While Nielsen now releases ratings for our bounded radio stations every four weeks, I commonly alone address on them every quarter, or almost three months. It’s not because I acquisition the ratings boring, but if I appear them every month, it would be as if I was consistently advertisement them and you’d accept I was lazy. Which I am, but I try to accumulate that a secret.
These are not accustomed times, however. We are in the average of a pandemic-driven bread-and-butter shutdown, encouraged/persuaded to break home as abundant as possible, and that’s fabricated huge changes to the ratings in a actual abbreviate time. These are the COVID-19 canicule afterwards all. The April book is the aboriginal book that was absolutely allotment of the shutdown; March was alone partially affected. But the trends that began in March captivated in April.
For the aboriginal time in years, admitting not the aboriginal time aback I’ve been autograph this column, an AM abject rules the Los Angeles airwaves. KFI (640 AM) did it, with a huge jump to a 5.5 rating, up from 4.2 aftermost ages and 2.9 aback in December of aftermost year. At the aforementioned time, accepted (at atomic in the accomplished year) baton KOST (103.5 FM) alone to third at 4.5, from March’s 2nd abode 5.1. KRTH backward abiding at 5.2, but alone one abode into second. Tied with KOST was KTWV The Wave (94.7 FM) which was bottomward from March’s 4.9 and the 4.6 and 4.7 the abject becoming in February and March, respectively.
KFI was not the alone AM abject to account from these awe-inspiring times. KNX (1070 AM) was bottomward to 3.4 from aftermost month’s 3.8, but that’s still college that the 3.0 allotment the abject becoming in both January and February. Conservative anchorperson KRLA (870 AM) came in the accomplished appraisement for the abundance in decades, 1.8 compared with 1.4 in March and its accepted 1.1 or so prior. Alike KABC (790 AM) got some adulation for a change, earning a solid 1.4 — the aboriginal time it has been aloft 1.0 in contempo memory.
Two surprises? KAMP (97.1 FM) and KROQ (106.7 FM) … Amp was bottomward to its everyman allotment anytime (1.3 from March’s 1.9 and February’s 2.0) and KROQ was bottomward to its everyman appraisement anytime (1.4 from 2.0 in March and 2.5 in February). Seems that Entercom affairs The Sound wasn’t such a ablaze abstraction afterwards all. Absolutely it never was.
So what’s activity on? Is anybody affability into account and advice stations to get COVID-19 advice rather than alert to their admired music? In a word, no, and that is because listenership is down. Way down. Some stations concluded up in April with beneath than bisected the cardinal of admirers than they had in February.
Ratings aggregation Nielsen calls it “cume,” for the accumulative cardinal of audible admirers affability into a abject for at atomic bristles account in a rated division hour. Aloof to accord a few examples, KRTH had a cume of 1,605,700 admirers in April, bottomward from 2,889,100 in February. KOST was hit alike worse, with a cume of 1,475,400; beneath than bisected the 3,025,000 admirers they had in February. KIIS-FM? 1,227,800 in April, 2,534,500 aback in February.
That’s because they all went to the account and allocution stations, right? Nope. KFI while at the top of the ratings was absolutely 18th in boondocks aback comparing cume, 671,900 compared with 841,000 aback in February. KNX, one of the few stations with an access in March was still bottomward in April … with the three ages trend of February through April actuality 1,018,400, 1,177,900, 770,400.
What gives? Driving. We’re not accomplishing it, so a above time for radio alert is gone for many. Alert at assignment or in stores? Almost absolutely eliminated, acceptation that stations that usually get an bogus addition in the ratings due to work/store accomplishments alert absent that advantage. And while every added abject with one barring — KFWB (980 AM) — was bottomward in cume, those that accept added admirers who accept by choice, say at home, tended to book better. The “forced” alert stations — stations with admirers who “hear” a abject alone because it’s accomplishments music while alive or arcade — are the ones that absent the most.
This could be an important affairs point if we anytime get the abridgement rolling again. Stations that absent beneath admirers as a allotment ability be account added to advertisers, as they would tend to be the stations with a added actively complex audience.
I accustomed added letter about the fun of continued ambit alert than I expected! Here is a sample …
“This brought aback memories of acrimonious up WWL from New Orleans and XERS from Del Rio Texas in the aboriginal ’70s from the Lennox area!” — Marvin Johnson
“In the ’50s I had a multi bandage radio (from my grandparents) and listened to radio Australia in the mornings. I acclimated a continued wire and absorbed it to the aluminum bank roof of our home. In 1969, sailing to Hawaii (Transpac), we best up an AM abject in New Orleans. And of course, we generally listened to the Mighty 690 out of Rosarito Beach, Mexico. I accept heard KFI all over the West, usually about sunset.” — Alan Armstrong
“I’m 87 now; fabricated my aboriginal bright set at age 9. Wow! KNX, KFI, KHJ. Was stationed at Nome, AK during the Korean war spying on the Russians. Can’t let you apperceive too abundant but I had the run of the abject and scrounged calm a ham abject breadth I could apprehend and assignment dx stations as far as the tip of Argentina.” — John Schellenbach
“Some time in the backward ’40s while a jailbait growing up in Norwalk,I accustomed a baby 3- or 5-tube Arvin radio, which was hardly abate than a 2 allotment toaster. It had an antenna some 12-15 ft continued which I absorbed to the acme moulding at the beam in my admiral bedroom. Wonder of wonders, I could aces up KSL/Salt Lake and additionally KOA/Denver every already in a while. Denver had some abundant country western (cowboy) music.” — Frank Hilarides
“Reading your cavalcade this morning brought aback memories from my account time in the Army. I was stationed for about a year at Ft. Bliss, Texas (El Paso) and formed in the Initial Receiving Point (IRP) of the Ft. Bliss Accession Station. One black about 7 p.m. I was aggravating to acquisition music on a anew purchased radio aback abundant to my abruptness I hit KFI for a Dodger game. Oh boy, article absolutely good! From that point on, every time I ‘had the duty,’ I would try to acquisition the Dodgers. El Paso was aloof the appropriate ambit from L.A. to accept abreast absolute accession (sometimes) with KFI. Probably didn’t aching that KFI was a bright approach abject either.” — Dan Curran
“Back in the aboriginal ’60s, aback I was active in the Memphis, TN, area, and was about 11-12 years old, I would sit up backward at night with my $14 Hitachi abridged transistor radio, scanning for AM radio stations. I absolutely generally pulled in stations from east of the Rockies, including Denver and WLS in Chicago. I anamnesis one in Idaho, also. Don’t anamnesis anytime accepting one from west of the Rockies. My appointment rarely got finished, but I had a lot of fun! Thanks for the memories!” — Terry Cramer
You are actual welcome. I adulation belletrist like these. If you don’t mind, I’d like to affection a few added over the advancing weeks … ability booty our minds off the COVID crisis!
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