Research Director, Inc. Presents Exclusive Dec. PPM Analysis For New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco And Dallas
December 22, 2014
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.
There are several things that can affect the ratings of any station in any given book. Among those factors are something the competition has done and something that has had an impact on the marketplace. For the DECEMBER survey, we will be interested to see how the combination of those two opposing forces affected the rank and order of each market.
Of course, we speak of BURL IVES’ return from the Island of Misfit Toys. Almost every market we are about to unwrap had at least one station flip the candy-striped switch sometime during this survey as it covered 11/6 through 12/3. The Hobbit-like toilers known as The Research Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC., along with the elfin figures from XTRENDS, again team up for this epic quest to unearth the secrets of the NIELSEN. OnwarD...
New York: The Holiday Lite Show
It took five months but iHEARTMEDIA AC WLTW (LITE FM) finally removed itself from the naughty list. Thanks to a large infusion of mulled cider, the station flipped the format during the third week of the survey. As a result, it returned to #1 for the first time since JUNE (5.6-7.7). This compared favorably with last year’s DECEMBER share of a 7.6. CBS RADIO Classic Hits WCBS-F did not have RUDOLPH’S guiding light and slid back to #2 (7.1-6.9). Still, these two stations had quite the lead over the rest of the market.
iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WHTZ (Z100) was up for the third straight survey and posted its best share since MAY (5.5-5.6). Alas, it was not granted any wishes as it remained at #3. SBS Tropical WSKQ (MEGA) may have been humming Feliz Navidad as it held firm at #4 with its best share since JUNE (5.1-5.4). EMMIS Urban AC WBLS rebounded from its lowest book of the year (4.9-5.3) to hang in at #5.
The same stations that occupied the top five 25-54 last month were there again – with a slight alteration. WLTW did the job with PARSON BROWN. It added over two shares to its total and hopped from third to #1. This year’s share was just slightly better than last. WCBS-F had its best book since AUGUST but it was no match for the march of the wooden soldiers as it dropped back to #2. WHTZ again had its best book since MAY but was forced to take one small step back to #3. WBLS’ rebound continued here as it took total control of the #4 position. Its previous partner – WSKQ – was up but dropped down to #5.
Those dreaded sugar plum fairies were no match for WHTZ as the station returned to #1 18-34 with its highest share since JULY. iHEARTMEDIA Urban WWPR (POWER) could not maintain its huge number from last month and fell to its previous share level at #2. EMMIS Top 40/R WQHT (HOT) moved up a spot to #3 as it ended a three-book slide. This also marked the fourth consecutive win for POWER in their battle with HOT. WSKQ fell a spot to #4 as it was off for the second book in a row. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WKTU was flat but that did not prevent the station from falling two spots from #5 to #7. Who are we missing? Right, WLTW found it was lovely weather to take a four-spot ride to #5. This year’s number was off from last DECEMBER when the station was tied at #3.
There was a disturbance in the force as WLTW gained over two shares 18-49 and plowed its way from #5 to #1. Did we just mix metaphors? WHTZ moved aside to #2 for its cluster mate despite posting its best share since MAY. WCBS-F moved forward a spot to #3 with its highest total in over a year. WSKQ performed the exact opposite feat as it dropped two spots to #4 with its lowest share in over a year. WWPR could not match its torrid pace from last month as it slipped two places to #5.
Los Angeles: Do They Know It’s KOSTmas?
Surfin’ SANTA was back in style as iHEARTMEDIA AC KOST hung its stockings at the beginning of the second week of the survey. By the time all this madness is over, the station will have covered seven survey weeks with that fake snow that comes out of a can (they can’t get the real stuff in SoCal). Naturally, the station moved up to #1 (5.2-7.0) and was well ahead of last year’s 6.3 share. Cluster sister iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KIIS (KISS) fell back to #2 with its lowest share since JULY (5.3-4.9). The elves had no effect on iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KBIG (MY FM) as it was flat and steady at #3 (4.7-4.7). CBS RADIO Classic Hits KRTH (K-EARTH) received an early present as it moved up to #4 (4.2-4.5) while EMMIS Top 40/R KPWR (POWER) found the proverbial lump of coal in its stocking as it took a step back to #5 with its lowest number in over a year (4.3-3.9).
