Research Director, Inc. Presents Exclusive October PPM Analysis For Houston, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Atlanta And Boston
October 29, 2013
ALL ACCESS presents OCTOBER 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.
Welcome back to round two of our analysis of the latest PPM results for some of AMERICA’s biggest markets. As the major headline announced, this time we delve into five more markets whose names may be familiar to you. And, even though this survey is officially dubbed OCTOBER, it actually spent more time in the previous month as the effective dates for the following information were 9/12/13-10/09/13.
As always, we will bow to local market knowledge so if you wish to illuminate, magnify or correct any of our observations, please feel free to reach out to us through a variety of platforms:
HOUSTON-GALVESTON: Familiar Turf
For the ninth consecutive month, the same five stations occupy space in the top five. There may be some flipping and flopping each month but two things remain constant – they are the top five and RADIO ONE Top 40/R KBXX (THE BOX) is their leader. The station did record its lowest number since JANUARY (7.8-7.5) and saw its market lead shrink to less than a share, but it remained #1 nonetheless. CCM+E AC KODA (SUNNY) is counting down the days until SANTA brings its baby back, but the station did score its best book since APRIL (6.5-6.6) to move up one notch to #2. RADIO ONE Urban AC KMJQ (MAJIC) saw its four-month run at #2 come to a grinding halt. The station dropped a spot to #3 on the strength of its lowest number in exactly one year (6.6-6.1). COX RADIO Country KKBQ (93Q) had been a marvel of consistency for most of 2013 and that trend continued (5.7-5.6) as it remained at #4. UNIVISION Regional Mexican KLTN (ESTEREO LATINO) had also been quite consistent – until last month. Fortunately, the station bounced back from its lowest book of the year (4.9-5.4) to hang on to the #5 position.
Once again, it was the usual suspects populating the top five with the most usual suspect of all leading the 25-54 pack. KBXX did post its lowest number since FEBRUARY, and when you combine that with KODA having its best book since the most wonderful time of the year – you have the makings of an honest-to-goodness horse race. KLTN, which had been #1 a mere two months ago, rebounded from a particularly soft book to move up a slot to #3. KKBQ also moved up a spot to #4 after roping in its best book since MARCH. KMJQ matched its lowest total of the year and dropped back two spaces to #5.
A new demo – 18-34 – gives us a chance to talk about some new stations. But first, we all bow to the juggernaut that is KBXX. Though the station had its lowest number since APRIL, it still leads the market by over five shares over CCM+E Alternative KTBZ (THE BUZZ). That station caught one as it posted its highest number in over a year to leap from #4 to #2. KLTN was flat and happy to remain at #3 while KKBQ was down for the second straight month to drop back two steps to #4. CBS RADIO Top 40/M KKHH (HOT) had its best book in over a year to jump from #7 to #5. The station has added over two shares of bulk to its frame since JUNE.
Pretty much what you’ve seen to this point is what you got 18-49. KBXX was #1, but with its lowest book since APRIL, the station’s margin of victory was under three shares. Two stations are currently sharing the title of runner-up. KKBQ was there last time and had a slight share increase while KLTN had a bigger version of the slight increase to move up a spot from #3. KTBZ had its best book since MAY, but was content (we assume) to remain at #4 while KODA was up smartly for the second straight book to hold on to #5.
WASHINGTON, DC: This Just In …
One thing we can be sure of in the PPM age is that when acute, local events rear their heads, listening patterns will change. In the case of our NATION’S CAPITOL, this survey contained two major events. The tragic shootings at the NAVY YARD and the impending government shutdown. While news-oriented programming usually leads the market, you will see that this was even more pronounced this survey. AMERICAN UNIVERSITY N/T WAMU was #1 for the fourth straight month and had its biggest share since MARCH (7.3-8.6). HUBBARD News WTOP was in the runner-up position – also for the fourth straight survey – after reporting its best book since JUNE (6.6-7.8). Looking a bit further down the chart, CUMULUS Talk WMAL-F benefited from all the inside-the-Beltway in-fighting by posting its best number since FEBRUARY (3.4-4.1) to move from #13 into a tie at #8. The market events also appeared to drive listening away from the music side of the dial. CCM+E Top 40/M WIHT (HOT) remained at #3 with its lowest share in over a year (6.3-5.8). HOWARD UNIVERSITY Urban AC WHUR stayed put at #4 (5.9-5.5). Two other stations became partners at #5 – CCM+E AC WASH had its lowest total since APRIL (5.6-4.9) while RADIO ONE Urban AC WMMJ (MAJIC) moved up a spot from #6 despite posting its lowest total since MAY (5.5-4.9).
The news was good for WTOP 25-54 as the station had its highest total since MARCH to leap up the charts from #4 to #1. WIHT slipped to #2 – ending a three-month run at #1. WHUR also dropped a spot to #3 while WAMU had its highest number since JUNE to move ahead two spaces to #4. WASH was off a bit to fall two spots to #5 while RADIO ONE Urban WKYS (KISS) slid three places to #8. One of the few music stations bucking this month’s trend was CCM+E Classic Hits WBIG, which had its best book in over a year to leap from #10 to #6.
