Research Director, Inc. Presents Exclusive June PPM Analysis For N.Y., L.A., Chicago, San Francisco And Dallas
July 8, 2014
We return from the abyss to present yet another round of inside analysis on the ratings fortunes of AMERICA’s largest markets. One of the variables we consider when analyzing ratings performance is market events. Whether it be a major weather incident, a dramatic sports story, or – as we will see here – a change of the seasons.
The JUNE 2014 survey is really only half right as it covered the dates of MAY 22nd through JUNE 18th. The very first week of the survey was neatly bisected by the MEMORIAL DAY holiday weekend. Often referred to as the official beginning of summer – or as they say in MINNEAPOLIS, “not winter” – this also begins to alter the lifestyles and listening patterns of your typical meterkeeper. This is why it is important to take a longer view and see how your station is trending, because an individual month may be squirrely (the true scientific term for it).
And, now, with the help of our friends at XTRENDS, let us begin our task …
NEW YORK: La Mega Mutha
When we last visited our intrepid heroes, it appeared that CCM+E AC WLTW (LITE FM) was under siege from CBS RADIO Classic Hits WCBS-F as the latter had narrowed the gap betwixt the two to the slimmest of margins. However, this time the drama was less intense. WLTW strengthened its #1 position with its best FROSTY-free book in over a year (6.8-7.1). WCBS-F went in a slightly different direction (6.6-6.3). EMMIS Urban AC WBLS enjoyed its final direct-competitor-free book by claiming sole possession of the #3 slot by remaining completely flat (5.6-5.6). SBS Tropical WSKQ (MEGA) was up for the second month in a row and posted its best number in over a year (5.1-5.5) to move forward a step to #4. CCM+E Top 40/M WHTZ took a couple of steps back to #5 with its lowest share since FEBRUARY (5.6-5.2). With the YANKEES floating around the .500 mark, CBS RADIO Sports WFAN-F (THE FAN) was also in a bit of a slump (3.8-3.1) as it dropped five places to #14. Interestingly enough, the station is in almost the exact same position as it was a year ago … when the home team was also struggling. The station formerly known as AMP – CBS RADIO Top 40/M WNOW (NOW) – celebrated its first full book under a new moniker by remaining at #15 – though it was up slightly (2.1-2.4).
As you might expect, WLTW maintained its hold as the #1 25-54 station with a strong performance – its best, without the aid of performance-enhancing holiday music, in over a year. This turned out to be a very nice book for WSKQ. It moved up to #2 in this demo with a “best book in over a year” performance. WHTZ slipped a spot to #3 with its smallest share since JANUARY and was tied with WBLS, which moved up one rung by being flat. CCM+E Top 40/M WKTU also had its lowest number since JANUARY but managed to hold on at #5 where it was tied with WCBS-F. That station moved up a slot despite its lowest share since – yep – JANUARY.
There was a new 18-34 sheriff in town as WSKQ continued its strong showing by launching itself to the #1 position with its highest showing since NOVEMBER. EMMIS Top 40/R WQHT (HOT) was off ever so slightly to remain a competitive #2. Perhaps the re-branding of its competition had an effect on WHTZ. With the exception of the time of the elves, the station is usually #1 in this demo. This time, it fell two places to #3 with its lowest number since the HOLIDAY survey. CCM+E Urban WWPR (POWER) also suffered some share loss as it took a step back to #4. Bursting back into the top five – from #7 – was WLTW, which ended a three-book slide. WKTU took a bit of a hit when it scored its lowest number in over a year and dropped back two spots to #7. The present was good for WNOW as it posted its best number since SANTA was in town to move up four spots into a tie at #8.
WSKQ’s march up the charts continued 18-49. It took over the top spot with its best share since JULY – which also happens to be the last time the station was #1. Funny how that works. However, WLTW was nipping at its heels as it moved up to #2 with its best “non-nipping at your nose” book since NOVEMBER. Continuing its theme this survey, WHTZ dropped from #1 to #3 with its lowest share since JANUARY. WKTU and WQHT both shed an equal amount of share but held steady at #4 and #5, respectively. WNOW only edged up a spot to #12 but it did post its best book since SEPTEMBER.
