Radio Waves: 7/22/16

June Ratings

KIIS-FM has closed the gap, but is still out of the top spot it is used to dominating in the Los Angeles metro Nielsen ratings released last week. Not that owner iHeart Media is complaining … co-owned sister station KOST held on to #1 as it has since December. Right behind was “My FM” KBIG which actually beat KIIS-FM in May. For the month of June, it was 5.3 for KOST, 5.1 for KIIS and 5.0 for KBIG.

Not to be outdone, CBS claimed spots 4-6 just as iHeart claimed 1-3: CBS-owned The Wave KTWV was 4th at 4.7 followed by KRTH at 4.5 and Jack KCBS-FM at 3.9.

Consolidation in ownership not a problem? Out of the top-14 stations, six are owned by iHeart, six are owned by CBS and two are owned by Univision. As a total market, iHeart has 26.1 percent of the listening audience, CBS has 22.6 and Univision has 9.9. That’s three companies controlling 58.6 percent of the radio listening in Los Angeles. I see that as a major problem. But I digress …

For the first time in recent memory, KFI was under a 3.0 share of the audience, albeit just barely, at 2.9. If this trend continues, KFI will find itself where it was back when it played soft rock music. The big winner for the AM band was KNX, with a 10th place finish and a tie with Real 92.3 KRRL at 3.1.

Why is KFI dropping? Might be that it’s just going through an aging process, something that happened with former talk leader KABC as well … which is what gave KFI an opening to pounce. The trick is figuring out a way to keep current listeners while attracting new ones, a difficult task indeed. Interestingly, though, the drop also coincides with a decision to remove the digital HD stream from the AM signal and while it probably is not related, I do find it interesting. The HD digital FM simulcast on a sideband of KOST just doesn’t work for me … it cuts out way too often.

Amp Radio KAMP has been on an upward swing since December and found itself in 9th place at 3.5, still below KIIS but perhaps the reason KIIS is no longer at the top. Amp started the year at a 2.7 share.

The Sound KSWD was down from May’s ratings but KLOS was down as well making for a tie (along with Go Country KKGO and Spanish hits KLYY) at 17th place and a 2.3 share of the audience. The longterm trend is not looking good, though, as The Sound had a solid 3.0 share in January, back when KLOS had a 2.4. In the other hand, it may be nothing more than an example of the well-documented inaccuracies in the ratings system. Regardless, this could turn into a dog fight.

A funny think happened in the alternative format competition. A little station with a sleeper morning show is making waves. Alt 98.7 KYSR has beaten perennial alternative leader KROQ for the 4th time this year. Many observers point to the buzz surrounding The Woody Show heard weekday mornings on Alt. Even competitors have given credit to the program. Overall, Alt was down for June to 3.0 from May’s 3.3, but KROQ was flat at 2.9. For comparison, in January KROQ was ahead of Alt 3.0 – 2.6. Looks like another dog fight!

Sports stations are beginning to make a statement …. finally (and I might add barely). Top-rated is KLAC at 28th place with a 1.3 share; not far behind is KSPN at 32nd with a 1.1. Still not as high as when each station played music, but at least above 1.0. KLAA is “below the line,” as they used to call it, at 0.4

The top-rated public station is KPCC out of Pasadena City College, which came in at 24th place with a 1.7 share. Right behind was Santa Monica’s KCRW at 25th and 1.6, while KUSC was tied at 26th (with KBUE) at 1.5.

Ratings are calculated using an algorithm involving the number of individual listeners tuning in and the time they spend listening. The station with the most individual listeners overall in June? My FM (KBIG), followed by KIIS-FM, KOST, KRTH and KCBS-FM

 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. KOST (5.3); 2. KIIS-FM (5.1); 3. KBIG (5.0); 4. KTWV (4.7); 5. KRTH (4.5); 6. KCBS-FM (3.9); 7. KLVE, KRCD (3.6); 9. KAMP (3.5); 10. KNX, KRRL (3.1)

12. KYSR (3.0) 13. KFI, KROQ (2.9); 15. KPWR (2.8); 16. KSCA (2.4); 17. KKGO, KLOS, KLYY, KSWD (2.3)

21. KLAX (2.1); 22. KXOS (2.0); 23. KXOL (1.9); 24. KPCC (1.7); 25. KCRW (1.6); 26. KBUE, KUSC (1.5); 28. KLAC (1.3); 29. KDAY, KJLH, KWIZ (1.2)

32. KSPN (1.1); 33. KABC (0.8); 34. KRLA, KSSE (0.7); 36. KFSH, KKJZ (0.6); 38. KEIB, KLAA (0.4); 40. KTNQ (0.3); KKLA (0.2)