Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Radio Waves Podcast #78

I Heart Media -- a name chosen primarily to make you forget that they are the evil empire formerly known as Clear Channel Communications -- had a top-three sweep and four stations in the top-10 in the Nielsen ratings released last week.

First was KIIS-FM, which other than during the Christmas music season in which sister KOST takes over tends to live in that top spot ... and has for much of the time I have been writing this column. For the month of March, the most recent ratings available, KIIS earned a 5.3 attracted 5.3 percent of the Los Angeles radio audience. Right behind was KOST at 5.1 and KBIG at 5.0, tied with CBS-owned KRTH.

The fourth I Heart station was KFI tied at 9th place with a 3.5 share.

The Sound KSWD continued its Rocket to Stardom with its own ratings record, earning a 3.9 share (tied with KLVE). This is the third up month for the classic rock station and almost a full point higher than it stood in December when it had a 3.0. Is the difference the new morning show, Mark on the Morning? Hard to say since I don’t have the breakdowns ... yet ... but it is probably a bit of that and a bit of the station sounding a bit fresher as all personalities seem to be opening up a bit more.

The first ratings period for the new Real 92.3 was quite impressive compared to February, up 0.7 to 3.2. However that isn’t saying much yet ... Hot 92.3 had a 3 share in December and the sample may have been skewed as the station ran no commercials during its first month using the class-less slogan “10,000 joints in a row.” There is no question the station hurt competitor Power 106, as Power was down to 2.8 from February’s 3.6 and January’s 4.0. We’ll see if the trend continues and I get my wish granted for the return of top-40 K-WEST 106 under the direction of programmer Chuck Martin ...

Sports? Killin’ it. KSPN leads the pack at 29th place with a 1.1 share of the audience. Closest competitor KLAC right there at 37th place and 0.6. The Beast 980 (KFWB) and KLAA tied for absolute last place in the ratings list, 41st with a 0.1 share. Add all those ratings together and you end up at 1.9, which would still only make for 29th place in the city. KFWB and KLAA are so low that even the Communist KPFK beats them both with a 0.2 ... 

Not that long ago, KFWB was beating KNX with a news format and KLAC was in the 2 shares with either Country music or more recently Standards. Yes, Martha, music does work on AM.

The full story: Each rating is an estimate of the percentage of listeners aged 6 and over tuned to a station between the hours of 6 a.m. and 12 midnight.

1. KIIS-FM (5.3); 2. KOST (5.1); 3. KBIG, KRTH (5.0); 5. KAMP (4.0); 6. KLVE, KSWD (3.9); 8. KCBS-FM (3.7); 9. KFI, KTWV (3.5)
11. KRRL (3.2); 12. KNX (3.1); 13. KROQ (2.9); 14. KPWR (2.8); 15. KPCC (2.6); 16. KLYY (2.5); 17. KYSR (2.4); 18. KKGO, KLAX, KSCA (2.3)
21. KBUE (2.2); 23. KLOS (2.0); 24. KXOL (1.7); 25. KUSC, KCRW (1.5); 27. KJLH (1.3); 28. KSSE (1.2); 29. KSPN (1.1); 30. KDAY, KWIZ (1.0)
32. KKJZ (0.9); 33. KEIB (0.8); 34. KFSH, KKLA, KRLA (0.7); 37. KLAC (0.6); 38. KABC (0.5); 39. KTNQ (0.4) 40. KPFK (0.2); 41. KFWB, KLAA (0.1).

Spacin’ Mason Passes

Scott Mason once worked at UCLA’s student station KLA, before my time there. More recently he has been an integral part of the CBS Los Angeles radio stations. Mason passed away last Sunday; here is the letter sent to employees of the Los Angeles CBS station group from Dan Kearny, local market manager:

“The entire CBS Radio family is grieving today over the passing of Scott Mason, who has been part of CBS since 1979.    With his spirited passion for radio and unwavering dedication to his work, Scott’s accomplishments were numerous, from being an on-air personality at KROQ to hosting diverse programs like the popular “Loveline” and “OpenLine,” a long-running public affairs show, to overseeing the design and construction of CBS Radio L.A.’s state-of-the art facilities on the Miracle Mile. Our thoughts today are with his family and all those who knew and worked alongside Scott during his amazing life and career.

“Due to Scott's wishes, no funeral services will be held. A memorial will be planned in the weeks to come.”

Among his numerous radio duties, Mason worked twice for legendary programmer Rick Carroll: first at the age of 14 answering phones at KKDJ (now KIIS-FM), then again as a personality and engineer in 1979 when he was still in his teens and Carroll was launching new-rock KROQ. He stayed with KROQ (and later the CBS cluster) until his death. He will be missed.

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