Radio Waves: 4/28/17

March Nielsen Ratings

My FM (KBIG, 104.3 FM) was up a half point to 5.7 from February and a full point since the holiday ratings period, making it the dominant radio force in Los Angeles once again, according to the March Nielsen Ratings released last week. My FM has been moving up every month since the holidays and won the ratings every month in the quarter.

Right behind, though, is The Wave (94.7 FM) at 5.5, which has also seen tremendous growth over the quarter. KIIS (102.7 FM) and KRTH (101.1 FM) came in tied for third at 4.9, with KOST (103.5 FM) rounding out the top-5 with a 4.4.

With the exception of Univision’s KLVE (107.5 FM), the top-ten stations sound like a true horserace between the two dominant essential radio monopolies, iHeart Radio and CBS. It’s kind of interesting to see:

iHeart (KBIG) followed by CBS (KTWV), iHeart (KIIS), CBS (KRTH), iHeart (KOST), Univision (KLVE), CBS (KNX, 1070 AM), iHeart (KFI, 640 AM), CBS (KCBS-FM, 93.1), iHeart (KYSR, 98.7 FM). Combined, all the iHeart stations account for 25.8 percent of the listening audience and CBS accounts for 21.9 percent. The next highest total for any company is Univision with a total of 10.1 percent, while every other company is at 3.9 or lower. Tell me again that iHeart and CBS don’t have too much power in this market and shouldn’t be broken up …

KNX is the highest-rated AM station in town again with a 3.6 share. KFI is right behind with 3.4. There’s not another AM station on the list, though, until you get to KSPN (710 AM), which earns a 1.1 share of the audience. That means AM is dead, right?

No, it actually means current programming on AM is generally bad, and AM has the potential for growth. Showing that music can make a difference on the oldest broadcast band, KSUR (1260 AM) came in with a 0.3 share. Not impressed? Consider that the station had no promotions, a very limited signal, no DJs, and was only on the air playing oldies ten days or so during the March ratings period that ran 3/2 – 3/29. I’d call that impressive, and it shows the direction AM stations should take.

The Sound (KSWD, 100.3 FM) doesn’t really compete directly against KLOS (95.5 FM) any more, but the comparisons still get made. This time The Sound (2.3) beat KLOS (2.1). The alternative race was won again by Alt 98.7, which came in a full point and almost ten places ahead of the format originator KROQ (106.7 FM).

When Emmis shut down country KZLA years ago, they did it because country doesn’t get ratings in Los Angeles. Saul Levine didn’t believe that then and certainly does not believe it now … His Go Country 105 (KKGO) earned a 2.5 share and remains the most listened-to country station in America.

And just to show you that ratings can be looked at in many different ways, while KBIG was the big winner in the “six plus” numbers I’ve already mentioned (listeners aged six and over tuned to a station between the hours of 6 a.m. and 12 midnight), it was KIIS-FM that had more actual listeners: 3,762,300 vs. KBIG’s 3.744,400.

Those numbers reflect “cumulative listeners” who tune in for at least five minutes during a particular day-part, usually a three-hour period. Why the higher rating for KBIG? KBIG listeners stay tuned to the station for a longer period of time.

The full story:

1. KBIG (5.7) 2. KTWV (5.5) 3. KIIS-FM, KRTH (4.9) 5. KOST (4.4) 6. KLVE (3.9) 7. KNX (3.6) 8. KFI (3.4) 9. KCBS-FM (3.2) 10. KYSR (3.1)

11. KRCD (3.0) 12. KSCA (2.8) 13. KRRL (2.7) 14. KAMP, KPWR (2.6) 16. KKGO (2.5) 17. KSWD (2.4) 18. KXOS (2.3) 19. KLOS, KROQ, KXOL (2.1)

22. KJLH, KLAX (1.8) 24. KBUE, KPCC (1.7) 26. KCRW, KLYY (1.6) 28. KUSC (1.2) 29 KDAY, KSSE (1.2)

31. KSPN (1.1) 32. KEIB, KRLA, KWIZ (1.0) 35. KABC (0.7) 36. KFSH, KKJZ, KLAC, KWKW (0.6) 40. KFWB (0.5)

41. KTNQ (0.4) 42. KSUR, KYLA (0.3) 44. KHJ, KKLA (0.2) 46. KLAA, KPCC online stream simulcast (0.1).