RADIO RATINGS ROUNDUP, SEPTEMBER 2023, PART II
October 4, 2023
As promised – we’re back. And we’re glad you found the new home for The Radio Ratings Roundup (formerly a part of the All Access empire). The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC, along with our radio compatriots from XTRENDS take another stab at the numbers. This is our second look at SEPTEMBER – a month lauded and lamented in both story and song. This particular segment ran from AUGUST 17TH through SEPTEMBER 13TH. Sort of SEPTEMBER-ish. It did feature a mandatory three-day weekend, the return of reading, writing and ’rithmatic – plus the beginning of football follies. How all this affected radio ratings is about to be revealed.
HOUSTON-GALVESTON: It’s Always Sunny In…
Well, for the 13th time in the last 14 surveys it is. That’s the last year’s worth of ratings history for iHEARTMEDIA AC KODA (SUNNY 99.1) as the station was comfortably ahead of the rest of the field (7.5-7.9). RADIO ONE Classic Rock KGLK (THE EAGLE 106.9 & 107.5) remained in second place as it ended a five-book surge (7.2-6.7). Its newly minted cluster mate – URBAN ONE Urban AC KMJQ (MAJIC 102.1) – had its best book in over a year (6.3-6.7) to move up and forge a tie at #2. AUDACY Adult Hits KKHH (95.7 THE SPOT) repeated at #4 with its fourth down book in a row (5.4-5.1). KSBJ EDUCATIONAL Christian Contemporary KSBJ shared the space at #4 (5.1-5.1). They barely held off iHEARTMEDIA Alternative KTBZ (94.5 THE BUZZ), which moved up to #6 with its highest mark since FEBRUARY (4.2-5.0). As always, KODA had the most listeners (1,600,700-1,555,100) – a 2.8% decline. The market was off by 0.2%.
KODA has been the leading 25-54 station for over a year, and that streak remained intact this survey. However, with KTBZ moving up two places to #2 with its best outing since FEBRUARY, the gap was narrowed to under a half share. URBAN ONE Top 40/R KBXX (97.9 THE BOX) also advanced two spaces – to #3 – with its largest share since OCTOBER. KGLK dipped to #4 with a slight decrease, while KKHH dropped three places to #5 with its smallest share since JANUARY. Last month there was a three-way logjam at #5. This month iHEARTMEDIA Urban KQBT (93.7 THE BEAT) and KSBJ had identical slight decreases to drop into a tie at #6. The third member of that triumvirate was TELEVISAUNIVISION Regional Mexican KLTN (QUÉ BUENA 102.9). It landed at #13 with its lowest score since the ANSER and BRANTA were making, well, more geese.
For the sixth time in 2023, KTBZ was #1 18-34 as leapt from #3 with a nearly double-digit share. KBXX almost kept pace as it advanced from #4 to #2 with its highest mark in over a year. KODA slid to #3 with a slight decrease, while KKHH moved down to #4 as it ended a robust three-book surge. AUDACY Spanish Contemporary KLOL (MEGA 101.1 FM) rebounded from a down book to move back up to #5. KQBT dipped to #6.
KTBZ was back at #1 18-49 for the first time since FEBRUARY with its highest share since MARCH. This stopped the six-book winning streak for KODA, which stepped down to #2 despite a solid share increase. KBXX was up to #3 with its best book in over a year, while KGLK moved up to #4 with its highest score since FEBRUARY. KQBT remained at #5 but had company. KKHH slid from #3 with its lowest total in over a year, while CUMULUS Top 40/M KRBE stepped up from #6 despite a small decrease.
ATLANTA: So Close
By the slimmest of margins, COX MEDIA Classic Hits WSRV (97.1 THE RIVER) was the 6+ leader for the ninth book in a row. The station did land its lowest share in over a year (9.2-7.9). The station did add an additional 1.3 share from its stream. Finishing up as a very close #2 was URBAN ONE Urban AC WAMJ (MAJIC 107.5/97.5), which was up for the third straight survey (7.2-7.8). COX MEDIA N/Talk WSB-A repeated at #3 but with its best book in over a year (6.6-7.3). COX MEDIA Urban AC WALR (KISS FM 104.1) was back at #4 with its third down book in a row (5.8-5.3). COX MEDIA AC WSB (B98.5) remained at #5, also with its lowest mark in over a year (5.4-4.9). Close behind at #6 was AUDACY Urban WVEE (V-103), which ended a two-book slide (4.5-4.7). WSRV had the most cume once again (827,500-769,100) – a 7.1% decrease. The market fell by 0.2%.
We had a changing of the guard atop the 25-54 leaderboard. WAMJ moved up to #1 with a solid increase. This ended the three-book winning streak for WSRV, which dipped to #2 with its lowest mark since people were making out beneath a parasitic plant. WVEE remained at #3 with its best outing since MARCH. CUMULUS Alternative WNNX (99X) had its best book in over a year to leap from #7 to #4. Meanwhile, WSB-A advanced from #12 to #5 with its highest share since APRIL. WALR and WSB had been tied at #4. Both stations were down and finished up at #7 and #8, respectively.
