KOST dominates again; KFI moves up
KOST (103.5 FM) continued settling down back to normal after its traditional holiday boost, but it still managed to dominate the Los Angeles ratings released last week. For the month of February the adult top-40 station earned a 5.7 rating, down from 6.5 in January and 13.7 during the holiday season, but a half point above second-place KRTH (101.1 FM)’s 5.2.
KFI (640 AM was the top-rated talk station as usual, and the top-rated AM station in town, earning a 3.8 share at tied for 7th place overall … and proving that AM radio is still, indeed, viable. News radio KNX (1070 AM) was not far behind, with a 3.0 share at 10th place. Unfortunately, the next highest-rated AM station was way down and tied for 29th place at 1.1, that station being KRLA (870 AM).
Alt 98.7 FM beat out KROQ (106.7 FM) but just barely: Alt at 2.6 vs. KROQ at 2.5; Alt tied for 12th and KROQ tied for 14th. Keep this in mind when you hear about the firing of KROQ’s entire morning show being related to ratings. It wasn’t. That’s a lie.
For a change, the news was good for KABC (790 AM), which while still low at 0.9 and tied for 35th, was the station’s highest rating in recent memory.
And just because I love the call letters, it is nice to still be able to mention KHJ (930 AM in spite of the fact that they don’t let me program music on the station. For the month, KHJ was 47th place with a 0.1 share. Yes, it’s low, but the call-letters are still around after almost 100 years.
Each rating is an estimate of the percentage of listeners aged 6 and over (also called “six plus”) tuned to a station between the hours of 6 a.m. and 12 midnight. Ratings are © 2020 Nielsen. May not be quoted or reproduced without prior written permission from Nielsen. The full story:
1. KOST (5.7) 2. KRTH (5.2) 3. KTWV (4.7) 4. KBIG/My-FM (4.5) 5. KIIS (4.4) 6. KLAX (4.1) 7. KLVE, KFI (3.8) 9. KCBS-FM/Jack (3.5) 10. KNX (3.0)
11. KLOS (2.9) 12. KYSR/Alt, KRRL/Real (2.6) 14. KROQ, KRCD (2.5) 16. KKGO/Go Country (2.4) 17. KPWR/Power, KLYY (2.3) 19. KXOL (2.2) 20. KSCA, KPPC (2.1)
22. KAMP/Amp Radio (2.0) 23. KUSC, KKLQ/K-Love, KBUE (1.6) 26. KLLI (1.4) 27. KDAY (1.3) 28. KFSH/The Fish (1.2) 29. KRLA, KJLH, KCRW (1.1)
32. KLAC, KKJZ, KEIB (1.0) 35. KWIZ, KSPN, KABC (0.9) 38. KKLA, KDLD (0.7) 40. KFWB (0.6)
41. KCSN/88.5 FM (0.5) 42. KTNQ (0.4) 43. KWKW, KSUR/K-Surf (0.3) 45. KYLA, KPFK (0.2) 47. KHJ (0.1)
You probably read in this very newspaper that the entire morning team of Kevin in the. Morning (formerly known as Kevin and Bean until a month after Gene “Bean” Baxter left the show) was fired March 18th, laying to rest the remnants of a program with a 30-year history in Los Angeles.
Now, 30 years is an amazing number, one of the longest ever. For comparison, most shows historically — I am thinking Robert W. Morgan on KHJ, Charlie Tuna on KHJm Ten-Q and a few others — tend to last five or so years, the better deals occasionally lasting longer. The point being that longterm associations with any station are rare.
But to say that it was ratings is wrong. Had it been ratings, they never would ave offered Kevin the show in the first place … Kevin and Bean had long passed their ratings prime. But it was a heritage show and brought a lot of street cred to a station that desperately needed it against relative newcomer Alt 98.7.
In the end it was the economic conditions the radio industry finds itself in after after years of neglect. Station ad rates are at an all-time low, and the companies that own the stations are desperately trying to remain afloat. So it all comes down to money. KROQ, now being owned by Entercom, is just like the others, cutting any talent that makes “too much” … that decision of too much being decided by executives who rake in millions while the companies they run slowly die.
Last week I mentioned that a competing digital radio broadcasting system called DRM is used in numerous other countries. I received an email correcting me, and while the writer prefers to remain un-named, their information is correct.
“You mentioned the digital radio system DRM (for Digital Radio Mondiale) and said that DRM is ‘in most of the rest of the world.’ In fact, the only country to make widespread use of DRM is India, and at present there are approximately 1 million receivers in that country. By contrast, there are over 70 million HD Radio receivers now in the US which are capable of receiving AM-band HD Radio signals.”
Many countries are just shutting AM — and sometimes FM — off. This could be a big thing as we move forward.