Research Director, Inc.: Exclusive December PPM Analysis For New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco And Dallas
December 21, 2015
The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC., along with the data elves from XTRENDS, bring you the pre-holiday edition of our monthly ratings analysis. As you bask in the warm glow of egg nog and crank out those extra of logs (not of the Yule variety), take comfort in knowing we have been cheerily examining the numbers just for you.
This time we explore the results of the DECEMBER survey, though it should be henceforth referred to as “DOH”-vember as it spanned 11/5 through 12/2. This particular book was notable for three things. First, THANKSGIVING had an effect on weeks two and three as people were heading over the river and through the woods to gorge themselves. Second, ‘twas the season of format changes of the holiday variety. And, finally, every market had received (if not installed) the new enhanced CBET encoder. We’re dealing with a lot of stuff here...
New York: Untangling The Lites
Every single stinking year, no matter how well we pack them away, those damn lights become one big snarl that we just toss. Clearly, this was not an issue for iHEARTMEDIA AC WLTW (LITE) as the station flipped the Santa switch during week #3 and saw the usual dazzling results. The station remained #1 6+, but with its best book since the last HOLIDAY go-round (6.8-8.0) and was a bit better than last DECEMBER’s 7.7. CBS RADIO Classic Hits WCBS-F was still #2, though with its lowest share in over a year (6.4-6.0). EMMIS Urban AC WBLS hung in at #3 (6.1-5.8) while SBS Tropical WSKQ (LA MEGA) scored its best share since AUGUST to stand firm at #4 (4.9-5.4). iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WHTZ (Z100) was again idling at #5 with a slight increase (4.8-4.9). One station that has been on fire of late was UNIVISION Spanish Contemporary WXNY. In OCTOBER it was sitting at #16 with a 2.3 share. Its most recent turn (3.1-4.2) has taken the station up to #6.
The Kringle effect for WLTW was evident though less dramatic 25-54. The station re-assumed sole possession of first place as it ended a two-book slide. It was also below last year’s number by almost a share. WSKQ broke out of a three-way tie at #4 to zoom into second place while WBLS abdicated its share of the lead and fell back to #3 with its lowest share since MAY.
WXNY’s sudden surge took it up seven places to #4 while WHTZ was off slightly and dropped back two slots to #5. The other two stations that were also at #4 last time exited the top five altogether. WCBS-F was flat for the second book in a row and landed at #6 while iHEARTMEDIA Urban WWPR (POWER) was down for the third straight survey to end up at #7.
WSKQ was up 18-34 for the third book in a row and assumed control of the demo as it advanced from #4. The station was last in charge of this group back in APRIL. WWPR remained at #2 but with its lowest share since the last HOLIDAY scenario. WHTZ held on at #3 though with its smallest number since APRIL, while WLTW received a big boost from the big guy to climb two places to #4 (and was far stronger than last year). EMMIS Top 40/R WQHT (HOT) cooled considerably and dropped from the lead position to #5 with its lowest total since JANUARY. Both WXNY and WCBS-F had solid months as they moved from a tie at #8 to #6 and #7, respectively.
Conversely, iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WKTU fell three spots to #8 with its smallest share in over a year.
The 18-49 demo was all messed up. WLTW was king of the hill with its best book since APRIL and was off just a bit from last year. WSKQ used its best share in over a year to advance to #2 while WHTZ stepped back to #3 with a flat performance. WWPR’s reign ended at three surveys as the station fell back to #4 with its lowest share since APRIL. WXNY continued its surge as it climbed from #9 to #5 (it was #13 two surveys ago). WQHT took a step back to #6.
Los Angeles: KOST Toasts
As would be typical for this time of year, the weather outside was decidedly unfrightful but the new playlist on iHEARTMEDIA AC KOST was truly delightful. The station made the Santa switch at the beginning of week #2 and reaped immediate rewards. It rose three places to #1 6+ and matched its share from last DECEMBER in the process (5.0-7.0). iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KBIG (MY FM) was relatively unscathed by the holiday hoo-hah as it took over sole control of second place with its best book in over a year (5.2-5.6). iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KIIS (KISS) slid back to #3 despite posting its best share since APRIL (5.2-5.3). Last month’s leader – CBS RADIO Classic Hits KRTH (K-EARTH) – fell back to #4 (5.7-5.1). UNIVISION Spanish Contemporary KLVE (K-LOVE) advanced one square to #5 thanks to its best score in over a year (3.8-4.3). This bumped CBS RADIO Urban AC KTWV (THE WAVE) back to #6 (4.0-3.8). SBS Regional Mexican KLAX (LA RAZA) had a big gain (2.9-3.5) to jump seven places to a tie at #7.
KOST returned to the top of the 25-54 heap for the first time since JULY. It rose from #4 and was just slightly off from last year’s share. KBIG took a step back to #2 despite – once again – landing its best book in over a year. KIIS dropped from a tie at #2 to #3 thanks to a small loss while KLVE took one step forward to #4 with its best performance in over a year. KRTH traded in its share of #2 for #5 with its lowest total since AUGUST. KLAX was cleared for take-off as the station rose four slots to #6 with its highest share in over a year.
