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June 11, 2024

Every 28 days there are people – like you – who are experiencing the ebbs and flows of the NIELSEN ratings cycle. Sure, you may have some clues as to how the book will turn out prior to its release, but nothing quite matches the emotional anticipation of that data download. Is it going to be a good day with fist pumps abounding? Will it be a day for self-reflection and navel-gazing? Or will it be a “meh” experience? Whichever way the meter turns, The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. – along with a significant contribution from the math mages from XTRENDS – are here to put it all into perspective.

Our current subject is MAY. A survey that began on APRIL 25TH and reached its resolution on MAY 22ND. We celebrated Mom, our Armed Forces, and a sci-fi franchise. Other than that, life was whatever passes for normal these days….


It’s not like HOPE MEDIA Christian Contemporary KSBJ hasn’t been #1 6+ before. The station was there just two books ago. However, not with a number this large (7.0-9.6). The rest of the field was left with fighting over second place, which ended up in the hands of two stations. iHEARTMEDIA AC KODA (SUNNY 99.1) had its smallest share in over a year (7.7-6.1) as it stepped down from its leadership role. URBAN ONE Urban AC KMJQ (MAJIC 102.1) joined the fray from #6 with its best outing since JANUARY (5.3-6.1). Close behind at #4 was iHEARTMEDIA Alternative KTBZ (94.5 THE BUZZ), which ended a four-book surge (6.3-6.0). RADIO ONE Classic Rock KGLK (THE EAGLE 106.9 & 107.5) and AUDACY Adult Hits KKHH (95.7 THE SPOT) had been tied at #4. KGLK moved down to #5 with its lowest score in over a year (5.4-5.2), while KKHH ended up at #6 (5.4-4.9). Despite a 9.7% decrease, KODA still had the most cume (1,826,200-1,649,800). The market was off by 0.8%.

Not only did KSBJ move from #3 to #1 25-54, but the station also landed on the double-digit marker. KTBZ dipped to #2 with its first down book since we were carefully hanging hosiery. KODA moved down to #3 as it gave back all of last month’s large share increase. CUMULUS Pop CHR KRBE repeated at #4 with a slight decrease, while KKHH was up two slots to #5 with a small share gain. iHEARTMEDIA Urban Contemporary KQBT (93.7 THE BEAT) leapt from #11 to #6 with its highest mark since SEPTEMBER. RADIO ONE Country KKBQ (THE NEW 93.Q) slid three places to #7 with its smallest share since OCTOBER.

The 18-34 leaderboard was a game of musical chairs. The one constant was KTBZ, which remained at #1 and smashed through the double-digit barrier. ESTRELLA Spanish Adult Hits KQQK (EL NORTE 107.9) jumped from #9 to #2 with its best book in over a year and still trailed the leader by more than five shares. KKHH rose from #6 to #3 with its third up book in a row, while KSBJ stepped up to #4 with a small increase. AUDACY Spanish Contemporary KLOL (MEGA 101 FM) dropped to #5 with its lowest total since the place was lousy with leaping lords. KRBE was down to #6 as it returned about half of last month’s huge share increase. KODA slumped from #2 to #8 with its lowest mark in over a year.

Despite a slight decrease, KTBZ was #1 18-49 for the third book in a row. KSBJ rocketed from #9 to #2 with a massive share gain. KODA dipped to #3 with a large share loss, while KKHH remained at #4 with a modest increase. KQQK was back at #5, while KRBE slipped three spots to #6.


There were fist bumps aplenty at a certain cluster HQ as the top four stations in the 6+ arena all shared the same key card. COX MEDIA Classic Hits WSRV (97.1 THE RIVER) was #1 for the fourth straight survey with its highest mark since DECEMBER (7.8-7.9). COX MEDIA N/T WSB-A was back at #2 (7.1-7.1), while COX MEDIA AC WSB (B98.5) inched up to #3 (6.3-7.0). It also picked up an additional 0.4 share from its stream. COX MEDIA Urban AC WALR (KISS 104.1) moved up to #4 with its best book since JUNE (5.0-6.9). URBAN ONE Urban AC WAMJ (MAJIC 107.5/97.5) slipped to #5 (6.9-6.6). WSB retained the cume crown with a 10.9% increase (826,700-916,900). The market shrank by 0.9%.

