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May 15, 2024

Once again, The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. – in a close-knit formation with the spreadsheet warriors from XTRENDS – are going boldly forward into the past. While being “present” and “centered” and “grounded” are perfectly good and certainly mindful, it does not help when looking over one’s shoulder.

Yes, this whole ratings paradigm is all about predicting the future based on what has already happened. So we gaze fondly back at the APRIL survey, a 28-day cycle that began on MARCH 28TH and became extinct on APRIL 24TH. We celebrated EASTER, Mother Earth, and collectively hummed “Take Me Out To The Ballgame.”  Here’s what history has taught us…


For the second book in a row, the top five stations in the 6+ category remained in place. As usual, COX MEDIA Urban AC WHQT (HOT 105) was #1 (8.3-9.0). TELEVISAUNIVISION Spanish Contemporary WAMR (AMOR 107.5) was sitting in second place (6.7-6.8), while AUDACY AC WLYF (101.5 LITE FM) was in the show position with its third up book in a row (6.4-6.5). COX MEDIA AC WFEZ (EASY 93.1) came in at #4 (6.0-5.9), while MIAMI-DADE COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS N/T WLRN rounded out the top five (5.6-5.3). WLYF was the cume leader for the third straight survey with a 13.9% increase (735,100-837,300). The market grew by 2.8%.

The 25-54 race was a bit less predictable as only the top three stations remained the same as last month. iHEARTMEDIA Spanish Adult Hits WMIA (MAGIC 93.9) continued in the top spot, while WLYF repeated at #2. Both stations had slight increases and were separated by less than a half-share. WFEZ was #3 again with a small share loss. WHQT moved up to #4 with its first up book since DECEMBER. It was tied with WAMR, which slipped a spot, thanks to its smallest share since AUGUST. SBS Spanish Tropical WXDJ (EL ZOL 106.7) dipped to #6 with a slight decrease.

Compared with the previous demos, 18-34 was the wild, wild West. COX MEDIA Urban Contemporary WEDR (99 JAMZ) was the runaway leader again despite a slight decrease. WHQT had its best book since DECEMBER as it rose from #6 to #2. SBS Latino Urban WRMA (RITMO 95.7) held steady at #3 while three stations were seen together at #4. WXDJ slipped from #2 as it halted a three-book surge. WLYF vaulted from #10, while iHEARTMEDIA Urban Contemporary WMIB (103.5 THE BEAT) rocketed up from #12. Both stations had their best books since BURL IVES was showing up on MEDIABASE. WAMR fell four places to #9 with its smallest share since JUNE and was paired with WMIA. iHEARTMEDIA Spanish Contemporary WZTU (TÚ 94.9) dropped from #4 to #11 with its lowest mark since JULY. It was tied with TELEVISAUNIVISION Spanish Contemporary WRTO (MIX 98.3).

For the fifth straight survey, WMIA was the 18-49 market leader. It held about a half-share lead over WHQT, which advanced from a tie at #5 to #2. WFEZ dipped to #3 as it ended a three-book surge. WEDR was back at #4 where it was breaking bread with WLYF, which stepped up from #5. WAMR had its lowest score in over a year and dropped from #3 into a three-way tie at #7 with WRMA and WMIB.


The top five 6+ stations were in the exact same positions as when we last visited the market. iHEARTMEDIA Classic Rock KZOK made it back-to-back wins with its highest mark in over a year (7.9-8.2). Despite picking up two new competitors, AUDACY Country KKWF (100.7 THE WOLF) was back at #2 (7.4-7.5). UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON N/T KUOW held steady at #3 (7.2-7.3), while AUDACY Active Rock KISW was back at #4 (5.6-5.4). HUBBARD AC KRWM (WARM 106.9) maintained its presence at #5 (4.8-4.8), while also continuing as the cume leader (587,700-627,300) – a 6.7% increase. The market was up 1.5%.

For the third book in a row, KKWF dominated the rest of the 25-54 competition. The station was also dangerously close to hitting double figures. Last month HUBBARD Pop CHR KQMV (MOViN’ 92.5) fell from #3 to #6. The station regained most of that lost share this time as it, ahem, moved up to #2. KISW dipped to #3 with its lowest score since some random kid asked to be gifted dental work. KZOK stood alone at #4 with its best outing in over a year. Its former partner in that space – FRIENDS OF KEXP Alternative KEXP – stepped down to #5 with a small share loss. AUDACY Rhythmic AC KHTP (HOT 103.7) dropped from #3 to #7 with its lowest score since AUGUST. It was tied with BONNEVILLE Sports KIRO-A (SEATTLE SPORTS 710AM) and iHEARTMEDIA Pop CHR KBKS (HITS 106.1).

