So far we have witnessed the carnage foisted upon market after market by MARIAH CAREY’s annual emergence from hibernation. The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. – along with the covert operatives from XTRENDS – stand ready to analyze our final batch of markets for the DECEMBER survey. We are fairly certain that the radio landscape will be littered with reindeer droppings. This “month” began on NOVEMBER 11th and concluded on DECEMBER 10th. Besides all the format flips, it also featured the VETERANS DAY holiday and the long THANKSGIVING weekend. Listening patterns were thrown into a tizzy. That’s a word you seldom hear. Let us begin…
SEATTLE-TACOMA: Warm And Toasty
There is not a war on CHRISTMAS in this market. However, there is certainly a battle royale raging over SANTA’s favors. Three – count ‘em – three stations made the FROSTY flip during the first week of the survey. HUBBARD AC KRWM (WARM 106.9) is the originalist station, and it reaped the most benefit. The station rose from #7 to #1 6+ and more than doubled its previous share (4.9-10.0). Last year it began the campaign with a 7.9 share. BONNEVILLE Talk KIRO dipped to #2 (7.0-6.6), while iHEARTMEDIA Classic Hits KJEB (95.7 THE JET) was in a holding pattern at #3 (5.6-5.7). FRIENDS OF KEXP Alternative KEXP had its best showing in over a year (4.7-5.3) as it broke out of a tie at #8 and raced to #4. LOTUS News KNWN-A (NORTHWEST NEWSRADIO) slipped to #5 (5.2-5.2), while UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON N/T KUOW moved up to #6 (4.7-4.6). AUDACY AC KSWD (94.1 THE SOUND) also went into Frosty mode. The station posted its lowest number since MARCH (5.1-4.5) to slip to #7. CRISTA Christian Contemporary KCMS (SPIRIT 105.3) was the third holiday participant. It landed its largest share since MAY (4.0-4.4) to advance three squares to #8. iHEARTMEDIA Classic Rock KZOK had its smallest share in over a year (5.2-4.2) as it dropped from a tie at #4 to #9. BONNEVILLE Sports KIRO-A (710 ESPN) had its least productive outing since MARCH (6.6-3.8) as it fell from #2 to #11. KRWM maintained cume control with a 12.0% increase (570,100-638,400). The market shrank by 1.7%.
KRWM did not quite double its previous 25-54 share but did fairly well as it zoomed from #11 to #1. This pushed KEXP – which was up slightly – down to #2. AUDACY Active Rock KISW stood alone at #3, also with a tiny increase. HUBBARD Top 40/M KQMV (MOViN’ 92.5) stepped up to #4 with a slight decrease. KJEB dropped from the tie at #3 to #5 with its lowest mark since JANUARY. And what of our other CHRISTMAS combatants? KSWD was up slightly as it moved from #12 to #9, while KCMS had its best book since APRIL to move up from #22 into a tie at #18.
The 18-34 crowd was certainly in the YULE mood as KRWM leapt from a tie at #10 to #1. The station also arrived in double-digit land. This ended the three-book winning streak for KEXP, which dipped to #2 with its lowest total since AUGUST. There was a three-way logjam at #3. KQMV was up from a tie at #4 as it returned most of last month’s large share increase, while KUOW advanced from #6, despite a small share loss. KJEB, uh, jetted in from a tie at #10 with its highest score since MARCH. There was also a threesome at #6. KZOK dropped from a tie at #2 as it also gave back most of last month’s huge share increase. KSWD slipped from the tie at #4 as it ended a robust three-book surge. They were joined by AUDACY Country KKWF (100.7 THE WOLF), which had its best book in over a year as it rose from a tie at #12.
Rudolph’s bright light guided the way for KRWM as it jumped from #13 to #1 18-49. The station more than doubled its previous share. KEXP had its best showing in over a year to step up to #2. KISW was last month’s co-leader. It slipped to #3 with a flat book. KQMV stepped down to #4 with a small decrease, while KIRO remained at #5. KJEB was the other co-leader from last month. It dropped to #6 with its smallest share since FEBRUARY. KSWD had a slight decrease as it stood alone at #8, while KCMS moved from #21 to #16.
