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Latest Nielsen Audio results: top markets.

Here's who's hot and who's not for America's biggest media markets, going from #1 New York to #14 Phoenix and everything in between. Tour guide Clark Smidt will punch your ticket for the journey.

PPM Holiday Summary: Nielsen Audio PPM Markets #1 NYC to #14 Phoenix

by Clark Smidt, Broadcast Connections

The huge number of this week's Nielsen Audio results offers valuable observations for the 13th survey of the year. More stations dip than gain but total shares show more radio listeners in each of these Top 14 markets. Holiday formats show big swings, in the same manner as news, baseball and sports play-by-play. The November (October 5-November 4) / December (November 4 -- December 3) / Holiday (December 4 -- 21) PPM results give a clear picture of what's hot and what's not. The first-in seasonal AC formats are generally winners. Other formats with older demos -- i.e. Country, News/Talk, Hot AC, Classic and Ethnic -- can take a hit. Because of different Holiday start-dates, our presentation is adjusted to look at all three surveys, total Top 10 shares, cumes, fluctuations and stand-out trends. Some formats are immune to All Xmas, some markets don't show much impact, others are substantial. Most importantly, ALL of these 14 largest Nielsen Audio markets, show increased radio listening when there's something in demand.

1. NEW YORK, NY . November/December/Holiday 6+. Subscribers Only. iHeart A/C WLTW gains 7.9 (5.6-7.7-13.5) for a 7.3 lead over 2nd place -- 0.9 CBS Classic Hits WCBS/FM (7.1-6.9-6.2). The 2.66 million cume lead, represents 17% of the total NYC market population, and is ahead of 5th place -- 0.6 iHeart CHR WHTZ (5.5-5.6-5.0). No New York station had a real Bad Santa, with other dips -- 0.6 Cumulus Hot A/C WPLJ (2.5-2.1-1.9) and -- 0.3 iHeart Classic Rock (4.4-4.7-4.1). The only gainer besides WLTW across the last three tallies was + 0.8 Emmis Urban A/C (4.9-5.3-5.8). November Top 10 Market Shares: 48.5. Holiday Top 10 Shares: 54.7. Share percentage increases + 11.3%

2. LOS ANGELES, CA . iHeart A/C KOST (5.2-7.0-12.2) gets a +5.2 Holiday jump, 7.5 share lead and 1.73 million cume (16% of the total market) ahead of unscathed and steady iHeart Hot A/C KBIG (4.7-4.7-4.7). Trend losses are limited to -0.7 or less: iHeart CHR KIIS/KVVS (5.3-4.9-4.6), -- 0.6 iHeart Talk KFI (3.6-3.5-3.0), -- 0.6 Bonneville Classic Rock KSWD (3.5-3.0-2.9), -- 0.4 Entravision Spanish Hits KLYY (2.8-3.0-2.4), -- 0.6 Liberman Regional Mexican KBUR (2.6-2.6-2.0) and -- 0.7 Cumulus Classic Rock KLOS (2.5-2.2-1.8). The largest upticks were + 0.4 CBS News KNX (2.9-3.0-3.2) and + 0.7 Liberman Ranchero KWIZ (0.6-1.0-1.3). Top 10: November 41.2, Holiday 46.3. Share differential + 11.0%

3. CHICAGO, IL . + 10.5 iHeart Hot A/C WLIT-F leaps 7.4 in the final month (3.7-7.7-14.2) for a 7.5 share lead over iHeart Urban A/C WVAZ (5.9-7.3-6.7) + 0.8 over the last three reports. WLIT cume leads by 1.46 million (18.6% Chicagoland population). Other gainers are + 0.5 iHeart Urban WGCI (3.4-3.6-3.9) and + 0.4 CBS Sports (2.3-2.5-2.7). CBS News WBBM/WCFS holds at 5.7. Declines are led by -1.5 Cumulus Modern Rock WKQX (4.6-2.8-3.2) and -- 1.3 Cumulus Classic Hits WLS-F (4.1-3.1-2.9). -1.2 Tribune Talk WGN (4.0-3.5-2.8) and -- 1.1 Hubbard Hot A/C (5.2-4.9-5.1). Top 10: November 42.9, Holiday 51.3. + 16.4%.

