RadioWaves: July 23, 2021

Suddenly Sinatra

Coming soon to an HD radio, smartphone, smart speaker, or computer near you: all Sinatra, all the time. It will be a service of Saul Levine, owner of Go Country (105.1 FM) and one of the biggest supporters of digital HD Radio in town.

The exact launch date is still up in the air, but Levine promises “soon.” Perhaps as soon as within the week, or even by the time you read this.

It will be part of Go Country’s extra digital streams that can be decoded if you have an HD Radio in your home or car, but frankly it’s almost easier — and often more reliable —  to hear such stations using a smartphone app or a smart speaker. When it officially launches, I’ll give more details on how to pick it up. Over the air it will be heard on 105.1 HD3, replacing the current simulcast of K-Jazz (88.1 FM).

The new station will be programmed by Pat Welsh and hosted by Jerry Sharell, described by Levine as “America’s authority on Frank Sinatra.”

More National Programming

Audacy — formerly and better known as Entercom — is following up on it’s threat, er, promise to regionally and nationally program more stations, effectively destroying their own future. Last year it was alternative and country stations that became one, now it’s top-40.

The move means Now FM (KNOU, 97.1 FM) will have a morning show out of Phoenix, middays from Chicago, afternoons based local but generic to fit seven other cities in the afternoons and seven cities in the evening at the same time. DJs won’t even be able to refer to the time of day.

Corporate radio apologists: please explain how this is any different than satellite radio, but with 20 minutes of commercials per hour? Explain also why anyone would or should listen.

On the positive side, at least Audacy is one step closer to going under. That would make me very happy indeed.

June Nielsens

Oldies must male people feel good, as KRTH (101.1 FM) once again dominated the Los Angeles Nielsen ratings for the month of June, beating second place KOST (103.5 FM) by just over a half point, 5.5 to 4.9. Just a half point down from there was KFI (640 AM) at 4.4, followed by KLVE (107.5 FM) at 4.2 and KBIG My FM (104.3 FM) at 4.1.

Alt 98.7 FM beat out competitor KROQ (106.7 FM) by almost a full point, 3.2 to 2.3, while KIIS-FM (102.7) beat it’s closest direct competitor — Now — by almost two full points, 3.7 to 1.8. Even below Now was Power 106, at 1.6.

Interesting rating, that 1.6. About a full point behind the rating that K-WEST had before the decision was made to change to Magic 106 … and lower than Magic had when the decision was made to change to Power 106. Makes you think – why not let Chuck Martin come back to program the station as K-WEST again? I bet he’d beat KIIS at their own game. But I digress …

Some of the more interesting ratings came from the bottom of the list: LA Oldies, heard on 105.1 HD2, earned a 0.1 share. Not impressive until you remember that it’s a station that you need s special radio to receive. Same with Roq of the ‘80s on 106.7 HD2: a 0.1 share for a station most people can’t get on their regular radios. Classical on AM? Yes … K-Mozart actually earned a 0.1 share.

The online stream for KLOS similarly impressed: a 0.2 share of people listening via online streams, smartphones and smart speakers. Add that to KLOS’s 2.8 share, and KLOS has a total of 3.0. Speaking of which, there is a buzz about KLOS lately regarding a bit of new music. Is KLOS moving more toward active rock? Wouldn’t be a bad idea.

To say that KFI dominates the talk format — in addition to all AM stations — would be an understatement. It’s 3rd place finish at 4.4 dwarfs all other talk stations in town; the next highest doesn’t show on the list until KRLA’s (870 AM) 28th place 1.4 share. If you include sports talk, KFI still dominates, as the highest-rated sports format is found at 22nd place with KLAC’s (570 AM) 1.6 share. Interestingly, KFI is doing better now than it did comparatively when more listeners tuned to AM than FM. That’s impressive, indeed.

Each rating is an estimate 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. KRTH (5.5) 2. KOST (4.9) 3. KFI (4.4) 4. KLVE (4.2) 5. KBIG (4.1) 6. Jack-FM, The Wave (3.9) 8. KIIS-FM (3.7) 9. KLAX (3.6) 10. Alt 98.7 (3.2)

11. KLOS, KNX, KRCD (2.8) 14. KPCC (2.6) 15. Go Country (2.5) 16. KLYY, KROQ, KSCA (2.3) 19. Real 92.3 (2.2) 20. KJLH, KNOU (1.8)

22. KLAC, KLLI, Power 106, KUSC, KXOL (1.6) 27. KCRW (1.5) 28. KRLA (1.4) 29. KDAY (1.2) 30. KBUE, KEIB (1.1)

32. KABC, KFWB (1.0) 34. KDLD, KKJZ (0.8) 36. KFSH (0.7) 37. KWIZ (0.6) 38. KSPN (0.5) 39. KCSN (0.4) 40. KHJ, KTNQ (0.3)

42. KKLA, KLOS Online Stream (0.2) 44. KIRN, KKGO HD2, KMZT, KROQ HD2, KWKW (0.1)