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Airwaves: May 4, 2007

Winter Arbitrons

Regional Mexican music station KSCA (101.9 FM), which has been in the shadow of spanish contemporary KLVE (107.5 FM) for the past year, finally pushed its way into the top spot in the Los Angeles Arbitron ratings released this week. The two stations essentially switched places with each other, giving KSCA a win in the Arbitrons for the very first time. KIIS-FM (102.7) was second and KLVE was third, followed by KFI (640 AM) and KLAX (97.9 FM).

You read that right: of the top-five stations in Los Angeles, three are spanish-language music stations (KSCA, KLVE and KLAX); one is talk (KFI) and only one, KIIS-FM, is an english-language music station. Quite a change from the early days of my writing this column, when the big news among spanish broadcasters came as KWKW (1330 AM) became the first such station to break into the top-10.

For its part, KFI trounced the competition. Totally trounced. It's 4th place 4.2 share is more than two points above the next highest talk station, KABC (790 AM), which came in tied for 18th at 1.8. KLSX was even farther down the list, tied for 22nd place at 1.5. KRLA (870 AM) and KTLK (1150 AM) aren't even in the same stratosphere with KFI, with 0.8 and 0.6 shares, respectively.

Those results for talk, by the way, confirm my position that conservative talk was never the threat that Air America supporters claimed it was. Yes, KFI tends to slant conservative, but KABC does too. And the most conservative, KRLA, is barely showing.

Further, the poor showing for all AM stations outside of KFI proves that talk isn't the savior of AM radio at all, as most observers claim. My opinion is that people are tired of talk, and that the only way to bring people back to the AM band is to do what FM did in the 1960s and '70s: play music that can't be found elsewhere and give people some personality back. Programming will bring people back to AM, not politics.

KRTH (101.1 FM) had its best book in over a year, coming in 10th at 3.5. Right behind was Jack (KCBS-FM, 93.1 FM) with a 3.4. It appears oldies are still a draw.

Mozart is also a draw, for even on AM, KMZT (1260 AM) still beats Movin' (KMVN, 93.9 FM): 1.0 versus 0.9. We'll see if that holds up or if it's just due to leftover FM ratings related to the classical-country swap. That 0.9 share for Movin', by the way, puts it half way toward the rating KZLA had before the format switch. Worst to first indeed.

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. © 2007 Arbitron; may not be reproduced without written permission from Arbitron

Station: Fall-Winter

KSCA: 4.5-4.8; KIIS-FM: 4.5-4.6; KLVE: 4.9-4.4; KFI: 4.1-4.2; KLAX: 3.9-3.9; KOST: 4.1-3.7; Power 106: 3.8-3.7; KROQ: 3.5-3.7; KBUE/KBUA: 3.1-3.6; KRTH: 3.1-3.5

Jack-FM: 3.0-3.4; The Wave: 3.3-3.1; KRCD/KRCV: 2.7-2.6; KXOL: 2.7-2.6; KHHT: 2.1-2.2; KLOS: 2.3-2.2; Star 98.7: 2.0-2.0; KABC: 1.8-1.7; KSSE: 1.7-1.8; KBIG: 1.8-1.7

KNX: 1.5-1.6; KHJ: 1.3-1.5; KLSX: 1.6-1.6; KLYY: 1.3-1.5; KRBV: 1.1-1.4; KFWB: 1.3-1.2; KJLH: 1.3-1.1; KDAY/KDAE: 1.0-1.0; KMZT: 0.6-1.0; KMVN: 0.7-0.9

KTNQ: 0.8-0.9; KDLD/KDLE: 0.5-0.8; KFSH: 0.7-0.8; KKGO: 1.5-0.8; KRLA: 0.8-0.8; KSPN: 0.8-0.8; KLAC: 0.6-0.7; K-Frog: 1.1-0.6; KKLA 0.4-0.6; KLTX: 0.5-0.6

KTLK: 0.8-0.6; KWIZ: 0.7-0.5; KWVE: 0.5-0.5; KWKW: 0.4-0.4; KBLA: 0.0-0.3


Copyright © 2007 Richard Wagoner and Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

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