KZOK had its best 18-34 book in over a year as it rose to #1. It led the market by more than two shares. Then we had six stations all within a half share of one another. Three were bunched together at #2. KISW stepped down from its leadership role as it returned most of last month’s huge share increase. AUDACY Alternative KNDD (107.7 THE END) remained in place as its strong four-book surge came to an end. KQMV moved up from #6 as it bounced back from a down book. The next three stations were a huddled mass at #5. KKWF dipped from #4 with a small decrease, while KRWM remained in place with a slight increase. KHTP stepped up from #6 with a solid share gain.

Last month KKWF and KISW were the 18-49 co-leaders. Both stations had noticeable share losses and they slipped to #2 and #3, respectively. KQMV leapt from #3 to #1 with its highest mark in over a year. KZOK was up two slots to #4 with its third up book in a row. KEXP dipped to #5 with a modest share loss. KNDD fell from #4 into a tie at #7 with KRWM and iHEARTMEDIA Adult Hits KJAQ (96.5 JACK FM).

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PHOENIX: The Easy Button

Ho-hum. For the ninth book in a row, iHEARTMEDIA AC KESZ (99.9 KEZ) was #1 6+, though the station was unable to extend its double-digit streak (10.3-9.2). HUBBARD Classic Rock KSLX was back at a distant #2 (7.0-7.1), while iHEARTMEDIA Adult Hits KYOT (95.5 THE MOUNTAN) climbed from #5 to #3 with its highest share in over a year (4.7-6.0). HUBBARD Active Rock KUPD dipped to #4 (5.0-4.7), while DESERT VALLEY Adult Hits KOAI (95.1/94.9 THE WOW FACTOR) stepped down to #5 (4.9-4.6). As usual, KESZ had the most listeners (845,200-868,700) – a 2.8% increase. The market added 1.9%.

So a little drama 25-54. Yes, KESZ was still #1 – for the seventh straight survey. However, the station landed its lowest share since NOVEMBER. KUPD was also down but remained at #2. The net result was that the gap between the two stations shrank from over two shares to a bit less than a share. KYOT was up for the fourth book in a row as it moved up to #3. A flat KSLX dipped to #4. HUBBARD Alternative KDKB (ALT AZ 93.3) and iHEARTMEDIA Country KNIX were previously tied at #5. A flat KDKB held steady, while KNIX moved down a spot with a slight decrease.

KESZ was #1 18-34 for the third book in a row, and seven times in the last eight surveys. The station did not extend its double-digit streak to six. Meanwhile, KYOT continued its hot streak as it leapt from #6 to #2 and was less than a half share off the lead. KDKB dipped to #3 with its lowest mark since NOVEMBER. It was tied with a stationary KUPD, which notched a slight increase. KSLX rose from #12 to #5 with its best showing in over a year. Two stations that were tied at #4 dropped out of the top five. SIERRA H Rhythmic AC KZCE (101.1 THE BOUNCE) ended up at #6 along with AUDACY Country KMLE and AUDACY Classic Hits KOOL (BIG 94.5). iHEARTMEDIA Pop CHR KZZP (104.7 KISS FM) fell to #9 and was partnered with AUDACY Pop CHR KALV (LIVE 101.5).

This was the ninth straight 18-49 win for KESZ and the station was in double figures for the third book in a row. KYOT advanced from a tie at #5 to #2 but was still over three shares off the pace. KSLX inched up to #3 with its best showing in over a year, while KUPD dropped two places to #4 with a slight decrease. KDKB went from #3 to #5 with a slight increase. KZZP dropped two slots to #7 as it ended a three-book surge.

DETROIT: Yeah, That’s The Ticket

After taking the last couple of books off, AUDACY Sports WXYT (97.1 THE TICKET) was back at #1 6+ (7.5-9.2). The station also pocketed an additional 1.5 share from its stream. This ended the two-book run for iHEARTMEDIA AC WNIC, which dipped to #2 (9.1-7.8). AUDACY Country WYCD had its best book in over a year (6.6-7.8) to move up to forge a second-place tie. BEASLEY Active Rock WRIF stepped up to #4, also with its highest score in over a year (6.1-6.5). iHEARTMEDIA Pop CHR WKQI (CHANNEL 955) moved down to #5 (6.7-6.3), while BEASLEY Classic Rock WCSX dipped to #6 (6.1-6.1). WNIC still had the most cume (1,033,300-1,004,900) – a 2.7% decline. The market was up 1.1%.

