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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Research Director, Inc. Presents Exclusive Dec. PPM Analysis For Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix And Minneapolis


Last Analysis Of The Year

Those last minutes before the holiday season. Rushing around for that special stocking stuffer. Wrapping the presents with care. Making sure all the logs are done through MONDAY. Oh, and looking at the DECEMBER ratings. Nothing like a radio CHRISTMAS.

The Ratings Expert elves at the RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. workshop, along with our helpers at XTRENDS, bring you one final analysis for the holidays. This one covers NOVEMBER 6th through DECEMBER 3rd and, as we have seen in our previous episodes, was heavily laced with some performance-enhancing music.  Let’s see if that trend continues …

DETROIT: Christmas Came Early

It happens every year. No sooner have you doled out the last of your HALLOWEEN candy and -- bam -- all the displays feature tinsel and red felt. Not to be outdone by this pre-mature celebration, iHEARTMEDIA AC WNIC flipped to Yule tunes at the very beginning of the survey. While we do not examine the weeklies, the end result was that the station moved from a tie at #11 to the top spot and more than doubled its share (4.3-9.6). This was just a bit behind last year’s 9.8 share. iHEARTMEDIA Urban AC WMXD (MIX) had a decent book (6.6-6.8) but could not withstand the march of the wooden soldiers as it dropped back to #2. Much to the wondering eyes of fans everywhere, the LIONS have yet to blow their season. This helped CBS RADIO Sports WXYT-F (THE TICKET) remain in the #3 slot (6.3-6.1). CBS RADIO News WWJ-A reported a smaller number this time (6.4-6.0) as it slipped back two spots to #4. CBS RADIO Classic Hits WOMC dropped to #5 with its lowest share since SANTA’s previous visit (5.9-5.6). CUMULUS Talk WJR-A slid down one rung, out of the top five (5.7-5.0).

It was not quite a worst-to-first performance but WNIC did climb from #13 to #1 25-54 in just four short weeks.  Again, the station more than doubled its previous share and was ahead of last year’s pace. WXYT-F was off a smidge as it melted back to #2 while WMXD remained at #3 with a slight uptick. A couple of stations on different tracks met up at #4. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WKQI (CHANNEL 955) was up from #5 just by maintaining share while GREATER MEDIA Active Rock WRIF fell from #2 with its lowest share since JULY. CBS RADIO Country WYCD dropped four places to #8 thanks to its smallest number in over a year.

Over the last year, two events were strong enough to prevent WKQI from being #1 18-34. Those were TIGERS baseball and Jingle Bell Rock. The former was not in play while the latter was not quite up to the task as WKQI remained on top.  iHEARTMEDIA Urban WJLB remained at #2 with a slight loss of share. Coming in at #3 -- all the way from #7 -- was your holiday leader WNIC. It did not double its number here and was actually three shares leaner than last year. Last month’s #3 duo went their separate ways a little further down the chart. WRIF ended up at #4 while WXYT-F dropped to #5 with its lowest point total since APRIL. WYCD slipped to #6 with its smallest share in over a year.

The snow was glistening 18-49 for WNIC as it moved from #8 to #1 with a huge share increase. As large as it was, it was not quite as robust as last DECEMBERs. WKQI was up slightly to remain at #2 while WXYT-F slid back to #3. WJLB was off a touch while remaining at #4. WRIF took a tumble as it dropped from #1 to #5 thanks to its lowest share since AUGUST.


