Research Director, Inc.: Exclusive December PPM Analysis For New York, L.A., Chicago, San Francisco & Dallas
December 19, 2016 at 2:04 PM (PT)
Strap yourself in … it may be a bumpy ride. The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC., in conjunction with the data elves from XTRENDS, are about to enter the realm of the unknown, otherwise referred to as the DECEMBER survey. More precisely, it should be NOVEMBER 2.0 as the “month” spanned 11/3-30. And, oh what a month it was. There was this election thing going on you may have heard about. Then everyone went over the river and through the woods to overindulge on poultry. You had a bunch of radio stations make a dramatic – if temporary – format change. And, oh yea, something about week one meters. We were dealing with a lot of stuff here...
New York: Santa Lite
The designated Holiday hitter is iHEARTMEDIA AC WLTW (LITE). The station made the move early in week three so the Yule tunes covered about half the survey. The plan seemed to work. The station remained #1 6+ but with a huge share increase (6.4-8.3). The rest of the market pretty much went about its business. CBS RADIO Classic Hits WCBS-F continued at #2 (5.9-5.7) while EMMIS Urban AC WBLS became the sole occupant of the #3 position (5.6-5.5). iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WHTZ (Z100) slipped back to #4 (5.6-5.3) while cluster brother iHEARTMEDIA Classic Rock WAXQ (Q104.3) was the only station that could legitimately claim it was #5 (4.7-5.0). CBS RADIO News WINS-A slipped to #6 (4.7-4.6) where it was joined in peace and harmony with SBS Tropical WSKQ (MEGA), which took one small step upward (4.5-4.6).
Jingle bells or not, WLTW has been on quite the 25-54 streak. It was up for the fifth straight survey and the sounds of the season propelled the station to its highest share since it last was playing this stuff. WHTZ was off slightly to remain at #2 while WBLS took a step forward to #3 despite a slight loss of share. iHEARTMEDIA Urban WWPR (POWER) was up to #4 with its best showing since AUGUST while WSKQ dropped two places to #5 with its lowest score in over a year.
All that thumpty-thump-thumping did nothing to deter WHTZ 18-34. The station was #1 for the fourth book in a row and logged in with its biggest number in over a year. This was not to say there wasn’t some magic in that old silk hat for WLTW. The station was up to #2 thanks to a noticeably large share increase. WWPR remained at #3 as it ended a three-book slide. EMMIS Top 40/R WQHT (HOT) fell a couple of slots to #4 as it returned all of last month’s big gain. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WKTU was up for the second straight survey to advance to #5. WSKQ was down for the sixth book in a row as it slid to #7.
It wasn’t much of a surprise that WLTW was #1 18-49. It had a solid increase from the previous month and actually outperformed last year’s number. WHTZ saw its win streak end at four as it stepped back to #2. WWPR held tightly to the #3 slot as it almost completely rebounded from last month’s loss. WSKQ slipped back to #4 with its lowest score in over a year. WQHT was off a little but remained at #5. However, it was sharing a hot cocoa with WKTU, which was flat but up.
Los Angeles: It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like KOSTmas
iHEARTMEDIA AC KOST became Santa’s go-to station at the very end of the first week of the survey. So, this was a mostly peppermint-infused number and it smelled pretty good (5.5-6.4). Last year at this time, the station posted a 7.0. iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KBIG (MY FM) was undeterred by all this holiday folderol as it scored its best survey in exactly a year (4.7-5.6) to move up to #2. CBS RADIO Rhythmic AC KTWV (THE WAVE) was relatively placid (4.8-4.9) to remain at #3. Fellow cluster dweller CBS RADIO Classic Hits KRTH (K-EARTH) fell two slots to #4 with the slightest of decreases (4.9-4.8).
iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KIIS (KISS) held steady at #5 but with its lowest share since Santa last came to town (4.6-4.4). All the election brouhaha was a boon for iHEARTMEDIA Talk KFI-A. The station had its best book in over a year (3.5-3.8) to move up to #7. There was a second holiday entry in the market. MOUNT WILSON Country KKGO (GO COUNTRY) went Kringle at the end of week two. The station was down to a tie at #18 (2.3-2.1).
Santa, schmanta. KBIG remained #1 25-54 with its best outing in exactly a year. KOST did move up four places to #2 with a strong showing, though it was off last year’s pace a bit. CBS RADIO Adult Hits KCBS-F (JACK) remained at #3 but with its biggest share in over a year. KIIS fell two places to #4 with its smallest share in over a year. UNIVISION Spanish Contemporary KLVE (K-LOVE) dropped to #5 with a slight decrease. It was sharing the space with iHEARTMEDIA Alternative KYSR (ALT 98.7), which advanced from #7 with its third up book in a row. KRTH fell four places to #7 despite a relatively small decrease.
