Research Director, Inc. Presents Exclusive July PPM Analysis For N.Y., L.A., Chicago, San Francisco And Dallas
August 4, 2014
Back from break with another action-packed episode of how the numbers turn. As always, The Ratings Experts at RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. could not do our data dives without the assistance of our friends at XTRENDS.
This month’s focus is on the JULY survey, which encompassed the dates of JUNE 19th through JULY 16th. The more perceptive among you will notice that the FOURTH OF JULY holiday was a part of week #3. This kind of market-altering event can tend to affect how meter keepers record their listening. That’s a fancy way of saying that people’s behavior is altered (as could be their states of consciousness).
We plow ahead through AMERICA’s 15 biggest markets, going four demos deep to find the stories and trends that will amaze and amuse. As always, our analysis is subject to change based on market conditions.
NEW YORK: What’s Old Is New
Whether you want to call it retro, old school, or classic (but don’t use the “O” word), there was a new #1 in AMERICA’s #1 market. CBS RADIO Classic Hits WCBS-F parlayed a modest increase (6.3-6.4) into a position swap with CCM+E AC WLTW (LITE). This had a lot to do with the fact that LITE had its lowest share since AUGUST (7.1-6.2), which also happens to be the last time the station was not #1. Coincidence? EMMIS Urban AC WBLS has been a marvel of consistency. It remained at #3 (5.6-5.5) but was joined in that space by CCM+E Top 40/M WHTZ (Z100), which bounced back from a slightly down book (5.2-5.5). Two stations moving in opposite directions ended up together at #5. SBS Tropical WSKQ (MEGA) landed its lowest share since JANUARY (5.5-4.5) to drop down from #4 while CCM+E Classic Rock WAXQ (Q104.3) scored its highest number since NOVEMBER (4.3-4.5) to move up a spot. A little father down, there were a couple of stories of note. The station formerly known as NOW – CBS RADIO Top 40/M WBMP (AMP) – had its best book in over a year (2.4-3.1) and moved forward two places to a tie at #13. CUMULUS Country WNSH (NASH) also had its best share in over a year (2.0-2.2) but remained at #19.
WLTW did manage to hold on to its #1 25-54 ranking despite its lowest book since – yes – AUGUST, but the race got much closer. WHTZ was flat yet moved up a spot to #2 while WCBS-F had a huge increase as it moved up two places to #3. WBLS landed its lowest share since FEBRUARY to drop back to #4 while WSKQ had its smallest number in over a year to fall three spots to #5. CCM+E Top 40/M WKTU was flat but fell from a tie at #5 to #7. WBMP again had its best book in over a year to rise two positions to a tie at #11 while WNSH accomplished the same feat to remain at #17. This was the fourth straight up book for NASH.
They’re baaaack. After a one-book respite, WHTZ returned to #1 18-34. WSKQ fell back to #2 with its lowest share since JANUARY while EMMIS Urban WQHT (HOT) also took a one-spot step back to #3 with its lowest number since JANUARY. CCM+E Urban WWPR (POWER) remained at #4 despite recording its smallest output since DECEMBER while WLTW had its most meager total in over a year to remain at #5. WBMP and WNSH again had their best shares in over a year. The former moved up two spots to #6 while the latter improved its lot by one square to #14. Even WCBS-F got into the improvement act, rising five places to #7 – its highest ranking in over a year.
As with the previous demo, WHTZ returned to its customary place at #1 18-49 with a slight increase. #2 WSKQ had its lowest share since the HOLIDAY survey and saw a comfortable lead turn into a noticeable deficit. WLTW had its lowest number in over a year yet only fell one spot to #3. WKTU remained at #4 despite its third straight down book. Two stations took dual control of #5. WWPR moved up two spots with a flat book while WCBS-F moved forward four paces. WQHT had its lowest share since SANTA was here and dropped three spots to #8. The good fortunes of WBMP and WNSH continued here. Both had their highest share in over a year as the former advanced two places to #10 while the latter inched up one spot to #15.
