Radio AM to FM: January 19, 2001
It's called the"Election Book Warp," wherein ratings for music stations such as those he oversees go down while ratings for news and talk stations go up due to the hype surrounding the presidential election Florida recounts and the related legal moves.
And the way Arbitron complies ratings using a "rolling average" of the previous three months, it would take a full three months past mid-December to fully remove the election's effect on the ratings reports. By that time, the argument goes, people would have forgotten what made the ratings change in the first place.
It's a great theory. It would begin to explain why news and talk stations jumped so much during the past ratings quarter while music stations dropped. Trouble is, it didn't happen, at least not this time.
Sure, some news talk stations were up in the Fall Arbitrons released last week: KABC (790 AM), KFWB (980 AM), KIEV (870 AM) and KNX (1070 AM). But KFI (640 AM) and the former KRLA (1110 AM, now KSPN) were flat. And KLSX (97.1 FM) was down, with an aggregate increase for all news and talk stations totaling 0.7. That puts them back to where they were last Spring, before Summer's unexplained fall.
At the same time, many music stations were up in the ratings. Stations such as KTWV (The Wave, 94.7 FM), which saw a 0.9 increase compared with Summer, KKBT (The Beat, 100.7 FM) which saw a 0.8 increase and KOST (103.5 FM), which saw a 0.3 increase. So it appears that the election "warp" -- unlike similar "warps" involving O.J. Simpson or the impeachment trials -- fell flat.
KLVE (107.5 FM) is the overall numero uno this quarter after tying for second last Summer. They did it by staying flat at 4.9. KIIS (102.7 FM) was down 0.2 to 4.7, but held onto second place and still has its sights set on being number one again, a position it hasn't held consistently since the 1980s. KROQ (106.7 FM) and KPWR (105.9 FM) came in 3rd and 4th, respectively with slight drops, while last Summer's number one, KSCA (101.9 FM) declined more than a point to 4.3 from 5.9, placing fifth.
In what may well be its very last full quarter as a music station, KLAC (570 AM) saw its ratings fall to 1.4 from 1.5. Ironically, KLAC is rumored to be going all-sports as a companion station to KXTA (1150 AM). KXTA was down to 0.3 from 0.6, while KLAC's rating of 1.4 beats all the sports stations in Los Angeles -- combined. Go figure.
As always, KRTH (101.1 FM) led the oldies race with its 3.1 share, down from 3.2. KCMG (Mega 92.3 FM) experienced an unexpected drop to 2.2 after an unexpected increase last Summer brought it to 2.9. Rock oldies Arrow 93 (KCBS, 93.1 FM) was flat at 2.6.
Country KZLA (93.9 FM) and new owner Emmis got some good news: the station's 2.6 rating, up from Summer's 2.2, is the highest rating KZLA has seen in over a year.
Each rating is an estimate of the percentage of listeners aged 12 and over tuned to a station between the hours of 6 am and 12 midnight. Copyright Arbitron.
Copyright © 2001 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.
To subscribe to The Daily Breeze, call (310) 540-5511