The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. – marching cheek-by-jowl with the algorithmic aces from XTRENDS – are back for another slog through the numbers. We get our collective hands and keyboards dirty, so you don’t have to. Read with us as we plow through another five markets worth of data. We sort out the winners and those that did not win, seeking out the highs and lows of a survey that began on 7/21 and concluded on 8/17. There were no federally mandated holidays during that 28 day stretch but you can be sure a lot of PTO was used. Here we go …
HOUSTON-GALVESTON: Eight For Eight
In a sight rarely seen, the top eight stations on the 6+ leaderboard had up books. As per usual, iHEARTMEDIA AC KODA (SUNNY 99.1) was sitting at #1. The station had its best Frosty-free share in over a year (8.0-9.0). URBAN ONE Urban AC KMJQ (MAJIC 102.1) posted its largest share in over a year as it stood alone at #2 (5.7-6.4). KSBJ EDUCATIONAL Christian Contemporary KSBJ dipped to #3 despite landing its best book since MARCH (5.7-6.0). COX MEDIA Classic Rock KGLK (THE EAGLE 106.9/107.5) repeated at #4 with its highest score in over a year (5.6-5.9). iHEARTMEDIA Alternative KTBZ (94.5 THE BUZZ) remained at #5 (5.5-5.7), while AUDACY Adult Hits KKHH (95.7 THE SPOT) was back at #6 with its best outing since OCTOBER (5.2-5.6). TELEVISAUNIVISION Regional Mexican KLTN (QUÉ BUENA 102.9) repeated at #7 (4.7-5.2), while COX MEDIA Country KKBQ (THE NEW 93Q) stood alone at #8 (4.2-4.3). KODA continued as the cume king with a 2.7% increase (1,515,100-1,556,700). The market shrank by 1.1%.
In the 25-54 arena, the top five stations saw their shares increase. KODA was up for the fourth book in a row to repeat as the demo leader. KTBZ remained #2 as it rebounded from a down book, while KKHH was back at #3 with its highest share in over a year. Last month there was a threesome at #4. That did not endure. KMJQ claimed the spot with its highest share in over a year, while KLTN dipped to #5 with a slight increase. URBAN ONE Top 40/R KBXX (97.9 THE BOX) dropped to #6 with a slight decrease.
Turning our attention to 18-34, KODA was up for the fourth straight survey and crashed through the double-digit barrier to remain a dominant #1. KTBZ remained #2 with a noticeable share loss and was about four shares off the lead. KBXX was back at #3 though it surrendered all of last month’s large share increase. Two stations moved up and into a tie at #4. AUDACY Spanish Contemporary KLOL (MEGA 101 FM) made the small step from #5 with a slight increase, while KGLK made the giant leap from a tie at #12 thanks to a massive share increase. KKHH stepped up to #6 while AUDACY Country KILT (100.3 THE BULL) advanced three spaces to #7. Both stations had solid increases. iHEARTMEDIA Urban KQBT (93.7 THE BEAT) fell four places to #8 with its first down book since FEBRUARY.
KODA remained #1 18-49 as it posted a double-digit share. KTBZ repeated at #2 as it got back all of last month’s huge share loss. KKHH stayed at #3 with a slight increase, while KMJQ moved up a couple of places to #4 with its fourth up book in a row (well, OK, one flat book). KBXX slipped to #5 with a small decrease, while AUDACY Hot AC KHMX (MIX 96.5) was bumped to #6 with a slight loss.
ATLANTA: Big Wheel Keep On Turnin’
It is not often that a station can lose two shares 6+ and still dominate the field. COX MEDIA Classic Hits WSRV (97.1 THE RIVER) kept on flowing as it captured the demo for the eighth straight survey (11.0-9.0). COX MEDIA Urban AC WALR (KISS 104.1) remained a distant #2 (6.8-6.8), while COX MEDIA AC WSB (B98.5) was close behind at #3 with its best showing in over a year (6.3-6.7). URBAN ONE Urban AC WAMJ (MAJIC 107.5/97.5) stood alone at #4, also with its best book in over a year (5.7-6.4). COX MEDIA Talk WSB-A slipped to #5 with its smallest share in over a year (5.7-5.5). Meanwhile, CITY OF ATLANTA BOARD OF EDUCATION N/T WABE advanced to #6 with its best book in over a year (3.8-5.1). As recently as JUNE, the station was sitting at #11 with a 2.9 share. Despite a 6.2% decrease, WSB was still the cume leader (886,800-832,100). The market was essentially flat.
The 25-54 race was a close call. WAMJ moved up to #1 with its largest share in over a year. It barely nipped WSRV, which stepped down to #2 as it returned most of last month’s huge increase. CUMULUS Top 40/M WWWQ (Q99.7) remained at #3 with a slight increase but was forced to share with AUDACY Urban WVEE (V-103), which moved up a slot with a slightly better increase. WSB remained at #5 with a slight loss, while WALR was close behind at #6 with a slight gain.