MIAMI-FT. LAUDERDALE-HOLLYWOOD: Santa Lite
Yes, there was a FROSTY flip. It happened at the beginning of week three of the survey. However, the big guy had minimal effect on the proceedings. At least in the 6+ arena, things were pretty much status quo. COX MEDIA AC WFEZ (EASY 93.1) was #1 for the fifth straight survey (9.1-9.1), while COX MEDIA Urban AC WHQT (HOT 105) was #2 for the fourth book in a row (7.9-8.0). TELEVISAUNIVISION Spanish Contemporary WAMR (AMOR 107.5) and AUDACY AC WLYF (101.5 LITE FM) were tied at #3. The stations remained an item in that same place with the exact same 5.8-5.5 share outcome. It is worth noting that WLYF did add the TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA to its playlist during the survey. SBS Tropical WXDJ (EL ZOL 106.7) stepped up to #5 (4.8-5.0), while SBS Spanish Contemporary WCMQ (Z92.3) moved down to #6 (5.3-4.8). WFEZ was still the cume leader (892,600-880,900) – a drop of 1.3%. The market was up a modest 0.2%.
WHQT kept its long uninterrupted string of #1 25-54 books alive as it ended a three-book slide. WFEZ was back at #2 but with its best book in over a year. It narrowed the gap with its cluster mate to about a half share. WXDJ repeated at #3, though it returned all of last month’s solid increase – plus a little extra. WAMR landed its largest share in over a year to remain tied at #4. However, it had a new partner as iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WHYI (Y100) rose from #8 with its best outing since JULY. WLYF inched up to #6 with its highest share since MAY. TELEVISAUNIVISION Tropical WRTO (MIX 98.3) dropped from a tie at #4 into a tie at #7 with iHEARTMEDIA Spanish Contemporary WZTU (TÚ 94.9), which advanced from a tie at #11 with its highest mark since JUNE.
WFEZ dominated the 18-34 space for the second straight survey and crashed through the double-digit barrier, as well. WHQT had its best outing since we last saw the leaping lords to, well, leap from #6 to #2. Still, it was about three and a half shares behind its cluster sibling. WRTO repeated at #3 with a small decrease. SBS Spanish Contemporary WRMA (RITMO 95.7) dropped from #2 into a tie at #4 with WZTU, which advanced from #7. COX Urban WEDR (99 JAMZ) had been at #4, while WLYF was sitting at #5. Both stations ended up together at #6.
For the fifth book in a row, WHQT was #1 18-49. However, it was hearing footsteps from #2 WFEZ, which had its best outing in over a year to narrow the gap to under a half share. WZTU had its best book since JUNE to move up to #3, while WLYF was up to #4 with its highest mark since MAY. A flat WRTO slipped to #5, while WXDJ dropped three places to #6 with its smallest share since APRIL.
PHOENIX: The Original And Still The Greatest
Not that it needed the help of performance-enhancing music, but iHEARTMEDIA AC KESZ (99.9 KEZ) actually went into FROSTY mode in the last week of the NOVEMBER survey. It worked. After two books at #2, the station was back at #1 6+ (6.9-11.3), though it did not quite match last year’s 12.9 share. MARICOPA N/T KJZZ rebounded from a down book (7.3-7.8) but could not win its third book in a row as it drifted down to #2. HUBBARD Classic Rock KSLX repeated at #3 but with its best book in over a year (6.5-6.7). iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KMXP (MIX 96.9) also bounced back from a down book (3.7-4.5) as it rose from a tie at #7 to #4. DESERT VALLEY Adult Hits KOAI (95.1/94.9 THE WOW FACTOR) stood alone at #5 as it ended a three-book slide (4.2-4.4). AUDACY Top 40/M KALV (LIVE 101.5) slipped to #6 (4.2-4.3), while iHEARTMEDIA Adult Hits KYOT (95.5 THE MOUNTAIN) slid three places to #7 with its smallest share since JULY (4.7-4.1). KESZ easily maintained its cume lead with a huge 33.8% increase (931,000-1,245,400). The market rose by 0.7%.
