PPM: Listening Levels Back To Normalcy In January
February 27, 2008 at 3:12 PM (PT)
In an ALL ACCESS exclusive, RADIOCRUNCH President ANTHONY ACAMPORA takes a look inside the latest PPM results from PHILADELPHIA and HOUSTON: .
Now that listening levels have somewhat returned to normal in PHILADELPHIA and HOUSTON, several stations saw shifts back to similar pre-holiday levels. JERRY LEE-owned AC WBEB slipped from a 17.1 in the Holiday book to a 9.1 in January. However, we should note that the 9.1 was the best month for WBEB since a 9.6 in AUGUST, and stronger than the 8.2 it had in NOVEMBER (prior to the CHRISTMAS shift).
GREATER MEDIA benefited the most from the return to normalcy. The company’s cluster is primarily focused on 25-54 adults and had been hammered during the two holiday months. While their stations were up, GREATER MEDIA’s cluster is still off from some of their bigger results from the summer. Here’s a look:
* Active Rock WMMR surged 4.4-5.2, its best since a 5.6 they had in SEPTEMBER. Keep in mind that WMMR now has a new competitor in CBS rival WYSP (more on that later).
* Classic Rock WMGK rebounded 4.1-4.4. This number was still its second lowest since JULY, and even below the 4.5 they had in DECEMBER. WMGK had a 6.6 in JULY, a 5.6 in AUGUST, and then 4.6 in SEPTEMBER and OCTOBER. JANUARY appears to be more in line with that.
* Adult Hits WBEN inched up 2.9-3.1, within the 3.0-3.3 they had in the fall months - but down from the 3.8s they pulled in AUGUST/SEPTEMBER.
* Smooth AC WJJZ rose 1.3-1.8, getting back to its levels of AUGUST-NOVEMBER, but still not anywhere near the shares that the format had when it was on 106.1 under CLEAR CHANNEL.
RADIO ONE is having its challenges in the PHILLY market as CLEAR CHANNEL has now taken a decisive lead in the Urban format wars. CLEAR CHANNEL Urban WUSL (POWER 99) vaulted 2.8-3.2, scoring its best month in seven (and only the second month over a 3.0 since JULY). It placed WUSL a full share ahead of RADIO ONE’s WPHI, which held at a 2.2 and is off from a 3.1 it had in SEPTEMBER. WPHI was ahead of WUSL in JULY and AUGUST, but hasn't won a month since.
CLEAR CHANNEL Urban AC WDAS continues to own a commanding lead over RADIO ONE’s WRNB. WDAS was up for a fourth straight month (5.2-5.3-5.6-5.8), while WRNB slid back a bit (3.1-2.8) this month. It should be noted, however, that WRNB is in within range of where it was pre-holiday.
After spending several months over a 3.0 share, RADIO ONE Gospel WPPZ slipped 3.2-2.9, although it is up from the mid-2 range it had during the summer.
CLEAR CHANNEL also received good news for Rhythmic AC WISX, which surged 2.2-3.1, placing it back at the pre-holiday levels it had.
GREATER MEDIA continues to dominate the Rock wars, with WMMR (5.2) and WMGK (4.4) in the lead. The CBS switch of Talk WYSP to Active Rock seems to have hurt CLEAR CHANNEL Alternative WRFF more than WMMR.
WRFF slipped 3.3-3.1 this month and was down for a sixth straight month. WRFF is down a staggering 41% since it scored a 5.3 in AUGUST. It is down 37% since WYSP signed on in SEPTEMBER. WMMR, however, seems to have weathered the storm; it's only off 5.6-5.2 since ‘YSP launched. Speaking of WYSP, the 2.2 they scored in JANUARY was the lowest 12+ since their launch. Are we seeing an over saturation of Rock in PHILLY?
Could WRFF also be losing some audience to non-commercial WXPN? ‘XPN scored a 1.8 12+ in JANUARY, tying for its highest month in the last seven.
A number of other stations benefited from WBEB’s return to normal levels. CBS News KYW (7.2-8.1) and sister Classic Hits WOGL (5.0-6.0) posted sharp increases. KYW had its best month in the last seven. WOGL was up, but as with a number of the GREATER MEDIA outlets - the 6.0 is still behind levels it had pre-holiday.
Houston: Radio One Rules, Cox Scores Gains
RADIO ONE rules the roost in HOUSTON as CLEAR CHANNEL AC KODA slipped from the 10.1 it scored in the Holiday book to a more normal 5.5 in JANUARY. That enabled RADIO ONE's two heritage properties to take the top two spots.
Urban AC KMJQ held at a 6.6 in JANUARY to grab the #1 position. Rhythmic sister KBXX scored a 5.7-6.1 jump -- the same number it scored in DECEMBER. It's also up a considerable 35% since AUGUST. KBXX might also have benefited from UNIVISION's recent signal swap, where Rhythmic rival KPTY moved from its 104.9 HOUSTON signal to the lesser 93.3 signal coming out of nearby BEAUMONT-PORT ARTHUR. In its second full month since the switch, KPTY slipped 2.9-2.3. The outlet averaged a 3.0 share+ when it was on 104.9.
Meanwhile, KPTY's successor on 104.9, Spanish Contemporary KAMA, is wreaking some havoc. While KAMA debuted in the holiday book with a 1.9 and repeated that share in JANUARY, it definitely had an effect on CLEAR CHANNEL rival KLOL (MEGA 101). KLOL slipped from a #3 ranking and a 5.7 in the Holiday book to a 4.0 and #11 in JANUARY. LIBERMAN Spanish Contemporary KQQK dropped 1.7-1.3. That station is off from the mid-2 range it scored early in the fall, prior to KAMA's launch. A big month came for LIBERMAN Regional Mexican KNTE (EL NORTE) vaulted 0.2-1.4.
COX has something to cheer about. Not unlike GREATER MEDIA in PHILADELPHIA, their cluster was adversely affected during the last two months by the KODA spike, but their entire group posted gains in JANUARY. Country KKBQ (4.2-4.5), Classic Hits KHTC (2.7-3.4), 80's KHPT (2.3-2.6), and Classic Country KTHT (2.5-2.5) were either flat or up in JANUARY.
JANUARY also seemed to be a good month for News/Talk/Sports formats. Most of HOUSTON's spoken word stations saw a rise in JANUARY -- most notably CLEAR CHANNEL News/Talk KTRH, which soared 3.0-4.1.
Other stations that benefited from KODA's slide: CLEAR CHANNEL Hot AC KHMX (3.6-3.8), Classic Rock KKRW (3.3-3.8) and CBS Smooth AC KHJZ (2.4-3.1).
You can reach RADIOCRUNCH's ANTHONY ACAMPORA at email@example.com.