Research Director, Inc.: Exclusive Sept. PPM Analysis For NY, LA, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philly, Atlanta
September 29, 2015
Welcome to an expanded version of our first round of ratings analysis for the SEPTEMBER survey. At the risk of serious carpal tunnel syndrome, The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. and the numbers wonks from XTRENDS bring you eight different markets today. It’s a veritable firehose of data. This particular survey spent most of its time in the month prior to its name. The actual dates were AUGUST 13th through SEPTEMBER 9th. That time period featured the dreaded back-to-school days, the LABOR DAY weekend, and pennant races, but no real NFL football (sorry, but exhibition, we mean, pre-season games don’t count). And, away we go …
NEW YORK: Can’t Fight The Power
The story line threading its way through this most majorest of markets concerned iHEARTMEDIA Urban WWPR (POWER). The station muscled its way into the top five 6+ with its best share in over a year (4.1-4.8). This is a foreshadowing of what is yet to come. The other players in the top five remained unchanged. iHEARTMEDIA AC WLTW (LITE) was #1 for the eleventh book in a row (7.1-7.5). CBS RADIO Classic Hits WCBS-F turned its string of #2 books up to eleven (6.8-6.6). EMMIS Urban AC WBLS bounced back nicely from a slightly down book (5.8-6.2) to remain at #3 for the fifth consecutive survey. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WHTZ (Z100) took a step forward to #4, though with its lowest total in exactly a year (5.4-4.9). SBS Tropical WSKQ (LA MEGA) had its lowest number in over a year (5.5-4.7) and was forced to exit the top five to make room for WWPR.
For the second book in a row, WLTW was #1 25-54 as the station was up slightly from last month. WBLS advanced to the #2 position with a solid rebound from AUGUST. WWPR has been on quite the run in this demo. In FEBRUARY it was at #7. Since then it has gained almost two full shares, and this survey the station worked its way up to #3. Once again WHTZ had its lowest score in exactly a year but it remained at #4. WCBS-F took sole possession of fifth place after posting its smallest share since APRIL. WSKQ dropped four places to #6 with – again – its lowest total in over a year.
You probably smelled this one coming. For the second month in a row, WWPR was #1 18-34. The difference this time was that it was no longer tied with WHTZ. Oh, and the station also cracked the double-digit barrier – no small feat in a market this size. Z100 was up slightly but stepped back to #2. EMMIS Top 40/R WQHT (HOT) remained entrenched at #3 though with its lowest share since APRIL. WLTW moved one step forward to #4 with its best Frosty-free share in over a year. WSKQ dropped to #5 as it – for the third demo in a row – had its lowest total in over a year.
Can you imagine who reached #1 18-49 in this survey? If you guessed WWPR, you are the correct caller! The station advanced from #3 with easily its best share in over a year. WLTW remained at #2 with its best book since APRIL while WHTZ fell two places to #3 with its lowest score since APRIL. WQHT had a down month but managed to step up to #4 while WBLS returned to the top five for the first time since FEBRUARY with a solid increase. As you would expect, WSKQ had its lowest share in over a year and took two steps back to #6.
LOS ANGELES: Two For The Show
Last survey, two stations were joined at the hip and sharing quality time together at #2 6+. This time, both stations had slight increases, remained bonded together but moved up to share the lead. The big reveal … those two stations were iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KIIS (KISS) and CBS RADIO Classic Hits KRTH (K-EARTH). Both stations went 4.9-5.1. Last month’s market leader – iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KBIG (MY FM) dropped all the way to #3 (it’s a math thing) because of a huge (insert sarcasm here) share drop – 5.0-4.9. iHEARTMEDIA AC KOST remained at #4 (4.8-4.6). As is usually the case, these four stations separated themselves from the rest of the field. CBS RADIO Urban AC KTWV (THE WAVE) came in at #5 for the fifth time in the last six surveys (4.1-3.9). A year ago at this time the station was in a tie at #21 with a 2.2 share. UNIVISION Spanish Contemporary KLVE (K-LOVE) moved up to a close #6 with its best book since MARCH (3.7-3.8).
Over each of the last 14 surveys, the iHEARTMEDIA cluster has had one of its stations at #1 25-54. This time it was KIIS as it swapped positions with KBIG. KISS had its highest share since APRIL. KRTH took one step forward to #3 with its highest score in over a year. Two other stations moving in opposite directions met up at #4. KOST slipped back from #3 with its smallest share since MAY while KLVE advanced from #5 with its finest performance since OCTOBER. Keep an eye on CBS RADIO Alternative KROQ. The station moved up two notches to #6 with its best showing in over a year.
