Radio Ratings Roundup, October 2023, Part III
November 1, 2023
The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. – along with the numbers merchants from XTRENDS – would be remiss in our analytical duties if we did not address this whole OCTOBER thing. As you likely know, in the old ROMAN calendar, OCTOBER was the eighth month of the year as there were only ten months in a year. When they went to a 12-month calendar, they tried to rename the month after several emperors but failed. We can be 100% certain that not one of those choices was Rocktober! There is no such month and there never will be. So can we just – please – remove this from the lexicon?
This survey ran from SEPTEMBER 14th through OCTOBER 11TH. We had ROSH HASHANAH, YOM KIPPUR, autumn ascending and an often-ignored federal holiday. Here’s how it looked for our next gang of five markets.
SEATTLE-TACOMA: Wait, Wait…
There was a time when UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON N/T KUOW was routinely on top of the 6+ leaderboard. That time may have returned as the station finished #1 for the first time in over a year (5.9-7.6). This ended the four-book winning streak for AUDACY Country KKWF (100.7 THE WOLF), which padded down to #2 (6.8-7.1). iHEARTMEDIA Classic Rock KZOK dipped to #3 (6.3-5.9), while AUDACY Active Rock KISW vaulted from #9 to #4 with its highest score in over a year (4.3-5.5). iHEARTMEDIA Classic Hits KJEB (95.7 THE JET) continued to circle the #5 position with its third down book in a row (4.9-4.7). BONNEVILLE Sports KIRO-A slid from #3 to #6 (6.0-4.3) as the MARINERS dream season had a disappointing finish. It was tied with AUDACY Rhythmic AC KHTP (HOT 103.7), which moved up a slot (4.6-4.3). HUBBARD AC KRWM (WARM 106.9) moved from the fifth most listened to radio station to #1, thanks to a 5.9% increase (502,900-532,700). The market was up by 0.5%.
KKWF was the leader of the 25-54 pack for the third straight survey. However, it was not the, ahem, lone wolf. KISW had its best showing since JUNE as it rose from #4 to forge a tie. The next two stations acquired their best books in over a year, and each rose two places in the standings. KUOW was up to #3, while iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KBKS (HITS 106.1) advanced to #4. HUBBARD Top 40/M KQMV (MOViN’ 92.5) returned all of last month’s solid increase as it moved from #2 to #5. KIRO-A fell from #3 to #11.
After falling out of the top spot 18-34, KKWF came charging back this month with its best performance in over a year. The station was also in double-digit territory. KQMV stepped up to #2 as it bounced back from a down book but was closing in on a nearly four-share deficit. Last month’s leader was KZOK. It returned most of last survey’s large increase to drop into a three-way tie at #3. The other participants in that triad were KHTP, which rose from #5 with its highest mark since JUNE, and KUOW – which leapt from #6 with its best book in over a year. KIRO-A dropped from #3 into a ninth-place tie with KRWM.
How hot is KKWF? Consider this. A year ago, the station was sitting at #16 18-49. It just ripped off its third win in a row and posted a number that was better than three times larger than last year’s. The next three stations were tightly jumbled together. KQMV was back at #2 with a small share loss, while KBKS was up four places to #3 with its third up book in a row. KISW remained at #4 as it regained some of last month’s huge share loss. KHTP stepped up to #5 with its largest share since JANUARY. KZOK dropped from #3 to #8, while KIRO-A fell from #5 to #11.
MIAMI-FT. LAUDERDALE-HOLLYWOOD: It’s Hot In Here
Thank you, Captain Obvious. For the eighth straight survey, COX MEDIA Urban AC WHQT (HOT 105) was #1 6+ (8.0-8.5). COX MEDIA AC WFEZ (EASY 93.1) had its best outing since JULY (6.5-7.4) to move up to #2. TELEVISAUNIVISION Spanish Contemporary WAMR (AMOR 107.5) slipped to #3 (7.5-7.3). These three stations were well clear of the rest of the field. AUDACY AC WLYF (101.5 LITE FM) repeated at #4 but with its smallest share in over a year (5.3-4.8). AUDACY Country WKIS (KISS COUNTRY 99.9) remained at #5 (4.4-3.9). It did have company as MIAMI-DADE COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS Public Radio WLRN moved up from #9 to force the tie (3.8-3.9). WFEZ still had the most cume (766,400-789,300) – a 3.0% increase. The market was off by 1.9%.
A flat WAMR made it back-to-back 25-54 wins. WHQT stayed at #2 but with its smallest share in over a year. It was joined in that space by WFEZ, which got back all of last month’s share loss to rise from #6. WKIS repeated at #4 with a small decrease. SBS Tropical WXDJ (EL ZOL 106.7 FM) slid to #5 with its lowest score in over a year. It was paired with WLYF, which did not budge despite a down book.
