December 4, 2021

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Research Director, Inc Exclusive March PPM Analysis for Houston; Washington, DC; …

PPM Analysis March 2021

Like the MARCH Hare, The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC., in conjunction with the numbers wizards from XTRENDS, are ready to head down another ratings rabbit hole. This one is labeled MARCH and actually fits its description as it ran from the 4th through the 31st. There were no holidays of note. However, in year-over-year comparisons, we have almost 14 books chock full of pandemic stuff. As ALICE would say: “Curiouser and curiouser.” 

HOUSTON-GALVESTON: The Forecast Is Sunny

To the surprise of pretty much no one, iHEARTMEDIA AC KODA (SUNNY 99.1) was #1 6+. That was the station’s fifth win in a row and ninth out of the last eleven surveys (7.5-7.7). It also remained the station with the most cume (1,582,000-1,842,700) – an increase of 16.5%. The market was up by 4.4%. UNIVISION Regional Mexican KLTN (QUE BUENA 102.9) ended a string of two straight flat books (5.8-6.3) as it jumped from #5 to #2. KSBJ EDUCATIONAL Christian Contemporary KSBJ repeated at #3 (6.1-5.9) while iHEARTMEDIA N/T KTRH-A slipped to #4 as things thawed out (6.5-5.8). COX MEDIA Classic Rock KGLK (THE EAGLE 106.9 & 107.5) stepped down to #5 (5.9-5.7).

The top four 25-54 stations remained in their previously designated positions. For the third straight survey, iHEARTMEDIA Alternative KTBZ (94.5 THE BUZZ) was #1 despite a very slight loss. KODA remained #2 but fell a bit farther off the pace with a small loss of share. KLTN was #3 again with a slight decrease while a flat KSBJ gave an encore performance at #4. URBAN ONE Top 40/R KBXX (97.9 THE BOX) could not be contained as it moved up to #5 with its highest score since JUNE. It was just ahead of two stations bonding together at #6 – AUDACY Hot AC KHMX (MIX 96.5) and AUDACY Adult Hits KKHH (95.7 THE SPOT).

KTBZ had its highest 18-34 share since JUNE to remain the demo leader for the third book in a row. KODA was up two places to #2 with its best Frosty-free share in over a year. KLTN had its best outing since APRIL as it soared from #8 to #3. KHMX took two steps up to #4 as it rebounded from a down book. AUDACY Spanish Contemporary KLOL (MEGA 101FM) dropped three places to #5 with a small loss. Two stations were excused from the top five. KBXX dropped down to #6 with a slight loss while iHEARTMEDIA Urban KQBT (93.7 THE BEAT) fell to #7 as it returned most of last month’s huge increase.

The 18-49 demo was being hotly contested. KTBZ was up slightly to lead the way for the third straight survey. KLTN stepped up to #2 with its best outing since JUNE and was lurking close behind. KODA slipped to #3 with a slight increase and remained very much in the hunt. KBXX moved up to #4 with a solid increase but was over a share behind that top trio. KSBJ dipped to #5 while KHMX slipped to #6 despite a slight increase.

WASHINGTON, DC: I Heard The News Today …

In a city as wonky as this, it comes as no surprise that the usual suspects atop the 6+ leaderboard are spreading the spoken word. AMERICAN UNIVERSITY N/T WAMU led the way for the third book in a row but was asked to exit the double-digit lounge (10.2-9.7). HUBBARD News WTOP remained in second place, also for the third straight survey (9.9-9.0). HOWARD UNIVERSITY Urban AC WHUR was again the leading music station at #3 (8.1-8.1). iHEARTMEDIA AC WASH stepped up to #4 (5.9-6.2). The station also vaulted into the cume lead (689,200-780,100) with an increase of 13.2%. The market was up by 3.9%. Its older cluster bro – iHEARTMEDIA Classic Rock WBIG (BIG 100) – jumped three places to #5 with its highest share in over a year (4.7-5.1). It was just ahead of its more inked cluster mate iHEARTMEDIA Alternative WWDC (DC101), which inched up to #6 (5.2-4.9). CUMULUS Talk WMAL had its smallest share in over a year (6.0-3.9) as it dropped from #4 to #9. 

As with the previous demo, WAMU led the way 25-54 for the third book in a row but was no longer in double digits. WTOP remained at #2 but was forced to share with WWDC, which stepped up a spot. Both stations had down books. WHUR repeated at #4 though with a modest loss of share. WASH stood alone at #5 with a solid increase. Its former partner in that space – AUDACY Classic Hits WIAD (94.7 THE DRIVE) – slipped to #7. In between those two stations was iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WIHT (HOT 99.5), which posted its best number since AUGUST.

