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Research Director Inc., Exclusive May ’23 PPM Analysis for New York, Los Angeles, …


May ’23 PPM Ratings

We have gathered together in this space to review the results of the MAY survey. It began quietly on APRIL 27th and left with a whisper on MAY 24th. While your market conditions may vary, this 28-day period was relatively uneventful. Sure, we honored Mom and saluted the Armed Forces, but the most important day was when all the STAR WARS geeks dressed up as DARTH VADER and PRINCESS LEIA for the nerd HALLOWEEN. (Before you “@” me, I am a fan of the franchise). The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. – running cheek-by-jowl with the wizards of XTRENDS – will now use the power of The Force to revel the secrets of the ratings.

NEW YORK: Cluster Madness

The top three stations on the 6+ leaderboard were not only from the same cluster, all three had significant increases. Winning the race for the seventh straight survey was iHEARTMEDIA AC WLTW (106.7 LITE FM), which had its best Frosty-free share in over a year (7.6-8.4). The next two stations each posted their best scores in over a year. iHEARTMEDIA Classic Rock WAXQ (Q104.3 FM) repeated at #2 (6.0-6.4), while iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WHTZ (Z100) moved up a couple of slots to #3 (5.0-5.6). The rest of the top five consisted of a tie at #4. AUDACY Classic Hits WCBS remained in place with its third down book in a row (5.6-5.5), while MEDIACO Urban AC WBLS slipped from #3 (5.8-5.5). WLTW was still the cume leader (3,712,800-3,809,400) – a 2.6% increase. The market grew by 1.2%.

In the 25-54 arena, the rich got richer. WLTW bounced back from a down book – and was dangerously close to being in double digits – as it captured the demo again. WHTZ remained the #2 station with a rather large share increase. AUDACY Hot AC WNEW (NEW 102.7) stood alone as a distant #3 with a slight decrease, while WCBS dipped to #4. A flat WBLS inched up to #5. WAXQ leapt from #10 to #6 and was paired with iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WKTU. SBS Tropical WSKQ (MEGA 97.9) landed its lowest share in over a year as it slid from #5 to #8.

WHTZ and WLTW were again #1 and #2, respectively, in the 18-34 realm. Both stations had solid increases and were separated by the slimmest of possible margins. WKTU posted its best number in exactly a year to advance from #6 to #3. WAXQ also had an impressive showing as it rose from #9 to #4. WNEW had a down book as it slid three places to #5, while WCBS bounced back from a down book to climb from #10 to #6. WBLS and WSKQ had been tied at #4. They fell out of favor with each other and landed at #7 and #10, respectively.

WLTW notched its seventh 18-49 win in a row and hit double-digits for the third time during that span. WHTZ was back at #2 with its best book in over a year but still trailed its cluster mate by better than a share. WNEW renewed its lease on the #3 position with a slight decrease, while WKTU stepped up to #4 with a solid share increase. WCBS ended a somewhat steep two-book slide as it moved up to #5. It just nipped WAXQ, which jumped from #9 to #6. WSKQ fell three places to #7.

LOS ANGELES: The Good Earth

For the third book in a row, AUDACY Classic Hits KRTH (K-EARTH 101) was the 6+ winner as it landed its largest share in over a year (5.7-5.9). iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KBIG (104.3 MYFM) remained rooted in second place but, thanks to its highest mark since SEPTEMBER, got within striking distance of the leader (4.6-5.4). iHEARTMEDIA AC KOST and AUDACY Urban AC KTWV (94.7 THE WAVE) had been tied at #5. Both stations had up books, which ended a four-book slide for KOST and a three-book skid for KTWV. They marched arm-in-arm up to #3 (4.0-4.5). iHEARTMEDIA Talk KFI-A dipped to #5 (4.3-4.3). Three stations were a huddled mass at #6. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KIIS (102.7 KISS FM) dropped from #3 (4.4-4.0), while ESTRELLA Regional Mexican KBUE (QUE BUENA 105.5/94.3) dipped from #5 (4.0-4.0). TELEVISAUNIVISION Spanish Contemporary KLVE (K-LOVE 107.5) arrived from #9 (3.6-4.0). KRTH was the cume commander for the third book in a row with a 4.6% increase (2,328,900-2,435,000). The market was up by 1.5%.

As recently as JANUARY, KBUE was languishing at #13 25-54. This month the station received its largest share in over a year to vault from #6 to #1. This ended the three-book reign of KRTH, which slipped to #2 but was as close to the leader as was mathematically possible. KBIG was flat for the second straight survey as it remained at #3. KLVE and KOST were still tied at #4 as both stations had small share increases. They were joined in that space by KIIS, which dropped from #2.

