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Radio Ratings Roundup, December 2023, Part II

December 28, 2023

The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. – in conversation with math magicians from XTRENDS – have been in a heated debate recently. Look, we’re all fine with the radio airwaves being fouled by the incessant drumming and ringing. The masses love it. What we cannot cotton to is the thought that My Favorite Things is a CHRISTMAS song. Sure, it talks about sleigh bells, snowflakes and packages tied up with strings, but it is from The Sound of Music. This is a movie about a lot of “things” – CHRISTMAS not being one of them. So if the powers that choose the songs will indulge us – please purge this from your playlist. With that settled, let us proceed with the DECEMBER survey. It ran from NOVEMBER 9TH through DECEMBER 6TH and it featured a lot of our favorite things – ratings.


iHEARTMEDIA AC KODA (SUNNY 99.1) didn’t want to jump the gun on the yuletide festivities so the station took the conservative approach and launched on day two of the survey. That level of restraint put the station back at #1 6+ (6.8-12.0). However, it could not quite match last year’s 12.5 share. RADIO ONE Classic Rock KGLK (THE EAGLE 106.9 & 107.5) dipped to #2 as its two-book run at #1 came to a halt (7.2-6.1). KSBJ EDUCATIONAL Christian Contemporary KSBJ delayed its seasonal celebration until the beginning of week three. It stepped up to #3 (5.7-6.0) with its best showing since FEBRUARY. URBAN ONE Urban AC KMJQ (MAJIC 102.1) slipped to #4 (6.1-5.8), while AUDACY Adult Hits KKHH (95.7 THE SPOT) remained at #5 (4.9-5.0). KODA’s cume command was strengthened with a 16.9% increase (1,644,100-1,921,400). The market was basically flat.

With a friendly shove from the reindeer, KODA moved up to #1 25-54 and hit double digits. iHEARTMEDIA Alternative KTBZ (94.5 THE BUZZ) spent the last two surveys in the top spot. It dipped to #2 with its lowest score since AUGUST. RADIO ONE Country KKBQ (93Q) had its best outing since JULY as it took two steps upward to #3. KKHH and KSBJ had been tied at #6. Both stations had the exact same share increase and ascended in tandem to #4. Last month AUDACY Hot AC KHMX (MIX 96.5) and KGLK were tied at #3. KHMX slipped to #6 as it ended a two-book surge, while KGLK landed at #8 with its lowest mark since JUNE.

KODA was #1 18-34 for the second straight survey but with a much larger sack of shares. The station hit double digits and led #2 KTBZ – which got back some of last month’s share loss – by about six shares. A flat URBAN ONE CHR KBXX (97.9 THE BOX) dipped to #3, while TELEVISAUNIVISION Spanish Contemporary KAMA (104.9 LATINO MIX) jumped from #9 to #4 with its best book in over a year. iHEARTMEDIA Urban Contemporary KQBT (93.7 THE BEAT) was up three places to #5 with a small increase. Two stations that posted their smallest shares in over a year were asked to leave the top five. KKHH slid from #4 to #7 while KGLK dropped from #5 to #11.

Santa worked his magic as KODA moved up to #1 18-49 with a strong double-digit performance. KBXX rebounded from a down book to move from #6 to #2. KTBZ slipped to #3 as its three-book winning streak ground to a halt. KHMX and KKBQ each had a down book but remained at #4 and #5, respectively. KGLK fell four places to #6.

ATLANTA: Fish Fried

While the station that traditionally jingles all the way did so again this survey, it did not end up leading the 6+ parade. That honor went to COX MEDIA N/T WSB-A, which notched its second straight victory (8.8-8.3). COX MEDIA Classic Hits WSRV (97.1 THE RIVER) was back at #2 (8.2-8.2). The much-ballyhooed performance-enhancing music was a balm for SALEM AC WFSH (104.7 THE FISH). The station inched up to #3 with its best outing since the last time it performed this stunt (5.7-8.0). URBAN ONE Urban AC WAMJ (MAJIC 107.5/97.5) dipped to #4 with its third down book in a row (6.5-6.3), while COX MEDIA Urban AC WALR (KISS 104.1) repeated at #5 (5.1-5.2). Despite a 4.0% decline, WSRV continued as the cume commander (878,500-843,000). The market was off by 1.9%.