To say that KIIS had a monster book 18-34 would be a gross understatement. The station was, of course, #1 for the ninth book in a row, but this month’s number was over half-share better than any it received in the last year. Oh, and it widened its lead on the rest of the market to almost three and a half shares. iHEARTMEDIA Urban KRRL (REAL 92.3) remained at #2 with its best book since MARCH while EMMIS Top 40/R KPWR (POWER) held steady at #3 with a slight decrease. KBIG also had a slight decrease but remained a solid #4 while iHEARTMEDIA Alternative KYSR (ALT 98.7) moved up to #5 with its best book in over a year. As recently as JUNE, the station was stuck in a tie at #10. CBS RADIO Top 40/M KAMP (AMP) fell back to #6 with its lowest share in over a year.
The top five 18-49 remained unchanged except that it expanded to include six stations. KIIS was #1 again with its best book since APRIL while KBIG was off slightly while holding firm at #2. KRTH had its highest share since FEBRUARY but did not budge from #3 while KOST remained steady at #4. KLVE kept a hold on the #5 position but was joined by KRRL, which moved up from a tie at #8 with its best number since MAY.
CHICAGO: V Vaults
Last month, iHEARTMEDIA Urban AC WVAZ (V103) reached a 14-book nadir and slid back to #2 6+. This month, the station ended its four-book skid (5.3-5.7) and moved back to the top spot. HUBBARD Hot AC WTMX (MIX) slipped back to #2 with a small decrease (5.6-5.4). CBS RADIO News WBBM-A remained at #3 but did report on its best book since MAY (4.6-5.3). These three stations were well ahead of the rest of the market. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WKSC (KISS) was up a bit at #4 (3.8-4.0) while last month’s #5 duo parted ways. iHEARTMEDIA Urban WGCI remained in place by being flat (3.7-3.7) while TRIBUNE N/T WGN-A slipped back to #6 (3.7-3.6).
For the third book in a row, WTMX captured the 25-54 flag. The station was off a bit from last survey but still held a strong lead over #2 WVAZ, which ended a three-book skid with a healthy increase. WKSC ended a small two-book skid to remain at #3. Last month there were four stations tied at #5 – which caused a lot of extra work for us. We’re happy to say that two remained tied while two did not. Moving up to #4 in tandem were UNIVISION Regional Mexican WOJO (LA QUE BUENA) and CUMULUS Alternative WKQX. Both stations had a slight increase. WGCI slipped to #6 with a slight decrease while CBS RADIO Top 40/M WBBM-F (B96) fell to #7 with a slightly larger decrease. Forgotten in all the shuffling was CBS RADIO Classic Hits WJMK (K-HITS), which dropped four places to a tie at #8 with its smallest number since FEBRUARY.
Though the station landed its lowest share since APRIL, WGCI won the 18-34 race for the third book in a row. It just edged out cluster buddy WKSC, which moved up to #2 even though it shed some share. They were putting the band back together at #3. WKQX moved up from #5 just by being flat while WTMX advanced from #4 with a slight decrease. WVAZ recovered nicely from a low book, gaining a full share over last month to return to the top five. WBBM-F landed its lowest total in over a year as it fell four places to #6. Keep an eye on iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC WLIT (MY FM). Though the station only advanced four spots to #8, it did have its highest Kringle-free share in over a year.
WTMX saw its three-book surge 18-49 come to a halt but the end result was the same – the station was #1 for the fourth book in a row. WKSC was off slightly at #2 while WVAZ rebounded from its lowest book of the year to move up two places to #3. WGCI dropped back to #4 with its lowest total since MAY while WKQX jumped two spots to #5. WOJO dropped back to #6 with a slight decrease while WBBM-F fell three slots to #7 with its lowest share in over a year.
SAN FRANCISCO: They Might Not Be Giants
At the time of the survey, there was an intriguing story line surrounding the local baseball nine. It appeared that the team had a chance at defending its crown. Alas, this turned out to be a fairy tale but hope certainly drove CUMULUS Sports KNBR-A. The station had a healthy increase (5.2-5.7) and moved up two spots to #1 6+. However, there may be a one-game playoff as it was tied with the incumbent – CBS RADIO News KCBS-A, which has not had an up book since APRIL (5.8-5.7). Moving up to a somewhat distant #3 was iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KIOI (STAR), which was up a bit (4.6-4.9). It just edged out ENTERCOM AC KOIT, which dropped two places to #4 (5.7-4.8). KQED INC N/T KQED dropped back to #5 (4.8-4.6).