KRTH had its best 18-34 outing in over a year to leap from #4 to #1. This ended the four-book winning streak for KIIS, which stepped down to #2 with its smallest share since BRENDA LEE was showing up on MEDIABASE. KBIG repeated at #3 with its third up book in a row, while KTWV moved up to #4 with its highest score since AUGUST. iHEARTMEDIA Urban KRRL (REAL 92.3) dropped three places to #5 with its lowest mark since JANUARY. iHEARTMEDIA Alternative KYSR (ALT 98.7) dipped to #6 with a slight decrease. It just edged out AUDACY Adult Hits KCBS (93.1 JACK FM), which remained locked in at #7 but with its best showing in exactly a year.

There was quite a bit of movement on the 18-49 leaderboard. KBIG stepped up to #1 for the first time since NOVEMBER. This forced two-time winner KIIS to move down to #2 where it was partnered with KBUE, which rose from #5 as it rebounded from a down book. KRTH slipped two spots to #4 with a slight decrease, while KLVE inched up to #5 with its first up book since the tree nuts were being scorched. KRRL fell four places to #8.

CHICAGO: The Great Eight

iHEARTMEDIA AC WLIT (93.9 LITE FM) ran its 6+ winning streak to eight with a solid increase (6.8-7.3). HUBBARD Classic Rock WDRV (THE DRIVE 97.1) remained the closest pursuer as it finished in second place for the fourth book in a row (6.5-6.2). These two stations were well clear of the rest of the field. AUDACY News WBBM-A moved up to #3 (4.4-4.2), while AUDACY AAA WXRT dipped to #4 with its fourth consecutive down book (4.6-4.1). It was tied with iHEARTMEDIA Urban AC WVAZ (V103), which moved up from #6 (4.1-4.1). TELEVISAUNIVISION Regional Mexican WOJO (QUÉ BUENA 105.1) slipped to #6 (4.3-3.8). WLIT was still heard by the most listeners (1,545,900-1,538,100), despite a small 0.5% decrease. The market rose by 1.0%.

The 25-54 competition was mainly a two-team race. WLIT was the winner for the seventh straight survey. WOJO did have a share of first place last month but dipped to #2 as it ended a solid three-book surge. HUBBARD Hot AC WTMX (101.9 THE MIX) was flat but rose from #7 to #3, while AUDACY Rhythmic AC WBMX (104.3 JAMS) rebounded from a down book to rise from #9 to #3. Four stations – count ’em – were spending quality time together at #5. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WKSC (103.5 KISS FM) remained in place with a small decrease, while CUMULUS Classic Hits WLS slid from #3 as it returned all of last month’s solid increase. AUDACY Country WUSN (US 99) dipped from #4, while WXRT advanced from #8 despite a slight decrease. WDRV dropped from #5 to #9 with its smallest share since we were carefully hanging hosiery on the fireplace.

WKSC was #1 18-34 back in JANUARY but saw its fortunes fade until this month when moved back into first place with a small increase. This bumped last survey’s leader – WOJO – back to #2 as it ended a strong three-book surge. It was forced to share with iHEARTMEDIA Urban WGCI, which advanced from #7 with its best outing in over a year. WLIT slipped two slots to #4 with its first down book since JANUARY. AUDACY Top 40/M WBBM (B96) landed its largest share in over a year to rise from #8 to #5. WDRV and WUSN had been tied at #4 but landed at #6 and #8, respectively.

For the last seven surveys, WOJO and WLIT have been jostling for the 18-49 lead. WOJO finished first for the third book in a row but held a very slim margin over WLIT. WBMX pogoed from #7 to a distant #3 as it rebounded from a down book. It narrowly eclipsed WKSC, which rose to #4 with a small increase. WDRV slid to #5 as it returned most of last month’s strong share increase. WUSN and WLS dropped out of the top five and landed together at #6.

SAN FRANCISCO: A Dominating Performance

Last month BONNEVILLE AC KOIT and AUDACY News KCBS-A were the 6+ co-leaders. This time KOIT posted its best Frosty-free share in over a year (7.3-9.0) to wrest control of the market. KCBS-A stepped down to #2 (7.3-6.4). iHEARTMEDIA AC KISQ (98.1 THE BREEZE) held firm at #3 (6.9-5.9), while iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KIOI (STAR 101.3) moved up to a somewhat distant #4 (4.5-4.6). KQED INC N/T KQED landed its smallest share in over a year (5.2-4.5) as it dipped to #5. Close behind at #6 was iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/R KMEL (4.1-4.3). KOIT remained the cume leader with a 7.6% increase (1,154,700-1,243,000). The market was up a modest 0.4%.

