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Airwaves: May 1, 2009

Ratings Report

It’s been some time since I wrote about local radio station ratings. So long that I can’t remember when I did it last. My problem is that the new system used by Arbitron, called the Personal People Meter or PPM, allows ratings to be accurately and easily calculated monthly rather than quarterly. And while I might be interested in the almost continuous ratings report, I doubt that you are.

So I just stopped covering them for a while as I decided what to do. Unfortunately I haven’t decided yet, and I’d like your opinion. I’m still thinking of reporting them every quarter, as before, but I could report the top-10 monthly. What do you think? Keeping in mind my editor has the last word ...

In any event, in addition to the monthly reports, you’ll notice a new aspect of the ratings. For the first time since I’ve been writing this column, Arbitron now releases ratings for public radio stations. They’ve always recorded the mentions, but until the PPM ratings started coming out in 2008, they were a secret ... released only to those who subscribe. Not really a problem when you think about it, as ratings are supposed to help sell ads and public stations don’t do that. But it is a nice change to be able to compare.

KIIS-FM ruled Los Angeles in the Arbitrons released last week for the month of March, earning a 5.2 share. That’s half a point down from February and a full point down from a special Holiday ratings period for late 2008, but still impressive. Second-place was sister station KFI at 4.5, followed by KRTH at 4.3, KOST at 3.9 and KLVE at 3.8.

KFI’s second-place showing means it dominated the talk format once again, and this time it truly dominated. You had to look all the way down at 24th to find KABC, which earned a 1.7 share. KPCC was tied at 25th with a 1.5 share; KRLA was 33rd with a 0.9 share; KTLK with KCRW at 38th and 0.6; KLAA was tied with KPFK (among others) at 48th with a 0.2; and KGIL was at 54th and 0.1. Put another way, KFI so dominated talk that it had almost 40 percent of the total talk listenership. Amazing.

But what of KLSX? Since it dropped talk, it’s ratings have skyrocketed. As a hot talker, KLSX was earning ratings in the mid 1’s. Now as top-40 Amp Radio, it has a 3.2 share. That’s an amazing jump.

New programmer Andy Ludlum has worked some magic over at KNX. The all-news station earned a 3.1 share for the second month in a row. Sister KFWB has not been so fortunate, dropping to 1.3 from 1.5 last month and from a 2.1 share in December. Do those weekend infomercials hurt credibility and ratings as many predicted? It would appear to be so.

Country is alive and kicking, so to speak, with Go Country KKGO coming in tied with KNX at 14th place. Even the Inland Empire’s K-Frog showed in the LA ratings, with a 0.3.

The full story: Each rating is an estimate of the percentage of listeners tuned to a station as determined by Arbitron.

KIIS-FM (5.2); KFI (4.5); KRTH (4.3); KOST (3.9); KLVE (3.8); KBIG (3.6); KRCD/KRCV (3.5); Power 106 (3.4); KLAX, KTWV (3.3 tie)

Jack FM, Amp Radio, KROQ (3.2 tie); Go Country, KNX (3.1 tie); KBUE/KBUA (3.0); KYSR 98-7 (2.7); KSCA (2.6); Hot 92.3 (2.5); KLOS, KUSC (2.3 tie)

Movin' 93 (1.9); KXOL (1.8); KABC (1.7); KLYY, KPCC (1.5 tie); KFWB, KLAC, KSSE (1.3 tie); KHJ, The Sound (1.1 tie)
KDLD/KDLE (1.0); KRLA (0.9); KFSH, KSPN, KWIZ (0.8 tie); KDAY (0.7); KCRW, KKLA, KTLK, KWVE (0.6 tie)

Disney Radio (0.5); KJLH, KTNQ, KWKW (0.4 tie); K-Frog, KGGI (0.3 tie); Jill-FM, KLAA, KOLA, KPFK, KTPI, XEWW (0.2 tie); KGIL/XSUR, KGMX, KTLX (0.1 tie)


Copyright © 2009 Richard Wagoner and Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

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