Music was the preferred radio of choice for the 18-34 crowd as WIHT continued its dominating ways, with its best showing since MAY and extended its lead over #2 WKYS, which had its lowest total in exactly one year, to almost three full shares. CBS RADIO Top 40/R WPGC remained at #3 despite a bit of ratings slippage while CCM+E Alternative WWDC (DC 101) was up slightly to hold on at #4. CCM+E Country WMZQ lost a bit of share but held firm at #5. In case you were wondering, WAMU was flat and moved from #7 to #8 while WTOP edged up from #11 into a tie at #9.
The song remained pretty much the same 18-49 as WIHT was #1 again, though with its lowest number in over a year while WKYS had its smallest book in exactly one year yet remained at #2. WASH had its lowest number since APRIL and stayed at #3 though it is now in a partnership arrangement with WWDC, which moved up a spot from #4. WHUR was off slightly but did not budge from #5. WTOP jumped from a tie at #10 to #6 while WAMU moved up slightly from #9 into a tie at #8.
PHILADELPHIA: B Roll
Any way you slice it, WEAZ-FM RADIO AC WBEB (B101) is one very strong and very consistent radio station. It began the year doing the typical post-CHRISTMAS ratings flounder, but beginning in APRIL, the station had been smokin’ – as evidenced by its latest performance (7.0-7.5). CBS RADIO Classic Hits WOGL ended a two-book slide by posting its second-best number of the past year (5.4-6.0) to jump from a tie at #4 back to #2. Meanwhile, CCM+E Urban AC WDAS was fortunate enough to have a slight ratings increase (5.8-5.9) but suffered the misfortune of dropping back one square to #3. GREATER MEDIA Active Rock WMMR had another solid showing (5.7-5.7) yet it, too, was forced to take one step back to #4. Its older cluster brother – GREATER MEDIA Classic Rock WMGK – landed its best book in over a year (5.4-5.6), yet dropped out of a tie at #4 and into a tie at #5 with a somewhat surprising entry. Apparently, the new run ‘n’ gun or chuck ‘n’ shoot offense of the EAGLES had that added benefit of helping CBS RADIO Sports WIP-F score some more numbers as the station easily recorded its best book in over a year (5.0-5.6) to jump up from #8.
As we slice and dice the 25-54 demo, it is worth pointing out how strong WMMR has been for most of the year – extending its streak of #1 books to seven while typically maintaining more than a share-point lead over #2 WBEB, which just landed its best book since APRIL once again. Speaking of that fateful month, at that point in history, WMGK was sitting in a tie at #10. Since that time, the station has added two full shares to its resume, and its most recent effort took it from a tie at #5 to #3. WDAS also had its best number since APRIL, which resulted in a repeat appearance at #4. WIP-F was up for the fourth straight book and connected with its best number in over a year to stutter-step from #8 to #5. For the first time in over a year, CCM+E Alternative WRFF (RADIO 104.5) was not in the top five in this demo. This might have been due to the station scoring its lowest number since JANUARY. Either way, it fell three spots to #6.
No sooner had we written about WRFF’s recent demise, then we opened up the 18-34 spreadsheet and – bang – there the station was at #1. Not that we were surprised or anything as this was the fourth straight month it was on top. However, it was also the fourth straight monthly decline and its lead has shrunk to half a point over a trio of would-be contenders, all now tied at #2. Cluster mate CCM+E Urban WUSL (POWER) was there last month and remained where it was with a slight increase. WMMR also had a bit of an increase to move up from #3 while WBEB had its best book since it was playing reindeer games to vault up four spots from #6. BEASLEY Country WXTU sported the exact same number for the third straight book and moved from a tie at #4 to #5. WDAS also dropped out of a tie at #4 and fell a bit farther – all the way to #8.
Most of the players remained the same 18-49 but some of their arrangements were altered. WMMR did not budge from the top spot while WBEB remained at #2, though it did narrow the gap a bit. WDAS had its best performance since JANUARY to move forward two spaces to #3. WRFF did post its lowest number in over a year but only dropped back one place to #4 while WXTU slipped slightly to move back one spot to #5.
ATLANTA: Keep Talkin’
Last month, it came as a bit of a surprise that COX RADIO Talk WSB-A ascended to the market throne. After all, that is usually where we find CBS RADIO Urban AC WVEE (V103). But, the precedent had been established in JUNE when RADIO ONE Urban AC WAMJ (MAJIC) swept in and took control. However, that was a brief departure from the norm. Now, we find that WSB-A was #1 again with yet another solid book (8.0-7.9), which may or may not have been fueled by incessant chatter about the government shutdown. WVEE was unable to reclaim the lead as it scored its lowest number in over a year (7.9-7.1) to remain at #2 while MAJIC held strong at #3 with another solid showing (6.7-6.8). A couple of cluster buddies were tied at #4 last survey and while both had up books, they are no longer united by anything more than the corporate logo. COX RADIO Urban AC WALR (KISS) ended a three-book slide (6.3-6.6) to remain at #4 while COX RADIO AC WSB-F (B98.5) also stopped a three-book skid (6.3-6.5) to end up at #5.
