director, Inc.: Exclusive September PPM Analysis For New York, L.A., Chicago, S.F., Dallas
September 26, 2016 at 1:56 PM (PT)
If your life were ruled by music (you’re in radio), and you adjusted your rhythms to different songs, then your alarm clock for “Wake Me When SEPTEMBER Ends” would have started blasting on the seventh. Why? Because that is when the SEPTEMBER survey reached its conclusion (it commenced on AUGUST 10th).
The so-called SEPTEMBER survey was notable for two things that ratings geeks like us pay attention to: the LABOR DAY weekend (which can have an impact on your weekend numbers) and the return to normalcy marked by the back-to-school movement. Oddly enough, it contained zero NFL games that actually matter to fans. The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC., in conjunction with the math wonks at XTRENDS, have spared no expense in bringing you the following analysis …
NEW YORK: The Neon Lites Are Bright …
The bright lights of the big city were focused on iHEARTMEDIA AC WLTW (LITE) once again. The station was #1 6+ for the seventh time in the last nine surveys and posted its largest share since APRIL (6.1-6.5). There were some rank adjustments just below the leader but they were the result of small changes in shares. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WHTZ (Z100) was up to #2 for the first time in over a year but with only a slight increase of share (5.3-5.4). EMMIS Urban AC WBLS also had a slight increase (5.2-5.3) but that was enough to push the station up to #3. It was tied with CBS RADIO Classic Hits WCBS-F, which took a step back from #2 with its lowest score since MARCH (5.5-5.3). iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WKTU had its highest share in over a year (4.7-4.8) to move up a slot and gain membership to the exclusive top-five club. SBS Tropical WSKQ (MEGA) saw its recent run of ratings fortune come to a halt. The station had its lowest total since OCTOBER (5.3-4.6) as it fell three places to #6. It has been exactly a year since the station was not top fiving it.
That said, WSKQ was #1 25-54 for the ninth book in a row. However, it did post its lowest score since DECEMBER and saw its once healthy advantage shrink to less than half a share. WHTZ remained at #2 but inched closer to the top with a slight increase. WLTW advanced two squares to #3 with a small increase while WBLS was off slightly to remain a fixture at #4. Two stations altered their respective fates and joined forces at #5. iHEARTMEDIA Urban WWPR (POWER) dropped back from #3 with its lowest share since folks were dressed up like ESKIMOS. WKTU took a step forward just by being flat.
For the first time since APRIL, WHTZ was #1 18-34. The station moved up from #4 with a strong increase and was also helped by WSKQ. MEGA had its smallest share since OCTOBER and dropped from the lead to #4. In between, two other stations also swapped spaces. EMMIS Top 40/R WQHT (HOT) was up to #2 with a flat performance (for the second book in a row) while its arch enemy – WWPR – dropped back to #3 as it lost a chunk of share. WKTU was off slightly but remained unmoved from the #5 position. CBS RADIO Top 40/M WBMP (AMP) had its best book in over a year to advance two places to #6.
The #1 18-49 partnership from the previous survey was dissolved. WHTZ was left standing after posting its best number since APRIL while WSKQ stumbled back to #3 with its third down book in a row. The station has lost two and a half shares during this slide. In between was WWPR, which was up one spot to #2 despite a down book. WKTU ended its strong three-book surge but remained immovable at #4. WQHT was off slightly but was able to hold on to the #5 position just ahead of #6 WLTW, which was also off slightly.
LOS ANGELES: KOSTing Along
As compressed as this market tends to be, iHEARTMEDIA AC KOST continued to lead the 6+ race by a relatively wide margin. Though the station was down this survey (5.8-5.6), it was not feeling any particular heat from its closest pursuers. There was, once again, a tie at the #2 position. CBS RADIO Classic Hits KRTH (K-EARTH) was flat (4.9-4.9) and unmoved. However, it had a new dance partner this time as iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KIIS (KISS-FM) was up from #4 as it regained what share it lost last month (4.6-4.9). Last month’s co-runner up was iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KBIG (MY FM). It dropped back to #4 as it returned all of last month’s ratings increase (4.9-4.7). CBS RADIO Rhythmic AC KTWV (THE WAVE) was still breaking at #5 but with a small increase (4.1-4.3). Very close behind was UNIVISION Spanish Contemporary KLVE (K-LOVE). The station was up for the third straight survey (4.0-4.2) to close the gap from the #6 position.
While we can’t share the specifics with you, be advised that the top six stations 25-54 were separated by about a share. KBIG kept doing things my way to remain at #1 for the second book in a row. Oh, it also had its highest share since DECEMBER. KIIS took one step forward to #2 as it regained what it lost last month. KLVE was up two slots to #3 with its best showing since JANUARY. KOST had its highest score since FEBRUARY to remain at #4. However, this time it had company. CBS RADIO Adult Hits KCBS-F (JACK) moved in from a tie at #6 with a small increase. KRTH was down for the second straight survey and fell four places to #6. The station is in about the same position it was back in MARCH.
