RADIO RATINGS ROUNDUP, September 2023, PART I
October 3, 2023
Why does SEPTEMBER serve as the muse for so many songwriters? Why not the AUGUST of my years? Would the 21st night of OCTOBER have worked just as well? Could we wake up when DECEMBER ends? Truly baffling. But neither The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. nor the numbers wonders from XTRENDS make our living writing songs. We just analyze data. Specifically, for the SEPTEMBER survey. This one ran from AUGUST 17TH through SEPTEMBER 13TH. It featured a long federally-mandated weekend, rush of back-to-school days and the initiation of gridiron hostilities. Here’s how it went:
NEW YORK: Turn It Up To Eleven
Despite posting its lowest 6+ share since FEBRUARY, iHEARTMEDIA AC WLTW (106.7 LITE FM) was the market leader for the eleventh survey in a row (8.1-7.3). iHEARTMEDIA Classic Rock WAXQ (Q104.3) finished in second place for the seventh book in a row (6.5-6.4), while AUDACY Classic Hits WCBS stepped up to #3 as it rebounded from a down book (5.2-5.6). Two cluster buds moved up and into a tie at #4. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WHTZ (Z100) was up from #5 (5.1-5.0), while iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WKTU advanced from #6 (5.0-5.0). MEDIACO Urban AC WBLS landed its lowest share in over a year (5.4-4.9) as it slid three places to #6. As usual WLTW had the most listeners (3,697,500-3,687,400) – a 0.3% decrease. The market fell by 0.5%.
WLTW continued its mastery over the 25-54 realm as it won for the eleventh straight time. However, the station scored its lowest number since NOVEMBER and narrowly edged WHTZ, which remained at #2 with a slight decrease. WKTU was about a half share off the lead as it repeated at #3 with its highest mark in over a year. WCBS was still at #4 as it got back some of last month’s lost share. WAXQ stepped up to #5 with a slight increase, while SBS Tropical WSKQ (MEGA 97.9) dipped to #6.
Not only was WLTW #1 18-34 for the fourth book in a row, it turned in a second straight double-digit effort. WKTU was up two spots to #2 with its best outing in over a year and still trailed the leader by three shares. WAXQ slipped to #3 where it was met by WHTZ, which moved up from #4. Both stations had down books. Last month WCBS dropped from #4 to #10. The station got some of that share back as it sprang up to #5. WSKQ fell from #3 to #9 with its smallest share since MAY.
Though it was unable to duplicate last month’s double-digit share, WLTW was the 18-49 winner for the eleventh straight survey. WKTU repeated at #2 with a small increase, while WHTZ was back at #3 but with its fourth down book in a row. WAXQ was up two slots to #4 with a slight increase, while WCBS bounced back from that down book to rise from #8 to #5. AUDACY Hot AC WNEW (NEW 102.7) dipped to #6 with its fifth straight down book, while WSKQ fell three places to #7 with its lowest mark since MAY.
LOS ANGELES: Not-So-Rare Earth
An artist that likely does not grace the airwaves of AUDACY Classic Hits KRTH (K-EARTH 101FM). No matter, the station was #1 6+ for the seventh straight survey (6.4-6.1). It maintained a healthy advantage over iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KBIG (104.3 MYFM), which remained at #2 (5.1-5.2). iHEARTMEDIA AC KOST ended a small two-book slide (4.5-5.1) as it moved up two rungs to #3. iHEARTMEDIA Talk KFI-A dipped to #4 (4.8-4.8), while AUDACY Urban AC KTWV (94.7 THE WAVE) ebbed to #5 (4.6-4.5). Also, for the seventh book in a row, KRTH was the cume leader. This despite a 9.4% decrease (2,316,900-2,099,900). The market dropped by 1.5%.
For the first time since NOVEMBER, KBIG was your 25-54 leader. The station also landed its largest share since that same month. This halted the seven-book winning streak for KRTH, which dipped to #2 with its second down book in a row. Nipping at its heels was TELEVISAUNIVISION Spanish Contemporary KLVE (K-LOVE 107.5), which remained at #3 with a slight increase. KOST moved up to #4 as it ended a two-book slide. Last month iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KIIS (102.7 KISS FM) slid two places to #9. This time the station got back the share it previously lost and vaulted to #5. AUDACY Adult Hits KCBS (93.1 JACK FM) slipped to #6 with a small share loss.