WSRV had its best 25-54 book since AUGUST as it repeated as the market leader. WALR landed its largest share in over a year as it vaulted from #7 to #2. WSB dipped to #3 and was met there by AUDACY Urban Contemporary WVEE (V-103), which moved up a spot with its best showing since OCTOBER. WAMJ was back at #5 with a slight increase, while CUMULUS Alternative WNNX (99X) fell four places to #7 with its lowest score since Santa was travelling on his eponymous thoroughfare.

WSB was your 18-34 winner for the fifth straight survey, but that object in its rearview mirror was closer that it appeared. WALR rose from #8 to #2 and was less than a half share off the pace. WVEE, WSB-A and URBAN ONE Urban Contemporary WHTA (HOT 107.9) had been tied at #5. WVEE and WHTA had strong share increases and ended up at #3 and #4, respectively. WSB-A remained at its previous home. Meanwhile, AUDACY Sports WZGC (92.9 THE GAME) and JDJ COMMUNICATIONS Urban Contemporary WWSZ-A (STREETZ 94.5) had been an item at #2. Both stations experienced rather large share losses as they fell in tandem to #6. WSRV dropped four places to #8 with its least productive outing in over a year.

In the 18-49 metaverse, WSRV was #1 for the second book in a row with its largest share since DECEMBER. WVEE repeated at #2 with a slight increase, while WALR was up two places to #3 the station’s highest score in over a year. A flat WSB was back at #4, while WNNX slipped from #2 to #5 as it returned all of last month’s solid share increase.


…nothing to see here, as the top five 6+ stations were as we last saw them. AMERICAN UNIVERSITY N/T WAMU was in its customary #1 position but – shocker – had its smallest share in over a year. However, the station was still in double figures (11.3-10.7). HUBBARD News WTOP came in at #2 for the fifth book in a row and its highest mark since JANUARY (7.8-8.2). HOWARD UNIVERSITY Urban AC WHUR was back at #3 (7.6-7.4), while iHEARTMEDIA AC WASH remained at #4 (5.7-5.5). Rounding out the quintet again was URBAN ONE Urban AC WMMJ (MAJIC 102.3/92.7) (4.9-4.9). WASH still had the most meters, er, listeners with a 0.9% decrease (774,300-767,100). The market gained 3.1%.

Moving to the head of the 25-54 pack was URBAN ONE Urban Contemporary WKYS, which landed its largest share in over a year to pop out of a three-way tie at #2. This pushed WASH down to #2 as it surrendered most of last month’s huge increase. The stations were separated by less than a half share. iHEARTMEDIA Alternative WWDC (DC101) also posted its best number in over a year as it rose two places to #3. WAMU and WHUR had also been in that tie at #2. Each station scored its smallest share since NOVEMBER and landed at #4 and #5, respectively.

WAMU lost most of last month’s huge 18-34 share increase but easily cruised to its fifth win in a row. AUDACY Rhythmic CHR WPGC stepped up to #2 with its best book since JULY yet was still a share and a half off the lead. WKYS dipped to #3 and was one of three stations residing in that space. WASH remained in place with a small increase, while iHEARTMEDIA Pop CHR WIHT (HOT 99.5) rebounded from a down book to advance from #6. ATLANTIC GATEWAY Christian Contemporary WGTS dropped from a tie at #3 into a five-station logjam at #8.

Same players, different places was the theme for the 18-49 segment. A flat WKYS moved up to #1. It narrowly edged WASH, which stepped down to #2 as it gave back a good portion of last month’s large increase. WWDC was close behind at #3 with its best showing in over a year. WPGC accomplished the same feat as it moved up a spot to #4. It was paired with WAMU, which moved down from #3 with its smallest share in over a year.


Last month BEASLEY Classic Rock WMGK saw its three-book 6+ winning streak come to an end. This time the station rebounded from a down book (7.9-8.5) and was back on top of the leaderboard. iHEARTMEDIA Urban AC WDAS moved back down to #2 (8.3-8.1), while BEASLEY Album Oriented Rock WMMR dipped to #3 (8.0-7.9). Also in the hunt was AUDACY Sports WIP, which repeated at #4 (6.7-7.4). The station also gained a 3.0 share from its stream. AUDACY AC WBEB (B101.1) remained at #5 (5.9-5.7). AUDACY News KYW-A was back at #6 (5.5-5.1) but picked up a 0.5 share from its online presence. WBEB increased its market lead in cume by 4.0% (995,400-1,035,500). The market was down 1.0%.

