Research Director, Inc.: Exclusive April PPM Analysis For New York, L.A., Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas
May 9, 2016
What did APRIL bring besides showers? Well, there was the life-begins-again moment of opening day for MLB, the Easter holiday, and DONALD TRUMP still had in-party competition. Besides that, it was another lonely radio month. The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. – in voluntary cooperation with the crunchers of numbers at XTRENDS – once again don our safety gear for a deep dive into the ratings fortunes of AMERICA’s biggest radio markets (and stations). This one covered MARCH 24th through APRIL 20th and our analysis begins right now.
NEW YORK: On The Lite Side
Remember way back in FEBRUARY when iHEARTMEDIA AC WLTW (LITE) was not #1 6+? Of course you do. Jaws dropped and teeth gnashed in response. Well, that was then and just now the station copped its second #1 (and thirteenth in the last fourteen) book in a row (6.7-6.5). The rest of the top five featured the same performers but in a different order. Last time both CBS RADIO Classic Hits WCBS-F and iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WHTZ (Z100) were tied at #4. This time they parted company for loftier gigs. WCBS-F moved up to #2 with its best performance since DECEMBER (5.3-5.6). Z100 stepped up to #3 with its highest share since AUGUST (5.3-5.4). Since two moved up, according to Fudd’s First Law of Opposition, two must have moved down. And, they did. EMMIS Urban AC WBLS dropped a spot to #4 (5.5-5.2) while last month’s darling – SBS Tropical WSKQ (MEGA) – fell three places to #5 with its third down book in a row (6.2-5.1). The station had been on a roll but now finds itself back in more familiar surroundings. It is worth noting the recent growth of CBS RADIO News WINS-A. Back when Santa was in town, the station reached its nadir with a 3.1 share at #9 (tied). Though it remained at #6 this time, it did post its best share in over a year (4.7-4.8).
For the last three surveys, WSKQ was performing at a record pace. Though the station did take a significant hit this time, it managed to remain #1 25-54 for the fourth book in a row. WHTZ again had its best book since AUGUST as it rose two places to #2. WLTW fell back to #3 as it gave back most of last month’s big gain. iHEARTMEDIA Urban WWPR (POWER) ended its strong three-book surge as it took a step back to #4. Coming from the back of the rack was UNIVISION Spanish Contemporary WXNY (X96.3), which jumped five places to #5 with a huge increase. WBLS posted its lowest number in over a year and dropped to #6 – its first time out of the top five in exactly one year.
WHTZ returned to the top of the 18-34 leaderboard for the first time since – surprise – AUGUST. The station was down slightly from the previous survey but moved up because #2 WSKQ lost a noticeably large chunk of its former share. The Urban format battle took quite the turn this time. EMMIS Top 40/R WQHT (HOT) bounced back from a down book to advance two places to #3. It just edged out WWPR, which slid back to #4 with its lowest share since reindeer were aloft. WLTW has been on a roller coaster ride ever since the reindeer were grounded. The station was in a dip this time as it dropped a spot to #5. WXNY moved up to #6 with its best showing in over a year.
The top five 18-49 had the same familiar faces but their order was upset. WHTZ rose to the top for the first time since, hmmm, AUGUST maybe? WSKQ again lost a share chunk and dropped back to #2 and into a tie with WWPR, which moved up a slot despite a down book. WLTW remained riveted at #4 with a small decrease while WQHT held firm at #5 with its highest share since NOVEMBER.
LOS ANGELES: Tighten Up
Last survey iHEARTMEDIA AC KOST had opened up a wide 6+ lead over everyone else. This time the compression returned. Yes, the station was #1 for the sixth book in a row but its lead was far less commanding (5.9-5.3). iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KIIS (KISS) was flat, stable, and closer at #2 (5.1-5.1). CBS RADIO Classic Hits KRTH (K-EARTH) moved up to #3 with its highest score since DECEMBER (4.5-4.9). This pushed iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KBIG (MY FM) back to #4 (4.8-4.8). In case you’re keeping score at home, the top four stations were separated by half a share. In the numbers game we call that tight. Coming in at #5 again was CBS RADIO Urban AC KTWV (THE WAVE), which was also flat (4.4-4.4).
After three #1 25-54 books in a row, KIIS decided to cede the crown to cluster sister KBIG. KISS had its lowest share since the chestnuts were ablaze while KBIG was merely flat. KRTH moved up two slots to #3 with its best showing since DECEMBER while KOST slid back to #4 with its lowest number since OCTOBER. iHEARTMEDIA Alternative KYSR (ALT 98.7) was up for the fourth book in a row to remain at #5. When the streak began the station was sitting at #12. CBS RADIO Adult Hits KCBS-F (JACK) slipped to #6 with a slight drop in share.