Last month WHUR was the 18-34 leader with a double-digit share. The station could not maintain that pace but did capture the demo once again. It was not far in front of WIHT, which stood alone at #2 with its best performance since JUNE. WAMU moved up to #3 with a solid increase while WWDC slipped to #4 with a small loss of share. WASH inched up to #5 with a solid gain. This pushed WTOP – which had an equally solid loss – down to #6 where it was tied with WBIG.

The 18-49 competition was being hotly contested. WWDC was the reigning champion but could not equal last month’s double-digit share. A flat WAMU repeated at #2 and was this close to matching the leader. WTOP was at #3 again but drifted farther off the pace. WHUR remained at #4 though with a noticeable loss of share. WIHT stepped up to #5 with a strong increase, which relegated WASH – which also had a solid gain – back to #6.

ATLANTA: No More Double Talk

Alas, all good things must come to an end. Though COX MEDIA Talk WSB-A continued to dominate the 6+ arena, the station fell out of its double-digit reverie (10.5-9.2). It held a substantial lead over cluster mate COX MEDIA Classic Hits WSRV (97.1 THE RIVER), which flowed up to #2 (6.1-6.4). It remained the cume leader (757,700-886,800) – a gain of 17.0%. The market grew by 4.0%. COX MEDIA Urban AC WALR (KISS 104.1 FM) slipped to #3 (6.2-6.2). It was forced to share that moment with AUDACY Urban WVEE (V-103), which moved up a spot with its best performance since JULY (5.1-6.2). COX MEDIA AC WSB-F (B98.5) repeated at #5 but with its highest score in over a year (4.9-5.3).

WVEE was back in the saddle again as it landed its largest 25-54 share since AUGUST. This helped push WSB-A down to #2 as it ended a strong two-book surge. The stations were separated by about a share and a half. WSRV remained at #3 with a modest decrease. URBAN ONE Urban AC WAMJ (MAJIC 107.5 & 97.5) was up two slots to #4 with a very strong increase. CUMULUS Top 40/M WWWQ (Q99.7) landed at #5 with its best book in over a year. That was the fourth up survey in a row for the station. WSB-F and CITY OF ATLANTA BOARD OF EDUCATION N/T WABE had been tied at #4. They severed the partnership and fell to #6 and #10, respectively.

There was a lot going on 18-34. First, WSB-F had a massive share increase – its best book since JULY – as it remained in first place for the third straight survey. However, WVEE had an even more massive share increase as it posted its largest number since JULY. The stations were tied at #1 – the same places they were in, yup, JULY. Not to be outdone, WWWQ stepped up to #3 with an even more massive share increase – its best performance in over a year. These three stations were well clear of the rest of the pack. WSRV was up three places to #4 with its third straight up book. Three stations were hanging out at #5. WABE stepped up from #6 while WALR slipped from #3. SALEM Christian Contemporary WFSH (104.7 THE FISH) advanced from #9. AUDACY Sports WZGC (92.9 THE GAME) dropped from a tie at #4 to #9 with its smallest share since NOVEMBER.

WVEE repeated as the 18-49 leader with a solid share increase. WSRV was back again at #2 with a slight loss and trailed WVEE by about a share and a half. WSB-F stepped up to #3 with a solid gain. This pushed WSB-A – which had a small loss – back to #4. WWWQ leapt from a tie at #8 to #5 with its fourth up book in a row. WAMJ advanced four squares to #6 while WFSH turned it up from #11 to #7. Both stations had strong gains. WZGC slid from #5 to #9.


For the third book in a row, iHEARTMEDIA Urban AC WDAS was the 6+ winner (8.0-8.1). Over the last 14 surveys, the station has failed to reach the 8-share range exactly twice. BEASLEY Active Rock WMMR remained at #2 but fell farther behind (7.6-7.0). AUDACY News KYW-A repeated at #3 (6.5-6.0) but was granted a partner as BEASLEY Classic Rock WMGK moved up a spot (5.9-6.0). AUDACY Sports WIP-F moved up to #5 (5.3-5.3) while AUDACY AC WBEB (B101.1) dipped to #6 (5.6-5.2). WBEB continued to amass the most cume (796,500-899,700) – an increase of 13.0%. The market was up by 3.9%.