LOS ANGELES: Yes, The Earth Moved Again
Last month, CBS RADIO Classic Hits KRTH (K-EARTH) stunned the nation by becoming the #1 station in AMERICA’s #2 market. Alas, history was not able to repeat itself as the station dropped back to #2 – ending a six-book run (5.5-4.7). CCM+E Hot AC KBIG (MY FM) moved forward two spots to #1 with its best share since FEBRUARY (4.9-5.0). Cluster sister CCM+E Top 40/M KIIS (KISS) dropped a spot to #3 with its smallest share in over a year (5.2-4.6). EMMIS Urban KPWR (POWER) remained at #4 despite losing some share (4.8-4.4). CCM+E AC KOST was the only station in the top five not to lose share. It remained at #5 (4.1-4.2). A couple of stations to note. BONNEVILLE Classic Rock KSWD (THE SOUND) had its fifth straight up book (2.9-3.2) and settled in at #8. A year ago the station was tied at #20 with a 2.1 share. Sports on radio can reap benefits but it is not often that the sport is soccer. Or, in this case, futbol. ENTRAVISION Spanish Adult Hits KLYY (JOSE) used the power of the FIFA WORLD CUP to score its best book in over a year (1.9-2.6) and rise nine places in the standings to #14.
For as long as 2014 has been around, two stations have taken turns at being #1 25-54. And, they both happen to be from the same cluster. This time the top honors went to KBIG. It ended a two-book slide and deposed KIIS, which had its lowest share in over a year. KPWR wrested sole control of the #3 position despite a slight loss of share while KOST moved forward two spots to #4 with its best score since APRIL. CBS RADIO Top 40/M KAMP (AMP) remained at #5 with a slight increase while KRTH dropped three places to #6. KLYY scored another gooooooooal as it moved up four spots to a tie at #8. The station almost doubled its share over the last few months. While KSWD remained at #11, it again had its best share in over a year – almost double what it had at the beginning of this run.
The natural order of the 18-34 universe remained relatively intact this book. KPWR was off slightly but still copped its sixth straight #1 crown. KIIS was flat and distantly behind at #2 while KBIG was up slightly to hold steady at #3. The remaining members of the top five were still in the club but switched places. KAMP moved up to #4 while KRTH dropped to #5. KSWD showed more strong gains here as it went from a tie at #18 to a tie at #13. KLYY may have only moved from #21 to #19 but more than doubled its pre-soccer hysteria number.
For the first time since JANUARY, KBIG was the #1 18-49 station, posting its best book since MARCH and moving up two spots in the process. KPWR fell back to #2 but remained in close proximity to the top spot while KIIS slipped to #3 with its lowest share in over a year. KAMP was flat and happy at #4 while two stations took turns piloting the #5 car. KOST had its first up book since FEBRUARY to move forward three paces while CBS RADIO Alternative KROQ ended a five-book slide to move up from a tie at #6. KLYY again rode the wave as it moved from a tie at #19 to #12. Finally, KSWD – which as recently as MARCH was sitting in a tie at #25 – ended this month in a tie at #13.
CHICAGO: V Is For Velocity
Around the beginning of the year, CCM+E Urban AC WVAZ (V103) spent three books not sitting on top of the market. Of course, a jolly old elf may have had something to do with that. JULY marks the fifth straight month with V at #1 as it returned to the more familiar six-share turf (5.9-6.1). CBS RADIO News WBBM-A had been flat or down for the last four surveys but it rebounded this time (5.0-5.5) to take over sole possession of the #2 spot. HUBBARD Hot AC WTMX (MIX) lost enough share (5.0-4.9) to move back to #3. They were playing two at #4 as two stations moved up. CBS RADIO Country WUSN (US 99.5) took one step forward with its best book since NOVEMBER (4.4-4.5) while CCM+E Top 40/M WKSC (KISS) took two giant leaps (4.3-4.5). There was also a twosome on the tee at #6. CBS RADIO Top 40/M WBBM-F (B96) slipped from #4 with a slight decrease (4.5-4.4). The other player has had an interesting journey of late. In MAY, CUMULUS Classic Hits WLS-F had its best book in over a year as it moved from #11 to #6. Then, the bottom dropped out last month as it dropped to a tie at #13. Well, this time it proved it was no one-book wonder as it moved back to #6 with another-best-book-in-over-a-year performance (3.4-4.4).