KOIT did have a down book 25-54 but it was not bad enough to knock the station out of the #1 position. KNBR-A hit a solid line drive into the gap as it moved up four places to #2. The two stations tied at #2 last survey remained tied this time, though one spot lower. CBS RADIO Hot AC KLLC (ALICE) and KIOI were both flat. The two stations previously sharing the #4 position went their separate ways. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KYLD (WILD) slipped to #5 despite recording its highest share since MARCH. ENTERCOM Top 40/R KRBQ (Q102) ended an eight-book surge to slide to #7. The last time the station had a down book was when MADONNA’s imitation of EARTHA KITT was in regular rotation.
For the longest time 18-34 was pretty much the private domain of iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/R KMEL. To put things in perspective – the station was #1 again with a slight increase. However, its most recent number was over three shares lighter than a year ago. What had been a five-plus share lead over perennial #2 KYLD had shrunk to less than half a share. A year ago KRBQ was ranked in a tie at #21. The station remained at #3 this survey but posted its best score in over a year. The tie at #4 was broken. KIOI remained in place with a slight increase while CBS RADIO Top 40/M KMVQ (NOW) stepped back to #5 with its lowest share since Grandma was involved in that hit-and-run. UNIVISION Regional Mexican KSOL had its best book since FEBRUARY and jumped six places to a tie at #7.
There was all sorts of movement in the 18-49 ranks. KYLD had its best book since MAY and moved into the #1 position. Two other stations showed upward mobility and landed in tandem at #2. KMVQ came up from #4 with a small increase while KMEL advanced from a tie at #5 as it ended a four-book skid. KOIT, which had led the pack for two months, couldn’t sustain the momentum and dropped back to #4 with a moderate decrease. Two other stations met headlong at #5. KRBQ dropped from #3 – ending an eight-book run. KLLC moved up from #7 with a slight increase. KIOI dropped back to #7 thanks to a small decrease.
DALLAS-FT.WORTH: The Kiss Skid Ends
There had to be some schweaty palms inside the halls of iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KHKS (KISS). After all, the station had been down for three books in a row and just landed its lowest share since mistletoe was hanging over our heads. Wait, through all of this it was still #1 6+. That trend continued this time (6.7-7.0) as the margin over #2 CUMULUS Country KPLX (THE WOLF) went back over a share. THE WOLF was off slightly (5.9-5.7). CBS RADIO Classic Hits KLUV (K-LUV) had its best elf-free book in over a year (5.0-5.4) to move up to #3. The star of this survey had to be SALEM Christian Contemporary KLTY. The station had its best book since MARCH and moved up three spots to #4 (3.9-4.6). iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KDMX (NOW) fell two places to #5 with its lowest total since MARCH (5.1-4.3). The two stations previously united at #5 were unbound. iHEARTMEDIA Classic Rock KZPS (LONE STAR) was up slightly (4.0-4.1) but still slid back to #6. UNIVISION Regional Mexican KLNO had its smallest share since MAY (4.0-3.4) and fell four places to a tie at #9.
For the ninth book in a row KHKS was #1 25-54. The station was up a bit this time. KPLX remained at #2 but was off a bit. As a result, the gap between the two stations widened to almost two full shares. KLUV moved up four spots to #3 with its biggest book without the help of ANDY WILLIAMS in over a year. KZPS had its lowest total since MARCH but still moved up a slot to #4. KDMX took a bit of a hit as it dropped two places to #5. CBS RADIO Adult Hits KJKK (JACK) had its highest score in over a year to move up five spots to #6. A couple of stations dropped out of the top five. KLNO fell four spots to a tie at #8 with its smallest share since MAY while iHEARTMEDIA Active Rock KEGL (THE EAGLE) could not match last month’s big book and dropped seven places to #12.
KHKS bounced back from last month’s low 18-34 book when it only had a little more than a share lead over #2 KDMX. This time the chasm was closer to three shares. NOW had its smallest number since MARCH. SERVICE Urban KKDA (K104) used a slight increase to propel itself forward two steps to #3. RADIO ONE Top 40/R KBFB (THE BEAT) had its best book since OCTOBER to advance three squares to #4. It was joined there by KPLX, which stepped back from #3 after losing a rather large chunk of share. KLNO dropped two spots to a tie at #6 with its least productive survey since MAY. KLTY had quite the month. The station had its highest score since JANUARY as it rose from #19 to #8.