There was a lot to unpack in the 18-34 space. WSRV did win the demo for the seventh straight survey but with its smallest share since JANUARY. WALR was back at #2 but with its third down book in a row. Several stations rebounded from down books. WVEE and WAMJ had been tied at #6 but got back some of their previously lost share to move up to #3 and #4, respectively. WSB dipped to #5 with a small share loss and was joined there by two stations making big moves. CUMULUS Top 40/M WWWQ (Q99.7) was up from #10 as it got back some of last month’s huge share loss. URBAN ONE Urban WHTA (HOT 107.9) advanced from #13 as it halted a three-book slide. iHEARTMEDIA Country WUBL (94.9 THE BULL) fell from #3 to #8, while iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WWPW (POWER 96.1) dropped from #5 into a tie #13.
Despite posting its lowest number since MARCH, WSRV was the 18-49 champion for the sixth straight survey. WVEE repeated at #2 with a slight increase, while WAMJ was up two places to #3 as it stopped a steep three-book slide. WNNX vaulted from #8 to #4 with its best showing in over a year. There was a foursome at #5. WSB slipped from #3 with its lowest score in over a year, while WALR dipped from #4 with its third down book in a row. WWWQ advanced from #10 as it rebounded from a down book, while WHTA stepped up from #6.
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WASHINGTON, D.C.: The Usual Suspects
Keyser Soze would be pleased to know that the top five 6+ stations were exactly where we left them. AMERICAN UNIVERSITY N/T WAMU was #1 and in double digits, a streak the station has been running for over a year (11.6-12.0). HUBBARD News WTOP was #2 for the ninth straight survey (9.3-8.7). iHEARTMEDIA AC WASH was again the leading music station, clocking in at #3 with its best Frosty-free share in over a year (6.9-7.9). URBAN ONE Urban AC WMMJ (MAJIC 102.3/92.7) remained at #4 (6.7-6.8), while HOWARD UNIVERSITY Urban AC WHUR was back at #5 (5.5-5.8). The next closest station to cracking the top five was ATLANTIC GATEWAY Christian Contemporary WGTS, which moved up to #6 (3.4-5.1). WASH continued as the cume leader with a 1.8% increase (899,500-916,100). The market rose by 1.6%.
WASH continued to fare quite well with the 25-54 crowd. The station was #1 for the third book in a row (and ninth time in the last 14 surveys). It also made it back-to-back double-digit performances. WAMU bounced back from a down book to remain #2 but trailed the leader by better than four shares. Last month WGTS fell from #3 to #8. This time the station got back all of that lost share – plus a little extra – to reclaim the #3 position. WMMJ repeated at #4 with a slight increase. WHUR advanced from #9 to #5 as it halted a five-book slide. WTOP and AUDACY Urban WPGC had been tied at #5. WTOP dipped to #6 while WPGC fell into a three-way tie at #7. There it was joined by URBAN ONE Urban WKYS, which dropped from #3 as it surrendered all of last month’s huge share increase, and by iHEARTMEDIA Alternative WWDC (DC101), as it turned up from #11 with a slight decrease.
The 18-34 contest has turned into a two-station race. WAMU was #1 for the ninth book in a row but it was forced to share the spotlight with WASH, which moved up from #2. Both stations were in double digits. WMMJ remained at #3 with its best outing in over a year and still trailed the leaders by about three shares. WGTS rebounded nicely from a down book to jump from #8 to #4. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WIHT (HOT 99.5) was still sitting at #5 but with its smallest share since FEBRUARY. WKYS fell from #3 to #8 and was hanging out with WPGC and AUDACY Classic Hits WIAD (94.7 THE DRIVE).
WASH continued its dominating presence over the 18-49 demo as it was #1 for the third book in a row, the last two of which have been in double digits. WAMU was back at #2 with a slight increase but was about four shares off the pace. As with the previous demos, WGTS bounced back from a down book to jump from #9 to #3. WMMJ advanced from #8 to #4 with its highest score in over a year, while WHUR stepped up to #5 with a slight increase. Three stations exited the top five. (Quick side note: is Radio the only industry that uses the term “exited” when referring to someone’s dismissal?) WKYS fell five places to #8, while WPGC dropped three slots to #7. WIAD slid from #5 to #9.