There was all sorts of commotion in the 18-34 ranks. KRTH finished at #1 for the fifth book in a row but with its smallest share since APRIL. iHEARTMEDIA Urban KRRL (REAL 92.3) had a small share gain, but that was enough to propel the station from #6 to #2. KOST had its best book since JANUARY as it rocketed from #14 to #3. It was tied with KBIG, which remained in place but with its lowest score since FEBRUARY. KTWV dipped to #5. As recently as JUNE, it was #1 in this demo. It was tied with KIIS, which arrived from #7 with its first up book since MARCH. KCBS fell five places to #7 as it halted a strong six-book surge. iHEARTMEDIA Alternative KYSR (ALT 98.7) had its least productive outing in over a year as it dropped from #5 to #11. It was sharing the space with SBS Spanish AC KXOL (MEGA 96.3) and AUDACY Alternative KROQ.
The top four 18-49 stations were within a half share of one another. KBIG repeated as the market leader with a slight decrease. The next three signals were tied at #2. KRTH remained motionless with a small decrease, while KLVE stepped up from #3 and KIIS advanced from #6. Both stations bounced back from down books. TELEVISAUNIVISION Spanish Adult Hits KRCD (103.9/98.3 RECUERDO) slipped to #5 with a slight decrease and was paired with a flat KTWV. KCBS fell from #3 to #10.
We pause now for a brief message. The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. are here to help you to grow your ratings and revenue. Find out how by clicking on the link at the bottom of the page.
CHICAGO: Sharing Is Caring
iHEARTMEDIA AC WLIT (93.9 LITE FM) made it an even dozen. The station was #1 6+ for the twelfth book in a row, though with its smallest share since APRIL (7.7-6.8). It had to share the moment with HUBBARD Classic Rock WDRV (97.1FM THE DRIVE), which stepped up from #2 (6.2-6.8). Moving up to a distant #3 position was AUDACY News WBBM-A, which bounced back from a down book (4.6-4.9). AUDACY AAA WXRT slipped to #4 (5.0-4.7), while iHEARTMEDIA Urban AC WVAZ (V103) remained at #5 with its best showing since MARCH (4.0-4.2). It was just a beat ahead of HUBBARD Hot AC WTMX (101.9 THE MIX), which moved up to #6 with its highest score since JANUARY (3.4-4.1). WLIT remained the cume leader (1,298,900-1,342,000) – a 3.3% rise. The market grew by 0.5%.
Not only did WLIT receive its best Frosty-free 25-54 share in over a year, the station finished at #1 for the eleventh book in a row. TELEVISAUNIVISION Regional Mexican WOJO (QUÉ BUENA 105.1) repeated at #2 with a slight increase and was about a share and a half off the pace. WXRT was up slightly as it grew two places to #3. WTMX was also up two slots – to #4 – with its best book since MARCH. AUDACY Rhythmic AC WBMX (104.3 JAMS) dipped to #5 with its first down book since APRIL. AUDACY Country WUSN (US99) slid three spots to #6 with its third straight down book.
WOJO had its best 18-34 outing in over a year as it cruised to its third straight win. WLIT was back at #2 with a small increase but trailed the leader by about a share and a half. Last month WUSN dropped from #3 to #7. The station got back most of that lost share as it returned to the #3 slot. WDRV repeated at #4 with a slight decrease. It was joined in that space by iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WKSC (103.5 KISS FM), which stepped up from #5 with a slight increase. WXRT fell three places to #6.
For the first time since FEBRUARY, WLIT was #1 18-49. This ended the six-book winning streak for WOJO, which stepped down to #2 with its lowest mark since MARCH. WBMX repeated at #3 with a small share loss, while WXRT was back at #4 with a slight decrease. A flat WUSN maintained its grip on the #5 position, but it had company as WDRV moved up from #6 with a slight increase.
SAN FRANCISCO: Another Runaway
BONNEVILLE AC KOIT has been putting up some impressive 6+ numbers. The station was #1 for the sixth book in a row and eleventh time in the last 14 surveys (8.0-8.4). AUDACY News KCBS-A continued its run of second place finishes (7.1-7.1), while KQED INC N/T KQED repeated at #3 (5.3-5.3). The next leading music station was iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/R KMEL, which moved up to #4 with its highest mark in over a year (4.4-4.8). iHEARTMEDIA AC KISQ (98.1 THE BREEZE) wafted down to #5 with its smallest share since people were, for some strange reason, consuming mass quantities of eggnog (5.0-4.6). It was tied with BONNEVILLE Top 40/M KMVQ (99.7 NOW), which advanced from #7 with its best book in over a year (3.9-4.6). The cume crown remained firmly perched atop KOIT’s noggin, despite a 1.2% decrease (1,150,800-1,137,400). The market was up 0.7%.
KOIT was not suffering from triskaidekaphobia as it captured the 25-54 flag for the 13th straight survey. KMVQ repeated at #2 and had its best showing in over a year, yet it was still about a share and a half off the lead. KMEL bounced back from a down book to remain at #3, while KISQ held steady in fourth place despite its third down book in a row. A flat KQED inched up to #5, while SBS Regional Mexican KRZZ (93.3 LA RAZA) slipped to #6.
