Radio Ratings Roundup, October 2023, Part II
October 31, 2023
Do you realize this is effectively the penultimate survey of 2023? Sure, there are still three books to go before we turn the corner but let’s be real. The last two of them are horribly tainted by the stench of BURL IVES and his ilk. Unless you are the purveyor of this swill, your listeners will be leaving you for the warm embrace of MARIAH CAREY and BRENDA LEE. There oughta be a law, ya know. So enjoy the OCTOBER numbers while you may. This survey ran from SEPTEMBER 14TH through OCTOBER 11TH. It was notable for ROSH HASHANAH, YOM KIPPUR, the autumnal equinox and a lightly observed federal holiday. The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. – in an open relationship with the numbers crunchers from XTRENDS – are ready for the ratings roundup to begin.
HOUSTON-GALVESTON: A Majic Eagle
This town, or at least the 6+ part of it, usually is the sole property of iHEARTMEDIA AC KODA (SUNNY 99.1). Alas, this time there were two new sheriffs in town. URBAN ONE Urban AC KMJQ (MAJIC 102.1) and URBAN ONE Classic Rock KGLK (THE EAGLE 106.9 & 107.5) were tied at #2 last time. KMJQ had its best book in over a year (6.7-7.2), while KGLK rebounded from a down book (6.7-7.2) as the stations leapt in tandem to #1. KODA slipped to #3 as it ended a strong two-book surge (7.9-6.9). KSBJ EDUCATIONAL Christian Contemporary KSBJ had its best showing since APRIL (5.1-5.8) to stand alone at #4. AUDACY Adult Hits KKHH (95.7 THE SPOT) dipped to #5 as it ended a four-book slide (5.1-5.5). KODA was still in cume control (1,555,100-1,634,100) – a 5.1% increase. The market rose by 2.6%.
The top six 25-54 stations were separated by about a share. And for the first time in over a year, KODA was not #1. That honor was bestowed upon iHEARTMEDIA Alternative KTBZ (94.5 THE BUZZ), which stepped up a slot with a slight decrease. KKHH advanced three spaces to #2 with its best showing since MAY. KODA drifted down to #3 with its smallest share in over a year. KGLK repeated at #4 with a slight increase, while KSBJ moved up to #5 with, again, its highest score since APRIL. URBAN ONE Top 40/R KBXX (97.9 THE BOX) slid three places to #6 with a small share loss.
Last month KTBZ and KBXX were #1 and #2, respectively, with the 18-34 crowd. They were well clear of the rest of the field. Both stations came back to the pack with KBXX ending up at #1 and KTBZ landing at #2. KKHH moved up to #2 with a slight increase, while KODA stepped down to #4 with its lowest score in over a year. KGLK had its largest share since MAY as it rose from #7 to #5. AUDACY Spanish Contemporary KLOL (MEGA 101.1FM) did the reverse, slipping to #7 as it gave back most of last month’s strong share increase.
Despite experiencing a down book, KTBZ held on to make it back-to-back 18-49 wins. KGLK scored its best book in over a year to move up two spaces to #2. KODA dipped to #3 with – yup – its lowest total in over a year. It was sharing the moment with KBXX, which remained in place with its first down book since APRIL. There had been a threesome at #5 but only one remained. A flat KKHH was stationary. iHEARTMEDIA Urban KQBT (93.7 THE BEAT) slipped to #6 with a slight decrease, while CUMULUS Top 40/M KRBE landed at #8 with a slightly larger slight decrease.
ATLANTA: Watchin’ The River Flow
For some of you, that might be an ear worm. COX MEDIA Classic Hits WSRV (97.1 THE RIVER) ended its three-book slide (7.9-8.5) but remained #1 6+ for the tenth straight survey. The station also added a 1.1 share from its stream. COX MEDIA Talk WSB-A stepped up to #2 with its best book in over a year (7.3-8.1). URBAN ONE Urban AC WAMJ (MAJIC 107.5/97.5) slipped to #3 as it ended a three-book surge (7.8-6.9). COX MEDIA Urban AC WALR (KISS 104.1) held steady at #4 (5.3-5.4), while AUDACY Urban WVEE (V-103) stepped up to #5 with its highest mark since JUNE (4.7-5.0). It narrowly defeated SALEM Christian Contemporary WFSH (104.7 THE FISH), which posted its best number since JANUARY as it rose to #6 (4.0-4.9). COX MEDIA AC WSB (B98.5) slid to #7 (4.9-4.6). WSRV was still out-cuming everyone (769,100-888,500) – a whopping 15.1% increase. The market was up a more modest 0.9%.