Though it was off for the third book in a row, KIIS kept the 18-34 crown and still led the new #2 – KBIG – by over a share. As you might expect, KBIG had its highest share in over a year. The sound of jingle bells propelled KOST up four slots to #3. The station was off slightly from last year’s score. iHEARTMEDIA Urban KRRL (REAL 92.3) dropped two slots to #4 with its lowest total since JUNE. The previous tie at #5 was broken. EMMIS Top 40/R KPWR (POWER) remained in place with a slight decrease while iHEARTMEDIA Alternative KYSR (ALT 98.7) slid to #6 as its five-book surge came to an end. KRTH lost a big chunk of share as it fell from #4 to #9.
The new playlist worked out just fine for KOST 18-49. The station moved up three slots to #1 and exceeded last year’s number. KIIS was off slightly and dropped back into a tie at #2 with KBIG, which again had its best performance in over a year. KLVE also had its highest score in over a year as it rose three places to #4. KRTH took two steps back to #5 with its lowest number since JUNE while KLAX continued its torrid pace here, rising five places to #6. KRRL had a small loss but that was enough to push the station down two slots to #7.
Chicago: MY Christmas Wish
Elfin magic was not quite good enough to propel iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC WLIT (MY FM) to the top of the 6+ chart. The station made the Frosty flip at the beginning of week #3 and it did manage to double its share (3.3-6.6). However, that was only good enough for it to rise from a tie at #8 to #2. CBS RADIO News WBBM-A had its best book since FEBRUARY (5.9-7.0) and that was enough to move the station up to #1. iHEARTMEDIA Urban AC WVAZ (V103) was up slightly (6.0-6.1) but that did not prevent the station from dropping from the lead to #3. HUBBARD Hot AC WTMX (MIX) appeared to have suffered a bit from all the ho-ho-hoing as it dropped a spot to #4 with its lowest share since the HOLIDAY book (5.4-4.7). TRIBUNE N/T WGN-A took a step up to #5 with its highest score since JUNE (3.6-3.8). This pushed UNIVISION Regional Mexican WOJO (QUE BUENA) down two slots to #6 even though the station was flat (3.7-3.7).
Never underestimate the power of the Claus. WLIT jumped from a tie at #13 to #1 25-54 and more than doubled its share along the way. WVAZ had its best showing since JUNE but all it could do was stand pat at #2. WTMX fell from the pinnacle to #3 with its smallest share since JUNE while WBBM-A advanced two squares to #4 with its best showing in over a year. WOJO stepped back to #5 with a slight loss while CUMULUS Alternative WKQX dropped three places to #6, ending a strong four-book run. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WKSC (KISS) was down for the third consecutive survey and dropped two places to a tie at #7.
Even the cool kids got into the Yule groove. WLIT jumped from #8 to #1 18-34. Though it did not quite double its share this time, the station was ahead of last year’s pace. iHEARTMEDIA Urban WGCI ended a two-book flat string with a small increase but was alone at #2. Two stations moving in opposite directions met up at #3. WTMX was up slightly to advance from #5 while WKQX ended its two-month run at #1 with its lowest share since JULY. WKSC traded the comfy confines of #2 for the less tonier environment at #5 thanks to its lowest share in over a year. WVAZ had a solid month as it moved up to #6 where it was joined by WOJO, which fell back from #4.
WLIT came darned close to doubling its 18-49 share. What it got was good enough to move the station from #8 to #1 and well clear of WTMX, which dropped back to #2 for the first time since MAY. WVAZ had its best month since JUNE but remained motionless at #3. WOJO was up slightly to wrest control of the #4 slot while WGCI moved up to #5 with a small increase. WKQX dropped four slots to #6, ending a four-book surge while WKSC fell three slots to #7 with its lowest total in over a year.
San Francisco: Do Not Open Until...
Unlike the family table at THANKSGIVING, there was precious little holiday drama this month. That was likely due to the fact that ENTERCOM AC KOIT made the Santa switch at the beginning of week #4. Still, that was enough to provide some growth (5.3-5.7) and keep the station at #2. The 6+ winner – for the sixth book in a row – was CBS RADIO News KCBS-A (6.1-6.0). It was a good month to be a non-com as KQED INC. N/T KQED had its highest pledge total in over a year (4.4-5.6). That kept the station all alone at #3. iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KIOI (STAR) fell back to #4 with its smallest number since MARCH (4.4-4.1). CBS RADIO Hot AC KLLC (ALICE) was flat (4.0-4.0) but took a step up to #5. CUMULUS Sports KNBR-A slid back to #6 with its lowest score since MARCH (4.1-3.9).
