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Airwaves: July 30, 2010

Inland Empire Ratings

Living in the San Pedro area, I’ve always had great reception for many out-of-town stations from such areas as San Diego and Riverside. So it is always interesting to me to see the ratings from those areas to see how they compare with metro Los Angeles (see last week for those ratings). This week: Riverside and San Bernardino.

Before I begin I want to clarify what the ratings are, due to an email received last week. The ratings I am writing about, as well as those printed in the list, are an estimate of the percentage of listeners, aged 6 and over, tuned to a station between the hours of 6 AM and 12 midnight as determined by Arbitron.

There are different demographic breakdowns available, as well as ratings for particular hours of the day, but Arbitron only releases those to subscribing stations. So while the ratings printed here are a good overall look at ratings, a station could do poorly on this “six plus” list yet dominate another demographic such as “men aged 35-54.” Without further delay ...

Spanish hit station KLYY, which has been following the area leader KOLA for the last year, suddenly surged ahead to take the number once spot away in June, with a 6.7 share of the audience compared with May’s 4.4. That’s a huge jump, and it will be interesting to see if that holds up in the future. For its part, oldies-formatted KOLA was also up, coming in just behind KLYY with a 6.5 share compared with May’s 5.9.

The popularity of KIIS-FM in Los Angeles was mirrored in the Inland Empire, with KIIS beating local hit station 99-1 (KGGI) by a half point: 5.2 to 4.7. While that may slightly bruise local egos, the owners don’t care ... both stations are owned by Clear Channel.

KFI dominates talk in the IE just as it does in LA ... earning 5th place with a 4.1 share. The next-highest general talk station is way down in 34th place, news-talk KVCR-FM with a 0.8 share. KTIE,essentially a clone of LA sister station KRLA, came in tied for 46th with a 0.4 share.

No surprise here: K-Frog does great with country, though the station has seen a decline throughout the last six months or so from a 4.6 last January to the 3.5 in June, still good enough for a 6th place tie. What is surprising is the very decent showing of Go Country 105, which jumped almost a point from May, 1.8 from 1.0. That’s surprising because my understanding is that Go Country’s signal doesn’t quite cover the IE fully as it does for Los Angeles.

Like Los Angeles, Clear Channel has four stations in the top-10 (KIIS-FM, 99-1, KFI and KBIG - “My 104.3”) ... but only one is local to the IE. CBS has only only one and it IS local: K-Frog.

The full list:

1. KLYY (6.7) 2. KOLA (6.5) 3. KIIS-FM (5.2) 4. 99-1 (4.7) 5. KFI (4.1) 6. K-Frog, KRQB (3.5) 8. KBIG, KDAY, KSGN (3.3)
11. KLVE (3.0) 12. Hot 92.3 (2.9) 13. Jack-FM (2.8) 14. KOST (2.8) 15. KSCA (2.6) 16. Amp Radio (2.5) 17. KLRD, Power 106 (2.3) 19. KCAL-FM (2.1), 20. KLOS (2.0)

21. KATY (1.9) 22. Go COuntry 105, KRTH (1.8) 24. KBUE (1.7) 25. KROQ (1.6) 26. KCXX (1.5) 27. KTWV (1.4) 28. KNX, KWVE (1.3) 30. KXSB (1.0)

31. KLAX, KXOS (0.9), 33. KSPN, KVCR (0.8) 35. KMRO (0.7) 36. KCAL (AM), KLAC, KRCD (0.6) 39. KAEH, KEZY, KKLA, The Sound, KXOL, KYSR (0.5) 45. KLAA, KSSE, KTDD, KTIE, KUSC (0.4) 50. KABC, KDIF, KFWB, KTNQ (0.3)


Speaking of Ratings

A company called Harker Research says that if stations used ratings estimates from Nielsen rather than the traditional Arbitron, they’d reap an extra $7 billion total in the the 50 markets.

Why? Nielsen uses a different system to collect ratings data. While Arbitron has recently upgraded to a system called PPM that measures listening by decoding a special signal sent with a station’s programing in the top radio markets, Nielsen uses a diary method that asks listeners to recall what station they listened to each day or each week and for how long.

In other words, Nielsen is less accurate, but using those less-acurate numbers, Nielsen comes up with a larger number of people listening to radio each hour and each day. And those phantom listeners mean more money for stations.

At least that’s my take on it. Anyone want to refute my take?


Copyright © 2010 Richard Wagoner and Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

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