Check out the KOIT 18-34 stats. The station was #1 for the 13th time in the last 14 books and hit double digits for the seventh time during that span. KMEL was back at #2 but trailed the leader by four shares. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KYLD (WiLD 94.9) and AUDACY Alternative KITS (LIVE 105) had been tied at #5. KYLD landed at #3 with its best book since MAY, while KITS stepped up to #4 as it ended a two-book slide. KMVQ and KQED slid down the chart and were commiserating at #5. KISQ was not far behind that duo, though it slipped to #7 and was surrounded by CUMULUS Sports KNBR (THE SPORTS LEADER) and iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KIOI (STAR 101.3).
For over a year, KOIT has been the leading 18-49 station and, as is often the case, no one else was even close. It held a three-share advantage over KMEL, which stepped up to #2 with a slight increase. KMVQ dipped to #3 with a small decrease, while KISQ repeated at #4. A flat KQED was back at #5 where it was partnered with KYLD.
DALLAS-FT. WORTH: A Tight Squeeze
The 6+ leaderboard was quite congested as the top six stations were all within a half share of each other. AUDACY Classic Hits KSPF (98.7 THE SPOT) held on to the #1, uh, spot for the fourth book in a row (4.9-4.9). It had a new partner this month as CUMULUS Country KPLX (99.5 THE WOLF) moved up from #7, thanks to landing its largest share in over a year (4.1-4.9). CUMULUS Sports KTCK (1310 & 96.7 THE TICKET) ended a three-book slide to remain at #3 (4.4-4.7). It was paired with TELEVISAUNIVISION Regional Mexican KLNO (QUÉ BUENA 94.1), which rose from #4 with its largest share since NOVEMBER (4.3-4.7). Just a click behind was CUMULUS Talk WBAP-A, which sipped to #5 despite being up for the fifth straight survey (4.3-4.6). Last month’s co-leader was CUMULUS Country KSCS. It fell to #6 (4.9-4.5). Despite an 8.0% decrease KSPF still had the most cume (1,048,600-964,600). The market was off by 0.3%.
KLNO had its best 25-54 book since OCTOBER as it captured the demo for the third straight survey. KTCK repeated at #2 with a small increase and was a little more than a half share off the lead. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KHKS (106.1 KISS FM) stepped up to #3 with a slight increase, while KSCS dipped to #4 with a slight decrease. AUDACY Alternative KVIL (ALT 103.7) moved up to #5 with a small share gain. KPLX was a tick behind as it jumped from #11 to #6 with its best performance since NOVEMBER. iHEARTMEDIA Classic Rock KZPS (LONE STAR 92.5) dropped two places to #7.
Last month there was a three-way tie at #1 18-34. This time only one was left standing and that was KLNO, which finished in the top spot for the third book in a row with its best book in over a year. A flat KVIL was forced to step down to #2, while KHKS moved up to #3 with a solid increase. KSCS had its highest share in over a year as it advanced two squares to #4. SERVICE Urban AC KRNB (SMOOTH R&B 105.7) jumped four places to #5, also with its best outing in over a year. SERVICE Urban KKDA (K104) had its lowest total in over a year as it dropped from a share of the lead to #7. URBAN ONE Top 40/R KBFB (97.9 THE BEAT) slid six places to #11 with its lowest mark since JANUARY.
KLNO continued to run away with the 18-49 demo as it was sitting at #1 for the fourth book in a row. KVIL moved up to #2 as it ended a two-book slide but was better than a share and a half off the pace. A flat KSCS dipped to #3, while its cluster cohort KPLX rose from #12 to #4 with its best outing since NOVEMBER. KHKS slipped to #5 with a slight increase, while AUDACY Adult Hits KJKK (100.3 JACK FM) slipped to #7.
Thank you for the clicks. This concludes round one of our Radio Ratings Roundup. Make sure you don’t miss our next action-splattered edition by subscribing to our blog here. Also, please share this in your industry circle.
As always, The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. stand ready to help you grow your ratings and revenue. Stay tuned for round two featuring HOUSTON, ATLANTA, WASHINGTON D.C., PHILADELPHIA, and BOSTON.
-Steve Allan, Programming Research Consultant
About XTrends: XTrends’ exclusive XNotes feature is the only way to track what’s happening on-air and see its impact on your ratings. Learn more here.
About Research Director, Inc.: Research Director, Inc. is based in Annapolis, Maryland. We help radio stations’ programming and sales departments maximize the value of their research. For more information, visit www.ResearchDirectorInc.com, call 410-295-6619, or email info@ResearchDirectorInc.com or sallan@ResearchDirectorInc.com.