While the kids may believe, it’s the adults who make the magic happen. And, KOST had a truly magical month 25-54. It moved up a spot to #1 and is over a share ahead of last year’s pace. #2 KIIS was feeling a little blue-Christmasy as it landed its lowest number since JULY. KBIG was off for the second book in a row but remained at #3. The Polar Express made a stop at KRTH as the station posted its best share since AUGUST and jumped six places to #4. UNIVISION Spanish Contemporary KLVE (K-LOVE) was up slightly to take sole control of the #5 position. Two stations fell from the elite top-five group. KPWR dropped two spots to #6 with (again) its lowest share in over a year while CBS RADIO Top 40/M KAMP (AMP) accomplished the exact same feat as it fell four places to #9.
After reading the previous two paragraphs, one may draw the conclusion that KPWR had a less than stellar DECEMBER. While it is true that the station had its lowest 18-34 share since JANUARY, it was #1 for the eleventh book in a row. KIIS has been the #2 station for that eleven-book run and that did not change this survey. KOST ring-ting-tingled its way to #3 (from #6). The station is far ahead of last year when it was sitting at #6. KBIG was flat and happy at #4 while KRTH shook off a couple of lean books to move up three places to #5. KAMP was anything but amped as it fell three spots to #6 with its smallest share in over a year. KLVE was flat but unhappy as it dropped two places to #7.
They were decking the halls and cube farms at KOST as the station moved up three spots to capture the 18-49 crown. As we have seen in the previous demos, it was well ahead of last DECEMBER when it was “only” #4. KIIS dropped back to #2 – ending a four-book #1 run in the process. KBIG continued to sit still and watch the world go by as it was flat and stationary at #3. KPWR was off for the third book in a row and slipped two spots to #4. KRTH continued its impressive roll by posting its highest share in over a year and advancing three squares to #5. KAMP again landed its smallest number in over a year and dropped back a couple of spots to #7.
Chicago: Behold The Power Of The Kringle
It has been quite a while since we talked about iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC WLIT (MY FM). Almost a year to be exact. That probably has a lot to do with the fact that the station has not been in the top five all year, and as recently as SEPTEMBER was ranked at #10. Then, they added some figgy pudding to the menu and – voila – the station is #1. It flipped just after the beginning of week two of the survey, which was enough time to move it up from #9 (3.7-7.7) in dramatic fashion. The station was well ahead of last year’s 6.5 pace. With all this talk of holiday cheer, it would be easy to overlook iHEARTMEDIA Urban AC WVAZ (V103). After all, the station did drop to #2 for the first time since FEBRUARY. However, it also had its best book in over a year – by a lot (5.9-7.3). Damn you, Kringle! CBS RADIO News WBBM-A had its highest share since FEBRUARY (5.7-6.2) but was rewarded with a drop to #3. HUBBARD Hot AC WTMX (MIX) may have taken the brunt of the Christmas blow as it fell to #4 (5.2-4.9). It was in the same position last year but with a smaller share (4.3). iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WKSC (KISS) was flat and immobile at #5 (4.3-4.3). iHEARTMEDIA Urban WGCI had a modest increase (3.4-3.6) but that took it up four notches to #6 – its highest ranking since MARCH.
At this point you would probably think that the rest of the CHICAGO market analysis from The Ratings Experts at RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. would be all about the power of the pole. And, you would be wrong. WVAZ returned to #1 25-54 after a two-month hiatus with its hugest book in over a year – exactly a share fatter than last DECEMBER. Pole power did light up the #2 spot, as WLIT leapt with some lords, five spots from #7. WTMX was a bit more lean as it slipped a couple of spots to #3 with a small share loss. WKSC was actually up slightly even though it fell back to #4. UNIVISION Regional Mexican WOJO (LA QUE BUENA) has fallen hard share-wise in the last couple of books, and this time dropped a spot to #5. CBS RADIO Top 40/M WBBM-F (B96) had its lowest share in over a year to slip to a tie at #6.