For the last couple of surveys, it has pretty much been a two-team race 18-34. KIIS was up slightly to remain #1 for the fourth consecutive month. Cluster mate iHEARTMEDIA Alternative KYSR (ALT 98.7) was a flat #2 again. Then came the rest of the posse. iHEARTMEDIA Urban KRRL (REAL 92.3) held steady at #3 as its three-book surge came to an abrupt halt. It was sharing the space with KBIG, which took a step forward despite a slight decrease. Oh, and there was a third station squeezing into the #3 position. CBS RADIO Top 40/M KAMP (AMP) was up from a tie at #6 with a small increase. KLVE remained stationary at #6 with a slight increase and was this close (see our fingers?) to also laying claim to being #3 in the market. EMMIS Top 40/R KPWR (POWER) fell three places to #7 with its lowest share since MAY.
KIIS ended a very modest two-book slide and captured its ninth straight 18-49 win. KBIG was up for the second month in a row to remain a very close #2. Last month there was a three-way at #3. That is now history. KLVE retained the position thanks to its highest share in over a year. KOST took a step back to #4 as it was off slightly. And, KYSR fell into a three-way at #5 as it ended a two-book surge. Also joining the #5 fray were KAMP – up from #10 as it started its recovery from last month’s big loss – and KRTH, which was up one slot despite a small decrease.
CHICAGO: News And More
The razor-thin margin that existed last month between the top two 6+ stations was erased. CBS RADIO News WBBM-A was off slightly (6.1-6.0) but was still in the top spot for the third straight survey. However, it was joined by iHEARTMEDIA Urban AC WVAZ (V103), which moved up from #2 (6.0-6.0) just by being flat (talk about your right place, right time thing). It was the seventh straight #3 performance for HUBBARD Hot AC WTMX (MIX) (5.5-5.2) while iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WKSC (KISS) was #4 for the fourth book in a row. It did, however, post its largest share in over a year (4.5-4.8). There is some baseball team in town that is garnering a little attention. Something about a goat? It certainly helped CBS RADIO Sports WSCR-A (THE SCORE) score its biggest number in over a year (3.7-4.5) and move the station up to #5. iHEARTMEDIA Urban WGCI gave back last month’s small gain as it dropped back to #6 (4.3-4.0). A little farther down the list was CUMULUS Classic Hits WLS-F. The station broke into the top 10 (in the #9 position) for the first time since we were donning gay apparel and had its best book in over a year (3.0-3.6).
As has been its custom, WTMX killed the market 25-54. This was the twelfth time in the last fourteen surveys the station accomplished that feat (wanna guess which two books were not #1 for the station?). Oh, and MIX also had its highest share since FEBRUARY. Even though #2 WKSC had its highest score in over a year, the gap between the two was still a healthy share and a half. WVAZ was up a spot to #3 as it ended a three-book slide. WGCI was off slightly to slide back to #4. WSCR-A moved up three places in the standings – to #5 – thanks to its highest run total in over a year. Think they’re pumped for OCTOBER (OK, it will really be the NOVEMBER book but you get the idea). WBBM-A was out of the top five for the first time since JANUARY. It slipped to #6 with a small decrease.
The 18-34 demo is also kind of streaky but not in the fluky sense. More in the WGCI was #1 for the ninth book in a row kind of way. The station was flat and while WKSC was up to #2 with a solid increase, the distance between the two exceeded a share and a half. WTMX was flat and forced to move back to #3 while CBS RADIO Top 40/M WBBM-F (B96) remained at #4 despite its second down book in a row. iHEARTMEDIA Country WEBG (BIG) was also down for the second straight survey but remained at #5. (Remember that we mentioned WLS-F earlier?) OK, to refresh, the station had a good book. In this particular demo, it jumped from a tie at #14 to #8 with easily its best book in over a year.
If your reading comprehension is good, you know this has been a good month to be WKSC. The station again had its best book in over a year. This time it was 18-49 and that drove KISS back to #1 by the slimmest of margins over #2 WTMX, which was actually up slightly. WGCI dropped a spot to #3 even though it also had a slight increase. WVAZ was up two places to #4 with its best showing since JUNE while WBBM-F slid to #5 with its lowest score since MAY. Two stations moved up to tie at #6. WEBG took one step forward with a slight increase while WSCR-A jumped six places with (again) its best book in over a year. CUMULUS Alternative WKQX was off for the third book in a row and fell three places to #8. Its cluster mate -– WLS-F -– was up from a tie at #20 to a tie at #12.
SAN FRANCISCO: Considering All Things
This – along with WASHINGTON, DC – is one of the few markets that has a strong – as in top of the charts – non-commercial presence. KQED INC. N/T KQED is a consistent ratings performer that just happens to be on a roll. The station was up 6+ for the fourth straight survey with its highest share in over a year (5.7-5.9). It was #1 for the second book in a row but this time it wasn’t forced to share as CUMULUS Sports KNBR-A fell to #3 with its lowest share since MARCH (5.7-4.9). Could that have anything to do with the GIANTS’ second-half swoon? In between those two was CBS RADIO News KCBS-A, which was up to #2 with its highest share since MARCH (5.4-5.6). Last month’s threesome at #5 was torn asunder. iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KIOI (STAR) had its best showing since NOVEMBER (3.8-4.3) to move up to #4. CBS RADIO Top 40/M KMVQ (NOW) had its highest total in over a year (3.8-4.0) to remain in place. ENTERCOM AC KOIT was up slightly (3.8-3.9) but fell to #6. iHEARTMEDIA AC KISQ (THE BREEZE) caught a down draft as it fell from #4 to #11 (4.0-3.2).