KIIS was down 18-34 for the second book in a row and actually posted its lowest score in over a year. Yet, the station was #1 for the fourth consecutive survey. KYSR, in the runner-up position, narrowed the gap between the two stations by landing its largest share in over a year. The gap has shrunk to less than half a share. KBIG had its best performance since DECEMBER to remain nestled at #3. CBS RADIO Top 40/M KAMP (AMP) advanced two squares to #4 with its highest total since OCTOBER. Last month the two Urban stations were entangled at #4. They were separated this time and moved back thanks to down surveys. iHEARTMEDIA Urban KRRL (REAL 92.3) landed at #5 while EMMIS Top 40/R KPWR (POWER) dropped to #6. Though the two were no longer tied, the gap was as small as is mathematically possible.
Ties were forged and bonds were broken 18-49. KIIS was off slightly to remain at #1 where it was joined by the flat-performing KBIG, which took one step forward. #3 KYSR swapped places with #4 KOST as the former was flat while the latter had its lowest share since OCTOBER. KRRL had its highest share since OCTOBER to move forward three places to #5. Last survey we had three stations locked in mortal combat at #5. The trio went their separate ways. Unfortunately for them, it was in the wrong direction. KAMP dropped to #6 despite a small increase. CBS RADIO Alternative KROQ was up slightly but slid to a tie at #7. And, KCBS-F was off slightly and dropped to a tie at #9.
CHICAGO: Three For Three
Since it is baseball season, it’s time to dust off (or brush back) the clichés and jargon. This is more appropriate given that two of the hottest teams in the sport reside in the WINDY CITY. Thus, we refer to a perfect day at the plate when referencing the top three spots 6+. The batting order remained unchanged from last survey. CBS RADIO News WBBM-A led off for the fourth consecutive survey (6.6-6.5) while iHEARTMEDIA Urban AC WVAZ (V103) was at #2 with its highest share since DECEMBER (5.6-6.1). These two were well ahead of the rest of the line-up. HUBBARD Hot AC WTMX (MIX) remained a solid #3 (4.9-4.8). Coming in at clean-up – up from a tie at #6 – was TRIBUNE N/T WGN-A, which posted its best score since JUNE (3.8-4.3). iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC WLIT (MY FM) dropped to #5 (4.0-3.9) and into a tie with iHEARTMEDIA Urban WGCI, which moved up a slot (3.8-3.9). iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WKSC (KISS) dropped three places to #7 (4.0-3.7). CBS RADIO Sports WSCR-A (THE SCORE) picked a good year to be the CUBS flagship. The station jumped from #18 to a tie at #9 with its highest share in over a year (2.5-3.2).
As with the previous demo, the top three 25-54 were the same as last month. WTMX was #1 for the fourth book in a row while WVAZ was #2 for the eleventh straight survey. Because the former was down while the latter was up, the gap between them shrank to a half share. WKSC continued its role as #3 with a small decrease. WGCI also remained in place at #4 with a small decrease but was joined by WBBM-A, which took one small step forward while losing some share. A couple of noteworthy performances from the second division that had their best books in over a year. HUBBARD Classic Hits WDRV (THE DRIVE) moved up four places to #7 while CBS RADIO AAA WXRT was up five spots to #10.
The 18-34 demo was sponsored by the number three. WGCI had its lowest share since DECEMBER but was #1 for the fourth book in a row. WKSC was down but steady at #2, while WTMX was down for the second straight survey but clung to the #3 position. Last month’s #4 tie was severed. CUMULUS Alternative WKQX remained in place with a slight decrease while CBS RADIO Top 40/M WBBM-F (B96) dropped to #5 with its third straight down book.
The only stability 18-49 was in the top two positions. Even though both stations were down, they remained in place. WTMX was #1 for the fourth straight survey while WGCI was #2 for the fifth time in a row. WVAZ stepped forward to #3 with its highest total since Santa ruled the air, while WKSC slid back to #4 with a small decrease. WKQX was flat but moved up to #5, while UNIVISION Regional Mexican WOJO (QUE BUENA) fell to #6 with its lowest score in over a year.
SAN FRANCISCO: Play Ball!
Baseball is very, very good to CUMULUS Sports KNBR-A. The GIANTS are back in town so the station recorded its highest 6+ share since JUNE (4.9-6.0). The result of the play put KNBR-A at #1. CBS RADIO News KCBS-A saw its winning streak come to an end as it slipped back to #2 (6.0-5.5). KQED INC. N/T KQED was also down a bit as it fell back to #3 (5.5-5.1). The leading music station was ENTERCOM AC KOIT. It was flat and stable at #4 overall (4.6-4.6). The two stations knotted at #5 last survey continued the previous arrangement with slight increases. iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KIOI (STAR) and iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KYLD (WILD) both went 3.8-3.9.
