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January 25, 2024

And so this is CHRISTMAS, and what have you done? Well, if you’re The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. and/or the maniacal math magicians from XTRENDS, you dive straight into the numbers. Sure, for you, dear reader, this is a brief departure from your everyday schedule. For us, it is a matter of great importance. At least it is for those stations that sold their soul to the guy in the red suit. This is their big game (we are not allowed to use the term SUPER BOWL).

The HOLIDAY survey began on DECEMBER 7TH and shuffled off its mortal coil on JANUARY 3RD. Of the 28 days covered, 19 of them were in the evil clutches of one KRIS KRINGLE.

SEATTLE-TACOMA: True Reindeer Games

This market is somewhat of an outlier as three – count ‘em – three stations take the polar plunge. Two of the three topped the 6+ leaderboard. HUBBARD AC KRWM (WARM 106.9) moved from #3 to #1 (6.0-9.7). Last year it was #1 with an 11.3 share. AUDACY Soft Rock KSWD (94.1 THE SOUND) leapt from #6 to #2 (4.9-8.0). It added an additional 0.4 share from its stream. A year ago, the station was also #2 with a 7.2 share. UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON N/T KUOW stepped down to #3 (6.2-6.2), while AUDACY Country KKWF (100.7 THE WOLF) slid three places to #4 (6.7-6.1). This was the station’s lowest rank since FEBRUARY, which just so happens to coincide with when it became the market’s sole Country outlet. iHEARTMEDIA Classic Rock KZOK slipped to #5 (6.0-5.9), while iHEARTMEDIA Classic Hits KJEB (95.7 THE JET) had its lowest mark in over a year (5.3-3.6) as it descended from #5 to #9. CRISTA Christian AC KCMS (SPIRIT 105.3) also hopped on the holiday bandwagon. It remained at #21 (2.0-2.2). Last year it was #8 with a 4.6 share. KRWM repeated as the cume leader with a 33.8% increase (635,700-850,800). KSWD moved up to #2, thanks to a 24.7% rise (486,700-606,700). The market shrank by 0.6%.

KRWM moved into the leadership role with the 6+ crowd. It accomplished the same feat last year with a slightly larger share. This ended the five-book winning streak for KKWF, which dipped to #2. KSWD vaulted from #7 to #3, the same position as last year. AUDACY Album Oriented Rock KISW scored its lowest share since APRIL as it slipped to #4. HUBBARD CHR KQMV (MOViN’ 92.5) repeated at #5 with a slight decrease. KZOK was down two slots to #6, while iHEARTMEDIA CHR KBKS (HITS 106.1) dropped to #8. It was tied with AUDACY Rhythmic AC KHTP (HOT 103.7).

KRWM stepped up to #1 18-34 with a double-digit share. It was very close to matching last year’s number. KZOK moved down to #2 as it ended a robust two-book surge. KKWF repeated at #3 with a solid increase. It was joined there by KHTP, which rose from #6 with its highest mark since JANUARY. KQMV slid from a tie at #3 to #5, despite a slight increase. KISW dropped down to #7 and was tied with iHEARTMEDIA Adult Hits KJAQ (96.5 JACK FM). KSWD went from #15 to #10. A year ago, it was #3.

KRWM made it back-to-back #1 18-49 books. The station fell just short of last year’s share, when it was also #1. KKWF was back at #2 with a slight increase, while a flat KQMV was up three places to #3. KHTP and KSWD came from outside the top five to land together at #4. KHTP rose from #7 with its best outing in over a year. KSWD advanced from #9. Last year it was #3. KZOK dropped four slots to #6 as it returned all of last month’s solid increase. KISW and KBKS were tied at #4 last month. The stations ended up at #7 and #8, respectively, this time.


This is a rare market as not one station decided to take a stroll down SANTA CLAUS Lane. As a result, COX MEDIA Urban AC WHQT (HOT 105) was #1 for the eleventh book in a row (8.3-7.8). TELEVISAUNIVISION Spanish Contemporary WAMR (AMOR 107.5) repeated at #2 (7.1-7.1), while AUDACY AC WLYF (101.5 LITE FM) moved up to #3 with its highest share in over a year (5.7-6.8). During the DECEMBER survey, iHEARTMEDIA Spanish Contemporary WMIA (MAGIC 93.9) changed its format. It seems to have reaped some immediate benefits as the station rose from #12 to #4 (3.2-4.9). It was tied with COX MEDIA Soft AC WFEZ (EASY 93.1), which dipped to #4 with its smallest share in over a year (5.8-4.9). SBS Tropical WXDJ (EL ZOL 106.7 FM) returned most of last month’s solid increase (4.5-3.6) as it dropped from #5 into a tie at #8 with AUDACY Classic Hits WMXJ (102.7 THE BEACH) (3.5-3.6). WLYF remained the most listened-to radio station with a cume bump of 6.4% (717,900-764,100). The market was off by 0.7%.

