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October 5, 2023

The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. in a tight-knot formation with the math mavens from XTRENDS are back to wrangle more SEPTEMBER data. We slice, dice, parse and – occasionally – squeeze the numbers to give you a deep look into the top markets. This is the only ratings recap that goes beyond the publicly available 6+ figures. While we cannot give you the exact shares of demos beyond the big, you can usually catch our drift about what is happening below the surface. This survey began on AUGUST 17TH and reached its demise on SEPTEMBER 13TH. Notable events during that time were a long weekend, the return of school car pools, and the onset of the football season. Let us begin…

SEATTLE-TACOMA: The Howling Continues

This was the fourth book in a row that saw AUDACY Country KKWF (100.7 THE WOLF) looming over the rest of the 6+ flock. The station did see its three-book surge come to a halt (7.9-6.8). iHEARTMEDIA Classic Rock KZOK closed in on the leader as it moved up to #2 (5.9-6.3). A quick hat tip to all MARINERS fans. Ugh, so close. That ill-fated playoff run was a book for BONNEVILLE Sports KIRO-A, which advanced four bases to #3 with its highest score since NOVEMBER (4.7-6.0). UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON N/T KUOW slipped to #4 (6.8-5.9), while iHEARTMEDIA Classic Hits KJEB (95.7 THE JET) descended to #5 with its smallest share since Grandma was roadkill (5.9-4.9). AUDACY AC KSWD (94.1 THE SOUND) landed its lowest share in over a year (5.2-4.0) as it dropped from #5 to #10. It was tied with HUBBARD AC KRWM (WARM 106.9), which moved up a slot (3.5-4.0). After taking a book off, KZOK was back as the cume leader, thanks to a 4.0% increase (503,900-524,100). The market grew by 0.4%.

KKWF made it back-to-back 25-54 wins by posting its biggest number in over a year. HUBBARD Top 40/M KQMV (MOViN’ 92.5) stepped up to #2 with a solid increase but remained two shares behind the leader. KIRO-A was up two places in the standings to #3. Just two books ago it was languishing at #10. AUDACY Active Rock KISW slipped to #4 with its smallest share since APRIL. KUOW worked it from #9 to #5 with its best outing in over a year. FRIENDS OF KEXP Alternative KEXP had only a small share loss but dropped from #3 to #8.

KZOK received its highest grade since FEBRUARY to jump from #4 to #1 18-34. This ended the two-book winning streak for KKWF, which stepped down to #2. The stations were less than a half share distant. KQMV moved down to #3 as it returned some of last month’s large share increase. It was joined there by KIRO-A, which advanced from #10. The station has doubled its share since JUNE. Last month AUDACY Rhythmic AC KHTP (HOT 103.7) fell from #5 to #14. The station regained all of that lost share – with a bonus – as it returned to the #5 slot. KEXP slipped three places to #6 and was tied with KUOW. KJEB nose-dived from #5 to #13 and was hanging with iHEARTMEDIA Adult Hits KJAQ (96.5 JACK FM).

For the second book in a row, KKWF was #1 18-49. It held a share lead over KQMV, which moved up to #2 with its best showing since MARCH. KZOK was up two places to #3 as it ended a two-book slide, while KISW dropped to #4 with its smallest share since APRIL. KIRO-A vaulted from #10 to #5 with its highest score since OCTOBER. Close behind was KHTP, which leapt from #15 to #6 as it bounced back from a down book. KEXP slid from #5 to #9 and KJEB from #4 into a tie at #12.


Not that this is a surprise or anything, but COX MEDIA Urban AC WHQT (HOT 105) was #1 6+ for the seventh straight survey (7.9-8.0). The actual surprise was which station was sitting at #2. That honor was bestowed upon TELEVISAUNIVISION Spanish Contemporary WAMR (AMOR 107.5), which had its best book in over a year (5.6-7.5). For the first time in over a year, COX MEDIA AC WFEZ (EASY 93.1) was not one of the top two stations. It dipped to #3 (6.9-6.5). AUDACY AC WLYF (101.5 LITE FM) stepped down to #4 (5.7-5.3), while AUDACY Country WKIS (99.9 KISS COUNTRY) repeated at #5 (4.3-4.4). SBS Spanish Contemporary WCMQ (Z92.3) had been sharing that #5 spot but landed at #10 with its lowest number since MARCH (4.3-3.6). It was tied with iHEARTMEDIA Classic Rock WBGG (BIG 105.9), which moved up one slot (3.5-3.6). WFEZ still had the most listeners (745,500-766,400) – a 2.8% rise. The market was up 2.1%.