The top two 25-54 stations remained the same but that does not begin to tell the whole story. WMMR was #1 with a large double-digit share. It was off a bit from the previous survey but still led #2 WDAS by four shares! WDAS was also off a bit.  A flat WMGK repeated at #3 but it had company. BEASLEY Country WXTU leapt from #8 to #3 with its third up book in a row. When this streak started, it was sitting in a tie at #12. WBEB stepped down to #5 despite a slight increase. BEASLEY Adult Hits WBEN (95.7 BEN FM) was up to #6 with a strong increase. WIP-F slipped to #7 despite a slight gain.

The top three stations 18-34 were the same as before. Each had staked out its own lane and was not very close to the others. WMMR repeated at #1 with WBEB back at #2. Both had slight increases. BEASLEY Sports WPEN (97.5 THE FANATIC) remained at #3 with a slight decrease. WHYY INC. Public Radio WHYY bounced back from a down book to rise from a tie at #9 to #4. iHEARTMEDIA AC WISX (106.1 THE BREEZE) also rose from #9 – landing at #5 and in a tie with iHEARTMEDIA Urban WUSL (POWER 99 FM). WDAS and iHEARTMEDIA Alternative WRFF (ALT 104.5) had been tied at #4. Both stations had the exact same small loss and dropped as a tandem to #7.

For the second straight survey, WMMR was in double-digit territory 18-49. The station led #2 WDAS by three full shares. WBEB remained the #3 station as it regained all of last month’s solid share loss. WXTU advanced three spaces to #4 with its best outing since MAY. WMGK and WHYY had been an item at #4. They dissolved the relationship and stepped down to #5 and #6 (tied), respectively.

BOSTON: The Crowd WROR’d

Last month, BEASLEY Classic Hits WROR and iHEARTMEDIA News WBZ-A were the 6+ co-leaders. That didn’t last long. WROR remained on top with its best book in over a year (7.5-7.7). WBZ-A slid to #4 with its lowest total since SEPTEMBER (7.5-6.4). BEASLEY Sports WBZ-F (98.5 THE SPORTS HUB) was up two slots to #2 with its best offensive output in over a year (6.1-6.9). iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WXKS (KISS 108FM) remained at #3 with its best book since OCTOBER (6.2-6.8). The station also retained the cume crown with an increase of 3.2% (787,400-812,300). The market rose by 2.3%. iHEARTMEDIA Classic Rock WZLX slipped to #5 (6.1-6.1).

The top four stations 25-54 were in their same seats as last survey. WBZ-F remained in double-digits as it led the way for the third book in a row. WROR repeated at #2 as it bounced back from a down book. WXKS was at #3 again but with its highest mark since NOVEMBER. WZLX was back at #4 with a slight increase. There was a lot of action bubbling under that quartet of stations. AUDACY AC WMJX (MAGIC 106.7) stepped up to #5 with a slight increase. BOSTON UNIVERSITY Public Radio WBUR rebounded from a down book and moved up to #6. AUDACY Adult Hits WBGB (BIG 103) jumped from #11 to #7 while iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/R WJMN (JAM’N 94.5) advanced from a tie at #13 to #8 with its highest total in over a year. It was tied with WGBH FOUNDATION Public Radio WGBH, which fell from #5.

WBZ-F and WXKS were the 18-34 co-leaders last survey. Both stations had up books this time but one was more of an upper than the other. WBZ-F got back most of last month’s large share loss to remain in first place. WXKS had a small increase but stepped down to #2. WROR remained at #3 but with its largest share in over a year. WJMN stepped up to #4, also with its best outing in over a year. BEASLEY Country WKLB (COUNTRY 102.5) also had a strong performance as it rose from #8 to #5. WZLX slipped to #6 where it was paired with WBGB, which moved up from a tie at #9. WGBH fell five places to a tie at #10.

WBZ-F has been on quite the 18-49 roll. For the sixth time in the last seven surveys, the station was in double digits and #1. Santa was the only obstacle that prevented a seven-book winning streak. WROR was up for the third straight survey as it ascended to #2. WXKS slipped to #3 despite a rather large share increase. WZLX repeated at #4 with a small loss while a flat WMJX advanced to #5. WGBH fell from #5 to a tie at #11.

There, that wasn’t so bad. And, we have even more original content to come!  The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. will soon dig into the ratings stories of MIAMI, SEATTLE, PHOENIX, DETROIT, and MINNEAPOLIS.  But first, a word from our sponsors.

Before you click away, click on over to our blog page and sign up. It comes with a money-back guarantee! Of course, it’s free so that’s pretty much an empty promise.  Check it out here: RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC.: RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. is based in ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND. We help radio stations’ programming and sales departments maximize the value of their research. For more information, visit, call 410-295-6619, or email or

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