WSRV was the 25-54 winner for the third book in a row and posted its largest share since AUGUST. It held better than a share lead over WFSH, which paddled from #9 to #2. CUMULUS Alternative WNNX (99X) had its best showing in over a year to remain at #3. AUDACY Urban AC WVEE (V-103) posted its lowest number since APRIL as it dropped two places to #4. Three stations held a ZOOM call at #5. WAMJ held steady at that position with a slight decrease, while WSB-A stepped down from #4. CUMULUS CHR WWWQ (Q99.7) advanced from #8 with its fourth up book in a row.

WFSH nearly doubled its previous 18-34 share as it sprinted from #5 to #1. WSRV and WVEE were the market co-leaders last month. WSRV stepped down to #2 with a slight decrease, while WVEE landed at #3 with a somewhat larger decrease. WSB-A repeated at #4 with its best book in over a year. WWWQ had a slight increase but still slid from #3 to #5.

As with the previous demo, WFSH doubled its 18-49 share as it rose from #6 to #1. This ended the eight-book winning streak for WSRV, which slipped to #2 despite landing its largest share since JUNE. WNNX was back at #3 as it rebounded from a down book, while WVEE dropped to #4. A flat WAMJ dipped to #5, while WWWQ moved from #5 to #7.

While there is a lull in the action, The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR INC. provide this gentle reminder that we have the tools and the expertise to help you increase your ratings. If you have not seen our amazing reports, you should ask us for a demo. We’d be happy to oblige. Now back to our regular content…

WASHINGTON, DC: Santa Denied

iHEARTMEDIA AC WASH made the expected Frosty flip on day two of the survey but was unable to stop the runaway freight train that is AMERICAN UNIVERSITY N/T WAMU. The station continued its long string of #1 double-digit 6+ wins (12.7-11.3). WASH did solidify its hold on the #2 position with its best book since – well, you know – since the last time it was riding high with GENE AUTRY (7.9-9.6). This was also a better number than last year’s 8.9. HUBBARD News WTOP had its smallest share in over a year (7.4-6.9) but remained in place at #3. HOWARD UNIVERSITY Urban AC WHUR was back at #4 (6.6-6.8), while URBAN ONE Urban AC WMMJ (MAJIC 102.3/92.7) held steady at #5 (5.8-5.8). WASH increased its cume lead with a 13.6% gain (911,400-1,035,400). The market grew by 1.4%.

WASH may have changed its format, but that did not prevent the station from winning the 25-54 contest for the sixth straight survey – the last five of which have been in double figures. WHUR was one of three stations in the top five to land its largest share in over a year. It repeated at #2. WAMU was back at #3 as it bounced back from a down book. AUDACY Classic Hits WIAD (94.7 THE DRIVE) motored from #7 to #4 with its highest score in over a year. URBAN ONE Urban Contemporary WKYS accomplished the same feat as it dipped to #5. ATLANTIC GATEWAY Christian Contemporary WGTS had its smallest share in over a year as it fell from #5 to #10.

Though it was flat 18-34, WASH moved back up to #1 with its fourth double-digit book in a row. WAMU also hit double figures – for the second straight survey – but dipped to #2. WMMJ repeated at #3 as it rebounded from a down book, while iHEARTMEDIA CHR WIHT (HOT 99.5) landed its largest share since JUNE to move up two spots to #4. WKYS slipped to #5 as it returned most of last month’s solid increase. It joined forces with a flat WGTS, which was stationary.

So WASH was #1 18-49 for the sixth straight survey. And the station was in double-digits for the fifth book in a row. However, despite fouling the airwaves with ghosts of CHRISTMAS past, it had a down book. WAMU repeated at #2 but with its lowest score in over a year. WKYS remained at #3 with its third up book in a row. WIAD had its highest mark in over a year to advance from #7 to #4. A flat WHUR slid to #5, while WMMJ dipped to #6 despite a slight increase.


AUDACY AC WBEB (B101.1) was in normal mode for week one of the survey then made to Frosty flip at the beginning of week two. The station rode the Polar Express from #7 to #1 6+ (5.1-9.5) but did not quite match last year’s 10.7 share. It narrowly defeated iHEARTMEDIA Urban AC WDAS, which dipped to #2 despite posting its largest share in over a year (8.7-9.4). BEASLEY Classic Rock WMGK was back at #3 (7.9-7.9), while the lack of baseball dropped AUDACY Sports WIP to #4 (8.5-6.6). The station did get an additional 1.3 share from its stream. BEASLEY Album Oriented Rock WMMR stepped down to #5 (6.1-6.1), while BEASLEY Country WXTU dipped to #6 (5.9-5.3). WBEB swept into cume lead with a 34.7% increase (940,600-1,266,600). The market was essentially flat.