Once again, SANTA chose not to take his talents to SOUTH BEACH. So, this is one of the few markets that remained “normal.” For the last couple of books we wondered if the reign of COX RADIO Urban AC WHQT (HOT) was showing signs of fatigue. Its once-commanding lead had dwindled to less than a share for the last two months and people were talking. They can stop that now because HOT had its best book since, ironically, the last time SANTA wasn’t in town (7.8-9.1) and put some distance between it and the rest of the field. LINCOLN AC WLYF (LITE) remained a solid #2 (7.2-7.0) while UNIVISION Spanish Contemporary WAMR (AMOR) remained firmly entrenched at #3 (5.8-5.8). The other two perennial residents of the top five were hanging out at #4. COX RADIO AC WFEZ (EASY) moved up a slot (4.8-4.9) while iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WHYI (Y100) remained in place (5.2-4.9)

Perhaps the reason why so many tongues were wagging over the fate of WHQT was the fact that it spent the last three books in a spot other than #1 25-54. That dubious streak came to an end as the station returned to the top with its best performance since JULY. WLYF slipped back to #2 with its lowest share since AUGUST while WHYI took a step back to #3 after losing a chunk of share. WAMR was still #4 as it was flat from last month. The tie at #5 was broken. WFEZ claimed sole ownership of the position with a slight increase while CBS RADIO Top 40/R WPOW (POWER) fell back to #6. Coming up on the rail was SBS Tropical WXDJ (EL ZOL), which rose from a tie at #12 to #7 with its best showing since AUGUST.

Last month, two stations were branded co-leaders 18-34. That label was apparently a tempo tattoo as COX RADIO Urban WEDR surged into the lead, moving up two spots with its best book since JULY. WPOW lost a chunk of share as it dropped back to #2 while WHYI’s loss was even chunkier as it ended up at #3. iHEARTMEDIA Urban WMIB (THE BEAT) was steady at #4 with a very small decrease. The two stations that were sharing space at #5 last month parted ways. WHQT retained possession with its best book in over a year while iHEARTMEDIA Spanish Contemporary WMGE (MEGA) slid back to #6 even though it had a solid increase.

For the first time in well over a year WHQT was #1 18-49. This is a pretty volatile demo as often we see large share changes resulting in small rank movements. In this case, however, HOT ascended the throne from #5 and posted its biggest book in over a year.  Last month’s leader – WHYI – was off a bit as it dropped back to #2.  WPOW was also off a bit but remained at #3.  WEDR was flat and happy at #4 while WLYF dropped three places to #5 with its smallest total since JULY.

SEATTLE-TACOMA: It’s Warm By The Fire

In many of the markets released so far, the impact of the jingling bells produced some instant and dramatic results.  In the case of HUBBARD AC KRWM (WARM), the result was certainly instantaneous -- the station flipped at the beginning of week #3 -- but not nearly as dramatic as some other markets we’ve seen.  The station rose to the top from a tie at #4 (4.9-6.2) but that wasn’t quite up to last year’s lofty 7.5 share. HUBBARD Top 40/M KQMV (MOVIN) saw its five-book winning streak come to an end as it acquired its lowest share since JUNE (6.2-6.0) and slid back to #2.  #3 BONNEVILLE Talk KIRO-F continued to ride the wave of the twelve fans a-clapping, though it was off from last month’s big number (5.7-5.0). ENTERCOM Active Rock KISW fell a spot to #4 with its smallest share since AUGUST (5.2-4.9). ENTERCOM Country KKWF (THE WOLF) was probably hungry for some venison as it posted its lowest number since JUNE (4.9-4.7).

The script certainly was not followed in the 25-54 demo as it appeared that mistletoe did not have its desired effect.  There were actually two stations that flipped the switch. KRWM certainly added share but only moved up one spot to #8.  Last year, the magic moved the station to #2. CRISTA Christian Contemporary KCMS (SPIRIT) also changed its tune but not until the last few days of the survey. The station did rise two spots to #3 with its best book since the last time the angels were heard on high. For those stations sticking to regular programming, KQMV moved back to #1 despite grabbing its lowest number since AUGUST.  KISW fell back to #2 with its smallest share since JULY. Two stations collided head on at #4. KKWF clawed its way up from #5 while KIRO-F slid from #3. Two other stations dropped out of the top five altogether. CBS RADIO Adult Hits KJAQ (JACK) was feeling a bit frosty as it dropped to a tie at #6 with a flat book.  
It was joined by cluster brother CBS RADIO Classic Rock KZOK, which fell from #4.

