Research Director, Inc. Presents Exclusive January PPM Analysis For Houston, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Atlanta, Boston
February 18, 2015
Apparently, our contract was renewed so we get to wax sarcastic on another round of radio ratings. Once again, The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. – ably assisted by the crew at XTRENDS – set our sights on the JANUARY 2015 survey. The precise dates were 1/1-1/28 and were totally free of any sort of holiday scent. That period did contain two separate holidays and, as we saw in the first round, the effects of some severe winter weather. Of course, the one thing we are all keen on discovering is how far the all-holiday, all-the-time stations have fallen. Let’s take a look, shall we?
HOUSTON-GALVESTON: It’s Always Sunny In H-Town
This was one of those markets where we saw two stations flip formats for the holiday, though their respective takes on the music were likely quite different. While this move had the expected positive effect on each station, it was not quite in the way you would expect. iHEARTMEDIA AC KODA (SUNNY) is the traditional leader and, though it lost the expected large chunk of share (12.5-7.1), it was #1 6+ for the fourth book in a row – and seventh time in the last eight. It was almost exactly where it was last year when it reigned supreme with a 7.0 share. RADIO ONE Urban AC KMJQ (MAJIC) was flat and happy to remain a much closer #2 (6.6-6.6). UNIVISION Regional Mexican KLTN (ESTEREO LATINO) ended a two-book slide (5.4-5.8) to hold steady at #3. COX RADIO Country KKBQ (93Q) was certainly happy to see the backsides of the reindeer. The station bounced back from its lowest share of the year (4.6-5.7) to advance two places to #4. The other theme-driven station was KSBJ EDUCATIONAL Christian Contemporary KSBJ. It actually got its lift after the holiday ended (4.5-5.6) as it moved up two ranks to #5. This was also its best performance in over a year. COX RADIO Classic Rock KGLK (THE EAGLE) also had a healthy increase (4.8-5.3) but it wasn’t enough as the station fell back two spots to #6. iHEARTMEDIA Alternative KTBZ (THE BUZZ) was all agog about its numbers. It scored its best book since AUGUST (4.4-5.1) and moved up to #7. RADIO ONE Top 40/R KBXX (THE BOX) had its lowest total in over a year (4.7-4.6) to fall to #8.
Despite the rather large share loss, KODA was #1 25-54 for the fourth book in a row. This year’s number was almost two shares better than last when it slipped to #2. KLTN had a nice gain to remain at #2 while KTBZ moved up to #3 thanks to its best showing in over a year. KKBQ continued its post-CHRISTMAS celebration. The station landed its largest share since AUGUST to move up three spots to #4. KMJQ and KBXX were moving in the wrong direction on the chart. MAJIC dropped from #3 to #5 while THE BOX fell three places to #8. This marked the fourth book in format for the trend-setting RADIO ONE Urban Oldies KROI (BOOM). From its debut at #10, the station has steadily fallen in the ranks to its most recent settling at #19.
This marked the fourth consecutive survey that KBXX has lost share 18-34. The station remained #1 but the competition has crept closer. That would be in the form of KTBZ, which moved up to #2 with its best book since AUGUST and stood less than a share from the lead. KLTN inched its way up to #3 thanks to a slight increase. We’re not going to say the folks at KKBQ are anti-CHRISTMAS or anything but the station had to be happy to regain some lost share. It moved up two spots to #4. iHEARTMEDIA Urban KQBT (THE BEAT) – which is certainly responsible for the changing of the guards in this market – had its lowest share in over a year to fall a couple of spots to #5. KODA took the hit and fell to #6 with the exact same share it had a year ago when it landed at #7.
After a two-month absence – thanks to some big guy dressed in velvet and fur (wasn’t that in a JOHN WATERS movie?) – KLTN returned to the 18-49 pinnacle. KTBZ jumped two spots to #2 with its best share since AUGUST. KODA slipped to #3 but was in a far better place than last year when it was #5 with a lower number. KKBQ landed its best share since OCTOBER to move up two spots to #4. KBXX continued its, now, four-book slide to go from #3 to #5. KQBT beat a path down to a tie at #7 with its lowest total since JULY.
WASHINGTON, DC: Bye, Bye Santa. Hello, Snow.