LOS ANGELES: … The Earth Was Quakin’ …
Possibly not the best headline for this market but this time the ratings drama was played out on the field, not in the back office. For the first time in well over a year, a station not belonging to CLEAR CHANNEL moved to the top of the ratings heap. CBS RADIO Classic Hits KRTH (K-EARTH) has been up or flat for six straight books and landed at #1 with easily its highest share in over a year (5.1-5.5). CCM+E Top 40/M KIIS (KISS FM) remained its consistent self (5.3-5.2) but was forced to take a step back to #2. Cluster sister CCM+E Hot AC KBIG (MY FM) was also a model of consistency (4.8-4.9) to remain at #3. EMMIS Top 40/R KPWR (POWER) got a little closer to the party. Though it stood still at #4 it did land its most robust share in over a year (4.4-4.8). CCM+E AC KOST was down for the fourth consecutive survey (4.2-4.1) but held on at #5. However, if the station continues to slide, it could find itself replaced by CBS RADIO Top 40/M KAMP (AMP). The station is no stranger to the top five – though it hasn’t been there since FEBRUARY – but it got dangerously close to ending that drought (3.8-4.0) as it moved forward one square to #6.
The Earth did move 25-54 but not sufficiently to displace the two perennial market leaders. KIIS was #1 for the second straight book with a slight increase while KBIG remained at #2 despite posting its lowest share in over a year. This may have opened the door for a couple of pursuers. KRTH moved from a tie at #6 up to a tie at #3 with a huge book. Since JANUARY, the station has added nearly two full shares to its larder. KPWR was also at #3 with its best showing since FEBRUARY. KAMP’s slight increase was enough to propel the station to #5. There were a couple of stations that exited the top five. UNIVISION Spanish Contemporary KLVE (K-LOVE) had its smallest share since FEBRUARY to fall three places to #7 while CBS RADIO Alternative KROQ fell three stories to #8 thanks to its lowest total in over a year. Keep an eye on ENTRAVISION Spanish Adult Hits KLYY (JOSE), which just recorded its best book in over a year to climb from #23 into a tie at #12.
Last month, it looked like KIIS was poised to end KPWR’s run at the top of the 18-34 leaderboard. Alas, that did not come to pass. POWER bounced back strongly from a down book for its fifth straight win while #2 KIIS had its lowest share in over a year to fall farther behind. KBIG ended a four-book slide to remain at #3. The movin’ and shakin’ continued for KRTH as it moved up two spots to #4 with its hugest book in over a year. KAMP was down for the fourth straight month and slid down one link on the chain to #5. Its more tattooed cluster brother KROQ fared even worse as it fell to #7 with – again – its lowest share in over a year.
After a two-month hiatus, KPWR reclaimed the 18-49 throne with a solid, if not spectacular, performance. KIIS saw its two-book stay at #1 come to an end after it landed its smallest share in over a year and dropped to #2. The bronze-medal position remained with KBIG as the station finally ended a four-book losing streak. KAMP was up slightly to inch forward a spot to #4 while the current book-star KRTH jumped two places to #5 with – wait for it – the station’s best share in over a year. KROQ’s woes continued as it dropped two spots into a tie at #6 with its most meager book in over a year.
CHICAGO: The CBS Cluster Clusters
This marks the fourth book in a row that CCM+E Urban AC WVAZ (V103) was the market leader. This is not breaking news but it is interesting to see how its shares have softened, yet it still leads. This time the station was up (5.6-5.9) but this marks the second straight book where the station was not able to top a six share. That is unusual. HUBBARD Hot AC WTMX (MIX) had its best book since FEBRUARY (4.9-5.0) to move up a spot to #2. It was tied with the first of the three CBS RADIO stations in the top five. CBS RADIO News WBBM-A remained in place at #3 with a flat performance (5.0-5.0). Its twin brother from a different frequency – CBS RADIO Top 40/M WBBM-F (B96) – had a very strong book (3.9-4.5) and vaulted from #9 to #4. Yet another cluster mate – CBS RADIO Country WUSN (US 99.5) was flat (4.4-4.4) at #5. That’s kind of okay since the station matched its best number of the year so far. As the CUBS sank slowly in the NL CENTRAL, so too did TRIBUNE N/T WGN-A. The station dropped four spots in the standings to #8 (4.6-4.0). Just keep telling yourself – THEO EPSTEIN is a genius. He Fixed BOSTON. He got what for SAMARDZIJA?