Wait, wait … don’t tell me. KQED moved up to #1 25-54 despite turning in most of last month’s big increase. This demo is tightly compacted as the top nine stations are separated by a single share. Both iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KYLD (WILD) and CBS RADIO Hot AC KLLC (ALICE) moved up into a tie at #2 and mathematically couldn’t be closer to the leader. Just behind that duo was KNBR-A, which dropped from first place to fourth and is not desperately chasing a wild card spot thanks to its lowest run total since FEBRUARY. KMVQ had its best showing in over a year yet had to be content with repeating at #5. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/R KMEL also had its highest score in over a year as it moved up three places to #6.
The 18-34 demo is the opposite of compressed. KMEL was #1 for the third straight survey with its biggest share since FEBRUARY. #2 KYLD was down for the third book in a row and the two cluster brothers were separated by almost a share and a half. KMVQ again had its best showing in over a year but could not advance from #3 and was still a share out of second place. KIOI was up slightly to remain at #4 and was just ahead of ENTERCOM Top 40/R KRBQ (Q102.1), which moved up to #5 with a small increase. CBS RADIO Alternative KITS (LIVE 105) slid back to #6 with a small decrease.
For the third book in a row, KMEL and KYLD traded places atop the 18-49 leaderboard. This time it was KMEL’s turn to lead as the station posted its largest share since FEBRUARY. KYLD had its best book since MAY to remain ever so close. And, just a breath behind at #3 was KMVQ, which remained in place with its best book in over a year. This has suddenly become a three-team race. KRBQ was up three places to #4 with a strong increase while KLLC slid back to #5 with a slight decrease. KIOI advanced three places to #6 as it ended a two-book slide. KNBR-A slid from #5 to #9 and was desperately making a call to the bullpen.
DALLAS-FT.WORTH: Hungry Like The Wolf
You have no idea how long that headline has been in the queue… Congratulations to CUMULUS Country KPLX (THE WOLF), which moved to #1 6+ with its highest share in over a year (5.7-5.8). It was just ahead of CBS RADIO Classic Hits KLUV (K-LUV), which was up to #2 as it rebounded from last month’s loss (5.4-5.7). The real surprise here was iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KHKS (KISS). Though the station has occasionally been bumped from the top spot, we can’t remember (nor did we look up) how long it has been since it dropped to #3. Of course, posting its lowest total in over a year didn’t help (5.8-5.4). UNIVISION Regional Mexican KLNO (QUE BUENA) remained at #4 (4.6-4.7) while iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KDMX (NOW) inched up to #5 (4.0-4.3). iHEARTMEDIA Classic Rock KZPS (LONE STAR) fell to #6 with its lowest share in over a year (4.6-3.8).
The 25-54 ratings were a completely different story. KHKS was off a bit but remained #1 for the eighth straight month. KLNO was up to #2 with its highest share in over a year while KLUV was bumped back to #3 with a small decrease. KPLX had its largest litter in exactly a year and inched up to the fringes of the pennant race at #4. It appears that the RANGERS are for real because we can’t imagine that exhibition (oops, we mean pre-season) football is what drove CBS RADIO Sports KRLD-F (THE FAN) up to #5. The station was up for the seventh straight survey and posted its largest share since OCTOBER. CUMULUS Sports KTCK-A (THE TICKET) ended a two-book slide and moved up to #6. KZPS dropped to a tie at #7 with its smallest share in over a year.
KHKS continued to dominate the 18-34 arena. Though it was off this time, the station held on to its #1 title and led KLNO by almost a share and a half. It is worth nothing that KLNO has been on a real tear over the last three books. The station is #2 now but was sitting at #10 when this surge began. KDMX had its best outing since FEBRUARY to move up a slot to #3 while KLUV jumped seven places to #4 with its best book since the weather outside was frightful. KPLX slipped two slots to #5 with a slight decrease while KRLD-F fell to a tie at #6 with a small decrease.
Though #1 KHKS had its lowest 18-49 share since JANUARY and #2 KLNO its highest in over a year, the stations were still separated by a little over a share. KLUV was up to #3 with its second up book in a row while KDMX was steady at #4 despite posting its best score since FEBRUARY. Two stations moved up and into a tie at #5. KPLX took one step forward with a slight increase while KRLD-F advanced three squares with its best showing since OCTOBER. KZPS fell from #3 to a tie at #11 thanks to its lowest total since DECEMBER.
That puts an end to our first round of ratings analysis. The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. are going to re-group and return with more smarmy commentary. The next group of targets features HOUSTON-GALVESTON, WASHINGTON, DC, PHILADELPHIA, ATLANTA and BOSTON. In the meantime, feel free to rip us a new one via any of the platforms below …