Last month WSRV and WVEE were #2 and #3, respectively in the 25-54 space. WSRV ended its three-book slide, while WVEE had its best outing since the bells were ringing the sad, sad news as this duo moved up to the #1 spot. CUMULUS Alternative WNNX (99X) stepped up to #3 with its fourth up book in a row. WAMJ dropped from first to fourth, while WSB-A repeated at #5 with its highest share in exactly a year.
For the first time since MARCH, WVEE was #1 18-34. The station also landed its largest share in over a year. This halted the seven-book winning streak for WSRV, which dipped to #2 despite regaining some of last month’s huge share loss. A flat WALR dipped to #3. Two stations that were tied at #10 crashed the top five party. WSB-A landed at #4, while JDJ COMMUNICATIONS Urban WWSZ (STREETZ 94.5) advanced to #5. Each station had its best book in over a year. Three stations were tied last month at #5. WSB dipped to #6 with a slight increase and was joined by WAMJ, which slid from #4. CUMULUS Top 40/M WWWQ (Q99.7) and URBAN ONE Urban WHTA (HOT 107.9) landed in unison at #8.
WSRV kept its 18-49 winning streak alive as it topped the chart for the seventh straight survey. WVEE was in the second place position for the fifth book in a row with its best performance since that little kid was drumming up a storm. WNNX stepped up to #3 with its highest share in over a year, while WAMJ dipped to #4 with its lowest score in over a year. There was a foursome at #5 last month. A flat WWWQ remained in place and was joined by WSB-A, which rose from #10. WSB and WALR slipped together to #7, while WHTA ended up at #9.
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WASHINGTON, DC: The Usual Suspects
In a town defined by political infighting, it’s nice to know that people – we’re talking the 6+ variety – can rally around the same set of radio stations. Per usual AMERICAN UNIVERSITY N/T WAMU was in first place and double digits (12.0-11.9). This streak began over a year ago. HUBBARD News WTOP was in second place for the tenth book in a row but with its lowest score since MAY (8.7-8.1). iHEARTMEDIA AC WASH was still the leading music station, coming in at #3 overall (7.9-7.1). HOWARD UNIVERSITY Urban AC WHUR stepped up to #4 (5.8-5.9), while URBAN ONE Urban AC WMMJ (MAJIC 102.3/92.7) dipped to #5 with its smallest share since APRIL (6.8-5.6). WASH was on top of the cume heap once again with a 3.6% increase (916,100-949,500). The market shrank by 1.6%.
For the fourth straight survey, WASH was the dominant presence in the 25-54 space. The station pulled off its third consecutive double-digit performance. WAMU repeated at #2 with its lowest mark in over a year and trailed the leader by four shares. Last month URBAN ONE Urban WKYS fell from #3 to #7. The station rebounded in this survey and moved back to #3. ATLANTIC GATEWAY Christian Contemporary WGTS dipped to #4 as it gave back about half of last month’s huge increase. WHUR remained firmly seated at #5 with a small increase. It was a few small steps ahead of iHEARTMEDIA Alternative WWDC (DC101), which stepped up from a tie at #7 to #6 with its best outing since MARCH. WMMJ fell from #4 to #8.
Last month WASH and WAMU were tied at #1 18-34 and in double digits. WASH continued that streak to remain on top, while WAMU stepped down to #2 as it ended a three-book surge. WMMJ remained at #3 with its fifth up book in a row. WGTS was back at #4, though it returned a substantial portion of last month’s massive share increase. This opened the door for iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WIHT (HOT 99.5), which moved up to forge a tie as it halted a somewhat steep three-book slide. WHUR and WKYS bounced back from down books to move up and into a merger at #6.
WASH continued to own the 18-49 demo. The station was #1 for the fourth book in a row, the last three of which were in double digits. WAMU repeated at #2 but with its smallest share in over a year. It was nearly four shares off the pace. WKYS vaulted from #8 to #3 with its best book since FEBRUARY. WHUR had its best performance in over a year as it stepped up to #4. WGTS and WMMJ were #3 and #4, respectively, in SEPTEMBER. Both stations had down books as they set up shop at #5.
PHILADELPHIA: It’s Been A While
For the first time since APRIL, iHEARTMEDIA Urban AC WDAS was the leading 6+ station. It also posted its best number in over a year (7.0-8.6). Thus ended the five-book reign of BEASLEY Classic Rock WMGK, which slipped to #2 (10.1-8.2). These were the halcyon days when local fans thought their baseball nine was destined for greatness. Alas, ’twas not to be. AUDACY Sports WIP certainly reaped the benefits of that WORLD SERIES run (with some help from the EAGLES) as it moved up three places to take its share of the #2 position. The station also had its largest number since NOVEMBER (5.8-8.2) and added an additional 1.5 share from its stream. BEASLEY Active Rock WMMR dipped to #4 (6.8-6.9). BEASLEY Country WXTU stepped down to #5 as it returned a healthy portion of last month big increase (6.4-5.9). AUDACY News KYW-A moved down to #6 (5.8-5.4). AUDACY AC WBEB (B101.1) still had the most cume (998,900-931,900) – a 6.7% decline. The market grew by 1.1%.
