Research Director, Inc. Presents Exclusive August PPM Analysis For New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas
August 31, 2015
As the dog days of summer ripple through the heartland, The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. – along with the numbers crunchers from XTRENDS – wipe the sweat from our collective brows and plow deep into the data from the AUGUST survey. The title of this particular book is somewhat of a misnomer as it covered JULY 16th through AUGUST 12th. No holidays to intrude but it was still the height of vacation season. Let us begin …
NEW YORK: The Song Remains The Same
Like the stagnant air that envelops the city during these steamy days, there was precious little movement within the 6+ ranks. iHEARTMEDIA AC WLTW (LITE) captured its tenth consecutive title as it ended a three-book slide (6.9-7.1). #2 CBS RADIO Classic Hits WCBS-F continued to nip at LITE’s heels as it posted its best score since DECEMBER (6.7-6.8). EMMIS Urban AC WBLS maintained control of the #3 position though it did come down from last month’s lofty perch (6.4-5.8). SBS Tropical WSKQ (LA MEGA) parlayed a small increase (5.2-5.5) to advance one square to #4. This pushed iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WHTZ (Z100) back a slot to #5 as the station was perfectly flat (5.4-5.4). No other station made any dramatic moves this month.
The 25-54 race was a little more interesting. After a two-book hiatus, WLTW re-ascended the throne with its highest share since it was last #1 in MAY. WSKQ also had its best showing since MAY which, coincidentally, was the last time it was #2. WBLS’s stay in the rarefied air of the top spot ended after one episode as it fell back two notches to #3. By landing its lowest number since APRIL, WHTZ took one step back to #4. WCBS-F was off slightly to remain at #5 where it was joined by iHEARTMEDIA Urban WWPR (POWER), which moved up just by being flat.
The two leading 18-34 stations from last survey suffered down books and found themselves in a tie at #1. WHTZ had the bigger loss of the two and this allowed WWPR to claim its share of the lead. EMMIS Top 40/R WQHT (HOT) was in again at #3 with a slight loss. WSKQ was #4 for the fourth book in a row, though with its lowest share since everyone was telling you to be of good cheer. WLTW had its highest number since that cheerful book but settled for fortifying its hold on the #5 position.
The usual suspects were commandeering the top of the 18-49 standings. WHTZ was #1 for the fourth straight survey. WLTW broke from a fourth-place tie to advance to #2 with its best book since APRIL. Both WWPR and WSKQ were flat and fell back one spot to #3 and #4, respectively. WQHT also broke out of a fourth-place tie but fell to #5 despite posting its best book in over a year.
LOS ANGELES: This Is Big
As has been noted previously, this is a very compressed market. Often, small share changes are amplified in the rankings. This survey was a good example of that. iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KBIG (MY FM) did it my way as it moved to #1 6+ –- despite accepting its lowest share since MARCH (5.2-5.0). iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KIIS (KISS) was flat (4.9-4.9) yet advanced two places to #2. It was tied with CBS RADIO Classic Hits KRTH (K-EARTH), which was down (5.0-4.9) yet moved up from #3. Last month’s market leader was iHEARTMEDIA AC KOST. This month it coasted back to #4 as it ended a strong two-book surge (5.5-4.8). In case you weren’t doing the math, these four stations were separated by two tenths of a share. CBS RADIO Urban AC KTWV (THE WAVE) continued its recent string of strong performances and moved back into the top five (3.7-4.1). BONNEVILLE Classic Rock KSWD (THE SOUND) has been playing out its own strong string but did slip back to #6 with a flat performance (3.8-3.8). It was joined in that space by CBS RADIO Adult Hits KCBS-F (JACK), which moved up from #7 with its best showing since APRIL (3.5-3.8).
For the third time in the last four surveys, KBIG was #1 25-54. It moved up from #2 and just edged out cluster sister KIIS, which advanced to #2 with a slight increase. KOST took a large (for this market) hit and fell from the peak to #3. The next four positions in the batting order remained unchanged. KRTH was off slightly at #4 while UNIVISION Spanish Contemporary KLVE (K-LOVE) had its best book since DECEMBER to continue its occupation of the #5 position. Both KCBS-F and KSWD were up and remained at #6 and #7, respectively.