The top five 18-34 remained unchanged in both order and composition from last month. Despite landing its lowest number since JULY, KQMV continued to dominate the demo. KISW also had its lowest share since JULY to remain at #2. ENTERCOM Alternative KNDD (THE END) rested at #3 with its best showing since JULY. KKWF was off slightly at #4 while KJAQ was up a skosh at #5. KRWM did improve from a tie at #9 to #6 but a year ago the station was three shares larger and sitting at #2.

The top two 18-49 players continued to distance themselves from the rest of the field. KQMV was flat but #1 for the eighth book in a row while KISW was off a bit at #2. KCMS had its best share in over a year -- for the second month in a row -- to move up a spot to #3. This forced KKWF to tuck its tail between its legs and slink back to #4 even though it was flat for the second straight survey. KJAQ remained at #5 with a slight decrease. KRWM did ride the reins from #10 into a tie at #6 but was well off last year’s pace when it was #2.

PHOENIX: Trim The Cactus Time

Though there is no official hall of records for this sort of thing (and there should be) -- consensus is that iHEARTMEDIA AC KESZ (99.9KEZ) was the initial perpetrator of this holly, jolly format thing. Not that this sort of credit matters to the station’s listeners. Clearly, they liked it as the station rose from a tie at #5 to #1 (4.6-7.8).  Last year at this time the station was also #1 but with an 8.9 share. iHEARTMEDIA Talk KFYI-A remained at #2 but posted its best number in over a year (5.1-5.3). As recently as JUNE the station was tied at #12 with a 3.2 share so it has been on quite the roll lately. iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KMXP (MIX) ended a two-book slide (4.7-5.1) as it moved up to #3. CBS RADIO Classic Hits KOOL may have suffered from too much egg nog as it dropped into a tie at #4, landing its lowest share since FEBRUARY (5.7-5.0), which ended its five-book run at #1. HUBBARD Classic Rock KSLX landed its best book since MAY (4.5-5.0) as it rose three places to that previously mentioned tie at #4. Two stations vacated the top-five  premises.  HUBBARD Active Rock KUPD fell three spots to #6 (5.0-4.8) while iHEARTMEDIA Country KNIX fell two spots to #7 with its lowest share (4.6-4.2) since the last time cowboys were roping reindeer.

The folks at KUPD are likely saying “I got your SANTA right here, pal” as the station posted its best 25-54 number in over a year to claim the top spot for the sixth month in a row. However, KESZ was nipping at KUPD’s nose as it rose five places to #2. While it was a strong showing, it was over two shares weaker than last year when the station was #1.  KSLX had its best book since MAY but had to be content to remain at #3. KNIX slipped a couple of spots to #4 because, frankly, it had a down book. iHEARTMEDIA Adult Hits KYOT (THE MOUNTAIN) remained firmly in place at #5 with a modest increase. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KZZP (KISS) was off for the second straight book and slid two places to #6.

Back in APRIL KUPD snatched up the reins to the 18-34 sleigh and has yet to let it go (let it goooo … sorry). It accomplished this despite posting its lowest share since JUNE. Two stations powered up the chart to lay claim to the coveted #2 position. KMXP rose from a tie at #5 with its best share since JULY. KESZ used the power of the CLAUS to advance from #13 though it was two shares lighter than a year ago. RIVIERA Top 40/R KKFR (POWER) dropped a spot to #4 even though it was up for the second book in a row while KZZP dropped three places to #5 with its lowest share since AUGUST. Two stations were forcibly removed from the top five. CBS RADIO Top 40/M KZON (LIVE 101.5) fell three places to #6 while ENTRAVISION Regional Mexican KLNZ (LA TRICOLOR) dropped three spots to #8.

