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Airwaves: June 17, 2011

June ratings quick-take

Other than the fact that my editor would go crazy, I could do a ratings column every week. Between all the various local -- often overlapping -- markets and the new PPM (Portable People Meter) system that allows full ratings reports on a monthly rather than quarterly as in years past, it would be easy to turn every column into an analysis of listening habits.

Of course that would probably get old really quickly, so instead I choose to cover ratings roughly quarterly still, around the time that the old full Arbitron “books” were released in the past: mid month January, April, July and October.

This month, though, there are some interesting results that are worthy of at least quick mentions. Clear Channel won the month of May in a sweep, with KIIS-FM, KFI and KOST taking 1st, 2nd and 3rd. KNX, which spent years at the bottom of the ratings now stands proudly toward the top, tied with KLOS at 9th. Go Country 105 had a kickin’ month with its highest rating in the recent memory, a 16th-place finish and a 2.7 share of the audience -- up from 2.3 -- the 8th straight up month ... and as a listener I have to say that the station sounds fabulous.

More details next month.

Wheel ... of ... Thornton

KNX’s Jim Thornton has been selected as the new announcer for the popular television game show, Wheel of Fortune. He replaces longtime announcer Charlie O’Donnell, who passed away last November.

The selection was made after an exhaustive search and numerous tryouts in the spot; Thornton himself filled in as the announcer for many weeks as auditions continued.

From 1995 to 1999 Thornton was the on-air voice of KCOP-TV Channel 13, which, if I am not mistaken, was something also done by O’Donnell in years past. O’Donnell’s past also includes news (again, on Channel 13) So Thornton has good pedigree for his new gig.

Winner Winner ...

KNX (1070 AM) won three Mark Twain Awards for excellence in broadcast journalism from the Associated Press Television-Radio Association. The awards were announced during APTRA’s 64th annual convention held June 4th in Anaheim.

In the Class One Radio Division category of Best Radio Investigative Reporting, KNX won for “LAX: no Way Out” by Charles Feldman. Feldman’s “LAX Exposed” won for Best Coverage of an Ongoing Story. And in Best Sports Reporting, the station won for “Foul Ball Freak Out” by Jon Baird.

In the Class Two Division, California Lutheran University public station KCLU (88.3 FM) won Best Spot News Story for “The Deadly Drive” by Lance Orozco and Best Coverage of an Ongoing Story for “Simi Valley Lab Explosion” by Orozco, Jim Rondeau and Dave Meyer. KCLU and Orozco also took an honor in the Best Sports Reporting category for “It’s More Than a Game.”

Day 28

It’s now been 28 days since I swore off personal listening to talk radio programs (with the two exceptions being the Sunday morning Jesus Christ Show and the Saturday and Sunday late morning Leo Laporte technology show on KFI (640 AM). I still feel great!


Copyright © 2011 Richard Wagoner and Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

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