Nothing unites the parties in your NATION’S CAPITAL quite like snow and ice. The one thing they can all agree upon is that everyone in DC freaks out at the sign of the first flake. The other thing that generates accord is that HUBBARD News WTOP is the place to go for weather-Armageddon information. The station returned to #1 6+ after reporting its highest share in exactly a year (6.1-9.2). There was a lot of cozying around the radio for AMERICAN UNIVERSITY N/T WAMU. Though it remained at #2, it did score its best book in over a year (6.4-7.9). HOWARD UNIVERSITY Urban AC WHUR ended a two-book slide (5.5-6.0) and was rewarded with a one-spot improvement to #3. Your home of the holiday hits – iHEARTMEDIA AC WASH – took the expected ratings polar plunge (13.6-5.5) to drop to #4. It fared better than last year when it was #6 with a 4.6 share. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WIHT (HOT) held on to its previous position at #5 with a slight increase (5.1-5.2). Cluster brother iHEARTMEDIA Classic Rock WBIG took over sole possession of sixth place with its finest showing in over a year (4.1-4.8).
The top two stations 25-54 posted their best numbers in over a year and moved up the ranks in the process. WTOP rose from #5 to #1 while iHEARTMEDIA Alternative WWDC (DC-101) moved up a spot to #2. WHUR stepped back to #3 despite a slight increase. WASH dropped its excess holiday weight and slid from the top to #4. Last year it plunged to a tie at #8. WAMU had its best showing in exactly a year to move up one place to #5. Though it was unable to crack the top five, WBIG moved closer at #6 with one of those best-book-in-over-a-year things. Back in NOVEMBER, WIHT was wrapping up a ten-book run at #1. Then all yule broke loose and the station has yet to return to form. Though it had a solid increase in this survey, HOT still fell three spots to #7.
Before we start throwing dirt on WIHT, it should be noted that the station regained its #1 position 18-34 and returned to the land of double-digit shares. RADIO ONE Urban WKYS (KISS) moved forward one pace to #2 despite a small share loss. WWDC advanced two giant steps to #3 with its best book since AUGUST. CBS RADIO Top 40/R WPGC managed to remain at #4, despite its lowest ranking in over a year. WBIG cracked the top five with its best book in over a year. As recently as NOVEMBER the station owned #12. CBS RADIO Spanish Contemporary WLZL (EL ZOL) ended a pretty dramatic two-book slide to move from #13 to #6. WASH fell back to the exact same spot (#8) with the exact same share it had before all the pipers were piping. Last year it only slid to a tie at #6.
Though it was off its pace from its pre-CHRISTMAS run, WIHT did move back into the lead 18-49. WHUR also moved up to #2 with a solid increase. WTOP made a major move – advancing from #10 to #3. The station was last ranked that high one year ago. WWDC remained at #4 even with a strong increase while WASH slipped and slid from #1 to #5 – better than last year’s drop to #7. WAMU’s best book in over a year could not prevent the station from taking a step back to #6. WKYS used its lowest share in over a year to take three steps back to #8.
PHILADELPHIA: A Lot Less More
This was one of the few markets where two major players went over the river and through the woods with their playlist. WEAZ-FM RADIO AC WBEB (MORE) was far and away the dominant player and, despite losing over half its 6+ share (15.1-7.3), it remained on top. That’s the same place it was last year though with an 8.8 share back then. Despite what BOB DYLAN wrote, apparently you do need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. CBS RADIO News KYW-A was storm-watch central as it moved up to #2 with its highest share since FEBRUARY (4.9-6.5). GREATER MEDIA Classic Rock WMGK had its best showing since JUNE (4.6-5.8) to move up two spots to #3. The other holiday culprit, CBS RADIO Classic Hits WOGL, only received a modest increase from its dalliance with the elves and returned to its more normal range at #4 (6.1-5.7). iHEARTMEDIA Urban AC WDAS fell back a couple of places to #5 with its smallest number since AUGUST (5.9-5.5). A couple of rockers had a good month. GREATER MEDIA Active Rock WMMR moved up to #6 with its best book since JULY (4.3-5.2). Meanwhile, iHEARTMEDIA Alternative WRFF (RADIO 104.5) advanced three squares to a tie at #7 with its largest number since AUGUST (3.7-4.5). One of the stations that made Santa’s naughty list was CBS RADIO Country WXTU. The station ended a three-book slide (3.6-4.3) to move up to a tie at #9. RADIO ONE Classic Hip-Hop WPHI (BOOM) has been fairly consistent since its debut though it did drop to a tie at #11 this book (3.9-3.7).
