Radio Waves: July 29, 2022

June Nielsens

With very few exceptions, the order of popularity for our local radio stations remains pretty much unchanged since I reported on the March ratings released in April. That lack of change is why I still report on them — usually — quarterly, rather than monthly as they are released by Nielsen. If I did it monthly, you’d think you were reading the same column every month. Now you only have that feeling every three months. But I digress.

Adult contemporary music station KOST (103.5 FM) led the pack again in the June Nielsens released this month, with a solid 6.0 share of the audience. Oldies KRTH (101.1 FM) was the runner-up with a 5.5. KBIG (104.3 FM) — basically KOST but farther up the dial — was third at 4.2, followed by Spanish contemporary music station KLVE (107.5 FM) at 4.4, and “old school” KTWV (The Wave, 94.7 FM) which tied KFI for 5th at 4.3.

KLOS (95.5 FM) saw its best ratings since at least January – a 10th place finish with a 3.3 share of the audience. That’s up almost a full point compared with May’s 2.5, and a full point above January. This puts KLOS within striking distance of arguably its closest competitor —  Jack-FM (KCBS-FM, 93.1) — which was 8th at 3.6.

Call me underwhelmed, but I am not impressed with KNX’s (1070 AM, 93.1 FM) 3.1 finish. With great fanfare, owner Audacy decided to simulcast the longtime popular AM station’s programming on FM (and stop mentioning the AM station at all) last November. Tons of publicity brought a temporary jump in listenership, though still lower than the total the two signals formerly earned separately. Now, over six months later, the combined rating is 3.1 … just 0.1 above what it earned as a standalone AM last September (the last full report I ran before the simulcast began) and 1.4 under the old total for the two frequencies.

I’d call that a failure, especially since the old format on 97.1 — KNOU — was underperforming as it was. But it does bring up a good point – since KNX did as well when it was AM only, if you put good programming on AM, people will listen. Someday, perhaps, owners will figure that out. I stand by my convictions: AM is dead because owners killed it. Resurrect it by improving the content. I digress again.

Alt 98.7’s (KYSR) 2.5 share beat KROQ’s (106.7 FM) 1.8. BUT, and this is a big but, this is the best rating KROQ has seen in at least the past six months, and it came with an increase in the popularity of both stations, 0.2 and 0.4 for the stations, respectively. 

An oddity – KCRW (89.9 FM) dropping, a lot. I can’t figure out why, as the station has made no major changes. I can;’t even think of any minor changes made in fact. So why the decline to a 1.0 share after earning a 2.1 just three months ago? Any thoughts?

Surprise of the month? Stevie Wonder’s KJLH (102.3 FM) is on a roll with its best rating in my memory: 2.7. This puts the station is a tie with Go Country 105.1 FM for 12th, and represents a half point increase in a month, and a full point since February’s 1.7. This may be the best rating KJLH has earned since I’ve been writing this column … and is worthy of a huge “congratulations” to all involved.

Several online streams and secondary HD stations made the list: KROQ HD2, which plays ‘80s KROQ hits, earned a 0.1 share … as did LA Oldies on KKGO HD2 and the online simulcast of Jack-FM. KRTH’s online simulcast of it’s main signal earned a 0.2. None of these huge, and it definitely shows that over the air reception of AM and FM still dominates listening.

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. The full story:

1. KOST (6.0) 2. KRTH (5.5) 3. KBIG “My FM” (5.2) 4. KLVE (4.4) 5. KTWV “The Wave,” KFI (4.3) 7. KIIS-FM (3.9) 8. KCBS-FM “Jack” (3.6) 9. KRRL “Real” (3.4) 10. KLOS (3.3)

11. KNX (3.1) 12. KKGO “Go Country,” KJLH (2.7) 14. KRCD, KPCC (2.6) 16. KYSR “Alt,” KXOL (2.5) 18. KLAX (2.4) 19. KSCA, KLLI (2.2)

21. KLYY (2.1) 22. KROQ, KPWR “Power,” KBUE (1.8) 25. KUSC, KLAC (1.5) 27. KDAY, KABC (1.1) 29. KFWB, KCRW (1.0)

31. KEIB, KDLD (0.9) 33. KRLA “The Answer,” KKJZ (0.8) 35. KCSN (0.7) 36. KFSH “The Fish” (0.6) 37. KSPN (0.5) 38. KWIZ, KKLA (0.4) 40. KWKW, KTNQ, KHJ, KRTH Stream (0.2)

44. KTWV Stream, KROQ HD2, KPFK, KMZT, KKGO HD2, KIRN, KCBS-FM Stream (0.1)

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