For most of the year KHKS’s 18-49 share has been relatively consistent. The station was up slightly this time to remain #1, and since #2 KDMX had its lowest share since MARCH, the stations were separated by a moat that spanned more than three shares. KBFB had its best showing in over a year to move up a slot to #3, which knocked KPLX back to #4. THE WOLF also saw its three-book surge come to an end. KKDA moved up two spots to #5 while two of three stations that were referred to as “number four” last time fell further off the pace. KEGL ended up at #7 while KLNO fell all the way to #11.
HOUSTON-GALVESTON: The Sunny Streak
Due to intense short-term memory loss, we had to review the progression of iHEARTMEDIA’s AC KODA (SUNNY). It would be logical to assume that the station’s #1 6+ run began with the arrival of all the holiday music. In fact, it began before that – in NOVEMBER. By our math this marks the twelfth straight win (7.0-7.5). RADIO ONE Urban AC KMJQ (MAJIC) was up for the third straight survey (6.3-6.6) to remain at #2. UNIVISION Regional Mexican KLTN remained at #3 though it posted its lowest score since JANUARY (6.1-5.9). RADIO ONE Top 40/R KBXX (THE BOX) had its best book since OCTOBER (5.3-5.4) to move forward three paces to #4. Last month’s #4 twins were separated. COX RADIO Country KKBQ (93Q) Texas-two-stepped back to #5 with its lowest share since GENE AUTRY was on the radio (5.8-5.2). iHEARTMEDIA Alternative KTBZ (THE BUZZ) came down from last month’s high (5.8-5.0) and crashed at #7.
Proving that last month’s number was merely a flesh wound, KODA returned to the top of the 25-54 chart – advancing from the lowly #4 position. Last month’s leader, KLTN, slid back to #2 with its lowest total since JANUARY. KMJQ had its best book since the stockings were being well hung and moved forward three spots to #3. KTBZ dropped two places to #4 while KKBQ also dropped two spots – ending up at #5 with its smallest number since MARCH. COX RADIO Classic Rock KGLK (THE EAGLE) had its lowest share since the malls were alive with the sound of holiday music and slid back two spots to #7.
The top five 18-34 remained unchanged though the order was altered a bit. KBXX was #1 for the sixth straight survey despite a small decrease while KLTN moved up to #2 despite an even smaller decrease. KTBZ took a bit of a hit as it dropped back to #3 while iHEARTMEDIA Urban KQBT (THE BEAT) also experienced a sudden loss of ratings pressure as it stepped back to #4. KBXX remained at #5 despite landing its lowest number since MARCH.
There was quite a bit of shakeup among the 18-49 ranks, as well. KLTN had a modest loss but still took one step forward to #1. KODA took three steps forward to #2 while KBXX moved up a place to the show position just by being flat. Last month’s market leader was KTBZ and it came down hard – dropping all the way to #4. KKBQ dropped two spots to #5 with its lowest share since MARCH. KMJQ had a pretty good book. The station moved up three slots to #6 with its highest share in exactly a year.
PHILADELPHIA: Good Ole Country Comfort
Yes, JERRY LEE RADIO AC WBEB (MORE) was #1 6+ again (7.0-6.8) but the big story out of the city of great cheesesteaks belonged to CBS RADIO Country WXTU. The station had its best book in over a year (5.5-6.3) to move up to #2 – but that’s only part of the story (wow, teasing … Or as we call it, vertical recycling). CBS RADIO Classic Hits WOGL had its lowest share since APRIL (7.0-6.1) as it dropped from a tie at the top to #3. A couple of rock-and-roll cluster bros occupied the next two positions. GREATER MEDIA Classic Rock WMGK dropped to #4 despite having its best book since APRIL (5.5-5.9). Meanwhile, GREATER MEDIA Active Rock WMMR remained at #5 with a flat performance (5.2-5.2). iHEARTMEDIA Urban AC WDAS was excused from the top five, dropping to a tie at #6 after posting its lowest total in over a year (5.2-5.0).
The medal-winning positions 25-54 remained unchanged from last month though everyone got a little closer. WMMR was flat and happy to capture its ninth #1 book in a row. WBEB remained at #2 with its best book since JANUARY while WXTU remained in the bronze position with its highest point total in over a year. WMGK moved up to #4 with its best score since APRIL while iHEARTMEDIA Urban WUSL (POWER) dropped back to #5 despite a small increase. GREATER MEDIA Adult Hits WBEN (BEN FM) fell two places to #7 after losing a noticeable chunk of share.