Over the last 14 surveys, the only times WTMX was not the #1 25-54 station was when a certain station was actually playing a BING CROSBY record. Other than that, MIX had led the pack. This book was no different as the station was up slightly. Its lead over #2 WVAZ shrank considerably as V103 posted its largest number since DECEMBER to significantly narrow the gap. WBBM-F posted its best share in over a year to move up a spot to #3. This displaced rival CCM+E Top 40/M WKSC (KISS), which dropped down to #4 even though its share went up. WUSN also had the good fortune of posting its largest total since AUGUST as it moved forward two steps to #5. Last month, two stations were tied at that very same position but their fortunes changed. HUBBARD Classic Hits WDRV (THE DRIVE) dropped to #6 even though it was up a bit while CCM+E Hot AC WLIT (MY FM) fell all the way into a tie at #9.
It has been an interesting 18-34 year for WBBM-F. In JANUARY, the station was #2 but by MARCH it had slipped into a tie at #5. This time, it moved up to the penthouse by matching that JANUARY share. This deposed CUMULUS Alternative WKQX as it slid back into #2 and tied with CCM+E Urban WGCI, which remained in place with a slight increase. WKSC also did well for itself as the station moved up two places to #4 and ended a three-book slide. The two stations knotted at #4 last month are tied together no more. WTMX was up ever so slightly to drop to #5 while WUSN was flat and fell to #6. WLIT ended a four-book slide with a healthy increase and rose from #9 into a tie at #7.
WTMX has been a marvel of consistency 18-49 over the last several books and that has coincided with the station’s run at #1. However, though it was up slightly this month, WBBM-F closed the gap considerably and has made this a two-team race. There was a log jam at #3 as WKSC ended a four-book slide while WGCI did the same. Much like stoppage time, we saw the addition of an extra station to the top five courtesy of a draw. WKQX was off a bit and fell from #3 while WVAZ rebounded a bit from a down book to move up from #6.
SAN FRANCISCO: What Are Words For
For the third straight book, the top three spots in the market were taken by stations that do not play songs for a living. Leading the way for the second month in a row was CUMULUS Sports KNBR-A. The station’s numbers were down but not as bad as the recent performance of the home town baseball club (6.1-5.8). CBS RADIO News KCBS-A remained in the runner-up position despite its third straight down book (5.8-5.4) while KQED INC N/T KQED ended a two-book slide to hold on at #3 (4.8-5.0). The first stations to appear that do play songs were also locked cheek-by-jowl at #4. ENTERCOM AC KOIT was there last month and did not move, which made sense since it was flat (4.6-4.6). The one mover was CBS RADIO Top 40/M KMVQ (NOW), which had its best showing since FEBRUARY (4.1-4.6) to move up from #5. This group has done a pretty good job of separating itself from the rest of the pack as only two other players were able to crack the 4-share barrier. CCM+E Top 40/R KYLD (WILD) had its best book in over a year (3.9-4.3) but remained at #6 while cluster mate CCM+E Top 40/R KMEL ended a two-book slide (3.9-4.2) to end up at #7.
For the third straight month, the crack of the bat and the roar of the crowd has kept KNBR-A in first place in the 25-54 standings. Though the station was down slightly this survey, it still held a solid lead over #2 KMVQ, which moved up a spot with its best book since FEBRUARY. The two stations tied at #6 last month greatly improved their respective lots this survey. KYLD had its finest score in over a year to end up at #3 while KQED took care of #4 with a modest increase. On the other hand, the two stations vying for control of #4 last time were in somewhat lower positions this go around. CCM+E Hot AC KIOI (STAR) dropped to #5 even though it increased share for the second straight month. KOIT was flat and dropped to #6. UNIVISION Spanish Adult Hits KBRG was the market darling when it hit #2 last survey. It was singing the blues this time as it dropped to #7 by matching its lowest total of the year.
This marked the fifth consecutive month that KMEL thrust their double-digit 18-34 shares at the rest of the market. This kept the station comfortably ahead of the #2 station – KYLD. And, by comfortable we mean close to three shares of distance. Coming in at a relatively distant #3 was KIOI, which moved up from #4 with its best performance in over a year. This demo has been kind to the station as it has picked up close to two shares since DECEMBER. All year KMVQ has alternated up and down books. This was a good month as it moved up a spot to #4. KOIT had a killer book – easily its best elf-free survey in the last year – to move from a tie at #9 to #5. CCM+E Rhythmic AC KISQ (KISS) had its smallest showing since those elves were hogging the radio and dropped three spots to #6.