The 25-54 chart had a decidedly rock hue to it. WMMR returned to its customary #1 position after a rather frosty two-book hiatus. WBEB stepped back to #2 while losing well over half its share. Last year, the station had the same rank with a slightly larger number. WMGK ended a four-book slide as it launched itself from a tie at #9 to #3. WRFF took two steps forward to #4 with its highest score since JUNE. With its smallest number since AUGUST, WDAS dropped a couple of slots to share the #4 position. iHEARTMEDIA Urban WUSL (POWER) had its best book since AUGUST but still took one step back to #6. WPHI had its lowest number since its birth to drop to #7.
The power was on for WUSL as it returned to the top spot 18-34 for the first time in four books – even though it dropped some share from last time. WBEB fell back to #2 but was not actually cut in half. Last year, the station was almost a share heftier and managed to hold on to the #1 spot. WRFF remained at #3 though it did end a two-book slide. WMMR moved up to #4 as it stopped its slide at four books. WXTU bounced back strongly, though not to where it was before the elves hit town. It moved up two spots to #5. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WIOQ (Q102) was flat for the second book in a row and dropped two slots to #6.
Maybe there is a post-holiday buzz for WMMR. The station moved back to #1 18-49 with its best book in exactly a year. WBEB stepped back to #2 – its same rank with almost an identical share as last year. WRFF scored its best book in over a year to move up to #3 while WUSL stepped back to #4 with a modest loss of share. WMGK had a huge increase and that drove the station from #12 to #5. WPHI had its first down book in format to drop to #6. WXTU continued its post-holiday recovery as it moved up three places to a tie at #7.
ATLANTA: Fish Gotta Swim
The lone entry in the holiday sweepstakes was SALEM Christian Contemporary WFSH (FISH). It reverted to form this time (7.6-5.5), which dropped it from a tie for the 6+ lead to #4. It was a better catch than last year when it landed at #10 with a 4.0 share. COX RADIO Talk WSB-A also returned to form (5.8-7.4) as it moved up from the #5 hole to reclaim the title it last held in NOVEMBER. CBS RADIO Urban WVEE (V-103) was off a bit (7.6-7.3) to drop back to the runner-up slot. COX RADIO Urban AC WALR (KISS) remained at #3 but shed a bit of share (6.7-6.1). COX RADIO AC WSB-F (B98.5) ran into its lowest share in over a year (6.5-5.4) but only dropped one spot to #5. iHEARTMEDIA Country WUBL (THE BULL) bounced back from a down book (4.8-5.2) to move up to #6. Cluster-mate iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WWPW (POWER) has been on a roll of late. The station had its best book in over a year for the second straight survey (4.9-5.0) though it dropped a spot to #7.
For the sixth book in a row WVEE was #1 25-54. Though it was flat, it held a sizeable lead over the new #2 kid in town. That was CUMULUS Top 40/M WWWQ (Q100), which advanced from #8 with its highest share since JUNE. WSB-F dropped back into a tie at #3 with the hard-charging WUBL, which trotted in from a tie at #6 as it ended a two-book slide. COX RADIO Classic Hits WSRV (THE RIVER) was off slightly enough to fall back into a tie at #5 with WSB-A, which shook off the effects of last survey’s egg nog consumption as it moved up from a tie at #11. WALR dropped four spots to #8, which is more normal territory for the station. WFSH flopped from #3 to #12 with a marginally better share than last year when it was perched (see what we did there …) at #10.
Make it four out of the last five books that WVEE has posted double-digit shares 18-34. Even though WWWQ moved up to #2 (from #7) with its best book since OCTOBER, it still trailed V-103 by over three shares. RADIO ONE Urban WHTA (HOT) remained at #3 but bounced back nicely from a down book. WWPW parlayed its best showing since JUNE to advance one square to #4 while WUBL hoofed it to #5 (from #8) with its beefiest weight since AUGUST. WSB-F was off a bit but that was enough to drop the station three slots to #6. Two other stations moved out of the top five and arrived simultaneously at #7. WFSH dove from #2 but was in much better condition than last year when it was tied at #17. iHEARTMEDIA Alternative WRDA (RADIO 105.7) dropped two places with its smallest number since JUNE.
