RadioWaves: February 5, 2021

January Nielsens

KOST (103.5 FM) absolutely dominated the Nielsen radio ratings for Los Angeles in December, or the so-called Holiday ratings period (the 13th four-week ratings period of the year) after also dominating the “December” ratings (the 12th four-week period that are primarily in November). The Holiday ratings had KOST at 13.9, almost three times the rating of second-place KRTH (101.1 FM), which earned a 5.0 share. That’s an even bigger spread than “December,” when KOST earned a 10.7 share compared with KRTH’s 10.7, and may be a highest-ever rating for KOST.

The holidays were good for KFI (640 AM) as well, which was a strong third-place finisher at 4.7, followed by KTWV The Wave, 94.7 FM) at 3.9 and KBIG (104.3 FM) at 3.8. If you add in KTWV’s stream, which earned a 0.1 share on its own, The Wave had a 4.0.

The holiday period was not as kind to KLOS (95.5 FM), which for whatever reason had a drop that began in the December period, only to intensify in Holiday. This probably means it will spring back, but we’ll see … for Holiday, the station had a 2.7 share, preceded by 3.1 in December, 3.5 in November … and 3.8 back in August. That’s a full point drop since Summer.

KROQ (106.7 FM) had a little bump, which was some good news for the station which hit a low of 1.5 in October. With competitor KYSR (Alt 98.7) flat for the month and down since it had a 2.7 in November, the two alternative rock stations are once again within striking distance of each other. But, and this is important, both stations mirror the problems alternative rock formats are having in attracting large audiences nationwide. Neither station is tremendously popular compared with years past.

And what happened to Power 106? The rating for the station that once knocked KIIS-FM out of the top spot back in the 1980s is down to 1.5 … a lower rating than years ago when it dropped top-40 when it was known as K-WEST and even lower than when the station played adult contemporary music as Magic 106. Can we hope for a return of K-West? Is Chuck Martin willing to program it again? One can hope … Power’s direct competition KRRL (Real 92.3) was at 2.1.

Stevie Wonder’s KJLH (102.3 FM) — still licensed to the city of Compton, which I think is kind of cool  — is holding on to nice increase that began in November, 1.6. Just one month prior, it had a 1.2; it has been steady at 1.6 for three ratings periods. Go Country 105, which dropped country during the holidays in order to play holiday music, dropped a half point from the “December” period, 1.5 vs. 2.0. Back in November, Go Country had a 2.4.

KABC (790 AM) had a rough month, coming in at 0.8, a drop of 0.3 from December and 0.7 from November, when it had a year-long high of 1.4. Classical on AM — KMZT (1260 AM) came in lower than its previous incarnation as LA Oldies, but it didn’t drop off the map completely … earning a 0.1 share. That may not sound impressive, but the station was starting from nothing, and it marks the first time a station has earned any rating at all playing classical music on AM in, well, decades. 

In total, iHeart earned a combined 31.5 share of the audience for its group of stations; Entercom earned a combined 19.1. Let that sink in for a second … one company controls almost one-third of the listening in town, and two companies combined control over 50 percent. Can we get the FCC to break up this essential monopoly before they drag every station in town into the revenue toilet? In my dreams …

The full story … each rating is an estimate of the average percentage of listeners aged six and older listening to a station between the hours of 6 a.m. and 12 midnight.

1. KOST (13.9) 2. KRTH (5.0) 3. KFI (4.7) 4. KTWV (3.9) 5. KBIG (3.8) 6. KCBS-FM (Jack), KLAX (3.4) 8. KLVE (3.3) 9. KNX (3.2) 10. KIIS-FM (2.9)

11. KLOS, KPCC (2.7) 13. KSCA (2.5) 14. KRCD (2.3) 15. KYSR (Alt) (2.2) 16. KKLQ, KRRL (Real 92.3), KXOL (2.1) 19. KROQ (2.0) 20. KLYY (1.8)

21. KUSC (1.7) 22. KJLH (1.6) 23. KCRW, KKGO (Go Country), KPWR (Power 106) (1.5) 26. KAMP (1.4) 27. KDAY, KEIB (The Patriot), KLLI (1.1) 30. KBUE (1.0)

31. KFSH (The Fish) (0.9) 32. KABC, KDLD, KLAC, KRLA (The Answer), KWIZ (0.8) 37. KKJZ (0.7) 38. KFWB (0.6) 39. KSPN (0.5) 40. KCSN, KTNQ, KYLA (0.4)

43. KHJ (0.3) 44. KIRN, KKLA (0.2) 46. KMZT, KPFK, KROQ HD2, KTWV Stream, KWKW (0.1)