This is one of the very few markets where baseball leads the way 25-54. KNBR-A was back on top with its best book in over a year. By comparison, last APRIL the station was #6. KYLD also had its best book in over a year as it moved up a slot to #2. KOIT was flat but fell two places to #3. Last survey’s #3 stalemate was ended. CBS RADIO Hot AC KLLC (ALICE) was off slightly and dropped back to #4 while KQED fell to #5 with a slightly larger small decrease.
For the fourth straight survey, iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/R KMEL and KYLD were numbers one and two, respectively. Both stations were flat and led the rest of the field by over two shares. CBS RADIO Alternative KITS (LIVE 105) was all pumped up by its highest share in over a year. This forced the station to rise four places to #3. KIOI took two steps forward to #4 with its largest number since JANUARY. ENTERCOM Top 40/R KRBQ (Q102) was flat but fell one place to #5. UNIVISION Regional Mexican KSOL dropped three places to #6 with its smallest share since DECEMBER while KOIT had its least productive outing in over a year and fell four places to a tie at #8.
The 18-49 demo was all about togetherness as ties topped the standings. KYLD was flat but #1 for the second book in a row. However, KMEL was up ever so slightly to forge a tie with its cluster mate. KOIT was also flat and stable at #3 but was forced into spending more quality time with its cluster mate KRBQ, which took one small step forward with its own slight increase. KNBR-A rose four places to #5 with its highest run total since JUNE. This bumped KLLC back to #6 even though ALICE was only off a smidge.
DALLAS-FT.WORTH: The Status Remained Quo
If you’re not a fan of reading about the continued dominance by a particular radio station, we suggest you avert your eyes from this section. On the other hand, if the story of iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KHKS (KISS) causes you to reach for the popcorn – read on. KISS had its best 6+ book since SEPTEMBER (6.0-6.7) to remain in the top spot. CBS RADIO Classic Hits KLUV (K-LOVE) ended a three-book slide (5.3-5.5) to remain at #2 but the gap between the two got wider. Last month’s threesome at #4 was torn asunder. CUMULUS Country KPLX (THE WOLF) moved up to #3 with its highest share since SEPTEMBER (4.4-4.7). iHEARTMEDIA Classic Rock KZPS (LONE STAR) was motionless at #4 but with its highest total since NOVEMBER (4.4-4.6). Univision Regional Mexican KLNO (QUE BUENA) was down a bit (4.7-4.5) as it fell two places to #5. The other member of last survey’s #4 triumvirate – SERVICE Urban AC KRNB – fell to #6 with its lowest score since DECEMBER (4.4-4.0).
For the third book in a row, KHKS was #1 25-54. The station bounced back from last month’s down book. The next three closest pursuers were all sharing the same share and position. That would be #2. KLNO was the incumbent and was off slightly. Both KZPS and KLUV moved up from #3. LONE STAR had its best book since MAY while K-LOVE merely went up from last time. CUMULUS Sports WTCK-A (THE TICKET) was up for the fourth book in a row to advance to #5. It was the station’s best performance in over a year and really moved the needle as it was at #15 when the streak began. It would appear that this has everything to do with the local NHL affiliate and should continue as the STARS (as of this writing) were still alive in the playoffs. KPLX was up slightly but still slipped back to #6.
KHKS was up 18-34 for the third book in a row and recorded its highest share since JUNE. Yes, it was also #1 again with a four-share lead on the rest of the pack. KLNO was tied at #2 last time and even though it was off slightly, it was there again – but with a new partner. That would be iHEARTMEDIA Active Rock KEGL (THE EAGLE), which advanced from #5 with its highest score in over a year. RADIO ONE Top 40/R KBFB (THE BEAT) departed the #2 slot for new digs at #4 thanks to its lowest total since there was tinsel on the tree. KPLX had a small decrease and was asked to move back to #5. A couple of stations came charging up the chart to meet at #6. iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KDMX (NOW) moved up from #10 as it slowly recovered from last month’s big loss. KLUV advanced from #11 with its best Frosty-free share in over a year.
Would you be surprised to hear that KHKS was #1 18-49 for the thirteenth time in the last fourteen surveys? We thought not. The station recovered from last month’s loss and had a two-and-a-half share lead over second-place KLNO, which was off slightly. KEGL soared to #3 with its best performance in over a year. The duo locked at #6 last time were so happy with that arrangement they stayed together but with a new address – #4. KZPS had its highest score in over a year while KLUV was content with a healthy increase. CBS RADIO Adult Hits KJKK (JACK) was up slightly but dropped back to #6. KBFB had its lowest number since JUNE and dropped seven stories to #10.
Thank you for enduring this process with us. The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. stand ready to serve – or merely answer your questions – and can be found via the platforms listed below. We will return shortly with an in-depth and slightly sarcastic look at HOUSTON-GALVESTON, WASHINGTON, DC, PHILADELPHIA, ATLANTA, and BOSTON.