Turnabout is fair play as cluster buddies KYLD and KMEL switched places 18-49 with the former scoring its best book in over a year with the latter slipping slightly. This has quietly become a three-team race as KMVQ narrowed the gap significantly while remaining at #3. KIOI parlayed a small increase in share into a two-step advancement in rank – to #4 – while KOIT made a double move to #5 with its best book that did not include MANNHEIM STEAMROLLER since AUGUST. KNBR had a rough road trip and dropped two places to #6 while KBRG must have felt a little like road kill as it dropped from #5 to #7. Okay, maybe that’s a little strong but you get the drift …
DALLAS-FT. WORTH: Missed It By That Much
Last month appeared to be a signal of some sort of big market change. For the first time in like forever, CCM+E Top 40/M KHKS (KISS) was not alone atop the market. Yes, it was still #1 but it had company. Though the station did lose share this time (6.6-6.3), it reclaimed sole ownership of the #1 spot. That’s because CUMULUS Country KPLX (THE WOLF) lost a bit more share (6.6-6.1) as it crept back to #2 with its tail between its legs. That said, both these stations have clearly separated themselves from the rest of the pack. CBS RADIO Classic Hits KLUV (K-LOVE) remained at #3 but ended a three-book surge (4.4-4.1). SALEM Christian Contemporary KLTY moved up a spot to forge a tie even though it had its lowest share in over a year (4.2-4.1). To prove how tight the market is behind the top two, CUMULUS Country KSCS was flat (3.9-3.9) yet moved up a spot into a tie at #5. It was joined by CCM+E Classic Rock KZPS (LONE STAR), which fell from #4 with its lowest share in over a year (4.2-3.9).
For the second month in a row, KHKS posted its lowest 25-54 number in over a year. After reaching its high-water mark in NOVEMBER, the station has surrendered two-and-a-half shares. It’s still #1 but KPLX is creeping closer from its #2 position even though it was off this survey. KZPS ended a two-book slide to move forward two paces to #3 while CCM+E Active Rock KEGL (THE EAGLE) was flat and fell back a spot to #4. Still, the station matched its best book of the last 14. KLTY had its lowest share in over a year to slip a spot to #5. Watch out for CBS RADIO Adult Hits KJKK (JACK). The station just jumped six places to #7.
The usual suspects continued to dominate 18-34 but there may be some cracks in the façade. KHKS was still #1 but was down for the third straight book and posted its lowest share since JULY. KPLX remained a solid #2 but was off for the second straight month. KSCS has been on a roll of late. Since it kind of bottomed out with the HOLIDAY book, it has almost doubled its share and moved up to #3. The tie at #5 was vacated by the replay official. SERVICE Urban KKDA (K104) was flat so naturally it moved up to #4. RADIO ONE Top 40/R KBFB (THE BEAT) was off for the fourth book in a row to remain at #5. KEGL was not in a soaring mood as it landed its lowest share since the Yule tide was high and slipped four places to #7.
In the least surprising development of this paragraph, the same two stations that have led the other demos were on top 18-49. KHKS was a secure #1 even though it – again – had its lowest share in over a year. KPLX could not gain ground because its seven-book run of good fortune came to an end. Despite its troubles in the previous demo, KEGL did remain at #3 here with only a slight loss of share. This was the sixth straight book of improvement for KSCS and it moved ahead two squares to #4. KKDA rebounded slightly from a pretty dramatic two-book drop to move from #7 to #5. The two stations tied at #4 last survey renewed their vows only at a slightly different position – #6. CCM+E Alternative KDGE (THE EDGE) could not duplicate its best book of the year while KBFB suffered its fourth straight down book.
We’ve checked with the referee and we’re pretty sure stoppage time is over … but who can ever tell. We do know that with the help of the folks at XTRENDS, we will be back shortly with in-depth analysis and smarmy asides for HOUSTON, WASHINGTON, DC, PHILADELPHIA, ATLANTA, and BOSTON.
Until then, feel free to chastise us via any of the portals listed below.