Last month WHQT and WAMR were co-leaders with the 18-34 crowd. That arrangement came to an abrupt halt as WHQT hit double digits to take sole possession of first place, while WAMR dipped to #2 with a small share loss. TELEVISAUNIVISION Tropical WRTO (MIX 98.3) remained at #3 with a slight decrease. WFEZ advanced from #9 to #4, while COX MEDIA Urban WEDR (99 JAMZ) slipped to #5 with its lowest mark since FEBRUARY. SBS Spanish Contemporary WRMA (RITMO 95.7) stepped down to #6 as it ended a strong three-book surge. It was partnered with iHEARTMEDIA Spanish Contemporary WZTU (TÚ 94.9), which rose from #7 despite landing its lowest share since JULY.
Last month WHQT got dangerously close to ending its long uninterrupted string of #1 18-49 books. WAMR was this close to upending the champ. That did not happen, and this month WHQT remained on top with its highest score since APRIL. WAMR repeated at #2 with a slight increase. WFEZ advanced three spaces to #3 as it ended a two-book slide. WRTO dipped to #4, while two stations took up residency at #5. WXDJ remained in place with a modest decrease, while WZTU vaulted from #9 with a slight increase. WEDR slid from #4 to #7. It was tied with AUDACY Top 40/M WPOW (POWER 96) – which rose from #16 – and COX MEDIA Hot AC WFLC (HITS 97.3).
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PHOENIX: Three’s Company
The top three stations on the 6+ leaderboard remained unchanged from the previous episode. iHEARTMEDIA AC KESZ (KEZ 99.9) was #1 with its highest Frosty-free share in over a year (7.5-8.5). HUBBARD Classic Rock KSLX repeated at #2 but with its third straight down book (7.0-6.4). HUBBARD Active Rock KUPD was back at #3 (5.5-5.2). Last month DESERT VALLEY Adult Hits KOAI (95.1 & 94.9 THE WOW FACTOR) fell from #3 to #11. This time the station regained all that lost share – plus a little more – to move up to #4 (3.6-4.9). iHEARTMEDIA Adult Hits KYOT (95.5 THE MOUNTAIN) dipped to #5 (4.5-4.5). iHEARTMEDIA Talk KFYI-A slipped to #7 as it ended a three-book surge (4.1-4.0). It was hanging with HUBBARD Alternative KDKB (ALT AZ 93.3), which turned it up from #11 (3.6-4.0). KESZ kept the cume crown (837,200-838,000) – a 0.1% increase. The market was off by 0.1%.
KUPD repeated as the 25-54 leader and landed its largest share in over a year. KESZ stepped up to #2 with a solid increase but was about a share and a half off the lead. Last month KDKB dropped from #4 to #9. The station bounced back this survey as it landed at #3. KSLX slid to #4 with its lowest score in over a year. KYOT dipped to #5 with a slight decrease. AUDACY Top 40/M KALV (LIVE 101.5) moved down to #6 with its smallest share since JUNE. It was tied with SIERRA H Classic Hip Hop KZCE (101.1 THE BOUNCE) which, well, bounced from #11 with its best book since NOVEMBER. iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KMXP (MIX 96.9) fell from #4 to #13 with its least productive outing in over a year.
KESZ had its best 18-34 book since MAY to move up to #1. This ended the two-book winning streak for a flat KDKB, which dipped to #2. AUDACY Country KMLE stepped down to #3 as it returned all of last month’s solid share increase. AUDACY Classic Hits KOOL (BIG 94.5) literally doubled its previous share as it rocketed from #14 to #4. When last we spoke three stations were tied at #4. They were KUPD, iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KZZP (104.7 KISS FM) and iHEARTMEDIA Country KNIX. All three had identical small decreases and remained a trio, albeit at #5.
For the thirteenth time in the last 14 surveys, KESZ was #1 18-49. It held a full share lead over #2 KUPD, which was up for the third book in a row. KDKB moved up two places to #3 as it bounced back from a down book. KALV dipped to #4 with its third straight down book. KOOL also recovered from a down book to vault from #15 to #5. KZCE was up five spots to #6 with its highest mark since NOVEMBER. KSLX fell from #4 into a tie at #10 with KZZP. KMXP dropped from #5 to #15.