4. SAN FRANCISCO, CA . Entercom A/C KOIT gets the + 4.8 holiday kiss (4.5-5.8-10.6) and a total + 6.1 for the trend plus a 2.4 million cume that registers 39% of the total SF population. Xmas resistant leaders include +1.2 University of Southern Cal. Classical KDFC/KXSC/KOSC (1.9-2.6-3.1), + 0.8 Digity A/C KBAY (2.0-2.7-2.8), + 0.6 Entercom Urban A/C KBLX (2.6-3.2-3.2), + 0.4 CBS News KCBS/KFRC-F (5.7-6.3-6.1) and + 0.5 iHeart Urban KMEL (3,9-4.7-4.4). The big dip was -- 5.3 Cumulus KNBR, reflecting Giants baseball's climax (8.9-3.7-3.6) and a -- 0.1, since. -- 1.2 iHeart Classic Hits KOSF took more of a hit (2.9-2.7-1.7) along with -- 1.1 News/Talk Public KQED (5.2-4.9-4.1). Top 10 total shares: November 44.9 (including KNBR baseball), Holiday 46.3 for a low 3% gain.

5. DALLAS, TX . CBS Classic Hits KLUV gets mistletoe with +3.3 for the month and trending +4.8 (4.0-5.0-8.8). However, the 1.92 million cume is just 43,000 ahead of -- 0.8 iHeart CHR KHKS (7.5-6.8-6.7). Other trend gains were limited to + 0.5 or less: Salem Christian KLTY (5.0-4.4-5.5), +0.5 iHeart Classic Rock KZPS (3.5-4.2-4.0), + 0.4 Radio One Regional Mexican KSOC (2.8-3.4-3.2).

Trend slides were -- 0.5 CBS Sports KRLD-F (2.9-2.2-2.4), -- 0.5 CBS Adult Hits KJKK (2.3-2.2-1.8) and 0.3 CBS Hot A/C KVIL (2.5-2.9-2.2). Top 10: November 43.9, Holiday 48.5. + 9.5%.

6. HOUSTON, TX . The winner: + 5.4 iHeart Soft A/C KODA (7.1-9.2-12.5) and the 2.95 million cume represents a 1.76 million lead over Radio One Rhythmic KBXX (5.2-5.3-4.7) and equal to 35% of the 6+ market population. For the 3 survey period only 5 stations gained and by just + 0.3 or less: + 0.3 Univision Spanish KAMA (1.8-2.1-2.1), + 0.3 Lieberman Regional Mexican KQQK (1.4-1.5-1.7), + 0.2 CBS CHR KKHH (2.7-2.8-2.9) and + 0.2 CBS Hot A/C KHMX (2.5-2.5-2.7). Declines led by -- 1.3 iHeart News/Talk KTRH (5.3-4.6-4.) and several -- 0.7 dips: Univision Regional Mexican KLYN (6.1-5.7-5.4), Cox Classic Hits KGLK (5.5-5.1-4.8) and Radio One Rhythmic Oldies KROI (3.2-2.9-2.5). Top 10 shares: November 48.8, Holiday 55.3. + 12%.

7. WASHINGTON, D. C. iHeart A/C WASH comes up large +8.8 (4.8-8.6-13.6). The 2 million cume is 823,000 ahead of -- 1.5 iHeart CHR (6.6-5.5-5.1). Howard University Urban A/C WHUR is also -1.5 (7.0-6.2-5.5) then -- 1.3 Hubbard News WTOP-F/WTLP (7.4-7.0-6.1). The only other gains were low: + 0.4 American University News/Talk WAMU (6.0-6.8-6.4) holds 2nd place and three DC stations inching up +0.2: iHeart Classic Rock WBIG-F (3.9-4.0-4.1), CBS Rhythmic CHR WPGC (3.1-3.2-3.3) and CBS News WNEW-F (1.1-1.3-1.3). Top 10 shares: November 52.0, Holiday 56.0. +7%.

