Research Director, Inc.: Exclusive February PPM Analysis For New York, L.A., Chicago, San Francisco & Dallas
March 20, 2017 at 1:55 PM (PT)
February. The shortest month of the year and a time when things settle back into their semi-normal patterns. The CHRISTMAS afterglow has faded and the only two moments of note were the long President’s Day weekend and the national hangover day that followed the “big” game. Oh, and pitchers and catchers reported but they were not carrying meters (that we know of). The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC., in harmony with the numbers nerds from XTRENDS, present the FEBRUARY survey in all its glory. For those keeping score at home, this one covered 2/2 through 3/1 …
NEW YORK: Still Lite
The status remained quo –- at least at the top of the 6+ chart. iHEARTMEDIA AC WLTW (LITE) was again #1 (7.2-7.1) and held a commanding lead over the second-place station. New to that spot this survey was CBS RADIO Classic Hits WCBS-F, which had its best book since JULY (5.4-6.1). iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WHTZ (Z100) was up for the second survey in a row (5.1-5.5) to advance to #3. CBS RADIO News WINS-A inched up to #4 but did score its highest share in over a year (5.2-5.4). On the other hand, EMMIS Urban AC WBLS had its lowest total since SEPTEMBER (5.5-5.3) and slipped a couple of slots to #5. It appears that the strong two-book run for SBS Tropical WSKQ (MEGA) hit a pothole. The station dropped four places to #6 (5.8-5.1). Close behind at #7 was iHEARTMEDIA Classic Rock WAXQ (Q104.3), which ended a two-book slide (4.3-5.0).
Though WLTW was off slightly 25-54, the station remained #1. Closing the gap was cluster mate WHTZ. It remained at #2 but with its best outing since OCTOBER. WSKQ was also off slightly to hold steady at #3. WCBS-F posted its best number in over a year to move up two slots to #4. The two stations previously known as #4 parted ways and headed south. iHEARTMEDIA Urban WWPR (POWER) slid to #5 with a slight increase while WBLS had a flat performance and dropped to #6.
Someone’s Valentine’s box was full this month. WHTZ not only returned to the #1 spot 18-34 after a two-month hiatus, the station also crashed through the double-digit barrier. WSKQ fell back to #2 as it returned most of last month’s big increase. The net result was that the two stations were about two shares apart. The two arch rivals who were tied at #4 last survey managed to separate themselves. EMMIS Top 40/R WQHT (HOT) was up for the second straight survey as it inched up to #3. WWPR remained in place though with its highest share since SEPTEMBER. WLTW was off a bit and fell back to #5. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WKTU lost last month’s gain to remain at #6 where it was joined by WAXQ, which advanced three places.
After a three-month absence, WHTZ was back in front 18-49 thanks to its best showing in over a year. WSKQ dropped back to #2 as it gave back all of last survey’s increase. WLTW remained at #3 with a slight increase while WWPR held steady at #4 with a modest gain. WQHT stepped up to #5 with its best share since JULY. This bumped WKTU back to #6 as it lost most of last month’s increase.
LOS ANGELES: My Oh My FM
This market is back to being one of the tightest, most compressed races as the top five stations 6+ were separated by six-tenths of a share. iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KBIG (MY FM) was up slightly (5.1-5.2) but that was enough to put the station in first place. CBS RADIO Classic Hits KRTH (K-EARTH) had its best outing since NOVEMBER to move up three places to #2 (4.3-4.9). CBS RADIO Rhythmic AC KTWV (THE WAVE) lost most of last month’s increase to remain at #3 (5.0-4.8). It was paired with iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KIIS (KISS), which moved up a spot with its best performance since SEPTEMBER (4.5-4.8). iHEARTMEDIA AC KOST had its lowest total in over a year (5.2-4.6) as it fell from first to fifth place.
KBIG’s good fortune continued 25-54. The station moved up to #1 with its second up book in a row. KIIS also advanced – to #2 – as it added a modest amount of share. UNIVISION Spanish Contemporary KLVE (K-LOVE) took a small step forward to #3 with the slightest of increases. CBS RADIO Adult Hits KCBS-F (JACK) remained behind at #4 with a flat performance. KRTH was up two slots to #5 as it ended a three-book slide. KOST had its lowest share since JUNE as it dropped four places to #6. That is where the station was in NOVEMBER before all the tinsel was hung.