Two stations were winning the hearts and minds, as well as the ears, of the 18-34 crowd. WSRV was in first place for the third book in a row even though it ended a rather robust three-book surge. WWWQ had a slight share increase and that was enough to forge a tie. WSB remained at #3 as it got back some of last month’s huge share loss. It was paired with WVEE, which rose from a tie at #6 as it halted a three-book slide. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WWPW (POWER 96.1) remained at #5 with a solid increase, while URBAN ONE Urban WHTA (HOT 107.9) climbed up to #6 with its highest mark in over a year. As recently as MAY, the station was languishing in a tie at #16. AUDACY Rhythmic AC WSTR (STAR 94) dropped three places to #7 with a small decrease.
Though the 18-49 top five players remained the same, their order was noticeably different. WVEE jumped from #4 to #1 as it got back all of last month’s lost share, while WAMJ advanced from #5 to #2 with its fifth up book in a row. WSRV went from first to third as it returned all of last month’s huge increase. WSB and WWWQ had been tied at #2. They remained an item but were nestled in at #4.
WASHINGTON, DC: It’s News To Us
In an information hungry town, it is not unusual to see the two main news-focused stations clutter the top of the 6+ leaderboard. For AMERICAN UNIVERSITY N/T WAMU, it was the eighth win in a row, the last four of which have been in double-digits (10.1-11.6). HUBBARD News WTOP had its best book since APRIL as it moved up two places to #2 (7.5-8.0). HOWARD UNIVERSITY Urban AC WHUR slipped to #3 with its smallest share since OCTOBER (8.3-7.1). iHEARTMEDIA AC WASH was down (6.3-5.9) but moved up to #4. A similar fate befell URBAN ONE Urban AC WMMJ (MAJIC 102.3/92.7) as it stepped up to #5 after ending a three-book surge (5.5-5.1). ATLANTIC GATEWAY Christian Contemporary WGTS dropped three places to #6 with its first down book since MARCH (7.9-5.0). WASH continued to hold the cume crown (772,500-748,500) – a drop of 3.1%. This nearly paced the market’s 2.6% decline.
Things were a bit squirrely in the 25-54 scenario. WHUR had its lowest score since FEBRUARY yet moved up to #1. Meanwhile, WASH had a small increase as it also moved up to claim a share of first place. Last month’s leader was WGTS. It not only dropped to #3, but it also fell out of the double-digit stratosphere. It was joined in that place by iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WIHT (HOT 99.5), which posted its fourth straight up book. iHEARTMEDIA Alternative WWDC (DC101) rebounded from a down book to move up to #5. WAMU slipped to #6 with a slight decrease.
For the second book in a row, both WAMU and WIHT were in double digits 18-34. However, their positions were reversed with WAMU moving up to #1 with a slight decrease and WIHT dipping to #2 with a large share loss. WASH repeated at a distant #3 with a slight increase. WGTS has been on quite the roll. In JUNE it was in a tie at #9, moved up to #8 last survey, and landed at #4 this time with a huge share increase. There were three stations claiming to be #5, and they all were correct. AUDACY Urban WPGC slipped from #4 with its lowest mark since the five-and-ten was glistening once again (some younger readers will not get that reference). URBAN ONE Urban WKYS remained in place with a slight increase, while WWDC stepped up from #6 with a small gain.
Though WIHT ended a three-book surge, the station did move up to #1 18-49. It just edged out WASH, which landed at #2 with a small increase. This ended the two-book winning streak for WGTS. The station left the double-digit space and dropped to #3 where it was tied with a stationary and flat WAMU. WWDC inched up to #5 as it bounced back from a down book, while WHUR slipped to #6 with a slight share loss.
PHILADELPHIA: They’re Back
After taking the previous book off, BEASLEY Active Rock WMMR was back at #1 6+ (8.4-8.0). iHEARTMEDIA Urban AC WDAS dipped to #2 as it ended a strong two-book surge (8.5-7.4). BEASLEY Classic Rock WMGK remained at #3 but with its smallest share since MARCH (6.9-5.9), while AUDACY AC WBEB (B101.1) repeated at #4 (5.5-5.6). Close behind at #5 was AUDACY Classic Hits WOGL (BIG 98.1) (5.1-5.3). It was just in front of cluster mate AUDACY News KYW-A which stayed at #6 (4.9-5.1). WBEB was still your cume leader with a 1.1% decline (1,064,900-1,053,500). The market was down 0.2%.
