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October 6, 2023

Oh look – it’s bonus ratings coverage. Like extra innings or overtime. Actually, The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC., after huddling with our partners in data from XTRENDS, decided to add five more markets to our monthly mix. That makes this the debut of our extended ratings coverage. We know, be still your beating heart. As a reminder, the SEPTEMBER survey ran from AUGUST 17TH through SEPTEMBER 13TH. It had that laboriously long holiday weekend, folks figuring out what to pack for school lunches, and the return of tailgate parties. Let us introduce you to our new tranche of markets:

SAN DIEGO: Back In The Saddle

Last month AUDACY Classic Hits KXSN (SUNNY 98.1) saw its six-book 6+ winning streak come to an end at the hands of LOCAL MEDIA Rhythmic AC XHRM (MAGIC 92.5). Their roles were reversed in this survey as KXSN was back on top (6.5-6.8), while XHRM drifted down to #2 (6.6-6.4). SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY N/T KPBS remained the #3 station (5.8-6.2), while AUDACY Country KSON stepped up to #4 (5.2-5.2). Two stations wedged their way into a tie at #5. AUDACY Sports KWFN (97.3 FM THE FAN) rose from #6 (4.9-4.7), while iHEARTMEDIA Talk KOGO-A arrived from #7 (4.7-4.7). LOCAL MEDIA Adult Hits KFBG (100.7 BIG FM) fell from #4 to #13 with its smallest share in over a year (5.3-3.2). KXSN still had the most cume (552,100-533,800) – a 3.3% drop. The market was down 0.9%.

The 25-54 race was literally for second place. XHRM was the victor for the sixth straight survey and held nearly a two-share lead on the four – count ‘em – four stations at #2. KXSN and KWFN had previously been tied at this position. Both stations were flat and immovable. KSON and iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KHTS (CHANNEL 933) had been an item at #5. Each station landed its largest share in over a year to complete the quartet. iHEARTMEDIA Active Rock KIOZ stopped a five-book slide as it leapt from #11 to #6. KFBG fell from #2 into a tie at #18.

In the prior survey, XHRM and IMAGEN Spanish Contemporary XLTN (RADIO LATINA 104.5FM) were tied at #1 18-34. XHRM retained the title with its highest mark since APRIL, while XLTN dipped to #2 despite a small increase. It was now tied with KHTS, which moved up a slot as it halted a two-book slide. KXSN was up two places to #4 with a solid increase, while KIOZ also advanced two spaces – to #5 – as it regained some of last month’s lost share. It was paired with KSON, which remained in place with a slight decrease. AUDACY Alternative KBZT dropped from #3 into a tie at #8 with LOCAL MEDIA Top 40/M XHTZ (Z90.3FM).

XHRM was the 18-49 leader for the third book in a row but was hearing footsteps from KHTS, which stepped up to #2 with its best outing in over a year. KWFN repeated at #3 with a slight decrease and was joined in that space by KXSN, which rose from #5 with a small increase. KIOZ jumped three places to #5 as it got back all of last month’s lost share. KFBG dropped from #2 to #18.


A nice earworm to begin your day. COX MEDIA AC WDUV (105.5 THE DOVE) has been a consistently dominant presence in the 6+ arena for well over a year. The station was #1 again (7.8-8.0) with no station within earshot of the leader. Oh, and it even added an additional 0.4 share from its stream. The next five stations were within 0.6 shares of one another. COX MEDIA Classic Hits WXGL (107.3 THE EAGLE) stepped up to #2, despite ending a three-book surge (6.3-5.6). iHEARTMEDIA Country WFUS (US 103.5) dipped to #3 with its smallest share since JANUARY (7.0-5.5). BEASLEY Country WQYK had its best showing in over a year (3.7-5.4) as it vaulted from #10 to #4. COX MEDIA Talk WHPT (102.5 THE BONE) remained at #5 (5.2-5.3), while iHEARTMEDIA AC WMTX (MIX 100.7) slipped to #6 (5.3-5.0). RADIO TRAINING Christian Contemporary WCIE (THE JOY FM) had its lowest mark in over a year (5.2-4.5) as it dropped down to #7. It was sharing the moment with BEASLEY Classic hits WRBQ (Q105), which moved up from #9 (4.1-4.5) and BEASLEY Top 40/R WLLD (WiLD 94.1), which advanced from #13 (3.4-4.5). iHEARTMEDIA Active Rock WXTB fell from #5 to #10 with its smallest share in exactly a year (5.2-4.2). WDUV was in cume command once again with a 3.9% increase (495,600-515,000). The market grew by 0.8%.