8. PHILADELPHIA, PA . Jerry Lee A/C WBEB gets a big + 8.3 (6.8-8.5-15.1) for a full 9.0 share, cume leading 2.27 million over 2nd place, -- 0.9 CBS Classic Hits (6.0-5.5-6.1). The 1.03 million cume difference is 23% of Philly's total population. A respectable +2.0 gain for Radio One Rhythmic Oldies WPHI-F (1.9-3.8-3.9) but no other increases to speak of. A number of stations got stocking coal, led by -1.9 CBS Country WXTU (5.5-4.8-3.6), -- 1.0 iHeart Rhythmic A/C WISX (3.2-2.9-2.2) and -- 0.9 for both iHeart CHR WIOQ (4.5-4.1-3.4) and Radio One R&B Oldies WRNB (4.0-3.3-3.1). Top 10 Shares: November 49.8, Holiday 57.7. + 14%.

9. ATLANTA, GA . An atypical Xmas market. Top share is CBS Urban WVEE (7.8-8.1-7.6). The big gain is + 2.6 for 2nd place Salem Christian Fish WFSH (5.0-5.4-7.6). iHeart CHR WWPW picks up +1.1 (3.8-4.2-4.9) and 4th place + 0.9 Cox A/C WSB-F jingles (5.6-6.0-6.5) with the #1 cume by 271,000. Going the other way, it's -1.9 Cox News/Talk WSB/WSBB (7.9-7.6-5.8), -- 1.0 Radio One Urban WHAT (4.5-4.3-3.5) and Radio One Gospel WPZE (4.0-3.0-3.3). Top 10 Shares: November 56.1, Holiday share 57.3 the smallest gain or +2%. Side note, Atlanta is the first major market to show HD fed channels, with a 2.2 total share: Cumulus gets 1.7 from 1.2 Rhythmic Oldies WWWQ-HD3 and 0.5 Country WWWQ-HD2. Radio One has 0.5 on Rhythmic Oldies WAMJ-HD2.

10. BOSTON, MA. New Record! + 10.8 Greater Media A/C WMJX (5.7-9.1-16.5); 2.02 million cume leads -- 1.5 iHeart CHR KISS 108, WXKS-F (7.1-6.4-5.6) by 728,000; almost 50% of Boston's population. Falling under the Polar Express are: -1.5 Entercom Talk WRKO (3.3-2.2-1.8), -1.4 Boston University WBUR-F (5.1-4.6-3.7), -0.9 Entercom Sports WEEI-F (4.6-4.1-3.7), -- 0.6 Greater Media Classic Hits WROR (6.0-6.0-5.4), -- 0.5 Greater Media County WKLB (5.7-6.0-5.2), and -- 0.4 for each CBS Classic Rock WZLX (5.6-5.1-5.2), CBS Hot A/C WBMX (3.7-3.6-3.3) and Northeast Broadcasting AA WXRV (2.1-1.9-1.7). Only two Boston stations didn't drop: + 0.2 CBS News/Talk WBZ (5.0-5.6-5.2) and flat CBS CHR WODS (2.8-2.7-2.8). Top 10 totals: November 53.8, Holiday 58.9. + 9%.

11. DETROIT, MI . iHeart A/C WNIC gains an impressive + 9.4 (4.3-9.6-13.7) with 903,000 cume over #2 share + 0.6 CBS Classic Hits WOMC (5.9-5.6-6.5), to equal 24% of The Motor City's 6+ population. Just two other gains: + 0.8 iHeart Urban WLJB ( 4.3-4.5-5.1) and + 0.2 Detroit Public TV Classical WRCJ-F (1.8-2.2-2.0). Losses of 1.0 or more sustained by -1.6 Cumulus News/Talk WJR (5.7-5.0-4.1), -- 1.5 CBS Country WYCD (5.0-4.4-3.5), -- 1.4 CBS News WWJ (6.4-6.0-5.0) and -- 0.8 for both iHeart CHR WKQI (5.0-4.9-4.2) and iHeart Classic Rock WDTW-F (3.6-3.3.2.8). Top 10 Share Totals: November 53.9 vs. Holiday 60.3. + 10.6%.