Caroling or not, KOIT was #1 25-54 for the sixth straight survey. The station was over a share ahead of last year’s pace. KLLC was up slightly to remain at #2 while KQED had its best book in over a year to move up three slots to #3. KIOI drifted back to #4 with its second straight down book while iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/R KMEL advanced four paces to #5 as it ended a two-book slide. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KYLD (WILD) dropped two slots to #6 with its lowest score since FEBRUARY. CBS RADIO Top 40/M KMVQ (NOW) dropped two slots to #7 with its smallest output in over a year.
After a two-book hiatus, KMEL returned to familiar surroundings atop the 18-34 leaderboard. This bumped cluster bro’ KYLD back to its more normal turf at #2. KOIT moved up a slot to #3 with its third straight up book. KMVQ ended a four-book slide and moved up two spots to #4 while KIOI dropped back two places to #5 with its third straight down book. KQED’s great month continued here. The station jumped six slots to #6 with easily its best showing in over a year. ENTERCOM Top 40/R KRBQ (Q102) dropped five places to #9 with its least productive outing since MARCH.
Not much change 18-49 for KOIT as the station was flat to remain at #1. KMEL moved up to #2 with its highest share since MAY while KYLD stepped back to #3 with its lowest share since APRIL. Two stations tied the knot at #4. KMVQ remained in place, despite posting its lowest total in over a year, while KLLC took one step forward with its smallest share since the HOLIDAY book. Two other stations were tangled up at #6. KIOI was steady despite landing its lowest number in over a year while the surging KQED moved up from #12.
Dallas-Ft.Worth: We Luv Santa
This is a market that saw two stations turn on the colored lights. The first was CBS RADIO Classic Hits KLUV (K-LOVE), which made the move at the end of week #3. The results were pretty much immediate as the station rushed up the chimney from a tie at #5 to #1 (4.3-6.4). A year ago the station’s progress was halted at #2 with a much lower 5.0 share. This forced a chain reaction on several other stations. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KHKS (KISS) took a step back to #2 (5.9-5.7). This did mark the third book in a row the station failed to crack a 6.0 share 6+ – a very unusual streak. CUMULUS Country KPLX (THE WOLF) moved back to #3 (5.1-5.2) while iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KDMX (NOW) dropped to #4 (4.9-4.6). UNIVISION Regional Mexican KLNO (LA QUE BUENA) moved up two slots to #5 with its highest share in over a year (4.2-4.4). Two other stations met headlong at #6. iHEARTMEDIA Classic Rock KZPS (LONE STAR) fell from #4 with its smallest share since MARCH (4.6-3.9) while CBS RADIO Adult Hits KJKK (JACK) moved up from #10 with its highest total in over a year (3.5-3.9). The other station to make the switch to CHRISTMAS was SALEM Christian Contemporary KLTY. The results were not nearly as good as KLUV’s though, to be fair, the station switched during week #4. KLTY dropped from a tie at #5 to #9 with its smallest share in over a year (4.3-3.6).
On Dasher, On Dancer, On KLUV! The station jumped from #9 to #1 25-54. A year ago at the same time the station was #7. KHKS dropped back to #2 with its lowest score in over a year while KJKK moved up to #3 with its highest total in over a year. KLNO stepped back to #4 despite its best book in over a year. KPLX assumed complete control of the #5 slot thanks to a small increase. KDMX moved from a tie at #5 into a tie at #6 with a small decrease. It was joined in that space by KZPS, which dropped from #2 with its lowest score since MARCH. KLTY took four steps backward to #8 after shedding a chunk of share.
There wasn’t much holiday to cheer about 18-34. KHKS remained #1 despite losing a chunk of share. SERVICE Urban KKDA (K104) had its best book in over a year to remain a strong #2. KLNO took over #3 for itself with a solid gain while KDMX stepped back to #4 with a small loss. iHEARTMEDIA Alternative KDGE (THE EDGE) moved up a slot to #5 with its highest score in over a year while cluster bro’ iHEARTMEDIA Active Rock KEGL (THE EAGLE) flew up to #6 with its highest number since AUGUST. RADIO ONE Top 40/R KBFB (THE BEAT) dropped three places to #8 with a small decrease. Last survey, the two stations that made the Santa switch this time were tied at #17. They went in opposite directions, with KLUV rising to #9 and KLTY falling to a tie at #19.
Amid all the holiday hoopla, KHKS remained #1 18-49 though with its lowest score in over a year. KLNO had its best book in over a year to move up to #2 and less than a share behind the leader. KKDA remained at #3 with a small increase and was joined by KJKK, which rose from a tie at #5 with its best performance in over a year. KDMX dropped three places to #5 and was paired with KLUV, which moved in from #14. KBFB fell two slots to #7 and KLTY dropped four places to #13.
Time to re-spike the egg nog. We’ll be back tomorrow with a look at HOUSTON, WASHINGTON, DC, PHILADELPHIA, ATLANTA, and BOSTON. In the meantime, crank out those non-Yule logs! And, if the Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. can be of service – please reach out to us via the platforms below.