For the first time since November, 2009 -- and I believe for only the second time ever -- KRTH (101.1 FM) is the king of Los Angeles radio, knocking KIIS-FM (102.7) out of the top spot with a huge jump of 1.3 since March and 1.7 since January. For the period ending in June, KRTH earned a 5.5 share of the Nielsen ratings compared with KIIS-FM’s 5.2.
This comes on the heals of a transition started by the oldies station (can I say “oldies?”) years ago to add what many longtime listeners consider the radio equivalent of blasphemy ... now playing songs as recent as the 1980s or early 1990s. Yet those who protest the move miss a simple point ... those ARE oldies.
A song from 1984 is now 20 years old ... older than the ‘50s music that KRTH played as oldies but goodies when it signed on in 1972. KHJ (930 AM), former sister station to KRTH, considered oldies -- “gold,” as they called it -- anything from about five years ago or older. Playing a song from 1955 today would be the equivalent of playing a tune from 1913 back in 1972!
KBIG, KPWR and KOST rounded out the top five with ratings shares of 4.9, 4.8 and 4.1, respectively ... about the same as the last few months.
KSWD The Sound (100.3 FM) continued its growth spurt that began in February and now has the highest ratings it has seen in years under this or previous formats: tied (with KROQ) for 10th place with a 2.9 share, just slightly below Jack-FM’s (KCBS-FM, 93.1) 3.0. This puts The Sound and Jack at a solid lead over KLOS, 21st with a 2.1 share.
Talk radio isn’t totally dead, but it is getting there. KFI (640 AM), which was only recently battling for the top spot and certainly a perennial top-five station, seems to have settled into a consistent, comfortable spot just outside the top-10 ... #12 to be exact, with a 2.8 share. My hunch, is that listeners are getting tired of the same old thing, and the extra long shifts for the hosts don’t seem to be helping ... Owner Clear Channel may have finally cheapened KFI enough to make it vulnerable.
Not that the listeners are going to the other talkers. Every other talk station remained about the same as it was last month ... or last year, with the exception of KEIB (1150 AM) which is up to 0.8 from 0.4 in January. That beats KABC (790 AM), which has been at 0.5 for the last six months outside of a 0.6 share in March. Most of the ratings for KEIB come from Rush Limbaugh’s 9 to noon shift, even though it seems he’s always on vacation.
And finally ... classical KMZT (1260 AM) showed up in the ratings this month!
The full story ... Each rating is an estimate of the percentage of listeners, aged six and over, tuned to a station between the hours of 6 a.m. and 12 midnight as determined by Nielsen:
1. KRTH (5.5); 2. KIIS-FM (5.2) 3. KBIG (4.9); 4. KPWR (4.8); 5. KOST (4.1); 6. KAMP (4.0); 7. KLVE (3.6); 8. KSCA (3.1); 9. KCBS-FM (3.0); 10. KROQ, KSWD (2.9)
12. KFI (2.8); 13. KHHT (2.7); 14. KTWV (2.5); 15. KKGO, KLAX, KNX, KRCD (2.4); 19. KYSR, KBUE (2.2)
21. KLOS (2.1); 22. KXOS (2.0); 23. KLYY, KPCC, KXOL (1.9); 26. KUSC (1.6); 27. KDAY (1.5); 28. KDLD (1.2); 29. KCRW, KSPN (1.1)
31. KHJ, KSSE (1.0); 33. KJLH, KLAC, KWIZ (0.9); 36. KEIB, KFSH, KKJZ (0.8); 39. KABC, KRLA (0.5) 41. KLAA (0.4); 42. KFWB, KPFK, KTNQ (0.2); 45. KMZT (0.1)