For the second straight survey, KYSR was the clear and dominant 18-34 leader. The station was up slightly this time while #2 KIIS had its lowest total in over a year. The end result was a share-plus gap between the two stations. EMMIS Top 40/R KPWR (POWER) was flat and steady at #3 while KBIG moved up to #4 with a solid increase. Santa pushed KOST up to #5 though the station was well off last year’s number. iHEARTMEDIA Urban KRRL (REAL 92.3) moved up to #6 with a slight increase but was still about a share behind POWER. CBS RADIO Top 40/M KAMP (AMP) gave back all of last month’s big gain – plus a little extra – as it dropped three places to a tie at #7.
It was another big month for KBIG. The station moved up to the #1 slot 18-49 for the first time since APRIL. Not far behind was the KOST sleigh, which moved up three places to #2 but was well off last year’s number. KIIS saw its demo-winning streak end at eleven as it dropped back to #3 with its least productive outing in over a year. It was tied with KYSR, which remained in place with a slight increase. KCBS-F moved up to #5 with its best book in over a year while KLVE slid to #6 with a flat performance.
Chicago: My (Big) Guy
The elves were hard at work at iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC WLIT (MY FM), changing clocks and sweepers as the station crossed the line at the beginning of week three. That drove its 6+ numbers through the roof (2.9-6.3) as it rose from a tie at #10 to … #2. CBS RADIO News WBBM-A remained on top for the sixth straight survey (6.5-6.4). iHEARTMEDIA Urban AC WVAZ (V103) was close behind at #3 thanks to its best book in over a year (5.7-6.2). Usually, HUBBARD Hot AC WTMX (THE MIX) takes it on the chinny-chin-chin WITH HOLIDAY MUSIC. However, this time the station remained at #4 with a slight increase (5.3-5.4). Watch this space. TRIBUNE N/T WGN-A became the lone survivor at #5 (4.0-4.2) because iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WKSC (KISS) slipped back to #6 (4.0-3.9). While many continued to bask in the glow of the CUBS championship run, that did not extend to CBS RADIO Sports WSCR-A (THE SCORE). The station dropped ten places to a tie at #12 (6.1-2.6).
There were zero Kringle consequences for WTMX as the station was flat and #1 25-54 for the twelfth book in a row. Santa did work his magic on WLIT as the station soared from #14 to #2 as it more than doubled its previous share. WVAZ inched up to #3 with its highest score since MAY while WKSC dropped back to #4 with its lowest total since FEBRUARY. WBBM-A had a slight increase but that was enough to raise the station up to #5. iHEARTMEDIA Urban WGCI dropped back to #7 with its smallest share in exactly a year. WSCR-A went from #2 to a tie at #15, losing a little over half its share. How soon do pitchers and catchers report?
Finally, there was a holiday home run for WLIT. The station went from a tie at #16 to #1 18-34 with a massive increase. WTMX was flat and stable at #2 while CBS RADIO Top 40/M WBBM-F (B96) moved up to #3 as it regained all of last month’s rather large loss. WGCI went from being the lead reindeer to #4 with its lowest score in over a year. WKSC slipped two places to #5 as it, too, posted its lowest number in over a year. CUMULUS Alternative WKQX was up a bit but did drop back to #6. And what of our CUBS flagship? WSCR-A dropped twenty places to #27.
WLIT went up on the rooftop click, click, click as it moved from #14 18-49 to #1. WTMX slipped back to #2 with a slight decrease. WKSC remained at #3 but with its lowest share since Santa’s last ride. WGCI was stable at #4 despite its lowest score in exactly a year. WVAZ did not budge from the #5 position despite posting its best number since SEPTEMBER. WSCR-A dropped from #2 to a tie at #16 but was still in a stronger position than a year ago.
San Francisco: Sorry Santa
The holiday stylings of ENTERCOM AC KOIT were unleashed upon the market near the beginning of week three. That drove the station up five places 6+ to #3 (3.4-4.8) though the station was off from last year’s 5.7 pace. Perhaps the election and its aftermath was fuel for KQED INC. N/T KQED and CBS RADIO News KCBS-A. The former was #1 for the fourth time in the last five books (6.9-7.1) while the latter remained at #2 (6.1-6.7). Both stations posted their largest share in over a year. iHEARTMEDIA AC KISQ (THE BREEZE) was up to #4 with its third up book in a row (4.0-4.3). CBS RADIO Top 40/M KMVQ (NOW) slipped back to #5 with a flat performance (4.1-4.1). It is an even year but the GIANTS did not win the pennant. Their exit from the playoffs did not help CUMULUS Sports KNBR-A. The station fell four places to #7 with its lowest run total in over a year (5.0-3.5). As has been the case in recent years, there was a second entry in the Santa format. APLHA AC KBAY went just after KOIT and saw a solid increase (1.5-2.0) to move up four places to a tie at #18.