One day we will write that WMMR was not #1 and in double digits 25-54. This is not that day. The station continued to crush the market. WDAS remained at #2 with a down book and was five shares off the lead. WHYY INC. Public Radio WHYY was up two slots to #3 as it ended a four-book slide. Was it PHILLIES fatigue or EAGLES ennui that drove AUDACY Sports WIP from #11 to #4 with its best book since MAY? WMGK slipped to #5 with a slight decrease and was joined in that space by WBEB, which moved up with a slight increase. WOGL fell four places to #7 as it ended a strong five-book surge.
WMGK had its smallest 18-34 share since APRIL while WMMR rebounded from a down book. When the meters had settled, the stations were tied at #1. WBEB was forced to move from first to third as it landed its lowest share since OCTOBER. iHEARTMEDIA Alternative WRFF (ALT 104.5) moved up three spaces to #4 with its best outing in over a year. As recently as MARCH, the station was sitting at #11 and has nearly doubled its share since then. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WIOQ (Q102) dipped to #5 with a slight decrease, while iHEARTMEDIA Urban WUSL (POWER 99) dropped three spots to #6 with its lowest score since FEBRUARY.
For the eighth time in the last nine surveys – and the fourth book in a row – WMMR was in double digits 18-49. Yes, the station was still #1. WDAS was back at #2 with a small decrease and was about three shares in arrears. WIP leapt from a tie at #8 to #3 with a strong increase, while WBEB dipped to #4 with its lowest mark since NOVEMBER. WMGK dropped a spot to #5 with its lowest share since OCTOBER. WRFF advanced four squares to #6 with its highest total in over a year. WUSL fell from #5 into a tie at #10 with WIOQ.
BOSTON: The Sporting Life
Unlike the hometown nine, BEASLEY Sports WBZ (98.5 THE SPORTS HUB) was able to bounce back from a loss. The station came back from its lowest score since AUGUST as it advanced from #4 to #1 6+ (5.8-7.5). BEASLEY Classic Hits WROR saw its two-book reign come to an end as it dipped to #2 with its smallest share since JANUARY (8.7-7.2). AUDACY AC WMJX (MAGIC 106.7) was up two slots to #3 (5.7-5.8), while iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WXKS (KISS 108) slid two places to #4 (6.4-5.7). iHEARTMEDIA Classic Rock WZLX also fell two spots – to #5 – as it halted a three-book surge (5.9-4.9). iHEARTMEDIA News WBZ-A was not far behind at #6 (4.3-4.6). WMJX had the most cume once again (783,400-812,700) – a 3.7% rise. The market was up a modest 0.3%.
Over the last 14 surveys, WBZ has been #1 25-54. The station secured its latest victory by posting its eleventh double-digit share during this streak. WXKS repeated at #2 though it surrendered about half of last month’s large increase. The gap between the two stations stood at a bit over three shares. AUDACY Hot AC WWBX (MIX 104.1) rebounded nicely from a down book as it moved from a tie at #8 to #3. WROR slipped to #4 with its smallest share in over a year. Two stations moved up and into a tie at #5. BEASLEY Country WKLB (COUNTRY 102.5) stepped up from a tie at #6 with a slight increase, while BEASLEY Rhythmic AC WBQT (HOT 96.9) advanced from a tie at #8 with its best outing since SEPTEMBER. AUDACY Adult Hits WBGB (BIG 103) dropped three places to #8 with a, ahem, big share loss. WZLX dropped from #4 and fell into a tie at #10 with iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/R WJMN (JAM’N 94.5).
The top three 18-34 stations were within about a half share of each other. Last month WBZ saw its six-book winning streak come to a stop. The station regained some of its massive share loss to move from a tie at #3 to #1. WROR remained a close #2 though its three-book surge was ended. WJMN stood alone at #3 with its best book in over a year. WXKS fell from #1 to #4 as it lost all of last month’s huge share gain – plus a little more. WKLB repeated at #5 with a slight increase, while WWBX moved up to #6 as it regained all of last survey’s lost share.
WBZ’s 18-49 performance has been eerily similar to the havoc the station has been reeking on the 25-54 demo. Over the last 14 books, it has been #1 and landed its twelfth double-digit share over that span. WXKS remained at #2 with a down book and trailed the leader by better than four shares. WROR repeated at #3 with a small loss, while WBQT stepped up to #4 with a slight increase. WWBX continued its redemption tour as it leapt from #10 to #5. WJMN dipped to #6 with a small share loss, while WBGB dropped from #4 to #9.
Two down, one to go as we continue to plow through AUGUST. Thank you for accompanying us on this journey. The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. will return shortly with the results from SEATTLE, MIAMI, DETROIT, PHOENIX, and MINNEAPOLIS.
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About 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 www.ResearchDirectorInc.com, call (410) 295-6619, or e-mail info@ResearchDirectorInc.com or sallan@ResearchDirectorInc.com.