While all the headlines are blaring that WVEE was not #1 6+, the station kept right on owning 25-54. And, even though V103 posted its lowest number in over a year, it still holds a two-share lead over the market’s newest #2 station – WAMJ – which stepped forward two spaces from #4. WSB-F remained at #3 with a slightly down book while its cluster brother COX RADIO Classic Hits WSRV (THE RIVER) swam downstream with its lowest book since JANUARY and dropped from #2 to #4. CUMULUS Top 40/M WWWQ (Q100) secured its best book in over a year, but had to settle for remaining at #5.
If one book is an anomaly, could two be the beginning of a trend? Time will tell, but this was the second straight month in the top spot 18-34 for RADIO ONE Urban WHTA (HOT) though the station’s lead over #2 WVEE was cut by about 75% – mostly because HOT lost a ton o’ share. WWWQ had its best book in precisely one year to remain at #3 while WSB-F had its best showing in over a year to move up a notch to #4. CCM+E Regional Mexican WBZY (EL PATRON) had its best number since MARCH yet fell a spot to #5.
WVEE is a strong, consistent performer 18-49 and it continues to dominate this demo. WSB-F had its best book since FEBRUARY to move up a spot to #2 yet it still trails V103 by over two and a half shares. WHTA cooled off a bit to slip from #2 into a tie at #3 with WWWQ, which moved up from a tie at #4 with its best book in over a year. WAMJ bounced back from a slightly down book to move back into the top five from #6. WSRV was down for the third straight survey and slid from a tie at #4 to #6.
BOSTON: No Shaving Allowed
We will refrain from shaving for the entirety of this section … Last year, CCM+E Top 40/M WXKS (KISS 108) was #1 with an 8.2 – well ahead of the competition. This year has been a slightly different story as the station actually surrendered the crown for a couple of months. It is back on top for the second straight survey (7.2-7.3) but is definitely in a dog fight. CBS RADIO Classic Rock WZLX had its best book in over a year (6.6-7.0) and moved up a slot to #2 while GREATER MEDIA Country WKLB – the former #1 station – dropped a spot to #3 with its lowest number since MARCH (7.1-6.5). GREATER MEDIA AC WMJX (MAGIC) was down for the third straight month (5.6-5.5) but remained at #4. Two cluster mates with eerily similar names found themselves tied at #5. CBS RADIO Sports WBZ-F (THE SPORTS HUB) rode a little thing called the NFL to its best number since it rode a littler thing called the NHL back in JUNE (4.6-5.4). CBS RADIO News WBZ-A was flat (5.4-5.4) but managed to inch up a spot from #6. GREATER MEDIA Classic Hits WROR picked up its lowest book in over a year (5.6-5.1) and slid from a tie at #4 to #7.
WXKS continued to lead the way 25-54 but the race did get a little tighter as WZLX moved up a slot to #2 with its highest number in over a year. WBZ-F had a very strong showing to move from a tie at #4 to #3 while WKLB was down for the third straight month to slip from #2 to #4. WMJX scored its lowest total in over a year to slip from a tie at #4 to #5. ENTERCOM Sports WEEI-F enjoyed the RED SAWX post-season run as the station launched its best number in over a year to move from #11 to #7.
WXKS matched its lowest book of the year 18-34 – set last month – but remained the clear market leader though a resurgent CCM+E Top 40/R WJMN (JAM’N) closed the gap a bit at #2. In a bit of a surprise, WBZ-F jumped from a tie at #5 all the way to #3. Even more dramatic was WZLX, which launched itself from #9 to #4. This did create a bit of fallout. GREATER MEDIA Rhythmic AC WBQT (HOT) dipped from #3 to #5 while WKLB dropped from #4 to #6. Oh, and let’s not exclude GREATER MEDIA Alternative WBOS (RADIO 92.9), which dropped from a tie at #5 to #9.
The players remained the same 18-49 but there was a slight change in some of their positions. WXKS was in its usual #1 spot and bounced back from its lowest book of the year. Meanwhile, WBZ-F moved up a spot to #2. What a difference a year makes. In 2012 the SOX were eating fried chicken and drinking beer, now they’re in the WORLD SERIES. That made a two-share difference for THE SPORTS HUB. WZLX had a great book and was rewarded by bopping up a spot to #3. WKLB had its lowest book since NOVEMBER to drop two spots to #4 while WJMN was up slightly to remain at #5.
We can now shave ….
So concludes this latest episode of CSI: NIELSEN AUDIO. Stay tuned to many of these same fine platforms for our next installment, when we examine the trials and tribulations of DETROIT, MIAMI, SEATTLE, PHOENIX and MINNEAPOLIS.