Radio Waves: 2/1/19

KOST rules the holiday season again

As expected, holiday music gave KOST (103.5 FM) a huge boost in the ratings during the season. The station dominated the Holiday ratings released week, according to Nielsen, with ratings up by a full four points to 13.0 from “December’s” already high 9.0; KOST in “November” had a 5.1.

Why the quotes? Ratings are done in four-week periods, which gives 13 ratings “months” each year. So “December” is actually mostly November, making “Holiday” is the last four weeks of the year. KOST started playing holiday music in early November.

Playing holiday music also helped Go Country 105, though to a much lesser degree. But it most certainly did help – while many music stations besides KOST were down, Go Country came in with its highest rating in at least six months: 2.7 compared with a 2.4 share in four of the previous five months.

KROQ (106.7 FM) was the top alternative station with a 2.4 rating, compared with Alt 98.7’s 2.0. I have not seen a breakdown of the ratings periods to determine exactly what happened, though I have a theory. I’ll save it for a future column.

KBIG was the top-rated contemporary music station, earning a 4.0 share … half a point above one-time music leader KIIS-FM, which — if my memory is serving me correctly — has fallen to the lowest rating since I have been writing this column: 3.5. KIIS-FM was once in the 10’s. 

KFI (640 AM) won the talk war again, though down to 3.2 from last month’s 3.5. That’s still far above the nearest direct competition: KEIB (1150 AM) had a 0.8 share of the audience while KABC (790 AM) came in at 0.7. Though perhaps not in the same category, KPCC (89.3) was a bit stronger at 2.3.

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 (13.0) 2. KRTH (4.4) 3. KBIG My FM (4.0) 4. KTWV The Wave (3.6) 5. KIIS-FM (3.5) 6. KCBS-FM Jack, KLVE K-Love, KXOL (3.3) 9. KFI (3.2) 10. KPWR (3.0)

11. KRRL Real 92.3 (2.8) 12. KKGO Go Country (2.7) 13. KNX (2.6) 14. KLOS, KROQ (2.4) 16. KAMP Amp Radio, KLAX, KPCC, KRCD (2.3) 20. KBUE, KUSC (2.1)

22. KYSR Alt 98.7 (2.0) 23. KJLH (1.6) 24. KSCA (1.4) 25. KCRW (1.3) 26. KDAY (1.2) 27. KLYY, KSPN (1.1) 29. KKJZ, KKLQ (0.9)

31. KEIB, KSSE (0.8) 33. KABC, KDLD, KFWB, KLAC, KWIZ (0.7) 38. KFSH The Fish, KIRN, KRLA (0.6)

41. KKLA, KSUR K-Surf, KYLA (0.4) 44. KWKW (0.3) 45. KHJ, KNX Internet Stream, KPFK, KROQ Stream, KRTH Stream, KTNQ, KTWV-HD2, KTWV Stream (0.1)

Random Thoughts from a Cluttered Mind

KYSR has been playing alternative music as Alt 98-7 for over a decade. When will they stop calling themselves “LA’s New Alternative?” And for that matter, when will both Alt and KROQ stop playing so many old songs? Seems like they were afraid of new music at times …

Tuned in to KFI afternoon stars John and Ken last week. Seems like actual show content was down to about 20 minutes per hour, once the huge commercial breaks, news and traffic were counted. Show was the same old same old, but the news has a new annoying music bed playing (loudly) in the background, most likely trying to pick up extra ratings points to due an oddity with the Nielsen Ratings system that has trouble crediting listenership during voice-only segments. Not sure how much the music helps; KFI might do well to just work on improving the talk programs …