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Radio AM to FM: July 23, 1999

Spring Arbitrons

It was a long time in coming, but KIIS (102.7 FM) finally has the top spot -- among English-language stations, at least -- to itself. An increase from to a 4.7 share from last Winter's 4.3, coinciding with KPWR's drop to 4.0 from 4.3, gave KIIS the first decisive win it has had since 1987.

Why the sudden surge? As Chris Morales wrote in his upstart internet newsletter, Radio Spectrum, "KIIS is the most focused station on the air, and they have a great air staff that relates to the audience."

It also helps that so many different musical styles are enjoying great popularity, with such varied bands as Backstreet Boys, Smash Mouth, Ricky Martin, Sarah McLachlan, Fastball and Shania Twain proving very popular among music listeners. KIIS is the only station in Los Angeles that plays all the hits, not just those of a particular genre.

Figuring in all stations, however, KIIS was knocked down to 3rd place as both KSCA (101.9 FM) and KLVE (107.5 FM) increased their leads, earning 6.2 (up from 6.0) and 5.9 (up from 5.4) shares, respectively.

In fact, even outside of KSCA's third 1st-place win in the Arbitrons, most Spanish stations were big winners this quarter. The simulcast of KBUA/KBUE (105.5 FM) was up a half-point to 3.1 and 9th place, KTNQ (1020 AM) increased to 1.9 from 1.6, and KKHJ (930 AM) was up to 1.4 from 1.1. If you combine every Spanish-language station that showed in this quarter's Arbitrons, you end up with a whopping 24 percent of the radio audience. That's nothing to sneeze at.

KFI (640 AM) led the talk wars again, in spite of being handicapped by a mass exodus of listeners every day at 3 pm. For the book KFI earned a 3.3 share, down from 3.6, while KABC (790 AM) checked in with 2.3 ... just slightly ahead of KLSX's (97.1 FM) 2.2. The other end of the talk spectrum found KRLA (1110 AM) languishing at 0.8 (down from 1.0), just slightly ahead of KIEV (870 AM), which was up to 0.7 from 0.6. That's not good news for KRLA, especially considering KRLA traditionally earned higher ratings playing oldies without the highly paid talent.

In sports, XTRA (690 AM) from San Diego still beats local KXTA (1150 AM), with XTRA earing 0.7 and KXTA earning 0.6. One on One Sports KCTD (1540 AM) did not show in this book.

Finally, welcome to the Los Angeles Arbitrons: KOLA (99.9 FM) from San Bernardino, which earned its first showing in my memory with a 0.4 share. Not bad for a station that cannot even be received in all parts of Metro Los Angeles.

All ratings are estimates of the percentage of listeners, aged 12 and over, tuned into a particular station between the hours of 6 am and 12 midnight. The full story:

1. KSCA (6.2) 2. KLVE (5.9) 3. KIIS (4.7) 4. KPWR (4.0) 5. KROQ (3.7) 6. KOST (3.5) 7. KFI (3.3) 8. KYSR (3.2) 9. KBUA/KBUE (3.1) 10. (tie) KKBT, KLAX (3.0)

12. (tie) KRTH, KTWV (2.9) 14. (tie) KCBS-FM, KCMG (2.5) 16. KLOS (2.4) 17. KABC (2.3) 18. (tie) KLSX, KZLA (2.2) 20. KBIG (2.1)

21. (tie) KKGO, KNX (2.0) 23. (tie) KFWB, KTNQ (1.9) 25. KSSE (1.8) 26. KLAC (1.7) 27. KKHJ (1.4) 28. KJLH (1.2) 29. KRLA (0.8) 30. (tie) KACE/KRTO, KIEV, KLYY, KWKW, XTRA (0.7)

35. (tie) KACD/KBCD, KGIL, KKLA, KWVE, KXTA (0.6) 40 (tie) KFSG, KOLA (0.4) 42 KGGI (0.3).

Ratings are used by permission. Copyright © 1999 Arbitron. May not be quoted or reproduced without prior written permission from Arbitron.


Copyright © 1999 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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