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Airwaves: February 4, 2011

January Arbitrons

People like Christmas music. More accurately, people love Christmas music. That’s the only conclusion that can be made judging by the results of the January Arbitron ratings released January 25th.

Keep in mind that with the new Portable People Meter, ratings are no longer determined as a “rolling average” of the previous three months as was done in the past. Today ratings are determined month to month so comparisons with, say, the 1980s when KIIS-FM set ratings records are meaningless.

That being said, KOST dominated the entire Los Angeles radio world for the holiday season, coming in with a 9.3 share of the pie, more than 72 percent higher than second-place sister station KIIS-FM’s 5.4, and more than double KOST’s normal ratings throughout the rest of the year.

Of course there is the possibility that some of the ratings are from in-store and in-office listening; KOST is a popular station in those areas anyway. During the holidays, I would not be surprised if more businesses tuned in to KOST than normal, and the PPM would thus pick up the sound as listening ... even if the person wearing the PPM was not. But based on my e-mails, I do know that the music is indeed amazingly popular.

Other than KOST’s meteoric rise to the top, with very few exceptions the rest of the pack was the same ‘ol, same ‘ol. Exceptions? KFI dropped to it’s lowest point in years, though certainly still respectable: 7th place and a 3.4 rating. KABC was down as well, to its lowest point ever as a talk station: 29th place and 1.1. Not to be outdone, KTLK maintained its low of 0.4, KRLA was at its low of 0.5 even the Spanish talker KTNQ was down to 0.4.

Are people flocking to other formats? Doubtful, at least in the long term. My guess is that with all the problems of the world, people used the holidays as an escape and temporarily left the talk format for ... you guessed it: Christmas music.

Is Jack becoming yesterday’s format? Hard to say, but the trend isn’t promising: Since August, Jack-FM has lost over 21 percent of it’s audience, and has been declining every month since a one-time jump in September. Now it finds itself right behind KLOS at 2.5 (KLOS is at 2.6).

Last time I mentioned this Jack staffers rightly pointed out that the station is popular (and still is), but unless the trend reverses, Jack’s time may be up in Los Angeles as it already is in most of the rest of the country. Right now, though, it is too early to call, and Jack does continue to do well in various demographics.

And finally, on its 25th birthday, Power 106 earned its highest rating in recent memory, coming in at 5th place with a 3.6 share.

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

1. KOST (9.3) 2. KIIS-FM (5.4) 3. KRTH (4.3) 4. Amp Radio (4.0) 5. Power 106 (3.6) 6. KLVE (3.5) 7. KFI (3.4) 8. KROQ (3.0) 9. The Wave (2.9) 10. KBUE (2.7)

11. My 104.3, Hot 92.3, KLOS (2.6) 14. Jack-FM, KNX, KRCD, KSCA, KYSR (2.5)19. KUSC (2.4) 20. KPCC (2.3)

21. KLAX (2.2) 22. The Sound (2.1) 23. KXOL (2.0) 24. Go Country (1.9) 25. KSSE (1.6) 26. KDAY (1.5) 27. KXOS (1.4) 28. KHJ, KLYY (1.3) 30. KABC, KDLD, KFSH (1.1)

33. KCRW (1.0) 34. KJLH, KSPN, KWIZ, (0.8) 37. K-Jazz (0.7) 38. KFWB, KJLL, KWKW (0.6)

41. KCEL, KLAC, KOLA, KRLA (0.5) 45. K-Talk, KTNQ (0.4) 47. KKLA (0.3) 48. KCAQ, Radio Disney, K-Frog, KGGI, KGIL, KMRO, KSFV, K-Wave (0.2) 56. KGMX, KLAA, KLTX, KPFK, XKAM, KPRS (0.1)


Copyright © 2011 Richard Wagoner and Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

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