Research Director, Inc. Presents Exclusive December PPM Analysis: Top-6 Markets
January 23, 2013
ALL ACCESS presents DECEMBER PPM market highlights, compiled by the Ratings Experts at RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. and powered by XTRENDS, radio's #1 PPM and diary analysis tool. All numbers reflect subscriber only data.
NEW YORK: Santa Came To Town
As we bask in the afterglow of playoff games and an Inauguration, we fondly gaze back on that idyllic time known as CHRISTMAS. Lo, it seems it was only a month ago ... As the PPM HOLIDAY surveys roll out, it is axiomatic to expect that the station that devoted its entire playlist to the jingling of the bells would find itself perched atop the proverbial ratings lap. What is interesting to note -- and note it we will -- is how these stations performed compared year over year. CCM+E AC WLTW (LITE FM) continued its amazing run of market dominance (8.4-11.3) to remain the lead reindeer. This was almost, but not quite, the same number the station had last year (11.5). The remainder of the top 5 was almost completely unchanged. CBS RADIO Classic Hits WCBS-F notched its fifth straight stay at #2 (6.8-6.6) while YMF MEDIA Urban AC WBLS was #3 for, you guessed it, the fifth time in a row (6.1-5.9). CCM+E Top 40/M WHTZ (Z100) remained at #4 (5.1-4.6) despite posting its lowest total since the last time JACK FROST was nipping at your nose. Rounding out the top 5 was SBS Tropical WSKQ (MEGA) (4.8-4.5). Of note outside this elite group was the performance of CBS RADIO News WINS-A, which is a full share point ahead of where it was this time last year and is tied at #7 (3.7-4.2).
Ho, Ho, Ho, who wouldn’t know that WLTW was (again) #1 25-54 and managed to hit the exact same colossal number it hit a year ago. Despite being on a minor two-book slide, WBLS managed to rise into a tie at #2 with WSKQ, which could not quite match its best book of the year from last survey. On the other hand, WCBS-F scored its best book since APRIL to inch up a slot to #4 while WHTZ had its lowest book since JANUARY to fall a couple of places to #5.
For the first time since last CHRISTMAS (when I gave you my heart), WLTW is #1 18-34 and this year’s number is noticeably larger than last. This sudden growth forced WHTZ to relinquish its hold on the top spot and slide to #2. WSKQ remained at #3 while two stations flip-flopped in the rankings. UNIVISION Spanish Contemporary WXNY (X96.3) moved up to #4 while EMMIS Top 40/R WQHT (HOT 97) slipped to #5.
Not surprisingly, WLTW was the #1 station 18-49 even though its number was not quite as robust as the one it posted last year. WHTZ endured its lowest book since last year yet remained at #2, though it is now tied with WSKQ. CCM+E Top 40/M WKTU inched up a slot to #4, followed closely by WXNY, which had its best book in over a year. All this upward mobility had a casualty as WBLS fell out of the top 5 for the first time since APRIL.
LOS ANGELES: The Yule Duel
It is rare that we see two radio stations battle it out by decking the halls with their playlists --especially in a market the size of LOS ANGELES. Yet, the radio audience voted with its ears and decided that there was room for one more. CCM+E AC KOST is the perennial CHRISTMAS favorite and it did not disappoint by affixing its star atop the palm tree (7.1-10.2). This is well ahead of what it found in its stocking last year (8.5). CCM+E Top 40/M KIIS (KISS FM) is also well ahead of the pace it set last year when it was languishing at #5 as it maintained its hold on #2 (5.6-5.5). Cluster sister CCM+E Hot AC KBIG (MY FM) remained a solid #3 (4.8-4.8) and is in a much better place than the #8 it had last year. The melodic strains of jingle bell jazz propelled CBS RADIO Smooth Jazz KTWV (THE WAVE) to its best rating in over a year (3.1-4.0) as the station climbed from a tie at #9 to #4. A year ago, CCM+E Talk KFI-A was tied as the second-most-listened-to station in town. This year, it finds itself slipping a slot to #5 (4.2-3.7).
