Research Director, Inc. Presents Exclusive February PPM Analysis: New York, Los Angeles And Chicago
March 18, 2013
ALL ACCESS presents FEBRUARY 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: Preserving The Status Quo
It was a relatively uneventful month in the City That Never Sleeps, unless you factor in a major snow storm, some serious injuries to the YANKEES, and a lack of large soft drinks. While these topics may have been on the lips of New Yorkers, they had precious little effect on their ears as the top-5 stations remained completely unchanged. CCM+E AC WLTW (LITE FM) continued to ride roughshod over the market (7.2-7.6) as the station posted its best non-CHRISTMAS-influenced book since JUNE to remain #1. Despite suffering its third consecutive down book (6.2-6.1), CBS RADIO Classic Hits WCBS-F remained a solid #2. YMF MEDIA Urban AC WBLS was also down for the third month in a row (5.7-5.5) yet it remained unchallenged as the #3 station in town. CCM+E Top 40/M WHTZ (Z100) also experienced a bit of ratings deflation (5.4-5.1) to remain at #4 for the fourth straight month. Rounding out the top 5 was CBS RADIO News WINS-A, which posted its best book since NOVEMBER (4.5-4.7). In case you were wondering about the Country hoopla, in its first full book CUMULUS Country WNSH (NASH-FM) went 0.6-1.6 and climbed from a tie at #32 to a tie at #20.
WLTW continued to run unabated at #1 25-54 as it posted a strong recovery from its post-CHRISTMAS experience and is a full share beefier that it was this time last year. WHTZ was not able to maintain last month’s surge but still managed to hold on at #2. Clocking in at #3 was WBLS while SBS Tropical WSKQ (MEGA) remained ensconced at #4. Two stations were doing a pas-de-deux at #5 with CCM+E Classic Rock WAXQ (Q104.3) moving up from #6, despite a slight down book, while WCBS-F remained right where it was. WNSH climbed from a tie at #31 to own #21 all by itself.
There was a reversal of roles 18-34 as two stations decided to switch places this survey. While it is not unusual for WLTW to be #1, it is usually associated with all that jingling music. This is the first time in over a year the station was #1 in this demo by playing the usual suspects. Despite posting its highest number since JUNE, WHTZ was forced to play second fiddle to its cluster-mate. Yet another cluster dweller, CCM+E Urban WWPR (POWER), had its best book since AUGUST to move from a tie at #4 to #3. WSKQ edged up a bit from #6 to #4 while EMMIS Top 40/R WQHT (HOT) slipped from a tie at #4 to #5. WNSH moseyed on up from a tie at #21 to a tie at #17.
Let’s make it a clean demo sweep for WLTW as the station ascended to the #1 throne 18-49 with its best non-Christmas-influenced book in over a year. Once again, this forced its cluster compatriot, WHTZ, to abdicate the crown and move down to #2. WSKQ remained flat at #3 while UNIVISION Spanish Contemporary WXNY (X96.3) took sole possession of #4. CCM+E Top 40/R WKTU scored its lowest number in over a year to fall from a tie at #4 into a tie at #5 with WWPR, which rushed in from #8. WNSH continued its improvement as the station sauntered from #29 to #20.
LOS ANGELES: Fit To Be Tied
What a difference a year makes. Last FEBRUARY, CCM+E Top 40/M KIIS (KISS FM) (5.7-5.4) was mired at #3 with a meager 4.4 share while its cluster cousin, CCM+E Hot AC KBIG (MY FM) (5.4-5.4), was stuck at #4 with a measly 4.2 share. Currently? Both stations share the top spot in market #2. This month was certainly a cluster party, as CCM+E AC KOST held on to #3 despite shedding more audience in its post-CHRISTMAS run (5.3-4.8). Yet another member of the troupe, CCM+E Talk KFI-A, posted its best number since the election-fueled frenzy that was NOVEMBER (4.0-4.6) to take over sole ownership of #4. The one interloper in the top 5 was CBS RADIO Top 40/M KAMP (AMP), which scored its best book in over a year (3.4-4.1) to rocket from a tie at #8 to #5.