WUSL remained the ultimate power in the 18-34 universe. The station was #1 for the ninth book in a row and cracked the double-digit ceiling for the second month in a row. WXTU was hot on POWER’s heels. The station remained at #2 with its best share in over a year and was this close (see our fingers) to hitting double digits, as well. WBEB remained at #3 but fell farther off the torrid pace set by the top two stations. MORE scored its least productive number in over a year. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WIOQ (Q102) bounced back from last month’s down book to move up two places to #4. WMMR had its lowest share since APRIL to slip back to #5. CBS RADIO Top 40/M WZMP (AMP) had its smallest share since it became unwired to drop two spots to #7. WMGK had a heckuva (spell check does not like that word) month. The station moved from #11 to #8 and has almost doubled its share over the last two surveys.
Ho hum, another #1 18-49 book for WMMR. What’s that, like nine in a row. The station was off slightly this survey. WXTU moved up two spots to #2 with – once again – its best book in over a year. WBEB dropped back to #3 after suffering a decent share loss. It was tied with WUSL, which remained in place with a slight increase. WIOQ held on at #5 with a small increase while WMGK advanced five paces to #6 as it ended a four-book slide.
ATLANTA: The UAC Battle
Imagine for a moment that you are an Urban AC in this market. You’re pulling over an eight share 6+ and have strong 25-54 and 18-49 shares. You’d probably think your station would be #1 or something. Unfortunately, this is ATLANTA and CBS RADIO Urban WVEE (V-103) is the ultimate authority. The station was down a bit (9.1-8.7) but remained #1 for the eighth book in a row. That hypothetical example we were referring to earlier in the paragraph? It is reality for COX RADIO Urban AC WALR (KISS). The station just had its best book in over a year (7.8-8.1) yet had to settle for being #2 again. COX RADIO Talk WSB-A remained at #3 with its best book since NOVEMBER (7.1-7.7). These three stations were well ahead of the rest of the field. The next closest pursuers were tied at #4. SALEM Christian Contemporary WFSH (FISH) remained in place despite shedding some share (5.4-4.9). This allowed RADIO ONE Urban WHTA (HOT) to move up from #8 as it landed its best book in over a year (4.4-4.9). The two stations previously tied at #5 remained an item but stepped back one square. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WWPW (POWER) and RADIO ONE Urban AC WAMJ (MAJIC) both went 4.9-4.7.
WVEE was down 25-54 for the third book in a row with its lowest share since APRIL. It still had close to a two-share lead over #2 WALR as KISS was off slightly from last month. CUMULUS Top 40/M WWWQ (Q100) moved up two places to #3 with its best book since MARCH. The two stations that were involved at #3 are no longer together. WSB-A slipped to #4 despite landing its best number since APRIL while WHTA dropped to #5 with a slight decrease. A couple of other stations turned in some strong performances. ENTERCOM Hot AC WSTR (STAR) had its highest total in over a year as it moved up to #10. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, CUMULUS Country WKHX (KICKS) rounded up its largest number since JANUARY to end up at #11.
The playbook says that an Urban AC radio station is not supposed to dominate 18-34. Clearly, someone forgot to mention this to WVEE. The station was in double digits for the eleventh time over the last fourteen surveys. WWWQ had a huge increase as it moved up to #2 with its best performance in over a year. Still, it trailed the leader by over three shares. WHTA was up slightly but slid back to #3 while WWPW ended a two-book slide but still fell back to #4. COX RADIO AC WSB-F (B98.5) rebounded from two down books to move up two spots to #5. iHEARTMEDIA Alternative WRDA (RADIO 105.7) took a big cut as it sank six spots to #10 with its lowest share since APRIL.
For the sixth book in a row, WVEE exceeded the double-digit limit 18-49. Needless to say, it was #1 with a better than four-share lead over #2 WALR, which was flat. WHTA was also flat at #3 while WWWQ got a bit larger at #4 with its best showing since MARCH. Last month’s three-way tie at #5 was shattered. WSB-F remained in place with a small increase. WWPW dropped back to #6 with a flat feeling while iHEARTMEDIA Country WUBL (THE BULL) fell all the way to #10 with its lowest number in over a year.
Thank you for enduring this extended version of our exclusive ratings analysis. The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. return in the foreseeable future with another extended edition. This one will focus on WASHINGTON, DC, BOSTON, DETROIT, MIAMI, SEATTLE-TACOMA, PHOENIX, and MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL. Until that moment arrives, please feel free to reach out to us via the platforms listed below. Who knows. Maybe we can help you win in the ratings.