Fa-la-laing its way to #1 25-54 for the second book in a row was KOST, which also bested its total from last year by over a share. Though it was flat, KBIG inched up a spot to #2 sending KIIS to its lowest ranking since FEBRUARY at #3. CBS RADIO Alternative KROQ maintained its hold on #4 ahead of UNIVISION Regional Mexican KSCA (LA 101.9) at #5. And the "other" CHRISTMAS station? KTWV rose from a tie at #18 to #12.
Despite all the magic of the CHRISTMAS season, KIIS held on to the top spot 18-34 with its best book in over a year. KOST moved up from #4 to #2 and managed to post a number that was a full two share points better than last year’s. EMMIS Top 40/R KPWR (POWER) inched up a spot to #3, displacing KBIG, which slipped to #4. CBS RADIO Top 40/M KAMP (AMP) remained at #5 but is now tied with cluster buddy KROQ ,which had its best book since OCTOBER. As for Kringle 2.0, KTWV rose from a tie at #19 to a tie at #11, the highest it has been in this demo in over a year.
Order was restored 18-49 as RUDOLPH led the way for KOST as it took #1 with a number a full share higher than last year. The last time KIIS was not #1 was exactly a year ago. The rest of the top 5 remained in place with KBIG at #3, KPWR at #4 and KROQ at #5. Santa’s other helper, KTWV, rose from #18 to a tie at #11 with its best ratings in over a year.
CHICAGO: Do You Hear What I Hear?
If it is the sound of sleigh bells jingling, then we are on the same meter. As expected, CCM+E AC WLIT (LITE FM) was the bright star in the Midwest as it moved to #1 for the first time since the last time it was so jolly (6.0-10.0). However, its stocking was not quite as full as last year’s when the station had an 11.3. All this chestnut roasting forced CCM+E Urban AC WVAZ (V103) to exit the top spot for the first time since APRIL (6.1-6.1). CBS RADIO News WBBM-A was down for the second book in a row (5.1-5.0) but still held firm at #3. TRIBUNE N/T WGN-A took over sole possession of #4 (4.2-4.2) ahead of a two-way tie at #5. UNIVISION Regional Mexican WOJO (LA BUENA) moved up a spot (4.0-3.9) while HUBBARD Hot AC WTMX (MIX) dropped down one (4.2-3.9) by matching its lowest book of the year. What is going on with CCM+E Regional Mexican WNUA (EL PATRON)? The station leaped from #14 all the way up to a tie at #8 (3.0-3.5).
While the weather outside is frightful, the 25-54 ratings for WLIT are delightful as the station came dangerously close to doubling its share from DECEMBER and held on at #1. Compared to last year, the number, while still dizzyingly high, was not quite in the same stratospheric range. WVAZ remained at #2 while two stations were knotted at #3 – WOJO and WTMX. CCM+E Top 40/M WKSC (KISS FM) maintained its hold on #5. Elsewhere, HUBBARD Classic Hits WDRV (THE DRIVE) had its lowest book in over a year to drop to #10 while WNUA continued its recent surge by rising from #13 to a tie at #8.
Those hoof prints in the snow are from WLIT, which launched itself from #7 to a tie at #1 18-34. However, this year’s all-CHRISTMAS number is two-and-a-half points lower than it was in 2011. The real surprise here is that there is another station that is also #1 – WNUA, which as recently as JUNE was #19. CCM+E Urban WGCI ended a four-book run at #1 by slipping to #3. WKSC ended a brief stay outside the top 5 by moving up to #4 just ahead of CRAWFORD Urban WPWX (POWER 92) at #5. WTMX posted its lowest number since JANUARY to tumble from #2 to #7.
The folks at WLIT are hanging this book by the chimney with care as the station zoomed from #3 to #1 18-49. Still, this year’s total is a full two share points lower than last year’s. WTMX posted its lowest number since the last HOLIDAY book (a coincidence?) and slipped to #2. WNUA continued its amazing surge by moving from #8 to #3. It was #21 in JULY. WKSC inched up a slot to #4 while WGCI slipped on the ice and dropped from #2 into a three-way tie at #5 with WOJO and WVAZ.
