Radio Waves: 11/4/16

October Ratings

It really wasn’t that long ago that The Wave (KTWV, 94.7 FM) was considered dead. Languishing for years, it seemed that owner CBS’ management and programmers really didn’t know what to do with the format. One thing was certain: the “smooth jazz” format that had evolved out of the New Age format that was used when manager Frank Cody killed off then-rocker KMET in 1987 was itself dead.

For years The Wave was like a boat without a rudder. Then last year, following the demise of Hot 92.3 FM (now KRRL, Real 92.3 FM) the station added many of the same songs formerly heard on Hot. Smooth Jazz had became Smooth R&B, evolving into The Soul of Southern California. The result? As of the most recent ratings, The Wave is now the number two-rated station in Los Angeles with a 4.7 share of the audience, behind 2016 leader KOST’s (103.5 FM) 5.4 share and ahead of former leader KIIS-FM’s (102.7) 4.5 tie with KLVE (107.5 FM) and KRTH (101.1 FM).

For the record, this is not the first time The Wave has hit 4.7; it did so in May and June before slipping to an average of 4.2 in the Summer months. But it is the first time it has hit 2nd place, something I do not believe has happened in the history of the station’s frequency.

After a drop that must have shocked management, KFI (640 AM) was back as the top-rated AM station in town, with a 3.1 share in 11th place. KNX (1070 AM) was right behind at 12th, tied with KAMP (97.1 FM) and Real 92.3, all with shares of 3.0. The next-highest AM station — KLAC (570 AM) was way down at 27th place, in a four-way tie with KUSC (91.5 FM), KWIZ (96.7 FM) and KCRW’s (89.9 FM) combined FM and on-line streaming simulcast with a 1.4 share of the audience.

Nothing seems to affect The Sound (100.3 FM) … with the loss of morning man Mark Thompson and the gaining of The Los Angeles Rams football broadcasts, one would think that something would change. One would be wrong: The Sound’s 2.6 is basically the same as the rating it has held for most of the year. Same story for KLOS, which at 2.3 is about what it has been most of the past year as well.

On the other hand, KROQ (106.7 FM) seems to be hurting, though ratings are certainly respectful still. Yet this month’s 2.2 share is quite a drop from May and June’s 2.9. Even more interestingly, competitor and alternative format leader KYSR (98.7 FM) has been relatively flat at 3.2 … generally what it has averaged since May. It appears that 98-7 is bucking the nationwide trend of struggling alternative stations while KROQ is currently a victim of the downturn.

KHJ (930 AM) made a return to the ratings list after disappearing for a while, earning a 0.3 share. Being supported by listener donations rather than advertising, owner Immaculate Heart Radio isn’t complaining. But if they ever want to turn over programming duties for at least part of the week or weekend, I’m ready to make it rock again …

The full story: Each rating is an estimate of the percentage of listeners aged 6 and older tuned to a station between the hours of 6 a.m. and 12 midnight, as determined by Nielsen:

Station – Format – Oct 16 Rating


KTWV-FM Rhythmic AC 4.7

KIIS-FM Top 40 4.5

KLVE-FM Spanish Hits 4.5

KRTH-FM Classic Hits 4.5

KBIG-FM Hot AC 4.4

KSCA-FM Regional Mexican 3.5

KCBS-FM Adult Hits 3.3

KRCD-FM Spanish Adult Hits 3.3

KYSR-FM Alternative 3.2

KFI-AM Talk 3.1

KAMP-FM Top 40 3.0

KNX-AM News 3.0

KRRL-FM Urban 3.0

KKGO-FM Country 2.7

KSWD-FM Classic Rock 2.6

KPWR-FM Top 40 2.4

KLOS-FM Classic Rock 2.3

KROQ-FM Alternative 2.2

KXOL-FM Spanish Contemporary 2.2

KLAX-FM Regional Mexican 2.1

KBUE-FM Regional Mexican 2.0

KLYY-FM Spanish Adult Hits 2.0

KXOS-FM Regional Mexican 2.0

KPCC-FM News-Talk 1.7

KJLH-FM Urban Adult Contemporary 1.6

KLAC-AM Sports 1.4

KUSC-FM Classical 1.4

KWIZ-FM Spanish Variety 1.4

KCRW-FM Variety 1.2 (1.4 including the online simulcast)

KDAY-FM Rhythmic Adult Contemporary 1.1

KABC-AM Talk 0.8

KEIB-AM Talk 0.8

KRLA-AM Talk 0.8

KSPN-AM Sports 0.8

KSSE-FM Spanish Contemporary 0.7

KFSH-FM Christian Contemporary 0.6

KKJZ-FM Jazz 0.6

KHJ-AM Religious 0.3

KTNQ-AM Spanish Talk 0.3

KLAA-AM Sports 0.2

KKLA-FM Religious 0.1