WHTP bounced back from a down book and, for the first time since DECEMBER, was #1 25-54. WMTX inched up to #2 and was less than a half share off the pace. WLLD hit its highest mark in over a year to jump from #7 to #3, while a flat BEASLEY Spanish Contemporary WYUU (92.5 MAXIMA) dipped to #4. For the last eight surveys, WFUS was the #1 station. That came to a screeching halt this month as the station dropped to #5 with its lowest score since we were using hosiery as gift bags. WXGL fell from #2 to #10 with its least productive outing in over a year. It was tied with WCIE and WDUV.

The 18-34 contest was wild. Literally. WLLD landed its largest share in over a year as it rocketed from #8 to #1. A flat WMTX stepped up to #2, while WFUS repeated at #3 with a modest decrease. It was forced to share with WXGL, which was the co-leader last month but returned about half of last month’s huge increase. The other co-leader had been COX MEDIA AC WWRM (MAGIC 94.9), which dropped to #5 as it gave back almost all of last month’s large influx of share. It was in league with WQYK, which rose from #12 with its highest grade in over a year. COX MEDIA Urban AC WTBV (101.1 THE VIBE) – which was actually WPOI until the last week of the book – dropped into a tie at #7 with iHEARTMEDIA Urban WBTP (95.7 THE BEAT), WYUU and iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WFLZ. NB STUBBLEFIELD AAA WMNF and WCIE had been tied at #5. They kept the partnership intact but at #11 instead.

As with the previous demo, WLLD had a banner 18-49 book. The station zoomed from #9 to #1. This halted the eight-book winning streak for WFUS, which dipped to #2. WYUU stepped down to #3 with a slight decrease while three stations were hanging out at #4. A flat WHTP moved up a slot, while WMTX advanced two spaces with a slight increase. WQYK jumped in from #10 with its highest mark since NOVEMBER. WXTB fell from #4 into a tie at #7 with WWRM. WXGL dropped from #2 into a tie at #9 with WFLZ.

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This market has a lot of bleed-in from NEW YORK stations but, for the last seven surveys, the dominant 6+ player has been a local station. COX MEDIA Classic Rock WBAB is the station, and it bounced back from a down book (7.1-8.0). iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WHTZ (Z100) was back as a distant #2 with its best book since FEBRUARY (4.8-5.3). AUDACY Classic Hits WCBS repeated at #3 (4.7-4.6), while iHEARTMEDIA AC WLTW (106.7 LITE FM) was up three places to #4 (4.1-4.2). CONNOISSEUR Hot AC WALK stepped up to #5 (4.3-4.1) and was paired with the stationary iHEARTMEDIA Classic Rock WAXQ (Q104.3) (4.4-4.1). AUDACY News WINS (1010 WINS) slid four spots to #7 (4.7-4.0). The station did reap an additional 0.5 share from its stream. WHTZ repeated as the cume leader with a 4.1% increase (439,700-457,700). The market was off by 0.1%.

Last month WHTZ knocked WBAB off the top perch in the 25-54 space. The reverse happened this month. WBAB bounced back from a down book to reclaim the throne, while WHTZ dipped to #2, despite scoring its best book since FEBRUARY. WCBS remained a distant #3 with a slight decrease, while WLTW was back at #4 with its highest Frosty-free score in over a year. COX MEDIA Top 40/M WBLI was up two places to #5 with its best book since APRIL. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WKTU slipped into a tie at #6 with WALK.

WBLI had its first up 18-34 book since MARCH, which pushed the station back up to #1 for the sixth time in the last eight books. WHTZ was up two slots to #2 and was tied with last month’s leader WLTW. That dynamic duo was about a half share off the lead. Making the leap o’ the book was CONNOISSEUR Classic Hits WBZO (103.1 MAX FM). The station nearly tripled its previous number as it leapt from #16 to #4. WBAB stepped up to #5 as it got back some of last month’s huge share loss. SBS Tropical WSKQ (MEGA 97.9) fell from #3 into a tie at #15 with WAXQ and AUDACY Hot AC WNEW (NEW 102.7).

WHTZ repeated as the 18-49 leader with its best book since MAY. WLTW remained at #2 with a slight increase. WBAB and WBLI had been tied at #4. Both stations had identical increases and continued the partnership at #3. WCBS was up three slots to #5 as it rebounded from a down book. WALK slid three places to #6 with its lowest total since OCTOBER.


For the second straight survey – and third time in the last four books – BONNEVILLE Country KYGO was #1 6+ (6.6-6.2). It narrowly defeated KSE VENTURES Classic Hits KXKL (KOOL 105.1), which remained at #2 (6.0-6.1). iHEARTMEDIA Classic Rock KRFX (103.5 THE FOX) was back at #3 but with its best book in over a year (5.1-5.6). AUDACY Classic Rock KQMT (99.5 THE MOUNTAIN) moved up two places to #4 (4.9-4.9). while BONNEVILLE AC KOSI rebounded from a down book to advance from #11 to #5 (3.8-4.8). iHEARTMEDIA Alternative KTCL (CHANNEL 93.3) and KSE VENTURES Hot AC KIMN (MIX 100) had been tied at #4. KTCL slid to #6 (5.0-4.7), and KIMN ended up at #7 (5.0-4.3). KOSI continued as the cume champ (440,500-450,000) – a 2.2% increase. The market grew by 3.3%.