KBIG maintained its hold on the top spot 25-54 for the second month in a row. This is not an unusual occurrence for the station, but it is worth noting that its shares are over a point heftier than they were a year ago when the station was also #1. The same metrics apply to the #2 station -- KIIS -- though this time last year it was all the way down at #4. KOST has returned to its more familiar ratings range yet remained a solid, if distant, #3. CBS RADIO Alternative KROQ found itself at #4 for the fourth straight month while UNIVISION Regional Mexican KSCA slipped back into the top 5 from #6.
For the fourth month in a row, KIIS owned the top spot 18-34. Despite a slight down book, the station still holds a sizable advantage over #2 EMMIS Top 40/R KPWR (POWER), which posted its lowest number since OCTOBER. KAMP was up for the third month in a row and posted its best book since JULY, which allowed the station to move from #4 to #3. This upward movement displaced KBIG, which was forced to step down a spot to #4. Rounding out the top 5 was KROQ, which was on a two-book slide.
KIIS scored its lowest non-CHRISTMAS-influenced number 18-49 since OCTOBER yet was able to hold on at #1. A year ago it was also #1 but it had a number that was over a share higher than it currently has. KBIG was flat to hold steady at #2 with a pretty hefty advantage over KPWR at #3. By dropping its best book since JULY, KAMP moved from #6 into a tie at #4 with KROQ, which matched its lowest book since DECEMBER.
CHICAGO: That Was Then, This Is Now
Often, one needs to take a step back and view the larger picture in order to see how a market has changed. The top-three stations in CHICAGO have been power players for quite some time. Yet, compared to where each was last FEBRUARY, their relative power has grown. CCM+E Urban AC WVAZ (V103) landed its best book in over a year (6.2-6.6) to remain at #1 and was almost two full shares stronger than last year’s 4.7 when the station was tied at #2. HUBBARD Hot AC WTMX (MIX) also scored its highest number in over a year (4.8-5.3) to move from #3 to a tie at #2. This year’s total was considerably bulkier than last year’s 4.5, which had the station tied at #4. Sharing the spotlight at #2 was CBS RADIO News WBBM-A (4.9-5.3), which had its best book since NOVEMBER and was well ahead of last year’s 4.7. Last year, TRIBUNE N/T WGN-A was #1 with a 5.4 share. This time around the station posted its best share since last APRIL (4.5-4.9) and remained at #4. Moving back into the top 5 for the first time since SEPTEMBER, CCM+E Top 40/M WKSC (KISS FM) jumped up from a tie at #8 (3.5-3.9).
That loud sound you heard was the ratings explosion experienced by WTMX 25-54 as the station scored its best number in over a year -- a full two shares higher than last FERUARY when the station was also #1. WVAZ remained a solid, if more distant, #2 while WKSC jumped from #6 to #3 with its best book since OCTOBER. The next three stations also made some serious noise in this demo. CCM+E Urban WGCI reversed a three-book slide to soar from #10 to #4. WBBM-A jumped from #12 into a tie at #5 with cluster brother (and similarly call-lettered) CBS RADIO Top 40/M WBBM-F (B96), which made the move from #11. The one casualty of all these top 5 move-ins was HUBBARD Classic Hits WDRV (THE DRIVE), which dropped from #5 to a tie at #12.
What the heck is going on at CCM+E Regional Mexican WNUA (EL PATRON)? The station is #1 18-34 for the third book in a row. That is not the story. What is amazing here is that the station’s current number is more than four times higher than it was as recently as JUNE. WGCI remained a distant #2 while WTMX had its best book since OCTOBER to move up a spot to #3. WVAZ doubled its share since OCTOBER and just jumped from a tie at #9 to #4. WKSC scored its best book since SEPTEMBER but had to settle for holding on to #5. Keep an eye on MERLIN Alternative WKQX (Q87.7), which had its best book since changing formats in MAY and moved from a tie at #9 to #6.
For the second month in a row, WTMX posted its best number in over a year. This kind of explosive power kept the station at #1 18-49, comfortably ahead of WVAZ, which also happened to score its best book in over a year. WNUA was up for the fourth straight book but slipped a slot to #3 while WGCI had its highest number since JUNE to remain at #4. WKSC remained solidly entrenched at #5 with its highest total since OCTOBER.