There was a scramble in the 25-54 ranks as the baseball-free sounds of KNBR-A moved the station from the top of the chart to #6. This opened the door for KQED, which moved up to #1 despite a small decrease. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KYLD (WILD) inched forward to #2 while KMVQ remained at #3. Both stations posted their biggest numbers in over a year. KOIT moved up to #4 with a large increase but was about two shares off of last year’s number. CBS RADIO Hot AC KLLC (ALICE) took total control of the #5 position despite a small loss. UNIVISION Regional Mexican KSOL (QUE BUENA) dropped back to #7 as it gave back most of last month’s big gain. KBAY used the elfin magic to advance five squares to a tie at #20.
For the third straight survey, KYLD was #1 18-34. And, the station had its best book since JULY. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/R KMEL remained at #2 with a small gain. KQED easily had its best showing in over a year as it moved up to #3. KMVQ was down for the third book in a row as it slipped back to #4. iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KIOI (STAR) had its best outing since APRIL and moved up to #5. KOIT advanced seven spaces to #6 but was over a share lighter than last year. The two previous occupants of the #4 position took their talents south. KSOL fell to a tie at #8 as it returned most of last month’s huge increase. KNBR-A dropped to #12 with its lowest score since SEPTEMBER. KBAY picked a good month to start sniffing pine scent as it jumped from #30 to a tie at #17.
After a three-month absence, KYLD returned to the top of the 18-49 chart with its biggest share in over a year. KMVQ stepped back to #2 even though it, too, had its best book in over a year. KQED remained mired at #3 despite a slight decrease. KOIT had its best outing since FEBRUARY as it jumped seven slots to #4. KMEL was up slightly to remain alone at #5 while KLLC slipped back to #6 with its lowest total since JANUARY. KNBR-A was down from #4 to #10.
Dallas-Ft.Worth: Kiss Kringle
The audio stockings were hung by CBS RADIO Classic Hits KLUV (K-LOVE) with care at the beginning of the third week of the survey. The station did gain some this book (5.1-5.4) to move up to #2 6+ but was off from last year’s 6.4. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KHKS (KISS) was back on top (5.5-5.7) but that will likely change in the next survey. CUMULUS Country KPLX (THE WOLF) fell from the lead-dog position to #3 with its lowest share since JULY (5.7-5.2). iHEARTMEDIA Classic Rock KZPS (LONE STAR) was up to #4 with its best book in over a year (4.4-4.9). UNIVISION Regional Mexican KLNO (QUE BUENA) dropped to #5 as it ended a three-book run (5.3-4.7). iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KDMX (NOW) fell three places to #8 with its lowest score since AUGUST (4.4-4.0). Santa wasn’t the only one changing formats. iHEARTMEDIA AC KDGE (STAR) – the station formerly known as THE EDGE – went soft at the beginning of week three but saw its numbers rise (2.1-3.3) as it jumped from a tie at #21 to #10.
Last month KHKS fell to #2 25-54 and that appears to have been merely a flesh wound. The station was back on top – by a wide margin – as it regained most of what it lost last survey. KLNO dropped back to #2, thus ending its strong three-book surge. CBS RADIO Adult Hits KJKK (JACK) moved up to #3 with its highest score in exactly a year. KZPS had its best outing since MAY as it moved up to #4. Santa helped KLUV up a rung to #5 as the station got back what it lost last month. CUMULUS Sports KTCK-A (THE TICKET) dropped three places to #6 as it returned most of last month’s big increase. iHEARTMEDIA Active Rock KEGL (THE EAGLE) had a huge increase, which fueled its rise from #11 to #7 – its highest ranking in this demo since MAY. The new STAR in town – KDGE – was up five places to #9 with easily its best performance in over a year.
Everyone – ok, we, were shocked last month when it was revealed that KHKS was not #1 18-34. Normalcy returned this time as the station was back in front thanks, in part, to a small increase. It was also helped by #2 KLNO’s big decrease, which was the station’s first down book since JUNE. KEGL was up to #3 with its best number in over a year while KDMX remained at #4 with a small increase. KPLX dropped back to #5 as it ended a strong two-book surge. KLUV fa-la-la-la-la-ed its way up to #6 as it ended a two-book slide. KDGE was up five places to #7 – its highest rank since MARCH.
As with the previous demo, balance was restored to the force as KHKS was once again #1 18-49. The station was up slightly. KLNO fell back to #2 as it lost most of last month’s large increase. KJKK was alone at #3 with its third up book in a row while KEGL jumped three places to #4 with its best outing since MAY. There was a foursome at #5. KDMX took a step forward despite posting its lowest score since JULY. KLUV was up from a tie at #9, ending a two-book slide. KTCK-A dropped back from a tie at #3, ending a three-book surge. And, KZPS advanced from a tie at #7 with its best showing since AUGUST. Finally, KDGE moved up five places to #9.
That was a lot to process but there is more on the horizon. The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. will go back under the hood to examine HOUSTON, WASHINGTON, DC, PHILADELPHIA, ATLANTA, and BOSTON. Those results will be revealed shortly.