SAN FRANCISCO: A New Born King Of The Ratings
It looks like the incessant drum of "par rum pump um pum" (actual phonetics!) was music to the ears of the crew at ENTERCOM AC KOIT as the station assumed its expected position at #1 (5.4-7.8). Why it was only a year ago it did the very same thing, though this time the ratings stocking was a little lighter than 2011’s 8.2. This ended KQED INC. N/T KQED’s brief tenure on top of the chimney as it slid a slot to #2 (6.0-5.5). CBS RADIO NEWS KCBS-A remained a market force, even though it was pushed down a slot to #3 (5.4-5.2). CCM+E Top 40/R KMEL had an amazing book that was not aided by PEM (Performance Enhancing Music). The station popped its best book since SEPTEMBER (3.8-4.1) to zoom up the charts from #9 to #4. Sports remained a hot topic as CUMULUS Sports KNBR-A kept its clubhouse pass for the top 5 despite posting its lowest number since MARCH (4.2-3.8).
Coming right down SANTA CLAUS Lane and into the #1 position 25-54 was KOIT, which moved up a couple of spots. As we saw with 6+, the station’s share was not quite as rosy-cheeked as it was last year. KQED followed its best book of 2012 with something not quite as beefy and slipped to #2. UNIVISION Regional Mexican KSOL (ESTEREO SOL) followed its best book of the year with its lowest number since AUGUST to slip a slot to #3. The two stations that were tied at #4 last survey were still there. CCM+E Top 40/Rhythmic KYLD (WILD) and cluster associate CCM+E Hot AC KIOI (STAR) both slipped a bit on the same patch of ice.
The one question we have for 18-34 would be: do they know it’s CHRISTMAS? The Kringle effect was negligible in this demo as KMEL continued its non-stop run at #1 with its best book since SEPTEMBER. KYLD had its lowest book since AUGUST but held on at #2. KSOL was still #3 while CBS RADIO Top 40/Rhythmic KMVQ (NOW) remained at #4 despite posting its lowest number since the last time SANTA came to town. Trimming the radio tree certainly had a positive effect on KOIT, just not to the market-dominance level. Two books ago the station was #17, but it has now put in two consecutive stays at #5, though this year’s number did not come close to matching last year’s.
KOIT hopped on the turntable and rode the CHRISTMAS music from a tie at #4-#1 18-49 with the exact same number it had last year. KMEL was also feeling the CHRISTMAS spirit as it moved up from its own tie at #4-#2. KQED, on the other hand, was not praising GOOD KING WENCESLAS, as the station slid from #1 to #3 – still far better than the #7 position it was in a year ago. Last survey, two stations were tied at #2. Not this time. KYLD posted its lowest number in over a year to fall to #4 while KSOL did the exact same thing, except it fell to #5.
DALLAS-FT.WORTH: Those Are Some Well Hung Stockings
When last we looked at the DFW, there was a battle brewing in the All-CHRISTMAS arena. Two stations with decidedly different flavors flipped within days of each other. The perennial favorite was CBS RADIO AC KVIL (LITE FM) and it did not disappoint (6.1-8.5), as the station skated from #2 to #1. This was a much larger tree than last year’s 7.4. When was the last time CCM+E Top 40/M KHKS (KISS FM) failed to lead the pack? You guessed it ... HOLIDAY 2011. This time the station posted its lowest book (6.6-6.3) in over a year and moved down a spot to #2. The "other" all-CHRISTMAS station -- SALEM Christian Contemporary KLTY -- caught a gust of FROSTY wind but had to settle for remaining at #3 (5.5-5.9). Unlike most All-CHRISTMAS stations, this was not KLTY’s best book of the year. CCM+E Classic Rock KZPS (LONE STAR) assumed sole possession of #4 (4.7-4.3) despite its lowest number since SEPTEMBER. CCM+E Hot AC KDMX (NOW) moved up a couple of slots to claim the final position in the top 5 (4.1-4.2). CUMULUS Country KPLX (THE WOLF) had its lowest book since APRIL and fell from a tie at #4 to a tie at #6 (4.7-4.1).