Breaking news! For the first time in over a year, WHQT was not the leading station with the 25-54 crowd. It slipped to #2 and was replaced by WAMR, which advanced from #5 with its best showing in over a year. SBS Tropical WXDJ (EL ZOL 106.7 FM) remained at #3 with a small decrease, while WKIS slid two places to #4 as it returned about half of last month’s large share gain. WLYF stepped up to #5 with its best outing since we were grilling nuts. WFEZ dipped to #6 with its smallest share in over a year.

WAMR’s good fortune continued in the 18-34 space as the station rose from #4 to #1. As recently as MAY, it was sitting at #15. It was forced to share the good fortune as WHQT moved up to forge a tie with its best performance since JANUARY. TELEVISAUNIVISION Tropical WRTO (MIX 98.3) repeated at #3 with its highest mark in over a year. The five-book winning streak for COX MEDIA Urban WEDR (99 JAMZ) came to an end. The station slid to #4 with its lowest total since FEBRUARY. SBS Spanish Contemporary WRMA (RITMO 95.7) was up three places to #5 with its third up book in a row. COX MEDIA Hot AC WFLC (HITS 97.3) fell from #5 to #10.

WHQT kept its long uninterrupted string of #1 18-49 books alive, despite a slight decrease. However, WAMR was a tick behind as it rose from #8 to #2 with, of course, its best book in over a year. WRTO vaulted from #8 to #3 with a modest share increase. WEDR slipped to #4 where it narrowly edged WXDJ, which stepped down to #5. WFEZ dropped three places to a #6 tie with WFLC. iHEARTMEDIA Urban WMIB (103.5 THE BEAT) fell from #5 to #9 and was paired with iHEARTMEDIA Spanish Contemporary WZTU (TÚ 94.9).

PHOENIX: Easy Does It

After ceding control of the 6+ leaderboard for the last three surveys to HUBBARD Classic Rock KSLX, iHEARTMEDIA AC KESZ (KEZ 99.9) was back on top (6.1-7.5). KSLX dipped to #2 (7.6-7.0). HUBBARD Active Rock KUPD had its best book in over a year to repeat at #3 (4.6-5.5). HEARTMEDIA Adult Hits KYOT (95.5 THE MOUNTAIN) was up to #4 (4.4-4.5), while iHEARTMEDIA Talk KFYI-A had its third straight up book (3.9-4.1) to jump from #10 to #5. DESERT VALLEY Adult Hits KOAI (95.1/94.9 THE WOW FACTOR) landed its smallest share since MARCH (4.6-3.6) as it fell from #3 to #11. It was in league with HUBBARD Alternative KDKB (ALT AZ) (4.1-3.6) and AUDACY Country KMLE (3.3-3.6). KESZ was the runaway cume leader – as usual – with a 1.3% decrease (848,500-837,200). The market was up 0.9%.

As with the previous demo, KUPD had its best 25-54 outing in over a year to move up to #1. It held a share lead over cluster bruh KSLX, which dipped to #2 as its three-book winning streak ground to a halt. KESZ was back at #3 as it halted a three-book slide. Three stations were laying claim to the #4 position, and all moved up the chart. A flat AUDACY Top 40/M KALV (LIVE 101.5) took a small step from #5, while iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KMXP (MIX 96.9) arrived from #7 as it also ended a three-book slide. KYOT advanced from #8 with its biggest number since NOVEMBER. KDKB slid five places to #9, while AUDACY Classic Hits KOOL (BIG 94.5) dropped from #5 to #14.

KDKB had its third up 18-34 book in a row, which allowed the station to record back-to-back victories. Two stations moved up the cart and met at #2. KMLE rose from #4 with its best showing in over a year, while KESZ advanced from #6 as it bounced back from a down book. Three stations were huddled together at #4. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KZZP (104.7 KISS FM) fell from first place as it returned a good portion of last month’s huge share increase. KUPD moved up from #7 as it regained most of last survey’s large share loss. iHEARTMEDIA Country KNIX advanced from #10 as it also rebounded from a down book. KALV slipped to #7 with a small decrease, while KMXP fell five places to #8 with a noticeable loss of share. It was partnered with TELEVISAUNIVISION Regional Mexican KHOT (QUÉ BUENA 105.9).

Last month KESZ saw its 18-49 winning streak – which spanned more than a year – snapped by KUPD. KESZ was back on top by about a half share, while KUPD stepped down to #2, despite being given its largest number in over a year. KALV dipped to #3 with a slight decrease, while KSLX moved down to #4 with a small share loss. KDKB and KMXP remained tied at #5 as the stations had identical share losses.