PHILADELPHIA: Another Runaway
BEASLEY Classic Rock WMGK turned in another dominant 6+ performance. The station was on top for the fifth consecutive survey and hit double digits for the second time during that span (9.5-10.1). iHEARTMEDIA Urban AC WDAS was at #2, also for the fifth book in a row (7.4-7.0). For the last eight surveys, these two stations have been either #1 or #2. BEASLEY Active Rock WMMR remained at #3 with its highest mark since NOVEMBER (6.4-6.8). BEASLEY Country WXTU was back at #4 with its first up book since MAY (5.5-6.4). AUDACY Sports WIP dipped to #5 (5.5-5.8) and was paired with AUDACY News KYW-A, which rose from #9 with its best outing since MARCH (4.6-5.8). WIP also gained an additional 0.7 share from its stream. AUDACY AC WBEB (B101.1) was again the cume leader, despite a 4.6% decrease (1,047,100-998,900). The market was off by 0.1%.
WMMR has been the leading 25-54 station for 12 of the last 14 surveys. Santa seems to be the only one who can usurp the station. iHEARTMEDIA Urban WUSL (POWER 99) stepped up to #2 but was two and a half shares off the lead. A small step behind was WXTU, which moved up to #3 with a slight increase. WDAS had a small share increase but that drove the station from #7 to #4. BEASLEY Adult Hits WBEN (95.7 BEN FM) slipped three places to #5 with its lowest total since MAY. It was tied with WMGK, which advanced from #8 with a slight increase. AUDACY Hot AC WTDY (THE NEW 96.5) returned all of last month’s large share increase as it dropped from #5 to #10.
There was much joy in the BEASLEY clubhouse as three stations from that cluster were sharing the 18-34 lead. WBEN finished in that spot for the third book in a row but with its lowest number since APRIL. WMMR moved up from #4 with its highest score since JANUARY. WMGK advanced from #7 with a very strong share increase. WXTU dipped to #4 with a slight increase, while WUSL stepped down to #5 with a small share gain. WBEB scored its lowest share in over a year as it fell from #2 to #7.
WMMR had its best 18-49 share since FEBRUARY to move up to #1. That was also the last time the station was perched in that position. WXTU stepped up to #2 with a small increase, while WUSL was up to #3. It was tied with WBEN, which ended a two-book winning streak and a strong five-book surge. A flat WDAS repeated at #5. Nipping at its heels was WMGK, which moved up two places to #6 as it bounced back from a down book.
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BOSTON: How ’Bout Them Sawx
It has not been a banner year for BOSTON teams, but it was a great month for BEASLEY Sports WBZ (98.5 THE SPORTS HUB). The station motored from #3 to #1 6+ with its best book since MAY (5.6-7.8). AUDACY AC WMJX (MAGIC 106.7) was back at #2 with its fourth up book in a row (6.3-7.0). BOSTON UNIVERSITY Public Radio WBUR repeated at #3 with its lowest mark since APRIL (5.6-5.4). iHEARTMEDIA Classic Rock WZLX stepped up to #4 (5.2-5.1). The next two stations were given their lowest marks in over a year. BEASLEY Classic Hits WROR ended its three-book winning streak and dropped to #5 (6.5-5.0). iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WXKS (KISS 108) dipped to #6 (5.2-4.8). WMJX had the most cume again (759,000-803,800) – a 5.9% increase. The market was essentially flat.
As has been the case all year, the 25-54 hunt is for second place. WBZ was #1 for the ninth straight survey and had better than a two and a half share lead over WXKS, which was back at #2 with – again – its smallest share in over a year. One small step behind was AUDACY Hot AC WWBX (MIX 104.1), which moved up to #3 as it ended a two-book slide. WZLX had its best outing since FEBRUARY as it jumped four spaces to #4. WBUR repeated at #5 as it rebounded from a down book. iHEARTMEDIA Country WBWL (101.7 THE BULL) had its biggest book in over a year to come charging from #10 to #6. BEASLEY Classic Rock WBOS and WMJX dropped from their tie at #5 to #7 and #9, respectively.
Even though WXKS had its lowest 18-34 share since we had all that incessant drumming, the station was #1 for the fifth book in a row. WBZ stepped up to #2 despite a small share loss. Two stations came from outside the top five to come together at #3. BEASLEY Rhythmic AC WBQT (HOT 96.9) rose from #6 with its second up book in a row. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/R WJMN (JAM’N 94.5) advanced from #9 with its strongest showing since FEBRUARY. WMJX was up three slots to #5 as it bounced back from a down book. BEASLEY Country WKLB dipped to #6 with a slight decrease. AUDACY Adult Hits WBGB (BIG 103) dropped from #2 to #9 while WWBX fell from #3 to #9. They were joined by WBWL, which moved up from #13 with its biggest number since JANUARY.
All year long, two stations were atop the 18-49 chart. This time WBZ took the honors with a solid increase, while WXKS slipped to #2 with its lowest score in over a year. A flat WWBX was back at #3, while WZLX stood alone at #4 with its best performance since JANUARY. WMJX dipped to #5 with a slight increase. It just nipped WBQT and WBUR, which moved up and into a tie at #6. WROR dropped four slots to #8, thus ending its five-book surge.
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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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