It has been quite some time since WVAZ was #1 25-54. DECEMBER, in case you were wondering. This time, the station vaulted to the top with its best performance in over a year. Thus ended WTMX’s six-month run at #1 as the station slid back to #2 with its lowest number of the year. WKSC had a nice increase and was rewarded with a one-step move to #3, which bumped its nemesis WBBM-F back to #4 as that station had a bit of a decrease. WUSN posted its best number since AUGUST to hold steady at #5. WLS-F matched its best share in the last year and edged up three places to a tie at #12.
This was the second book in a row that WBBM-F had a noticeable bulge in its 18-34 share. This has led to back-to-back #1 books and the station is on a four-book surge. CUMULUS Alternative WKQX kept pace and took sole ownership of the #2 position while CCM+E Urban WGCI was off slightly and slid back to #3. WTMX has been up or flat in every survey this year. This time it moved up to #4 with its best showing since OCTOBER. Two stations were banging heads at #5. WKSC dropped a spot as it shed some share while WUSN moved forward one place by being flat for the second straight book. Watch out for UNIVISION Regional Mexican WOJO. The station had a huge increase this month, posting its highest share since SEPTEMBER as it moved from a tie at #11 into #7. WLS-F also had good fortune here, a demo not usually associated with its format’s success. The station moved from a tie at #18 to #11.
While it may have lost its 25-54 crown, WTMX reigned supreme 18-49 for the fifth month in a row with a flat book. There was a duet performing at #2. WBBM-F remained in place with a slight decrease while arch-rival WKSC had a similar increase to move up from #3. WVAZ was up for the second straight survey and gained a place to #4. There was another tie – this time at #5. WKQX was flat so it didn’t budge. It was joined by WGCI, which fell from #3. The WLS-F magical mystery tour continued as the station rose from a tie at #15 into a tie at #9. As recently as MARCH it was sitting in a tie at #23.
SAN FRANCISCO: Just A Bit Outside
For the last couple of months we have marveled at how the passion for the hometown nine has fueled the ratings of CUMULUS Sports KNBR-A. The station was a strong #1 for the last two books. Then, the GIANTS began their slide in the NL WEST and that seemed to have an effect on their flagship’s performance, as well. KNBR-A slipped to #2 this time with its lowest share of the season (5.8-5.1). Taking advantage of this mini-slump was CBS RADIO News KCBS-A, which ended a three-book slide (5.4-5.6) to return to the top spot for the first time since APRIL. One of the best performing non-commercial stations in the country – KQED INC N/T KQED – was off slightly (5.0-4.9) but remained at #3. Two music-oriented stations were left slugging it out at #4. CBS RADIO Top 40/M KMVQ (NOW) remained in place with its best book of the year (4.6-4.7) while CCM+E Top 40/R KMEL moved in from #7 with its best number in over a year (4.2-4.7). ENTERCOM AC KOIT slipped back two spots to #6 (4.6-4.5).
There was quite the shakeup in the 25-54 standings. KMVQ returned to the #1 spot for the first time since FEBRUARY with its best book since – shocker – that very same month. KOIT had its best FROSTY-free performance since AUGUST to surge forward four spots to #2. Two upwardly mobile stations met at #3. CCM+E Hot AC KIOI (STAR) moved up two spots with a slight increase while cluster-mate KMEL leapt five places with its best number in exactly one year. KNBR-A had to go to the bullpen as it fell from #1 to #5. The station was not alone in its drop. CCM+E Top 40/R KYLD (WILD) dropped three places to #6 while KQED matched that move in landing at #7.