For the sixth straight survey, KESZ was #1 25-54. The station smashed through the double-digit barrier and beat last year’s number by about a share. Once again, KSLX had its largest number in over a year as it advanced from #4 to #2. A flat HUBBARD Active Rock KUPD repeated at #3, while KYOT slipped to #4 as it ended a four-book surge. KMXP bounced back from that down book to rise from a tie at #9 to #5. SIERRA H Classic Hip Hop KZCE (101.1 THE BOUNCE) had its lowest score in over a year. It fell from #5 into a tie at #12 with KJZZ, AUDACY Classic Hits KOOL (BIG 94.5) and DESERT VALLEY Rhythmic AC KMVA (HOT 97.5 & 103.9).
So KESZ has been on a long uninterrupted string of #1 18-34 books. The station also hit double digits last survey. BURL IVES and his evil minions only exacerbated the situation. The station had nearly as much share as the next three – combined! HUBBARD Alternative KDKB (ALT AZ 93.3) ended its strong two-book surge but remained at #2. KALV was back at #3, though with its lowest mark since JANUARY. It was forced to share with KMXP, which had its best showing in over a year to advance from a tie at #13. AUDACY Country KMLE and KYOT had been tied at #7. Both stations had the exact same small increases and rose to a tie at #5. KUPD dropped from a tie at #5 into a tie at #8 with KZCE and KSLX. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KZZP (104.7 KISS FM) landed its lowest share in over a year as it dropped from the tie at #5 to #14.
As with the previous demo, KESZ has been dominating 18-49 for over a year. Santa just made things worse as the station was solidly into double digits this survey. KYOT repeated at #2 with its lowest share since JULY and trailed the leader by nearly nine shares. KUPD was back at #3 with a slight decrease, while KMXP again bounced back from a down book to move from a tie at #9 to #4. KALV stepped up to #5 with a slight increase and was joined by KSLX, which advanced from a tie at #11 with its best book in over a year. Also in that space was TELEVISAUNIVISION Regional Mexican KHOT (QUÉ BUENA 105.1), which remained in place with a slight decrease. KZCE fell from #4 into a tie at #11 with iHEARTMEDIA Country KNIX.
DETROIT: A Turbo-Charged Sleigh
Possible with a HURST shifter and chrome exhausts? iHEARTMEDIA AC WNIC went all in on the holiday hoopla during the last week of the NOVEMBER survey. This worked out quite well as the station pranced from #8 to #1 6+ (4.8-11.7), though it did not match last year’s 16.8 share. It is very unusual for the LIONS to be relevant this late in the season. Perhaps that why AUDACY Sports WXYT (97.1 THE TICKET) had its best book in over a year (6.8-7.4). Alas, the station still dipped to #2. BEASLEY Classic Rock WCSX stepped down to #3 with its lowest mark since FEBRUARY (6.4-5.9), while BEASLEY Active Rock WRIF dipped to #4 (6.1-5.8). AUDACY Classic Hits WOMC moved down to #5 with its smallest share in over a year (6.1-5.3). iHEARTMEDIA Urban AC WMXD (MIX 92.3) slipped to #6 with its lowest total in exactly a year (5.9-5.1). WNIC lengthened its cume lead, thanks to a 28.0% increase (820,300-1,049,800). The market was off by 0.4%.
WNIC more than doubled its previous 25-54 share as it moved from a tie at #3 to #1. WXYT remained at #2 but with its best offensive production in over a year. This ended the eight-book winning streak for WRIF, which slid to #3 with its lowest mark since JUNE. WCSX dipped to #4 with a modest decrease. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WKQI (CHANNEL 955) and BEASLEY Rhythmic AC WMGC (105.1 THE BOUNCE) had been tied at #5. WKQI remained in place while WMGC landed at #6. Both stations had down books.