DETROIT: Big Books

Four of the top five 6+ stations posted their largest shares in over a year. It begins with AUDACY Sports WXYT (97.1 THE TICKET), which rode the success of the TIGERS … just kidding. The station likely benefitted from the WOLVERINES to move up to the top spot for the first time since NOVEMBER (7.2-8.6). The station also received an additional 2.0 share from its stream. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WKQI (CHANNEL 955) was the only station in this quintet to have a down book (9.2-8.4). This also ended its three-survey winning streak. AUDACY Country WYCD repeated at #3 but put some pressure on the leaders (6.9-8.0). AUDACY Classic Hits WOMC stepped up to #4 (6.6-7.6), while iHEARTMEDIA Urban AC WMXD (MIX 92.3) dipped to #5 (6.7-7.2). iHEARTMEDIA AC WNIC was still the cume leader (863,100-852,100) – a 1.3% decline. The market was basically flat.

WKQI was the 25-54 leader for the fifth straight survey, the last four of which have been in double digits. WXYT came as close as possible to tasting that rarefied double-digit air as it remained at #2. WMXD repeated at #3 with a slight increase, while WYCD moved up two slots to #4 with its best performance since JANUARY. BEASLEY Active Rock WRIF dipped to #5 with its fifth down book in a row. BEASLEY Rhythmic AC WMGC (105.1 THE BOUNCE) surrendered most of last month’s large share increase and slipped to #7.

For the ninth straight survey, WKQI captured the 18-34 flag. The station also posted its eighth double-digit number during this run. WYCD repeated at #2 and was oh-so-close to hitting double digits. WMXD stepped up to #3 with its sixth straight up book. WRIF slipped to #4 with a small share loss, while WMGC remained at #5 as it ended a strong two-book surge.

When it comes to 18-49, you can’t stop WKQI – you can only hope to contain it. The station was #1 for the eighth straight survey, the last five of which have been in double figures. WXYT advanced three spaces to #2 with its best offensive performance in over a year. A flat WRIF dipped to #3, while WYCD moved up two spots to #4 with, once again, its highest mark in over a year. WMXD stepped down to #5 despite a slight increase. WMGC slid three places to #6 as it gave back most of last month’s solid increase.

MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL: Family Focused              

It’s not axiomatic to say that UNIVERSITY OF NORTHWESTERN-ST. PAUL Christian Contemporary KTIS is currently one of the format’s top performers. The station was #1 6+ for the sixth straight survey and hit double digits for the fourth book in a row (10.7-10.1). Hubbard Hot AC KSTP (KS95) stepped up to #2 (8.2-8.2), while iHEARTMEDIA Classic Hits KQQL (KOOL 108) dipped to #3 (8.3-7.9). iHEARTMEDIA Sports KFXN (KFAN FM 100.3) had its best outing since JANUARY (4.8-6.8) as it advanced five squares to #4. MPR N/T KNOW moved down to #5 (6.2-6.2). The station did pick up an additional 0.8 share from its stream.  iHEARTMEDIA Country KEEY (K102) slipped to #6 (5.8-6.1). KQQL retained the cume crown despite a 1.6% decline (818,800-806,000). Conversely, the market grew by 2.4%.

For the seventh straight survey, KSTP was the leading 25-54 station. It also hit double figures for the fourth book in a row. CUMULUS Active Rock KXXR (93X) repeated at #2 but also saw its three-book surge come to a close. Very close behind was KFXN, which rose from #5 with its best book since MARCH. KQQL dipped to #4, while AUDACY Adult Hits KZJK (104.1 JACK FM) was up two spots to #5 as it got back some of last month’s large share loss. KTIS fell four places to #8 with its smallest share since MARCH.

iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KDWB has hit double digits with the 18-34 crowd for ten books in a row. This was the station’s sixth straight win. KEEY inched up to #2 but trailed the leader by better than two and a half shares. KXXR dipped to #3 as it ended a strong four-book surge. It was paired with KFXN, which methodically marched up the field from #11, more than doubling its previous share. KSTP stepped down to #5 with its smallest share since MAY. It was in close quarters with KQQL, which held steady with a small decrease.

KSTP continued to dominate the 18-49 sphere. It was #1 for the ninth book in a row, the last five of which have exceeded the double-digit threshold. KXXR remained at #2 with a modest decrease, while KFXN was up two places to #3 with a strong increase. KDWB repeated at #4 as it ended a somewhat steep two-book slide. KQQL was back at #5, though it gave back some of last month’s big increase. KTIS dropped from #3 to #8.

Normally, this is where we would bid you adieu for another month. However, beginning with this survey, we’re delving into an additional five markets. Tune in tomorrow for SAN DIEGO, TAMPA, NASSAU-SUFFOLK, DENVER, and CHARLOTTE.

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As always, The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. stand ready to help you grow your ratings and revenue. Click here to find out more.

-Steve Allan, Programming Research Consultant

About XTrends: Managing multiple markets?  XTrends makes it easy to track ratings with multi-market reports that compare, trend and chart. For more info click 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 e-mail info@ResearchDirectorInc.com or sallan@ResearchDirectorInc.com.