Radio Waves: 4/26/19

KOST continues to lead Los Angeles

KOST (103.5 FM) has managed to do what some considered impossible: remain the top-rated station in Los Angeles without playing Christmas music. While down from its 13.0 share high during the holiday season, the station has led by at least a point over the second-place finisher all year so far, including the March ratings released last week. In March, KOST earned a 6.5 share compared with KRTH’s (101.1 FM) 5.5.

Completing the top-5 were KTWV The Wave (94.7 FM) at 4.7, KIIS-FM’s (102.7) 4.3, and the station that led L.A. up until the holiday season, “My FM” KBIG (104.3) at 4.2.

Ratings are an estimate of the percentage of listeners aged six and over tuned to a station between the hours of 6 a.m. and 12 midnight.

As usual, KFI (640 AM) was the top-rated AM station in town, at 7th place overall with a 3.8 share of the audience. But that’s only part of the story. Not only was KFI the top-rated AM station and the top-rated talk station, but ratings for KFI’s internet stream — calculated separately from the station’s main signal due to some commercials being different — was a 0.6. Combining the two would put the station at 4.4 and 4th place overall. Even alone, the stream beats KABC’s (790 AM) 0.5.

Classical KUSC (91.5 FM) was the highest-rated public station at 2.4; former public leader KPCC (89.3 FM) was close behind at 2.1. it’s not a good comparison since they both run different formats — KUSC’s classical music versus KPCC’s news/talk format, but it is a bragging-rights issue for the station.

For the first time this year, Alt 98.7 FM beat KROQ (106.7 FM), but it was a photo-finish statistically-insignificant difference: 2.4 vs. 2.3. 

And just in time for former programmer Sky Daniel’s retirement from KCSN (88.5 FM), the adult album alternative station earned a 0.4 share for March … slightly less than the 0.6 it earned in January and February, but continuing the trend of showing in the ratings. My memory could be failing me, but I believe that 2018 is the first time the station has shown in the ratings at all. Ever. What a nice retirement gift!

The full story:

1. KOST (6.5) 2. KRTH (5.5) 3. KTWV (4.7) 4. KIIS-FM (4.3) 5. KBIG “My FM” (4.2) 6. KCBS-FM “Jack” (4.1) 7. KFI (3.8) 8. KLVE (3.6) 9. KLAX, KNX (3.1)

11. KXOL (3.0) 12. KAMP, KPWR “Power 106” (2.7) 14. KLOS, KRRL “Real 92.3” (2.6) 16. KRCD (2.5) 17. KUSC, KYSR “Alt 98.7” (2.4) 19. KKGO “Go Country,” KROQ (2.3)

21. KBUE, KLYY, KPCC (2.1) 24. KJLH (1.9) 25. KSCA (1.5) 26. KCRW (1.3) 27. KDAY, KKLQ (1.2) 29. KSPN (1.1) 30. KKJZ “K-Jazz,” KRLA “The Answer,” KXOS (0.9)

33. KEIB (0.8) 34. KFSH “The Fish,” KLAC, KWIZ (0.7) 37. KFI Stream, KFWB, KKLA (0.6) 40. KABC, KIRN (0.5)

42. KCSN, KDLD, KSUR “K-Surf,” KWKW (0.4) 46. KYLA (0.3) 47. KHJ, KTNQ (0.2) 49. KPFK (0.1)

Ratings are © Nielsen,

Quick Picks

The sale of KLOS to Meruelo Media brings the station back into local ownership for the first time since 1947. This could be the start of radio’s renaissance as the huge companies that destroyed radio sell to locals to pay down debt. The sale price, by the way: $46 million. Date the deal was made: April 5th … ten days before it hit the streets.

I think that Meruelo will be good for KLOS.

What about KABC? It’s not included in the deal, and with no transmitter land owned by Cumulus — they sold it and now lease elsewhere — one estimate put the struggling AM value at only $5 million. Time to try my music format.

Talaya Trigueros has left The Wave after — is it true — 31 years with the station? Rumor says it was cost-cutting at the station. Is that even possible when the station is the third-most listened-to station in town? Absolutely … it’s owned by Entercom.

Condolences to the family and friends of Brad Messer, who passed away last week. Messer was the news director at KMET (now KTWV) in the mid 1970s, and worked at stations in San Diego, Houston, Dallas, San Francisco, and San Antonio as well.

Congratulations to KOST’s Ellen K and KABC’s Jillian Barberie for winning Gracie Awards to be presented by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation. The AWMF awards the Gracie in recognition of the accomplishments in programming and individual achievement by for and about women in radio, television and interactive media. Awards will be presented May 21st at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.