For the second month in a row, WGCI was #1 18-34. And, for the second straight month, it had its highest score since MARCH. The musical sleigh ride moved WLIT from #10 to a tie at #2 with a four-plus share increase. A year ago the station was in a tie at #5 with the same bells a-ringing. WKSC was tied for the second position as it was up for the second straight survey. WVAZ’s new hotness continued here as the station rose four places to #4 with its best total in over a year. As recently as SEPTEMBER, it was ranked at #9. WBBM-F fell a couple of places to #5 with its lowest output since APRIL. CUMULUS Alternative WKQX fell hard and ended up two spots lower at #6.
This was an absolute killer book for WVAZ. As seen previously, the station had a strong showing 18-49 and moved up two spots to #1 – a place it has not seen in well over a year. WLIT was all warm and toasty at #2 as it dashed up from #9. Last year at this very same point it was also #2 but with a noticeably smaller share. WTMX dropped enough share to fall back to #3 while WKSC fell two spots to #4 despite a slight increase. WGCI returned to the top five for the first time since JULY while the two stations previously tied at #4 were relegated to the next tier. WBBM-F ended up at #6 with its lowest share since MARCH while WOJO landed at #7 with its smallest number since AUGUST.
San Francisco: Two Laps, No Waiting
This one will be interesting. Two stations started roasting their chestnuts on the same day and it was later than seen in the previous markets. Both chose to flip the switch at the beginning of week #4 so the jingle effect only covered 25% of the survey. But, let’s begin at the top. CBS RADIO News KCBS-A returned to the top spot for the first time since AUGUST with its best share since MARCH (5.7-6.3). The first, and by far bigger, of the elf-influenced properties was ENTERCOM AC KOIT. That one crazy week drove the station forward two spots to #2 (4.5-5.8). A year ago it was in a tie at #3 with a 4.9. KQED INC N/T KQED remained at #3 though it ended a two-book surge (5.2-4.9). iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/R KMEL ended a two-book slide in grand fashion (3.9-4.7) and moved up a spot to #4. This left only two stations tied at #5 this time. iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KIOI (STAR) and CBS RADIO Top 40/M KMVQ (NOW) were both flat: 3.9-3.9. One of the beauties of PPM is that we can measure changes almost instantly. Witness the swift decline of CUMULUS Sports KNBR-A. Without the power of the GIANTS’ post-season run, the station fell six places to #7 (8.9-3.7). This is exactly where it was a year ago. And, what to our wondering eyes should appear? Why, the second jolly station. Though it is technically a SAN JOSE station, DIGITY AC KBAY does make it into this book. This time it saw a benefit from ringing the bell as it moved up five spots into a tie at #13 (2.0-2.7). That’s its highest share in over a year.
A year ago, KOIT was #4 25-54. This time it rose to the top with a share noticeably larger than last DECEMBER. KMEL also had an impressive showing as it ended a two-book slide and moved up four places to #2. KMVQ was flat but that allowed the station to claim the #3 position as its very own. KIOI had a slight gain but that was good enough to elevate the station one spot to #4. KQED shed a small amount of share but still fell two places to #5. That paled in comparison to the polar-bear plunge KNBR took. From the NOVEMBER high of a WORLD-SERIES-fueled #1 to DECEMBER bereft of the long ball, the station ended up in a tie at #13, losing more than half its share in the process. When do pitchers and catchers report? KBAY had its best book since the last time they were playing actual CARPENTERS records on the radio and moved up three spots to #18.
Last month, KMEL had its lowest 18-34 share in well over a year. This time, despite the presence of that jolly old elf, the station bounced back and narrowly missed hitting double digits again. Throughout this entire process it never vacated its position at #1. Cluster-mate iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/R KYLD (WILD) assumed total control of the #2 position with a solid increase. That one-week alteration to its format allowed KOIT to move up three places to #3. KMVQ remained at #4 with a slight increase while CBS RADIO Alternative KITS (LIVE 105) moved up two places to #5 with its strongest showing in over a year. KIOI dropped to #6 even though it was flat. Baseball giveth and baseball taketh away. KNBR fell from a tie at #2 all the way to #17. KBAY advanced three squares to a tie at #20 with a slight increase.
KMEL bounced back from its lowest book of the year and returned to #1 18-49 all at the same time. KOIT used DASHER and his ilk to rise from #5 to #2 and was well ahead of last year’s #5 posting. KMVQ was up slightly but motionless at #3 while KYLD remained at #4 with a small increase. KIOI was also flat but it moved up to #5. KNBR raced down the mountain at a LINDSEY VONN-like pace as it slalomed from #1 to a tie at #11. KBAY had its highest share in over a year and moved up two places to #18.