WMIA made the most of its first full book under its new name. The station rose from #6 to #1 25-54. This ended the four-book winning streak for WAMR, which dipped to #2. It had company as WLYF rose from #4 to forge the tie with, again, its best book in over a year. WXDJ and WHQT had been tied at #2. WXDJ slid to #4 as it ended a two-book surge, while WHQT landed at #5 with its lowest score in over a year. AUDACY Country WKIS (KISS COUNTRY 99.9) fell from #5 into a tie at #11 with SBS Spanish Contemporary WCMQ (Z92.3).

This portion of the roundup is brought to you by the number ”2.” COX MEDIA Urban Contemporary WEDR (99 JAMZ) rose from that spot to #1 for the first time since AUGUST. WAMR remained at #2 but had plenty of company. WHQT stepped down from #1 with its lowest mark since JULY, while WFEZ advanced from #4 with its highest score since JANUARY. iHEARTMEDIA Urban Contemporary WMIB (103.5 THE BEAT) marched from #7 to #5 with its third up book in a row. WXDJ and TELEVISAUNIVISION Spanish Contemporary WRTO (MIX 98.3) had been tied at #5. WXDJ fell to #8 as it gave back most of last month’s massive increase. It was now tied with WKIS. WRTO landed at #11 with its least productive outing in over a year and was tied with WMIA.

WMIA took control of the 18-49 demo as it rose from #4 to #1. WAMR repeated at #2 with a small decrease. For the first time in over a year, WHQT was not #1 in this demo. It dropped to #3 and was tied with WEDR, which vaulted from #8. WLYF moved up three places from a tie at #8 to #5 with its third straight up book. WXDJ dropped three places to #6, while WRTO fell from #5 into a tie at #12 with WCMQ.


The station that is often cited as Patient Zero in creating the all-holiday format tradition is iHEARTMEDIA AC KESZ (99.9 KEZ). It was #1 6+ for the fifth straight survey (15.2-18.5) and finished well ahead of last year’s 16.8 share. HUBBARD Alternative KDKB (ALT AZ 93.3) was not affected by all this hoopla as it rose from #5 to #2 with its best book in over a year (4.2-6.9). HUBBARD Classic Rock KSLX posted its lowest number in over a year (7.2-6.0) as it dipped to #3. DESERT VALLEY Classic Hits KOAI (95.1/94.9 THE WOW FACTOR) stepped down to #4 (5.0-4.5), while HUBBARD Album Oriented Rock KUPD slipped to #5 (4.6-4.2). KESZ increased its market-leading cume total by 30.5% (1,075,400-1,403,600). The market fell by 0.3%.

KESZ was #1 25-54 for the third book in a row and beat last year’s tally by almost a share. KDKB inched up to #2 as it landed a double-digit number. The station has more than doubled its share since NOVEMBER. KUPD dipped to #3 with its third straight down book, while KSLX remained at #4 but with its lowest mark in over a year. iHEARTMEDIA Country KNIX rebounded from a down book to move back up to #5. iHEARTMEDIA Adult Hits KYOT (95.5 THE MOUNTAIN) landed its lowest total in over a year as it dropped from #5 to #8.

KESZ landed a monster 18-34 share as it led the way for the fourth book in a row. It also beat last year’s massive share. KDKB landed in double digits as it repeated at #2, while AUDACY CHR KALV (LIVE 101.5) bounced back from a down book to move up three places to #3. KNIX stepped up to #4, despite being down for the fourth book in a row. KUPD and AUDACY Country KMLE had been tied at #3. KUPD had its lowest mark since APRIL, while KMLE’s share was the smallest in over a year. The stations wound up at #5 along with iHEARTMEDIA CHR KZZP (KISS 104.7 FM).

For the fifth straight survey, KESZ was #1 18-49, and it was ahead of last year’s pace. As with the previous two demos, KDKB was #2 and in double figures. KALV stepped up to #3 with a slight increase, while KUPD dipped to #4 with its lowest score since MAY. KNIX broke out of a four-way tie at #7 to move up to #5. KMLE fell from #5 to #12. It was tied with KYOT, iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KMXP (MIX 96.9) and MARICOPA Classical KBAQ (K-BACH 89.5 FM).

DETROIT: Playoffs? We’re Talkin’ Playoffs?