For the last 11 books in a row, WMMR was #1 25-54. This dates back to the last HOLIDAY survey. You can probably guess how this goes. WBEB leapt from #6 to #1 and hit double digits. WMMR stepped down to #2 with its lowest total in over a year. WDAS was up two places to #3 with its best outing since MARCH. iHEARTMEDIA Urban Contemporary WUSL (POWER 99) dipped to #4 with a small share loss, while WIP slid from #2 to #5. WXTU moved down to #6 with its lowest score since APRIL.

WBEB hit double figures 18-34 as it moved up a slot to #1. This ended the two-book winning streak for WXTU, which moved down to #2. WUSL and WMMR were tied at #3 last month. WUSL moved up to claim a share of the #2 position with its best showing since APRIL. WMMR stepped down to #4 despite a slight increase. BEASLEY Adult Hits WBEN (95.7 BEN FM) repeated at #5, also with a slight increase.

As you might have expected, WBEB did quite well in the 18-49 space. The station rose from #5 to #1 and hit double digits. WUSL advanced two spaces to #2 with a slight increase, while WMMR remained at #3 but with its smallest share since MARCH. WXTU fell from first to fourth with its lowest mark since JULY. WDAS inched up to #5 with a slight increase, while WIP slid four slots to #6.

BOSTON: Christmas Magic

The elves at AUDACY AC WMJX (MAGIC 106.7) did not assume control of the studio until the book was nine days old. ’Twas not a problem as the station moved from #3 to #1 6+ (5.5-9.3) but was a bit shy of last year’s 9.7 share. It also just edged out BEASLEY Sports WBZ (98.5 THE SPORTS HUB), which ended its three-book winning streak as it descended to #2 (10.7-9.2). BOSTON UNIVERSITY Public Radio WBUR returned most of last month’s large increase (6.4-5.6) as it slipped to #3. iHEARTMEDIA Classic Rock WZLX was back at #4 (5.4-5.4), while iHEARTMEDIA News WBZ-A stepped up to #5 (5.0-5.1). BEASLEY Classic Hits WROR dipped to #6 (5.2-4.9). This was the first time in over a year that the station was not in to top five. WMJX extended its cume lead with a 12.3% increase (800,600-899,300). The market fell by 1.5%.

Santa could not deter WBZ as the station was #1 25-54 for the twelfth book in a row, though it did exit double-digit territory. Rudolph guided WMJX from #10 to #2 but it was still better than a share off the lead. AUDACY Adult Hits WBGB (BIG 103) had its best showing in over a year as it advanced from #7 to #3. WBUR slid two places to #4 as it halted a three-book surge. WZLX moved down to #5 as it gave back most of last month’s solid share increase. Two stations were escorted out of the top five. iHEARTMEDIA CHR WXKS (KISS 108) found itself at #6 with its smallest share in over a year. Despite a slight increase, AUDACY Hot AC WWBX (MIX 104.1) dropped into a tie at #7 with WROR.

A station moved from #4 to #1 18-34, however it was not the one you expected. WBGB made that bold move with its best book in over a year. It also reached double figures.  WMJX soared from #9 to #2 as it more than doubled last month’s share. WWBX fell out of first place and double digits. It landed at #3 where it was joined by WBZ. WXKS slipped to #5 with its least productive outing in over a year. BEASLEY Rhythmic AC WBQT (HOT 96.9) stepped down to #6 where it was paired with iHEARTMEDIA Rhythmic CHR WJMN (JAM’N 94.5).

WBZ was #1 18-49 for the fourth book in a row but could not sustain its double-digit pace. WMJX rocketed from #8 to #2 as it more than doubled its previous share. WWBX slipped two notches to #3 as it gave back all of last month’s huge share increase – plus a little extra. WXKS stepped down to #4, while WBGB inched up to #5 with its highest mark in over a year. WBUR slid three places to #7 as it halted a three-book surge, while WZLX also dropped three slots, landing at #8 with its smallest share since JULY.

Thank you for perusing our prose. We need to take a break and find all the holiday storage containers so we can reverse the decorating process. To make sure you don’t miss part three of our ratings series, please subscribe to our blog right now! And if you don’t mind, share this here missive with your radio brethren.

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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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.