WXYT and WRIF decided to take control of the 25-54 arena. WXYT stepped up to #1 while WRIF advanced to #2 with, once again, its best book in over a year. WNIC went from first to third. Those three stations were within a share of each other. WKQI slipped to #4 and narrowly defeated WYCD, which inched up to #5, again with its best performance in over a year. BEASLEY Rhythmic AC WMGC (105.1 THE BOUNCE) slipped to #6 as it ended a solid two-book surge.

There’s a lot to unpack in the 18-34 situation. WKQI was #1 and in double figures for the fourth book in a row. The station has been truly dominant in this area, winning the demo for the 12th time and hitting double digits for the 12th time in the last 14 surveys. WXYT and WRIF had been tied at #3. Both stations had the same solid increase – and were flirting with double digits – as they rose in tandem to #2. WYCD was up two places to #4 as it rebounded from a down book. WNIC exited the double-digit realm as it fell from #2 to #5. AUDACY Classic Hits WOMC had its smallest share since JULY as it dropped from #5 to #11.

The top four 18-49 stations were all within a half share of one another. Though WKQI had a down book, it managed to step up to #1. WXYT and WRIF moved up and landed together at #2. WNIC may have dropped from first to fourth, but it was still in the hunt. WYCD repeated at #5, once again with its best book in over a year.

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Over the last 14 surveys, with the exception of that time when Santa ruled the airwaves, UNIVERSITY OF NORTHWESTERN-ST. PAUL Christian Contemporary KTIS has been dominating the 6+ space. The station was #1 again this month but with its smallest share in over a year (10.6-8.7). iHEARTMEDIA Sports KFXN (KFAN FM 100.3) had its most productive outing since NOVEMBER (7.4-8.0) to move up to #2 and make the race more competitive. iHEARTMEDIA Classic Hits KQQL (KOOL 108) and HUBBARD Hot AC KSTP (KS95) had been tied at #4. KQQL moved up a spot (6.7-6.9), while KSTP remained behind (6.7-6.7). iHEARTMEDIA Country KEEY (K102) landed its largest share since JUNE (5.5-6.5) as it stepped up to #5. MPR N/T KNOW ended its three-book surge as it slid from #2 to #6 (7.5-6.4). The station did pick up an additional 0.8 share from its stream. KQQL added 5.8% to its already market-leading cume total (683,300-723,200). The market rose by 2.5%.

CUMULUS Active Rock KXXR (93X) was #1 25-54 for the second straight survey. However, it was forced to share the spotlight with KSTP, which moved up from #2. Both stations had slightly down books. KFXN was up to a somewhat distant #3 as it ended a two-book slide. AUDACY AC KZJK (104.1 JACK FM) landed its largest share in over a year as it rose from #7 to #4. KTIS slipped to #5 with its lowest score since DECEMBER and was paired with the incumbent iHEARTMEDIA Pop CHR KDWB, which was off slightly.

KEEY got a massive 18-34 share boost as it moved from #3 to #1. It was the station’s highest share since OCTOBER and first double-digit performance since NOVEMBER. KDWB repeated at #2 with a slight increase and was about two shares behind the leader. CUMULUS Classic Rock KQRS moved up to #3 with its fourth up book in a row. KSTP stepped up to #4 with its highest score since AUGUST. It was paired with KQQL, which dropped from first place as it returned most of last month’s huge share increase. KZJK slipped to #6 with a slight increase and was tied with KXXR.

KSTP and KXXR continued to battle it out atop the 18-49 leaderboard. They were #1 and #2, respectively, for the third book in a row and were separated by less than a half-share. KZJK had its highest score in over a year as it rose from #6 to #3. KEEY posted its best number since JUNE as it advanced from #7 to #4. KTIS slipped from #3 to #5 with its lowest total since NOVEMBER. It was joined by KDWB, which moved down a spot with its first down book since DECEMBER. KQQL dropped two places to #7 as it returned about half of last month’s huge share increase.

We appreciate you taking some of your valuable time to sift through this stuff. After a brief respite, we’ll return with this month’s final installment, which will focus on 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

About XTrends: XTrends creates simple pictures of sometimes complex and difficult-to-understand information. To more easily navigate Nielsen ratings 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.