Let’s face it, the last thing anyone in the MOTOR CITY wants to talk about is how the HOLIDAY book panned out. Big Blue won the title and the LIONS – egad! – are in the NFC Championship game. But we must do our duty and go inside the numbers. iHEARTMEDIA AC WNIC remained #1 6+ (11.8-16.7) as it cruised past last year’s 15.7 share. AUDACY Sports WXYT (97.1 THE TICKET) was back at #2 (9.6-8.6). It also gained an additional 1.2 share from its stream.  BEASLEY Classic Rock WCSX stepped up to #3 (6.4-6.6), while iHEARTMEDIA Urban AC WMXD (MIX 92.3) was up two places to #4 as it ended a three-book slide (5.4-5.5). iHEARTMEDIA CHR WKQI (CHANNEL 955) dropped from #3 to #5 (6.6-5.1), while AUDACY Country WYCD fell from #4 to #7 (6.4-4.6). Both stations posted their lowest shares in exactly a year. Thanks, SANTA. WNIC remained in cume control with a 28.6% increase (1,171,600-1,506,900). The market was essentially flat.

WNIC moved up to #1 25-54 with another double-digit performance. It was also about a half share ahead of last year’s pace. This ended the three-book winning and double-digit streak for WXYT, which dipped to #2. WKQI repeated at #3 with its sixth straight down book. BEASLEY Rhythmic AC WMGC (105.1 THE BOUNCE) pogoed up to #4 with a slight decrease. A flat WMXD moved up to #5, where it was joined by BEASLEY Album Oriented Rock WRIF. WYCD slipped to #7 and was tied with cluster mate AUDACY Classic Hits WOMC.

WNIC was both #1 and in double figures 18-34 once again. It also beat last year’s number by more than a share. WKQI remained at #2 but saw its double-digit streak end at four. WXYT repeated at #3, while WMGC was back at #4. WRIF stepped up to #5, despite a small decrease. It was paired with WOMC, which advanced from #8 with a small increase. WYCD fell six places to #10. It was in league with WCSX, CUMULUS Hot AC WDVD and WGPR INC. Urban Contemporary WGPR (HOT 107.5).

We can pretty much copy and paste the last two paragraph opens. WNIC was back at #1 18-49, in double figures and about two shares ahead of last year. WXYT repeated at #2 but snapped its three-book double-digit streak. WKQI remained at #3 but with its smallest share in exactly a year, WRIF held steady at #4 with a down book and was tied with WMGC, which rose from #6 with a slight increase. WYCD slipped from #5 into a tie at #7 with WOMC.


The two stations leading the 6+ pack both relied heavily on the holiday hit parade. iHEARTMEDIA Classic Hits KQQL (KOOL 108) flipped  early in DECEMBER. It was #1 again (12.2-15.8) but did not quite match last year’s 15.0 share. UNIVERSITY OF NORTHWESTERN-ST. PAUL Christian Contemporary KTIS waited until the middle of the last survey. It remained at #2 this time (9.6-12.1). Last year it was #3 with a 7.0 share. iHEARTMEDIA Sports KFXN (K-FAN FM 100.3) repeated at #3 (7.6-6.8), while MPR N/T KNOW stepped up to #4 (5.5-5.2). The station added a 0.7 share from its stream.  CUMULUS Album Oriented Rock KXXR (93X) stood alone at #5 (5.5-5.0), while HUBBARD Hot AC KSTP (KS95) slipped to #6 with its smallest share in over a year (5.9-4.8). KQQL was still the cume leader with a 31.2% increase (858,400-1,126,300). KTIS moved from #10 to #3 in this category with a 26.1% gain (396,400-499,800). The market dipped by 0.4%.

The top five 25-54 had the same players as before but with a few adjustments. KQQL was back at #1 and in double digits. The station narrowly edged last year’s number. KTIS rose from #5 to #2 with its fourth up book in a row. It nearly doubled last year’s number. KFXN stepped down to #3 as its three-book double-digit streak came to an end. KXXR remained at #4 with a small increase, while KSTP slid to #5 with its third straight down book.

KQQL moved from #3 to #1 18-49 and just barely nipped last year’s number. This ended the nine-book winning streak for a flat iHEARTMEDIA CHR KDWB, which moved down to #2. KXXR was also flat as it dipped to #3. iHEARTMEDIA Country KEEY (K102) repeated at #4 with a slight decrease, while KTIS was back at #5 with a small share gain. Last year it finished at #10. KSTP stepped down to #6 with its lowest score since the last holiday time frame. It was partnered with MPR AAA KCMP (THE CURRENT), which advanced from #11 with its highest mark since JULY.

KQQL was #1 18-49 again. It was also in double-digits and about a share ahead of last year’s tally. KTIS jumped from #5 to #2. It was #9 a year ago. KXXR remained at #3 with a small decrease, while KSTP dropped two places to #4. KFXN stepped down to #5 with its lowest score since JULY.

As always, we appreciate your eyeballs. Wait – that didn’t come out right. Thank you for reading this screed and stay tuned for our fourth and final installment where we take apart TAMPA, DENVER, SAN DIEGO, NASSAU-SUFFOLK, and CHARLOTTE. If you haven’t done so, please subscribe to our blog here.

As always, The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. stand ready to help you grow your ratings and revenue. Click the link below to get the gruesome details.

– 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.