DETROIT: Into The Lion’s Den
Normally, we like to poke fun at the local professional football team. After all, they haven’t won a playoff game since 1992. However, this year may be different. Combine that with MICHIGAN’s championship aspirations and you can see why AUDACY Sports WXYT (97.1 THE TICKET) repeated as the 6+ winner with its best book in over a year (8.6-10.1). The station also added an additional 2.4 share from its stream. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WKQI (CHANNEL 955) held steady at #2, though with its smallest share since MAY (8.4-7.2). Moving up to forge a tie was AUDACY Country WYCD (8.0-7.2). BEASLEY Classic Rock WCSX advanced two spaces to #4 (6.2-6.9), while iHEARTMEDIA Urban AC WMXD (MIX 92.3) remained firmly entrenched at #5 (7.2-6.8). iHEARTMEDIA AC WNIC moved up to #6 (4.8-5.7), while AUDACY Classic Hits WOMC dropped to #7 with its smallest share since APRIL (7.6-5.5). WNIC still had the most listeners (852,100-893,500) – a 4.9% increase. The market grew by 2.3%.
WXYT took control of the 25-54 demo with a rather large double-digit share. This snapped the five-book winning streak for WKQI, which dipped to #2. However, the station did post its fifth consecutive double-digit book. A flat BEASLEY Active Rock WRIF moved up two slots to #3, while WYCD repeated at #4 with a small share loss. WMXD had its lowest score since MAY as it dropped down to #5. It narrowly edged WNIC, which stepped up to #6 with a solid share increase.
The 18-34 juggernaut that is WKQI continued to roll. The station was #1 for the tenth straight survey and hit double digits for the ninth time during that span. WMXD stepped up to #2 with its seventh straight up book. It still trailed the leader by nearly two shares. WXYT had its best outing in over a year to rise from #6 to #3. WRIF repeated at #4 with a modest decrease, while WYCD dropped three places to #5 as it halted a strong two-book surge. BEASLEY Rhythmic AC WMGC (105.1 THE BOUNCE) dipped to #6 with its lowest number since JUNE.
The top five 18-49 stations were as we last saw them. WKQI was #1 but only for the ninth straight survey. WXYT was back at #2. Both stations were in double digits and the gap between them was very small. WRIF repeated at #3 with a small share loss, while WYCD remained at #4, also with a down book. WMXD held firm at #5 but was hearing footsteps from WNIC as it advanced to #6 with its highest score since JANUARY.
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MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL: The Medium Is The Message
UNIVERSITY OF NORTHWESTERN-ST. PAUL Christian Contemporary KTIS continued its incredible 6+ journey. The station was #1 for the seventh straight survey, though its double-digit streak ended at four (10.1-9.1). iHEARTMEDIA Sports KFXN (KFAN FM 100.3) had its best outing in exactly a year (6.8-7.8) to advance two places to #2. HUBBARD Hot AC KSTP (KS95) dipped to #3 (8.2-7.6), where it met up with a stationary iHEARTMEDIA Classic Hits KQQL (KOOL 108) (7.9-7.6). MPR N/T KNOW was back at #5 (6.2-6.0). The station was feeling a bit of pressure from AUDACY Adult Hits KZJK (104.1 JACK FM), which rose to #6 with its best book since DECEMBER (5.2-5.8). KQQL remained the cume commander, despite a 3.3% decline (806,000-779,200). The market was up by 0.1%.
You can’t stop KSTP; you can only hope to contain it. The station was #1 25-54 for the eighth straight survey, the last five of which have been in double digits. KFXN also made the all double-digit team as it stepped up to #2 with its best outing in over a year. CUMULUS Active Rock KXXR (93X) dipped to #3 with its lowest mark since JUNE. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KDWB had its best outing since NOVEMBER to advance two spaces to #4. KQQL dipped to #5 with a small share loss. It was tied with the motionless KZJK, which had a small share gain.
The dominant force 18-34 continued to be KDWB. The station was #1 for the seventh straight survey and extended its double-digit streak to 11. iHEARTMEDIA Country KEEY (K102) repeated at #2 as it hit double digits for the first time since JUNE. KXXR remained a#3 as it regained a portion of last month’s large share loss. KFXN dipped to #4 and was tied with KSTP, which stepped up from #5. Both stations had down books. KQQL slipped into a four-way tie at #6. Its partners included CUMULUS Classic Rock KQRS, which was up from #8 as well as a pair of stations that had been tied at #14 – KZJK and MPR Classical KSJN.
KSTP was the leading 18-49 station for the tenth straight survey. It also hit double digits for the sixth book in a row. KFXN posted its largest share since MARCH to step up to #2, while KXXR dipped to #3 with a modest share loss. KDWB repeated at #4 with a solid increase. KEEY moved up to #5, while KQQL slid into a tie at #7 with KTIS.
This brings us to the end of the third quarter. We’ll be back tomorrow for a look into the ratings fortunes of SAN DIEGO, TAMPA, NASSAU-SUFFOLK, DENVER and CHARLOTTE. Oh, and subscribe to our blog here.
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– Steve Allan, Programming Research Consultant
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