With KIIS landing its best 18-34 share since MARCH, the station’s lead in the 18-34 demo expanded to almost a share and a half. This was partly due to the fact that #2 iHEARTMEDIA Alternative KYSR (ALT 98.7) lost all of last month’s modest gain. EMMIS Top 40/R KPWR (POWER) remained at #3 with a small decrease. It was looking eye-to-eye with its nemesis iHEARTMEDIA Urban KRRL (REAL 92.3), which moved up a spot just by being flat. KBIG was up for the second straight survey to remain at #5.
The top-three stations 18-49 remained unchanged from last month. KBIG was #1 with a solid increase. KIIS came in second again but with its best book since MARCH. KLVE was #3 with a slight increase. KYSR moved up to #4 just by being flat while KOST dropped to #5 with its smallest share since JUNE.
CHICAGO: V Is For Victory
For the first time since SEPTEMBER, iHEARTMEDIA Urban AC WVAZ (V103) was #1 6+ as the station ended a two-book mini-slide (5.8-6.0). CBS RADIO News WBBM-A was bemoaning the lack of snow as it posted its lowest share in over a year (6.3-5.4) to fall back to #2. HUBBARD Hot AC WTMX (MIX) took a small ratings step backward (5.3-4.9) but held steady at #3. TRIBUNE N/T WGN-A was unmoved at #4 (4.0-4.2) while iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WKSC (KISS) was a fixture at #5 (3.7-3.9). The former home of the Claus – iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC WLIT (MY FM) -– was also motionless –- at #6 (3.5-3.6).
Even though WTMX gave back most of last month’s big 25-54 increase, the station continued to lead the demo by a wide margin. WKSC moved up to #2 with its best outing since OCTOBER but was still more than a share off the lead. WVAZ slipped back to #3 with its third down book in a row. CBS RADIO Top 40/M WBBM-F (B96) remained at #4 with a slight increase and was sporting its biggest share in over a year. Last year, WLIT followed its HOLIDAY success by being down or flat in every book until the elves returned. This year, the station was up from last survey and took a step up to #5. CUMULUS Classic Rock WLUP (THE LOOP) had its best outing in over a year and moved up three slots to #6. WBBM-A dropped three places to a tie at #7 with -– again –- its lowest total in over a year.
There was some rearrangement of the deck chairs 18-34 but the players remained the same from last month. WBBM-F was #1 for the second straight survey and with its highest share in over a year. WKSC had its best book since SEPTEMBER to move up to #2 but still trailed the leader by over a share. iHEARTMEDIA Urban WGCI dropped back to #3 as it returned most of last month’s modest increase. WTMX took a step back to #4 as it also made an unscheduled ratings return. CUMULUS Alternative WKQX was flat and unmovable at #5.
Though the station had its lowest non-Santa-influenced share since JULY, WTMX managed to remain #1 18-49. The two direct competitors who were tied at #2 last month had up books but were no longer a duo. WKSC held on at #2 with its best score since NOVEMBER while WBBM-F dropped back to #3 despite posting its best score in over a year. WGCI did not move from the #4 position despite a small decrease. It was, however, joined by WLIT, which moved up two slots with its best elf-free book in over a year. WVAZ dropped back to #6 with a small decrease.
SAN FRANCISCO: All Things Considered …
This is one of two markets that we review every month where the local NPR affiliate is a dominant player (WASHINGTON, DC is the other). For the second month in a row –- and sixth time in the last eight surveys -– KQED INC. N/T KQED was #1 6+. This time the station also landed its best share in over a year (7.3-7.7). Coming in at #2 again was CBS RADIO News KCBS-A, which also had its best book in over a year (6.7-6.8). The chattering class was well ahead of their music-playing brethren. ENTERCOM AC KOIT remained a distant #3 (4.9-4.9) while iHEARTMEDIA AC KISQ (THE BREEZE) was again #4 but with its best post-format change number (4.2-4.5). CBS RADIO Hot AC KLLC (ALICE) was flat and stable at #5 (3.8-3.8) but was forced to share the space with cluster mate CBS RADIO Top 40/M KMVQ (NOW), which moved up from a tie at #6 as it ended a four-book slide (3.6-3.8).