The KMEL train continued its run 18-34. The station posted a double-digit share for the sixth month in a row and managed to widen its already sizeable lead over #2 cluster bro’ KYLD to almost four shares. KIOI was steady at #3 though it was up for the third straight month and landed its best number in over a year. KOIT and KMVQ traded spaces, with the former scoring its best share of the year while the latter was accepting its worst. Keep an eye on CBS RADIO Hot AC KLLC (ALICE), which just jumped from a tie at #11 to #6 with its highest share since FEBRUARY.
It’s always heartwarming to see stations from the same cluster share (perhaps we should have said iHeartwarming). For the third month in a row KMEL and KYLD traded places at the top, with the former winning this round with its highest total in precisely one year. KMVQ was off slightly but stayed at #3. KOIT and KIOI also traded spots but since they are not from the same cluster, we’re not going all Kumbaya over this. KOIT has been on a three-book tear in which it has added nearly two shares to its larder while KIOI was just flat. KNBR-A only lost a little share here and remained at #6.
DALLAS-FT. WORTH: Two For The Road
It was only two months ago that CCM+E Top 40/M KHKS (KISS) and CUMULUS Country KPLX (THE WOLF) were tied for the top spot in town. KISS has maintained control of the top (6.3-6.2) despite suffering with its fifth straight down book. Meanwhile, THE WOLF matched its lowest number of the year (6.1-5.6) to remain a solid #2. These two stations have clearly separated themselves from the rest of the market. Numbers don’t lie. The two stations that tied at #3 were over a share distant from the leaders. CBS RADIO Classic Hits KLUV (K-LOVE) barely moved a muscle with a slight increase (4.1-4.3) while CUMULUS Country KSCS scored its best book in over a year (3.9-4.3) to move up two spots. Moving down another notch and we had two more stations in a tie. This time at #5. CCM+E Classic Rock KZPS (LONE STAR) was flat (3.9-3.9) to remain in place while SERVICE Urban AC KRNB scored its largest total in over a year (3.4-3.9) to advance three spaces. SALEM Christian Contemporary KLTY had its poorest outing in over a year (4.1-3.5) to drop from a tie at #3 to #9.
KHKS kept its 2014 25-54 winning streak alive even though its shares have gotten consistently smaller. Fortunately for the station, no one else has been able to capitalize on this “softening” of the numbers. KPLX remained at #2 but had its lowest total since JANUARY to fall further behind. KZPS was up for the second month in a row to stay put at #3 while CCM+E Active Rock KEGL (THE EAGLE) held fast at #4 despite a small decrease. KRNB was also flat but that was good enough as it moved a spot to #5. Part of this was due to the fact that KLTY dropped from #5 into a tie at #14. Believe it or not, this actually looks worse than it is as the actual share decrease (which we could show you but then we’d have to kill you) was not nearly as dramatic. SERVICE Urban KKDA (K104) has had a challenging few months in this demo. Perhaps things are turning around as the station jumped from #12 into a tie at #6.
Yes, KHKS has lost share 18-34 for four books in a row, landing at its lowest share in exactly one year. However, the station was still #1 with a significant lead over #2 KPLX, which garnered its lowest share since JANUARY. RADIO ONE Top 40/R KBFB (THE BEAT) ended a four-book slide in style as it moved up from #5 to #3. KKDA was up slightly but remained at #4. KSCS halted a three-book surge in dropping from #3 to #5.
The usual suspects populated the top five positions 18-49. KHKS was flat at #1 and increased its already substantial lead over #2 KPLX as that station had its lowest number since JANUARY – again. KEGL shed a bit of share but held on at #3. KSCS was up for the seventh book in a row to remain at #4 though it was joined by KKDA, which moved up from #5.
This would conclude round one of RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC.’s exclusive analysis for ALL ACCESS. As always, we tip our hat to the folks at XTRENDS for their assistance. If you would like to have The Ratings Experts take a look at your numbers (not an inappropriate suggestion) – feel free to reach out to us via the platforms listed below.
Stay tuned for our further adventures featuring HOUSTON, WASHINGTON, DC, PHILADELPHIA, ATLANTA, and BOSTON in this very space in the near future.