12. MIAMI, FL . Interesting totals where there's no snow. #1 share is + 0.8 Cox Urban A/C WHQT (7.8-9.1-8.6) . #2 share -- 0.3 Lincoln Financial A/C WLYF (7.2-7.0-6.9 has a cume lead of 186,700 ahead of #9 CBS Rhythmic CHR WPOW (4.3-4.1-3.9). #3 share is top gain +1.3 Cox Soft A/C WFEX (4.8-4.9-6.1). Next high advance is + 0.9 Spanish Broadcasting Tropical WXDJ (2.9-3.6-3.8); also a 3-way + 0.5 rising tie for Lincoln Financial Classic Hits WMXJ (4.3-4.2-4.8), Univision Tropical WRTO (3.6-3.5-4.1) and iHeart A/C WMIA (2.8-2.9-3.3). More up than down: -- 1.0 Univision Spanish News/Talk WAQI (3.3-3.1-2.3), -- 0.8 iHeart CHR WHYI (5.2-4.9-4.4), and -- 0.4 Univision Spanish Hits WAMR (5.8-5.8-5.4). Top 10 shares: November 49.9, Holiday 51.7. +3%.

13. SEATTLE, WA . + 5.8 Holiday win for Hubbard Soft A/C (4.9-6.2-10.7) with a 5.1 share, 508,000 cume lead over 2nd place -- 0.6 Hubbard CHR KQMV (6.2-6.0-5.6). The cume lead is 15% of the market population. Other gains by + 0.8 Classic Radio Classical KING-F (3.2-3.8-4.0) and + 0.6 Entercom Hot A/C KHTP (2.2-2.7-2.8). Formats down include: -- 1.2 Bonneville News/Talk KIRO-F (5.7-5.0-4.5), -- 0.9 CBS Classic Rock KZOK (4.8-4.5-3.9), -- 0.8 Sinclair News KOMO (3.4-2.8-2.6) and -- 0.6 Hubbard CHR KQMV (6.2-6.0-5.6). Top 10 shares: November 47.2, Holiday 50.4. +6.4%.

14. PHOENIX, AZ . iHeart A/C KESZ has the 2nd largest big market jump + 9.7 (4.6-7.8-14.3) and a #1 cume 898,000 , roughly 28% of the market population, over #5 share -- 0.3 iHeart Hot A/C KXMP (4.7-5.1-4.4). Other gainers are led by Yucaipa Soft A/C KOAI (1.3-1.8-2.8) but after + 0.3 Maricopa County Classical (1.5-1.4-1.8) and + 0.1 Hubbard Classic Rock #3 KSLX (4.5-5.0- 4.6 just 3 others are up and 4 are flat. Dippers include -- 1.3 CBS Classic Hits KOOL-F (5.7-5.0-4.4), -- 1.1 CBS Country KMLR (4.3-3.3-3.2), -- 0.8 iHeart CHR KZZP (3.9-3.7-3.1) and 3 stations off -- 0.7: iHeart Country KNIX-F (4.6-4.2-3.9), Farmworker Regional Mexican KNAI (2.7-2.4-2.0) and Bonneville / KSL Sports KMVP (2.4-2.3-1.7). Top 10: November 45.3, Holiday 50.9. + 11%.

Takeaways:

* Holiday formats work and play lots of older favorites.

* PPM is quick to detect changes.

* Attractive formats add total radio shares.

* Content + Presentation = Income.

Broadcast Connector Clark Smidt improves the bottom line. Hands-on since '66, advising since '82. Conversation gets results: 978 470-2120, Andover, MA. www.broadcastideas.com radiofm@comcast.net

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Publication:Radio and Television Business Report (RBR+TVBR)
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Jan 26, 2015
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