Dallas-Ft. Worth: K Hearts The Holidays
This was another market that saw two stations switching musical gears but not at the same time. But, we’re going to bury the lead. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KHKS (KISS) was #1 again but did end a three-book surge (7.5-6.8). It was not quite hearing hooves on the roof yet even though CBS RADIO Classic Hits KLUV (K-LOVE) made the mistletoe move at the beginning of week two of the survey. The station did gain three spots in the standings, ending up at #2 (4.0-5.0). That was slightly off last year’s 5.2 share. There has been quite a bit of talk about how the CHRISTMAS format wreaks havoc on Country stations. That was not the case – at least this time. CUMULUS Country KPLX (THE WOLF) was down for the third straight survey (4.9-4.8) but remained at #3. Cluster and format buddy CUMULUS Country KSCS also remained steady at #4 but had its best book in over a year (4.3-4.6). The other station to hop aboard the turntable was SALEM Christian Contemporary KLTY. However, it did not make the move until near the end of the survey so it is difficult to say what effect that had on the station’s numbers. The station was down to its lowest point since AUGUST (5.0-4.4) and it slid three places to #5. SERVICE Urban KKDA (K104) had its poorest outing since JULY (4.0-3.6) as it fell five spots to #9. A non-holiday-related change of note occurred with RADIO ONE KSOC (BOOM 94.5). It flipped from Urban AC to Classic Hip-Hop on NOVEMBER 14 – week two of the December-named book – bringing it into the top ten (2.8-3.4).
The busy sidewalks seemed to have minimal effect on the local radio traffic 25-54. KHKS was #1 again though it did lose a chunk of share. KSCS again had its best book in over a year and moved up two spots to #2. As recently as AUGUST the station was wearing the number eleven. Three stations were engaged in a deep discussion at #3. KLTY slipped from #2 and was the only one of the three to have a down book. Two cluster mates each posted their best books in over a year. iHEARTMEDIA Classic Rock KZPS (LONE STAR) moseyed in from #6 while iHEARTMEDIA Active Rock KEGL (THE EAGLE) flew in from #5. KPLX was actually flat but it still dropped from #3 to #6. It wasn’t exactly the most wonderful time of the year for KLUV. Yes, the station was up from a tie at #11 to #7 but a year ago it was at #2 with a slightly larger stocking. KSOC made it to #8 in this demo with its new format.
Over the last three books KHKS has been on a roll 18-34. Though it was #1 each time, it added over two-and-a-half shares during that time. The ratings streak ended this time but the station was still #1. KEGL was nipping at its heels as THE EAGLE moved up to #2 with its best book in over a year. Over the last two months the station has almost doubled its share. KPLX had its lowest share since the beginning of the year but did not budge from the #3 spot. KKDA fell two places to #4 as it lost a rather uncomfortably large chunk of share. RADIO ONE Top 40/R KBFB (THE BEAT) was solid at #5 though it was off for the second straight survey. KLUV had a nice gain as it moved from #15 into a tie at #8. This compared favorably with last year when the station hit #9. KSOC hung back at #13 with the younger set.
KHKS continued with the clean sweep of the demos as it remained #1 18-49. However, as with the previous three, the station did lose share as it ended a three-book run. KEGL was still #2 with a very strong increase. That may give you an idea as to how wide the gap was. After all these changes, KISS still led THE EAGLE by more than a share. KSCS had its best showing in over a year to remain in charge at #3 while KPLX moved forward two paces to #4 with a slight increase. KLUV found some magic in that old silk hat as it rose from a tie at #15 into a tie at #5. A year ago it was ranked at #7. The other half of that #5 duo was iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KDMX (NOW), which moved in from #9 with its best showing since APRIL. KLTY ended a strong four-book surge and dropped from #5 to #9. KSOC tied for tenth here.
We’ve made our list and checked it twice and discovered that we still have several more markets to evaluate. Coming soon will be HOUSTON-GALVESTON, WASHINGTON, DC, PHILADELPHIA, ATLANTA and BOSTON. Until then, feel free to contact The Ratings Experts at RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. via the platforms listed below if you have any questions or critiques.