A year ago, KQED was tied at #4 25-54 and about three shares lighter than its current incarnation. Fast forward to 2017 and we find the station at #1 for the third time in the last four surveys and with its highest share in over a year. KMVQ ended its two-book slide to move up to #2 but was over two shares off the pace. KOIT slipped back to #3 with a small decrease. There was a partnership forming at #4. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KYLD (WILD) remained in place with a slight increase while KLLC slid back from #3 as it returned about half of last month’s gain. KCBS-A again had its best book in over a year as it moved up to #6.
The 18-34 battle was as close as mathematically possible without it resulting in a tie. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/R KMEL was #1 for the second straight survey despite a modest decrease. KYLD remained at #2 as it regained some of last month’s big loss. These two stations were a full share ahead of the rest of the field. Proving it isn’t just for the old gang, KQED moved up to #3 despite a slight decrease. iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KIOI (STAR) was also off slightly but managed to move up to #4. KOIT fell two places to #5 as it lost a chunk of share. CBS RADIO Alternative KITS (LIVE 105) was up for the fourth book in a row to remain at #6.
This was a bit of a surprise. KQED had its best 18-49 share in over a year and that propelled the station to #1. It had a modest lead over KYLD, which slipped back to #2 despite ending a two-book slide. KMVQ moved up three slots to #3 as it regained all of last month’s share loss. KOIT fell to #4 as it continued its post-HOLIDAY slide. KMEL remained a fixture at #5 with a slight decrease while KLLC dropped to #6 as it gave back most of last month’s big increase.
DALLAS-FT.WORTH: Howl Of The Wolf News
For the second month in a row, CUMULUS Country KPLX (THE WOLF) was on the prowl. The station was #1 6+ again and posted its biggest number in over a year (5.9-6.2). Last survey, iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KHKS (KISS) was just off the pace. This time the #2 station fell a bit further behind (5.8-5.6). CBS RADIO Classic Hits KLUV (K-LUV) remained at #3 but with its lowest total in over a year (5.2-4.8). iHEARTMEDIA Classic Rock KZPS (LONE STAR) was close behind at #4 (4.6-4.7). Moving up three places to #5 was the only station in the top five without a catchy nickname. CUMULUS Country KSCS had its best book in over a year (3.6-4.3). UNIVISION Regional Mexican KLNO (QUE BUENA) fell back to #6 with its lowest share since JUNE (4.4-4.2).
KHKS had no problem winning 25-54 for the second straight survey. Though the station was off slightly, it still maintained a solid lead over #2 iHEARTMEDIA Active Rock KEGL (THE EAGLE), which returned all of last month’s modest increase. KPLX was up three slots to #3 –- and closing fast -– thanks to its best outing since SEPTEMBER. CBS RADIO Adult Hits KJKK (JACK) remained at #4 with a small decrease and was joined in that space by KLNO, which slid backward thanks to its lowest score since JUNE. KLUV dropped back to #6 with its smallest share in over a year and was partnered with KZPS, which moved up from #8 with a slight increase.
KHKS and KEGL remained #1 and #2, respectively, 18-34 and were well clear of the rest of the field. This despite the fact that both stations had down books. KISS returned most of last month’s increase while THE EAGLE just lost a chunk of share. iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KDMX (NOW) advanced four squares to #3 with a huge increase that led to the station’s highest share in exactly a year. It was tied with KLNO, which remained in place with its lowest score since JULY. RADIO ONE Top 40/R KBFB (THE BEAT) slipped to #5 despite a slight increase. SERVICE Urban KKDA (K104) held steady at #6 with its best book since JULY. KPLX had a slight decrease but that was enough to push the station back to #7.
The top three stations 18-49 all had down books but their rankings remained unchanged. KHKS was #1 for the third time in the last four surveys while KLNO came in at #2 with its lowest total since AUGUST. KEGL repeated at #3 but gave back most of last month’s increase. KDMX jumped three places to #4 with its best performance since OCTOBER while KJKK slid to #5 with a small decrease. KPLX fell back to #6 despite a slight increase.
Round one is thus concluded. Thank you for taking the time to peruse our prose. The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. will take a short recess. When we return, we’ll regale you with stories from HOUSTON, WASHINGTON, DC, PHILADELPHIA, ATLANTA, and BOSTON. Tell your friends. It will be must-see blogging (or whatever this is).