Sports, schmorts. WMMR kept on rolling as it was the 25-54 winner for the tenth book in a row. WIP vaulted from #7 to #2 with its best outing since JANUARY but was nearly two shares off the pace. iHEARTMEDIA Urban WUSL (POWER 99) dipped to #3 with a slight decrease. It was paired with WDAS, which moved up a slot with its highest mark since MAY. WXTU had a small share loss as it drifted from #3 to #5. BEASLEY Adult Hits WBEN (95.7 BEN FM) and WMGK had been tied at #5. WBEN slipped to #6 despite a small increase, while WMGK landed at #9 with its smallest share since MARCH.
Last survey, three – count ‘em – three stations were jostling for space atop the 18-34 standings. They were WMMR, WBEN and WMGK. WMMR slid to #4 as it gave back all of last month’s large share increase. WBEN dropped into a tie at #6 with WIP, thanks to its lowest number since APRIL. WMGK fell to #8. Your new demo leader was WXTU, which rose from #4 with its highest score in over a year. WBEB leapt from #7 to #2 as it ended a steep three-book slide. A flat WUSL was up to #3, while WDAS stepped up to #5 with a slight decrease.
WMMR made it back-to-back 18-49 wins while WIP zoomed from #9 to #2. Both stations had their best books since JANUARY. Also coming in at #2 was WXTU, which was stationary with a small increase. WUSL and WBEN had been teamed up at #3. WUSL slipped to #4 with a slight share gain, while WBEN moved down to #5. It was tied with WDAS, which was there last month.
BOSTON: Taking Your Calls
It is not unusual to see BEASLEY Sports WBZ (98.5 THE SPORTS HUB) on top of the 6+ standings. This was the station’s second win in a row and ninth in the last 14. However, why was everyone so “sports” hungry? Working theory – fans want to complain about how lousy the RED SOX and PATRIOTS are. If you have a better theory as to why the station went 7.8-10.9, we’ll hang up and listen to your response. AUDACY AC WMJX (MAGIC 106.7) was back at #2, though it ended a four-book surge (7.0-5.7). BOSTON UNIVERSITY Public Radio WBUR repeated at #3 (5.4-5.4), while BEASLEY Classic Hits WROR stepped up to #4 (5.0-5.3). iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WXKS (KISS 108) moved up to #5 (4.8-4.9), while iHEARTMEDIA Classic Rock WZLX (5.1-4.6) slid into a tie at #6 with AUDACY Hot AC WWBX (MIX 104.1) (4.3-4.6). WMJX remained in cume control despite a 3.9% decrease (803,800-772,200). The market was off by 1.2%.
WBZ was #1 25-54 for the tenth straight survey and was back in double digits for the first time since MAY. WBUR posted its largest share in over a year as it leapt from #5 to #2. WXKS stepped down to #3 with a small share loss. It was blended there with a flat WZLX, which moved up a spot. WWBX drifted from #3 to #5 with a modest decrease. Also occupying that same space was BEASLEY Rhythmic AC WBQT (HOT 96.9), which advanced from #7 with its highest mark since JUNE.
For the first time since APRIL, WBZ was #1 18-34. The station’s double-digit share was its highest in over a year. This snapped the five-book winning streak for WXKS, which dipped to #2 despite regaining some of last month’s huge share loss. WBQT had its best book since FEBRUARY to repeat at #3. However, it was forced to share with WWBX, which last month fell from #3 to #9 but rebounded with a vengeance to move back up to #3. A flat iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/R WJMN (JAM’N 94.5) slipped to #5, while WMJX fell three places to #8. It was tied with WZLX and AUDACY Adult Hits WBGB (BIG 103).
WBZ repeated as the 18-49 champ with its first double-digit outing since MAY. WXKS was back at #2 with a solid increase but remained about four shares behind the leader. WWBX was still the #3 station, though with a strong share increase. WBQT and WBUR had been tied at #5. WBQT had its best book since MAY to move up to #4, while WBUR landed its largest share in over a year to alight at #5. WMJX fell from #5 to #9 but don’t worry – winter is coming.
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As always, The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. stand ready to help you grow your ratings and revenue. Stay tuned for part three featuring SEATTLE, MIAMI, PHOENIX, DETROIT and MINNEAPOLIS.
– Steve Allan, Programming Research Consultant
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