KOIT continued to crush it with the 25-54 crowd as it finished at #1 for the ninth straight survey. The station also hit the double-digit lottery. KMEL had its best book since JUNE as it rose three places to #2. It was still close to five shares off the lead. BONNEVILLE Top 40/M KMVQ (99.7 NOW) inched up to #3 with its first up book since JANUARY, while KISQ slid to #4 as it ended a robust four-book surge. KIOI moved up to #5 with a slight increase. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KYLD (WiLD 94.9) dropped to #6 with its lowest total since JANUARY.

There were two stations that dominated the 18-34 sphere. KOIT was #1 and in double digits again, while KMEL repeated at #2 as it ended a two-book surge. The next closest competitor was KMVQ, which moved up to #3 with a solid showing but was better than three shares behind the leaders. KYLD dipped to #4 with its lowest score in over a year, while KIOI moved up to #5 as it got back some of last month’s large share loss. A flat BONNEVILLE Urban AC KBLX slipped to #6.

The 18-49 contest continued to be a race for second place. KOIT extended its long string of #1 books and attained double-digit status. KMEL repeated at #2 with a modest decrease and was four and a half shares behind the leader. KMVQ stepped up to #3 as it halted a two-book slide, while KIOI rose two spots to #4 as it bounced back from a down book. KISQ remained at #5 but with its smallest share since Nana was a hit-and-run victim. KYLD slid from #3 to #6.

DALLAS-FT. WORTH: Ticket To Ride

This marked the fifth consecutive 6+ win for CUMULUS Sports KTCK (1310/96.7 THE TICKET). The station also posted its best number in over a year (5.6-6.6). AUDACY Classic Hits KLUV (98.7 K-LUV) repeated at #2 with its third up book in a row (4.9-5.1), while iHEARTMEDIA Classic Rock KZPS (LONE STAR 92.5) was back at #3 (4.6-4.7). It had company as CUMULUS Country KPLX (99.5 THE WOLF) moved up from #5 with its highest mark in over a year (4.4-4.7). iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M KHKS (106.1 KISS FM) slipped to #5 (4.5-4.6), while iHEARTMEDIA AC KDGE (STAR 102.1) fell from #5 to #9 with its lowest mark in over a year (4.4-3.5). However, KDGE moved from #3 to #1 in the cume wars, thanks to a 7.3% increase (973,400-1,044,500). The market was off by 1.1%.

Back when the holiday tunage was all the rage, KTCK was sitting at #16 with those 25-54 folks. The station just posted its third straight win and landed its largest share in over a year. A flat KHKS was still in second place but was nearly two shares off the pace. KZPS regained most of last month’s huge share loss as it zipped from #8 to #3. TELEVISAUNIVISION Regional Mexican KLNO (QUÉ BUENA 94.1) dipped to #4 with its lowest mark in over a year. AUDACY Alternative KVIL (ALT 103.7) had its best showing since the maids were attending to the cows as it leapt from #10 to #5. KDGE slipped to #6 with a modest share loss. CUMULUS Country KSCS fell three places to #7 and was tied with URBAN ONE Top 40/R KBFB (97.9 THE BEAT), which advanced from #14 with its fourth up book in a row.

KBFB has more than doubled its 18-34 share since JANUARY and this month was rewarded with the first place trophy. SERVICE Urban KKDA (K104) had its best book in over a year as it stepped up to #2. KHKS slipped to #3 as its four-book winning streak ground to a halt. The station received its smallest share in over a year. KZPS was back at #5. The station has doubled its share since FEBRUARY. KLNO worked it from #9 to #5 with a solid share increase. It narrowly defeated KVIL, which rose to #6 as it regained all of last month’s lost share. KDGE dropped from #5 to #15.

For the last two books, KTCK and KLNO were co-leaders in the 18-49 department. This time KTCK stood alone at the top of the heap, thanks to its fifth up book in a row. KLNO dipped to #2 with its lowest score in over a year. KHKS repeated at #3 but with its smallest share since NOVEMBER. Three stations were in heated discussions at #5. KDGE slipped a spot as it gave back most of last month’s solid increase. KKDA moved up from #8 with a slight increase, while KBFB advanced from #12 with its best performance in over a year. KSCS dropped from #5 to #10.

We appreciate your patronage and the clicks. But wait – there’s more!  The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. after a brief pause will bring on phase two featuring HOUSTON, ATLANTA, WASHINGTON D.C., PHILADELPHIA and BOSTON. Don’t miss it!

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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.

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