This was the eighth consecutive 18-34 victory lap for KIIS as the station continued to dominate the demo. iHEARTMEDIA Urban KRRL (REAL 92.3) was at #2 for the fourth straight survey but continued to trail its cluster mate by over two shares. EMMIS Top 40/R KPWR (POWER) had its best showing since FEBRUARY and moved up to #3 and was this close (look at our fingers) to beating KRRL. KBIG was off slightly as it fell back to #4 while CBS RADIO Top 40/M KAMP (AMP) was flat for the second book in a row to remain stationary at #5. iHEARTMEDIA Alternative KYSR (ALT 98.7) had an impressive showing as it moved up to #6. This was the station’s highest rank and highest share in over a year.
KIIS kept cruising along as the #1 18-49 station – for the eighth book in a row. It maintained its margin over #2 KBIG as both stations were up ever so slightly. KRTH had its best book since FEBRUARY to take one step forward to #3. KOST wiggled out of a tie at #2 and fell to #4. KLVE moved up two spots to #5 with its best showing since MARCH while KAMP took a step back to #6 thanks to a slight decrease.
CHICAGO: The Mix Is In
For the first time in over a year, HUBBARD Hot AC WTMX (MIX) was #1 6+. The station moved up a spot with its best showing since MARCH (5.0-5.6). The flip of that coin belonged to iHEARTMEDIA Urban AC WVAZ (V103). The station dropped to #2 with its lowest share in over a year (5.8-5.3) and is in the throes of a four-book slide. CBS RADIO News WBBM-A reported in with a slight loss (4.7-4.6) but remained in full control of the #3 slot. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WKSC (KISS) had its lowest share since hap-happiest season of all (3.9-3.8) yet managed to move up to #4. TRIBUNE N/T WGN-A was flat (3.7-3.7) but moved up into a tie at #5 because iHEARTMEDIA Urban WGCI was off slightly (3.8-3.7). CBS RADIO Classic Hits WJMK (K-HITS) dropped three spots to a tie at #7 with its lowest total since MAY (4.1-3.6).
WTMX is no stranger to the #1 25-54 title. This was the eighth time the station accomplished that feat in the last 14 surveys. It also happened to land its best number since MARCH. WVAZ continued its recent slide. Though it remained at #2, it had its lowest share in over a year and trailed MIX by over two shares. WKSC managed to hold on at #3 despite scoring its lowest share in over a year. WJMK was also down but continued to cling to #4. Last month, two stations were tied at #5. That number doubled this time around. WGCI remained in place with a small loss as did UNIVISION Regional Mexican WOJO (LA QUE BUENA). Those two were joined by CUMULUS Alternative WKQX, which advanced from a tie at #9, and CBS RADIO Top 40/M WBBM-F (B96), which came in from #7.
The top seven positions in the 18-34 demo remained unchanged from the previous survey. WGCI was up for the fourth book in a row and had an encore performance at #1. WBBM-F was #2 with its best book since APRIL while WKSC was flat at #3. WTMX held firm at #4 despite scoring its best share since MARCH. WKQX rounded out the top five again as it ended a three-book slide. WOJO was off a bit at #6 while WVAZ remained at #7 with its lowest total since OCTOBER.
For the seventh time in the last eight books, WTMX was #1 18-49. The station had its highest share since MARCH and opened up a sizeable advantage over WKSC. KISS remained at #2 with a slight increase. WGCI took over sole ownership of the #3 position just by being flat. WBBM-F inched up a spot to #4 with a small increase while WOJO remained at #5 with an equally slight decrease. It was joined in that space by WVAZ, which fell from a tie at #3 with its lowest share in over a year. As recently as MAY, it was #1 by half a share.
SAN FRANCISCO: Number Nine, Number Nine …
This was the ninth time in the last fourteen surveys that CBS RADIO News KCBS-A was the market leader 6+. Though the station reported its lowest total since NOVEMBER (5.9-5.8), it maintained a slim margin over ENTERCOM AC KOIT, which remained at #2 with its highest share since the mistletoe was hung where you can see (5.5-5.7). As the pennant race heats up, so did the ratings for CUMULUS Sports KNBR-A. The station rebounded well from a down book (4.4-5.2) to improve its stats from #4 to #3. KQED INC N/T KQED scored its best share since DECEMBER (4.3-4.8) to move up a slot to #4 while iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KIOI (STAR) lost enough share to drop two spots to #5 (4.9-4.6). ENTERCOM Top 40/R KRBQ (Q102.1) continued its torrid pace. The station was up for the ninth book in a row (3.3-3.8) to move up into a tie at #7 with iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/R KYLD (WILD) (3.6-3.8) and CBS RADIO Top 40/M KMVQ (NOW) (4.0-3.8).