WMMR made it back-to-back double-digit 25-54 books as it sat at #1 for the fifth straight survey. A flat WDAS was back at #2 and trailed the leader by nearly four shares. WIP remained at #3 with its highest score since NOVEMBER. It was partnered with WMGK, which stepped up from #4 as it halted a two-book slide. WBEB dipped to #5 with a modest share increase.

Two stations shared the honor of being #1 18-34. WBEB had a down book but still moved up from #2, while WDAS landed its largest share in over a year to advance from #3. iHEARTMEDIA Urban WUSL Contemporary (POWER 99) was up two spots to #3 as it ended a steep three-book slide. WMMR went from first to fourth with its lowest total since ELTON was asking you to hop on a turntable (hope it’s a QRK). Two stations moved up and into a tie at #5. WMGK was at #6 and ended a three-book slide. AUDACY Classic Hits WOGL (BIG 98.1) arrived from #8 with its best showing in over a year. BEASLEY Country WXTU dropped from #3 to #7 as it gave back most of last month’s large increase.

WMMR was the dominant 18-49 performer for the fifth book in a row and hit double figures for the second straight survey. WDAS repeated at #2 with a slight increase and was about three shares in arrears. A flat WBEB was back at #3, while WIP inched up to #4 with a solid share gain. WUSL dipped to #5 with a slight decrease and was met there by WMGK, which rose from #7 as it rebounded from a down book.

BOSTON: The Sporting Life

You can’t stop BEASLEY Sports WBZ (98.5 THE SPORTS HUB); you can only hope to contain it. The station was #1 6+ for the fifth book in a row and remained in double figures (10.1-11.0). BEASLEY Classic Hits WROR repeated at #2 (6.1-5.7), and just nipped AUDACY Hot AC WWBX (MIX 104.1), which moved up to #3 (5.7-5.6). BOSTON UNIVERSITY N/T WBUR dipped to #4 with its lowest mark since OCTOBER (5.8-5.4). AUDACY AC WMJX (MAGIC 106.7) stepped up to #5 despite having its fifth straight down book (5.0-4.9). iHEARTMEDIA Classic Rock WZLX landed its lowest share in over a year (5.6-3.8) as it fell from #5 to #9. It was paired with WGBH FOUNDATION N/T WGBH (4.3-3.8). WMJX held its cume lead with a 3.7% rise (799,900-829,800). It was the station’s highest Frosty-free total in over a year. The market was up 0.3%.

WBZ was #1 25-54 for the fifth book in a row and 13th time in the last 14 surveys. The station also hit double-digits. iHEARTMEDIA Pop CHR WXKS (KISS 108) had its best outing in over a year to rise to #2. It was better than three shares behind the leader. WWBX repeated at #3 with a slight increase, while AUDACY Adult Hits WBGB (BIG 103) dropped from #2 to #4, ending a robust three-book surge. WMJX had a small share loss as it stepped up to #5. WROR slid to #6 with its lowest total since that kid with the drum just … would … not … stop.

In APRIL, WWBX had its three-book 18-34 winning streak grind to a halt. The station was back at #1 this month, though its four-book double-digit streak was no more. WBGB was #1 and in double figures last time but slipped to #2 and in single digits this survey. WXKS posted its best score since NOVEMBER as it rose to #3 and stood a half share out of second place. WBZ stepped down to #4 with its least productive outing since SEPTEMBER. iHEARTMEDIA Rhythmic CHR WJMN (JAM’N 94.5) moved up to #5 as it ended a somewhat steep two-book slide. WROR dropped two places to #7.

For the fifth straight survey, WBZ was #1 18-49. The station also hit double figures for the fourth time during that span. WWBX repeated at #2 though with its lowest score since JANUARY. WXKS bounced back from a down book to move from #6 to #3. WMJX inched up to #4 but with its smallest share since NOVEMBER. WROR and WBGB had been tied at #3. Both stations suffered the exact same share loss as they landed at #5.

Thanks for the time. As always, comments, suggestions and snarky comments are welcome. If you haven’t done so already, please subscribe to our blog right now. Feel free to share it with your network.

The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. stand resolute and ready to help you grow your ratings and your revenue. Stay tuned for part three featuring MIAMI, SEATTLE, PHOENIX, DETROIT and MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL.

-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.