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Airwaves: July 28, 2006

Talking to the Top

For the first time in at least 19 years -- since I have been writing this column -- an AM station has claimed the top spot in the quarterly Arbitron ratings.

Talker KFI (640 AM) jumped almost a full point to tie for first place in the Spring quarter with spanish contemporary music station KLVE (107.5 FM) which held firm at 4.8. The last AM station to make it to the top was KABC (790 AM) in the first half of the 1980s.

Just behind the leaders, top-40 KIIS-FM (102.7) and regional Mexican KSCA (101.9 FM) both tied for third with 4.6 shares, followed by Smooth Jazz KTWV (The Wave, 94.7 FM) at 4.3. Rounding out the top-10 were KROQ (106.7 FM) at 3.7, KOST (103.5 FM) at 3.6, KLAX (97.9 FM) at 3.5, the KRCD/KRCV simulcast (98.3 and 103.9 FM) at 3.3, and KBUE/KBUA (105.5 FM) 3.1.

Looking a bit closer at that top-10, you have talk, top-40, "smooth jazz," alternative rock and light rock in english; and contemporary music, regional music, and oldies in spanish. Not a bad cross section of Southern California, don't you think?

KRTH (101.1 FM) has become the home of 2.7: it's been steady at a 2.7 share for every quarter in the last year. KLSX (97.1 FM) recovered a bit from the decline it saw when Howard Stern left for satellite radio, up to 1.7 from 1.5. Jack-FM was down a little from last quarter (3.1 from 3.4), but still up from Spring 2005 when it earned a 3.0.

Star (98.7 FM) can't seem to get anything right, dropping to its lowest point since it stopped playing Beautiful Music and Easy Listening in 1991: 1.4, down from 1.7. My suggestion: don't allow Jamie White near a microphone, ever. Then hire some good personalities. And make sure someone like Craig Carpenter or Chuck Martin is the programmer; they'll bring fun (and listeners) back to the station.

And the mathematicians will appreciate this one: Disney Radio KDIS (1110 AM) had an infinite increase from Winter, by moving from 0.0 to 0.3.

The full story: Each rating is an estimate of the percentage of listeners age 12 and over tuned to a station between the hours of 6 am and 12 midnight.

Station: Winter-Spring

KFI: 4.0-4.8; KLVE: 4.8-4.8; KIIS-FM: 4.9-4.6; KSCA: 4.2-4.6; The Wave: 3.3-4.3; KROQ: 3.5-3.7; KOST: 3.8-3.6; KLAX: 4.3-3.5; KRCD/KRCV: 3.4-3.3; KBUE/KBUA: 3.6-3.1

Jack-FM: 3.4-3.1; Power 106: 3.2-3.1; Hot 92.3: 2.4-2.7; K-Earth: 2.7-2.7; KXOL: 3.2-2.6; KLOS: 1.9-2.3; KABC: 2.3-2.2; KSSE: 2.4-2.1; KBIG: 2.1-1.9; KLSX: 1.5-1.7

KZLA: 1.8-1.7; The Beat: 1.9-1.6; KJLH: 1.4-1.5; KNX: 1.6-1.5; KFWB: 1.3-1.4; K-Mozart: 1.5-1.4; Star 98.7: 1.6-1.4; KLYY: 1.3-1.3; K-Talk: 1.0-1.0; KHJ: 1.0-0.9

KRLA: 1.0-0.9; KSPN: 0.5-0.8; KWVE: 0.6-0.8; KDAY: 0.6-0.7; KTNQ: 0.8-0.7; KWIZ: 0.6-0.7; The Fish: 0.8-0.6; KKGO: 0.6-0.6; KKLA: 0.5-0.6; KLAC: 0.7-0.6

KWKW: 0.4-0.6; KLTX: 0.6-0.5; KDKD/KDLE: 0.5-0.4; KDIS: 0.0-0.3

Ratings are Copyright © 2006 Arbitron, Inc. May not be quoted or reproduced without prior written permission from Arbitron.


Copyright © 2006 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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