For the fourth book in a row, KTCL was #1 25-54. However, it was not alone, as KRFX had its highest mark in over a year to move up from #5 and forge the tie. KXKL stepped down to #3 as it rebounded from a down book. KOSI landed its largest share since APRIL to advance four squares to #4. KYGO was up slightly but still dropped from #2 to #5. EMF Christian Contemporary KLDV (K-LOVE) slid to #7 with a slight decrease, while KIMN fell five places to #9 as it ended a two-book surge.

KTCL has owned the 18-34 demo for the last seven surveys, though the station was unable to extend its double-digit streak to three. A flat KRFX at #2 was still two shares in arrears. KYGO got back a small portion of last month’s massive share loss, but that was sufficient to propel the station from #8 to #3. KXKL dipped to #4 with a slight increase. It was tied with AUDACY Top 40/R KQKS (KS 107.5), which advanced from #8 with its best outing since APRIL. Last month four stations were tied at #3. KQMT and KOSI remained bound together but at #6. They were joined there by AUDACY Hot AC KALC (ALICE 105.9), which moved up from #12 with a solid increase. KIMN and iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KDHT (HITS 95.7) carried their relationship from #3 to #9. They expanded the operation by welcoming ENTRAVISION Spanish Adult Hits KJMN (LA SUAVECITA 92.1) from #18 (the station more than doubled its previous share) and iHEARTMEDIA AAA KBCO from #10.

For the fourth straight survey – and seventh time in the last eight – KTCL was #1 18-49. KXKL stepped up to #2 as it ended a two-book slide but was still a share and a half off the pace. KYGO moved up a slot to #3, while KRFX fell two places to #4. There had been a three-way tie at #5. ENTRAVISION Regional Mexican KXPK (LA TRICOLOR 96.5) was the only station left standing as it landed its third up book in a row. KIMN slipped to #7, while KQMT landed at #13 with its smallest share in over a year.


There was a new 6+ leader in town. BEASLEY Country WSOC took control of the market with its third up book in a row (7.2-7.4). It just edged out URBAN ONE Urban AC WOSF (105.3 RnB), which ended both a four-book surge and a four-book winning streak as it stepped down to #2 (8.2-7.3). iHEARTMEDIA Adult Hits WLKO (102.9 THE LAKE) was up two slots to #3 (6.0-6.2), while BEASLEY Urban AC WBAV (V101.9) remained at #4 (6.2-6.0). URBAN ONE Talk WBT-A slipped to #5 as it halted a three-book surge (6.4-5.2). It had company as UNIVERSITY RADIO N/T WFAE advanced from #7 with its highest score in over a year (4.6-5.2). WLKO remained the cume leader with a 1.6% increase (400,600-407,200). The market was up 0.7%.

WSOC extended its lead over the rest of the 25-54 field by posting its largest share in over a year. WOSF stood alone at #2 with a small decrease and was about two shares behind the leader. WLKO stepped down to #3 with its lowest grade since MARCH, while BEASLEY Urban WPEG (POWER 98) moved up to #4 despite a small share loss. WBAV dipped to #5 as it surrendered most of last month’s rather large share increase.

For the second straight survey, WSOC was both #1 and in double figures 18-34. WLKO accomplished the same feat back in JUNE and JULY. It was #2 again with a small decrease. WPEG was back at #3 as it ended a very strong two-book surge. iHEARTMEDIA Alternative WEND (106.5 THE END) had its best outing since MAY to move up three spots to #4. There were four stations muddling about at #5. WOSF and BEASLEY AC WKQC (K104.7) remained in place but with a noticeable loss of share. iHEARTMEDIA Country WKKT (96.9 THE KAT) slipped from #4 with its lowest score since FEBRUARY. WBAV advanced from #9 with its third up book in a row.

Last survey WSOC and WOSF were the 18-49 co-leaders. They liked the relationship so much they decided to extend it for one more book, though both stations did have a modest share loss. WBAV was back at #3, while WPEG stepped up to #4. WLKO dipped to #5 where it met up with WEND, which rose from #6.

This concludes our Radio Ratings Roundup for SEPTEMBER. To ensure prompt delivery of the OCTOBER edition, subscribe to our blog here. Also, please share this with other ratings-obsessed individuals.

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 

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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.