The yule duel was not evident 25-54 as KVIL assumed control by moving up a slot to #1 with a total that was noticeably larger than last year’s haul. It seems elfin magic is the only thing that can keep KHKS from the top spot as it fell to #2 for the first time since the last time the bells were jingling. UNIVISION Regional Mexican KLNO (LA QUE BUENA) was up for the third straight book and moved from a tie at #4 to sole ownership of #3. KDMX now has the #4 position all to itself while KZPS was down for the second straight month and dropped a couple of spots to #5. All ye faithful were not coming to KLTY as the station remained where it was last time at #6 (but this time it had to share the spot with SERVICE Urban AC KRNB, which incidentally, was on a steady, four-book upswing).
Try as they might, the sugar plum fairies could not keep KHKS out of the top spot 18-34 though the station did post its lowest number in over a year. KVIL had a wonderful Christmastime as the station moved from #6 to #2 with a number that was a share-and-a-half higher than last year. SERVICE Urban KKDA (K104) remained in control of #3 while KLNO was a solid #4. KDMX returned to the top 5. KPLX, on the other hand, had its lowest number since JUNE to fall from #2 to #6. The wise men did not pay a visit to KLTY, as the station fell from a tie at #10 to #14.
In NOVEMBER, KVIL was #17 18-49. Now, after a healthy dose of figgy pudding, the station moved up a couple of spots to #1 with a number slightly better than last year’s. Last year, KHKS managed to withstand the assault of the nutcrackers and held on to the top spot. Not this time, as the station posted its lowest number in over a year to slide to #2. This caused a ripple effect as KLNO also fell a spot to #3. KDMX jumped a couple of spots to #4 while KZPS remained at #5. KPLX posted its lowest number since MAY to fall from a tie at #3 to #9. While KLTY did rise from #8 to a tie at #6, its number was actually a bit lower than last survey.
HOUSTON-GALVESTON: One Up, One Down
As we saw in DALLAS, there were two different flavors of All-CHRISTMAS music here. This time, the results were dramatically different. The clear winner was CCM+E AC KODA (SUNNY), which was #1 for the second straight book (8.4-11.3). This year’s version of the sounds of the season was just a shade lighter than last year’s 12.0 share. There seemed to be precious little trickle-down effect as a result of all this ho-ho-hoing. RADIO ONE Top 40/R KBXX (THE BOX) remained at #2 but actually posted its best number since JULY (8.0-8.4). Cluster colleague RADIO ONE Urban AC KMJQ (MAJIC) had its best book since SEPTEMBER (6.6-6.7) to remain at #3. UNIVISION Regional Mexican KLTN (ESTEREO LATINO) posted its highest number in over a year (6.0-6.2) to stay put at #4. CCM+E Alternative KTBZ (THE BUZZ) caught its best ratings since AUGUST (4.6-4.9) to inch up a spot to #5. The news for the "other" CHRISTMAS station was not so cheery as KSBJ EDUCATIONAL Christian Contemporary KSBJ actually scored its lowest number in over a year (4.9-3.9) and fell a spot to #6.
The CHRISTMAS story continued 25-54 as KODA rose from #2 to #1 with a number that was just slightly smaller than last year’s. Meanwhile, KBXX was up for the fifth book in a row but did drop a spot to #2. KLTN nestled itself nicely at #3 while KTBZ unwrapped its best book since AUGUST to take over sole possession of #4. KMJQ slid out of a tie at #4 to #5. The angels did not get many wings as KSBJ slipped from #8 to a tie at #9.
CHRISTMAS music? Bah, humbug! KBXX still rules the roost 18-34 with yet another dominant book. KLTN posted its best book in over a year to remain at #2. KODA did move up a couple of spots to #3 with a number that was noticeably smaller than last year’s. KTBZ was down for the fourth straight book and slipped from #3 to #4. LIBERMAN Regional Mexican KTJM (LA RAZA) matched its best book of the year but was forced down a spot to #5. There was little CHRISTMAS magic for KSBJ as the station moved from #15 to a tie at #14.
This is the first market we have reviewed where the CHRISTMAS station was not #1 18-49. The title went to the reigning KBXX. That wasn’t the case last HOLIDAY book as KODA did manage to wrestle the title away from THE BOX. This time, SUNNY had to settle for #2 with a smaller number than last year. Both KLTN and KTBZ were forced to take one step back to #3 and #4, respectively. KMJQ held firm at #5. Meanwhile, KSBJ received the proverbial lump of coal and fell from a tie at #10 to a tie at #14.