WVEE’s uninterrupted reign over 18-49 continued as the station was up slightly. Once again, WWWQ charged into the #2 position (from a tie at #5) with its highest share in a year. WSB-F was off a little and that dropped it back to #3 while WWPW was up for the third straight survey as it moved up to #4. WUBL was flat and dropped back into a tie at #5 with WHTA, which moved up three places thanks to a small increase. RADIO ONE Urban AC WAMJ (MAJIC) dropped a couple of places to #7 with its smallest share since AUGUST. WFSH just kept swimming, swimming, swimming from #3 to a tie at #12 with a better share than last year when it attained the same rank.
BOSTON: Nothing To See Here
Whether intentionally or by accident, GREATER MEDIA AC WMJX (MAGIC) experienced some serious ratings deflation (16.5-7.1). That did not affect the outcome of the game as it remained at #1 6+. Last year it dropped back to a tie at #2 with a 6.3 share. GREATER MEDIA Classic Hits WROR had its best book in over a year (5.4-6.9) to move up a spot to #2. It was joined by CBS RADIO sports WBZ-F (THE SPORTS HUB), which used the drama and excitement of the CELTICS’ race to the lottery to score its highest total in over a year (5.1-6.9) to move up from #7. CBS RADIO News WBZ-A was undoubtedly the winter weather station. It broke a three-way tie at #4 with its largest number since MARCH – when it’s still wicked cold up there (5.2-6.4). iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WXKS (KISS) recovered a bit from its bout with the big guy (5.6-6.1) but fell three places to #5. That’s territory the station is unfamiliar with. GREATER MEDIA Country WKLB dropped from that three-way at #4 to #6 despite gaining share (5.2-5.6). CBS RADIO Classic Rock WZLX was the third member of that #4 trio. It dropped to #8 with its smallest showing since MARCH (5.2-4.7).
WBZ-F had a huge book 25-54 and moved up to a dominant #1 position. It must have been all those hot-stove league discussions. WXKS also moved up a spot – to #2. That marks the third book in a row that the station was not #1 in this demo. WMJX only dropped two places to #3. Last year it had a slightly better share but sat at #4. ENTERCOM Sports WEEI-F joined in on all the jock talk. It moved up three places in the standings to #4 with its best book in over a year. WROR advanced one square to #5 with its highest total since AUGUST. WZLX slipped to #6 with its smallest number since MARCH while WKLB dropped to a tie at #8 despite the slightest of increases.
Some semblance of order was returned to the known universe as WXKS regained its #1 ranking 18-34 after a two-book vacation. WKLB also moved up a spot – to #2 – as it ended a two-book slide. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/R WJMN (JAM’N) had only a slight increase yet still was able to step forward to #3. WMJX fell back to #4 – a better fate than last year’s #7 finish. WBZ-F had its best book since MARCH to move up to #5. It was probably due to all the excitement of the upcoming MLS schedule. GREATER MEDIA Rhythmic AC WBQT (HOT) landed its lowest share in over a year to take a small step back to #6.
Okay, it’s pretty clear that most of NEW ENGLAND was waiting anxiously for the NFL’s decision on “deflategate.” That has to be why WBZ-F rose to #1 18-49 with another monster performance. WXKS remained motionless at #2 despite a slight increase while WMJX slid to #3 – which was better than last year’s #6 stop. WKLB ended a three-book slide as it held fast at #4. CBS RADIO Hot AC WBMX (MIX) moved forward four paces to #5 with its best book since SEPTEMBER. WEEI-F’s constant focus on PSI helped the station score its highest total in over a year and rise from a tie at #11 to #6. GREATER MEDIA Alternative WBOS (RADIO 92.9) fell from a tie at #5 to #8 despite a slight increase. WBQT also vacated the #5 position, dropping all the way to #10 with its lowest share since NOVEMBER.
And with that, we conclude round two. The Ratings Experts at RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. welcome your feedback (or scorn). You can find us via the platforms listed below. One more group to dissect, and that will feature DETROIT, MIAMI, SEATTLE, PHOENIX and MINNEAPOLIS. Drive safely.