There was a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on 18-49 this book. KUPD was #1 for the sixth consecutive survey. KESZ made a big move as it climbed from #14 to #2. As seen in the previous demos, this year’s pine-scented number is well off last year’s. KNIX fell back to #3 by a hair. Two stations settled in for their long winter’s nap at #4. KMXP moved up from a tie at #5 with a solid increase while KSLX rose from #9 with its best showing in over a year. Through a weird quirk of math, there were actually eight stations in the top five last month.  With two stations moving in, there were actually five that moved out. RIVIERA Hot AC KMVA (HOT) fell from #4 to #6 despite being up for the second book in a row.  KZZP fell four spots to #7 with its smallest showing in over a year. There was a four-way tie at #5 last month and three exited. KYOT ended up at #8 despite a small increase. KZON fell to #10 where it was joined by CBS RADIO Country KMLE, which had its lowest total since MARCH.


We’ll get to the effect that all that dashing and prancing had on the market in a moment. The big story coming out of the TWIN CITIES was that iHEARTMEDIA owned the top four positions 6+.  As is always the case, iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KDWB was #1 by a wide margin (9.3-9.0). The official station of the NORTH POLE was iHEARTMEDIA Classic Hits KQQL (KOOL), which made the move in the early stages of week #3. A good move it was as the station went from #7 to #2 (6.1-7.7).  This was a vast improvement over last year when the station had a 6.6 share and was ranked at #5. iHEARTMEDIA Country KEEY (K-102) moved up a spot to #3 with its highest share since JUNE (6.4-7.4). iHEARTMEDIA Sports KFXN (K-FAN) rounded out the cluster sweep. It slid back to #4 even though it was up for the sixth book in a row (6.5-6.7). HUBBARD Hot AC KSTP (KS95) had its smallest showing since the last time things were said many times, many ways (6.8-6.6) as it slid down the chimney three spots to #5.  CUMULUS Classic Rock KQRS – which was #1 in AUGUST – had its tiniest number in over a year (6.4-5.9) as it plunged three places to #7.

For the fourth book in a row, KDWB was #1 25-54 and held a two-plus share lead over #2 KFXN, which had its best book in over a year. KSTP was flat and immobile at #3. SANTA’s helper -- KQQL -- moved up from #7 into a tie at #4. While this year’s number was a share over last DECEMBER, the station had better non-Yule books throughout 2014. KQRS was also at #4 -- no change from last time. The station has been on a bit of a downward spiral since it hit #1 for two months in a row back in JULY and AUGUST. CBS RADIO Adult Hits KZJK (JACK) dropped two places to a tie at #7 even though its number remained the same.

KDWB had its best 18-34 book since APRIL and that is saying something since the station routinely scores large, double-digit shares. CUMULUS Active Rock KXXR (93X) remained a distant #2 but did post its lowest total in over a year.  This allowed CBS RADIO Country KMNB (BUZ’N) to creep a little bit closer at #3. What is interesting to note is that a year ago the station was #2 with a double-digit share. KSTP dropped back to #4 as it was off for the second straight book while KEEY moved up to #5 as it rebounded from its lowest share of the year. KZJK slid back to a tie at #6 with its smallest showing since JANUARY while KQQL moved up three spots to a tie at #9. That may sound modest but the share increase was healthy.

KDWB was #1 -- again -- 18-49 with another double-digit performance, its best since APRIL. Take that, SANTA.  KSTP was flat but allowed to move forward one square to #2. They were going into overtime at #3. KFXN moved up from #4 with its best score in over a year while KXXR dropped from #2. KMNB was down for the third straight book. Normally that’s a buzz kill (hey, we’re here all week …) but the station did move up in the world to #5. KZJK was off again, riding its lowest share since JANUARY down two spots to a tie at #6. KQQL moved from #12 to #9. Last year it was a full share lighter at #10.

This concludes our broadcast day. Thank you for taking the time to slog through this with us. Given the hour we close with ... MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR from The Ratings Experts at RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. Travel safe.

TWITTER: @ResearchDirectr

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