Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Radio Waves Podcast #90

Any doubts regarding the direction of the music on KRTH (101.1 FM) have been put to rest with the release of the June Nielsen ratings. The oldies -- er, classic hits -- station had the top spot to itself, completing at least six months as the top-rated station in Los Angeles with the exception of April, in which it was 2nd.
And for one of the very few times since I have been writing this column, KIIS-FM was not in the top-two. It was close, but the longtime leader was bested by sister stations My FM (KBIG, 104.3 FM) and KOST (103.5 FM) which tied for 2nd, leaving KIIS-FM at 4th. A very close 4th.
Generally speaking, all the regulars were in their place ... The Sound (KSWD, 100.3 FM) as the top classic rocker 6th, followed by Jack (KCBS-FM, 93.1) in 7th, for example. But two stations managed to either make or solidify previously-made moves and each one is worth mentioning.

First is The Wave, (KTWV, 94.7 FM). As Dan Kearney, Senior VP and Market Manager of the station explained, “What began as a hip-hop battle between Power 106 (KPWR, 105.9 FM) and Real 92.3 (KRRL) has turned into a bigger story for The Wave. We were already making changes to the Wave’s sound and then caught a break when Hot 92.3 decided to go after Power and switch to Real.”

The result? In October, the Wave was #22 in the Los Angeles ratings market. Now it is 5th ... with the highest share of the ratings since ... I can remember, perhaps since it was album rocker KMET. And it’s not a fluke ... outside of a slight statistically insignificant drop this month to 4.2 rating compared with May’s 4.4, the station has been building a steadily and has added nearly a million listeners. I guess those old-school hits The Wave added when Hot dropped the format are a little more appealing than thought ...

The second station with big news is Go Country (KKGO, 105.1 FM) which jumped more than half a point to its highest rating. For the frequency. Ever. It’s 12th place 3.0 share along with a daily cumulative audience of over 1.3 million places it in the coveted position of being the most-listened-to country station in the United States. 

Ironically, Go Country beat Power 106 (2.7 rating; ted for 15th) which is owned by the company that dropped country years ago because of owner Emmis’ thinking that the potential country audience was too low. I’m not sure what this means for Power 106, which has been hard hit by competitor Real 92.3 (11th place at 3.1). Is Power on its way out? Can we get Chuck Martin to recreate K-West 106? Hey, I can dream ...

KLOS (95.5 FM) is finally moving in the right direction, tied for 16th at 2.7. Just two months ago the station was on life support at 2.0, the rating it held since at least January. Why the move? KLOS programmer Keith Cunningham is deliberately differentiating the station from the competition playing a different mix of music.

Correction: Last week I mentioned talk station KRLA but had a flashback to the old top-40/oldies station. The correct frequency for talker KRLA is 870 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 as determined by Nielsen Ratings:

1. KRTH (5.2) 2.KBIG, KOST (5.1) 4. KIIS-FM (4.9) 5. KTWV (4.2) 6. KSWD (3.7) 7. KCBS-FM (3.6) 8. KFI (3.5) 9. KAMP (3.4) 10. KLVE (3.3)
11. KRRL (3.1) 12. KKGO (3.0) 13. KLAX (2.9) 14. KRCD (2.8) 15. KLOS, KNX, KPWR, KROQ (2.7) 19. KSCA (2.4) 20. KLYY, KYSR (2.3)
22. KPCC (2.0) 23. KXOL (1.8) 24. KBUE (1.6) 25. KUSD (1.5) 26. KCRW (1.4) 27. KSPN (1.3) 28. KDAY (1.2) 29. KJLH (1.0) 30. KEIB, KFSH, KLAC, KSSE, KWIZ (0.9)

35. KKJZ, KRLA (0.7) 37. KKLA (0.5) 38. KABC (0.4) 39. KLAA, KTNQ (0.3) 41. KFWB, KPFK (0.2)

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