As with the previous two demos, WNIC more than doubled last month’s 18-34 share as it leapt from a tie at #10 to #1. This ended WRIF’s three-book winning streak as it dipped to #2. However, the station was in double digits for the fourth book in a row and eleventh time in the last 14 surveys. WXYT again had its largest share in over a year but had to step down to #3. WCSX was up to #4 with its best outing since APRIL, while WMGC slipped to #5 with a slight decrease. WKQI had its lowest score since JULY as it fell four places to #7.
The 18-49 race rolled out as you might expect it to. WNIC zoomed from #6 to #1 and more than doubled its previous share. WRIF slipped to #2 and fell out of double digits. WXYT moved down to #3 but with its best showing in over a year. WKQI stepped down to #4 as it returned all of last survey’s strong increase. WMGC was down to #5, while iHEARTMEDIA Urban WJLB slipped to #6 and was tied with WCSX.
MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL: Klaus Is Kool
iHEARTMEDIA Classic Hits KQQL (KOOL 108) was another early holiday adopter as it made the MARIAH move during the final week of the NOVEMBER survey. This time, the station went from a tie at #4 to #1 6+ (5.9-11.4). This easily surpassed last year’s 10.5 share. iHEARTMEDIA Sports KFXN (K-FAN FM 100.3) had been the market leader over the last two books. However, unlike the VIKINGS it could not snatch victory from the jaws of defeat as it slipped to #2 (7.6-7.5). MPR N/T KNOW had its best book since APRIL (6.0-6.7) to remain at #3. It was forced to share with HUBBARD Hot AC KSTP (KS95 94.5), which stepped down from #2 as it bounced back from a down book (6.1-6.7). Two stations moved up and into a tie at #5. CUMULUS Active Rock KXXR (93X) had its best book since JUNE (5.7-6.0) to advance from #7, while AUDACY Adult Hits KZJK (104.1 JACK FM) was up from #8 as it regained last month’s share loss (5.5-6.0). iHEARTMEDIA Country KEEY (K102) and iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KDWB had been tied at #4. KEEY dropped to #8 with its lowest score since MAY (5.9-5.4), while KDWB landed at #11 with its smallest share since JANUARY (5.9-4.1). KQQL continued to control the cume with a 17.2% increase (729,900-855,300). The market grew by 0.9%.
KQQL more than doubled its previous 25-54 share as it jumped from #10 to #1 and hit double digits. KFXN also hit double digits but had to move down to #2. KSTP had its best outing since AUGUST to step up to #3, while KXXR slipped to #4 with a small decrease. KZJK moved down to #5 with its lowest mark since APRIL. KDWB dropped from #5 into a tie at #7 with KNOW.
As with the previous demo, KQQL more than doubled its 18-34 share as it leapt from a tie at #10 to #1 with a double-digit posting. KXXR had its best showing since JUNE to move up two spaces to #2. It was less than a half share behind the leader. KDWB slid to #3 with its lowest mark since MARCH. This ended a couple of streaks for the station. It had been #1 for the last three surveys and in double digits for the previous eight. KEEY ended a strong two-book surge as it dropped to #4. It was tied with KSTP, which posted its lowest number since some kid wanted a freakin’ hippo for the holidays. CUMULUS Classic Rock KQRS had its best book in over a year to move up to #6, while MPR AAA KCMP (THE CURRENT) dropped to #7 as it ended a robust three-book surge.
There was a bit of a surprise ending in the 18-49 competition. Sure, KQQL more than doubled its previous share and hit double digits. However, it could only rise from #10 to #2. KSTP also hit double digits as it moved up to #1. The stations were less than a half-share distant. KFXN repeated at #3 and just missed joining that double-digit fraternity. KXXR remained at #4 with a slight increase, while KZJK was back at #5 with a slight decrease. KDWB fell from #1 to #6 with its least productive outing since JANUARY.
Thank you for the time. The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC., along with our cohorts at XTRENDS, wish you and yours a safe and happy new year. We’ll see you in ’23 to dissect SANTA’s last stand.
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