KOIT had its best Frosty-free 25-54 showing in over a year to remain at the top of the heap for the second month in a row. KIOI remained at #2 with a slight decrease and was joined by CBS RADIO Hot AC KLLC (ALICE), which advanced from #4 with a healthy increase. Two competitors moved up and into a tie at #4. KRBQ was up for the seventh book in a row as it arrived from #7 while KYLD moved up from a tie at #5 with a small increase. Two other stations moving in opposite directions met up at #6. KMVQ slid from #3 while KNBR-A rose from a tie at #8. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/R KMEL dropped four places to #9.
The clusterrific one-two punch of KMEL and KYLD continued to lead the way 18-34. The former ended a three-book slide while the latter brought its two-book droop to an end. This was as close as the two have been to each other – in a ratings sense – but both held a clear margin over the rest of the field. KRBQ was at its highest point – #3 – with its best share in over a year. KIOI was off a bit and slid back to #4 where it joined the incumbent KMVQ. Once again, KOIT had its best venison-free book in over a year but had to be content with remaining at #6.
One station remained standing from last month’s three-way tie atop the 18-49 leaderboard. KOIT felt the loneliness of being on top thanks to its second-best book out of the last fourteen. You can imagine which survey was #1 for the station. Thanks to a small increase, KYLD jumped up a couple of spots to #2. KRBQ continued to roll, moving up three spots to #3 with its eighth up book in a row. KMVQ was one of last book’s number ones and it fell to #4 with its lowest share since the fire was slowly dying. KMEL moved back a spot to #5 with its lowest share in over a year. It was joined by the third member of last month’s number one trio – KIOI.
Usually, when we talk about this market, we point out how iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KHKS (KISS) asserts its will over the rest of the market. The station was #1 – again – but this marked the third straight down book (6.9-6.7). With the exception of the HOLIDAY survey (what, no lyrical pun?), the station is #1 by a wide margin. However, this time the gap narrowed to less than a share – the first time that has happened since SEPTEMBER. This was largely due to CUMULUS Country KPLX (THE WOLF), which tracked down its best book in over a year (5.1-5.9). iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KDMX (NOW) maintained its hold on the #3 position (4.8-5.1) while CBS RADIO Classic Hits KLUV (K-LOVE) moved up to #4 with its best showing since the bluebird had gone away (4.5-5.0). Two stations met headlong at #5. iHEARTMEDIA Classic Rock KZPS (LONE STAR) dropped from #4 with its lowest share since MARCH (4.6-4.0) while UNIVISION Regional Mexican KLNO advanced from #6 despite losing share (4.3-4.0).
The 25-54 margin remained healthy for KHKS even after combining its down book with #2 KLPX’s best in over a year. KDMX ended a three-book slide as it moved forward two paces to #3. KLNO was off slightly but remained anchored at #4. Two rock-related cluster brothers were being bros at #5. iHEARTMEDIA Active Rock KEGL (THE EAGLE) moved in from a tie at #9 with its highest total since DECEMBER while KZPS dropped in from #2 with its lowest share since MARCH.
Even when SANTA’s in town, KHKS has around a two-share lead 18-34. That was not the case with this survey. The station was still #1 but posted its lowest number since SEPTEMBER. KDMX, at #2, narrowed the gap to just over a share by landing its best book since APRIL. KPLX was in the hunt as it moved up two spots to #3 with its best book since SEPTEMBER. KLNO dropped back a couple of places to #4 as it shed a chunk of share. SERVICE Urban KKDA (K104) had the same experience as it stepped back to #5. KEGL bounced back from its lowest total of the year to move up three slots to #6.
One place where KHKS continued to reign supreme was 18-49. Though the station had its lowest score since JANUARY, it held a two-plus share advantage over #2 KDMX, which ended a three-book slide this time. KPLX again had its best book in over a year but had to be content with remaining at #3 – though it was a heartbeat away from advancing. Last month, three stations were tied at #5. This time there was a three-way at #4. The players changed a bit so stay with us. KEGL arose from a tie at #9 with its best book since JANUARY. RADIO ONE Top 40/R KBFB (THE BEAT) moved up a slot with its best showing since OCTOBER while KLNO remained motionless – if not emotionless – with a small loss of share. The two stations that left the previous triad were KKDA – landing at #7 – and CBS RADIO Hot AC KVIL, which slipped to a tie at #8.
Thank you for reading this far. Stay tuned for previews of our next episode … If you have any questions or comments about the preceding analysis, please contact the Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. via any of the conveyances listed below … tune in again next time for the continuing ratings adventures of HOUSTON-GALVESTON, WASHINGTON, DC, PHILADELPHIA, ATLANTA, and BOSTON.