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In L.A. radio, espanol pays off

Spanish-language stations take three of the top five spots in the winter ratings.

May 01, 2007|Martin Miller | Times Staff Writer

Spanish-language radio stations continued their dominance of the Southland airwaves, capturing three of the top five spots, including first, in the winter Arbitron ratings released Monday.

Improving from its second-place finish from the previous quarter, KSCA-FM (101.9) claimed the No. 1 spot with an average of 4.8% of the listening audience age 12 and older between Jan. 11 and April 4. The station was powered by its top-rated morning host, Eddie "Piolin" Sotelo, who once again drew the largest audience in the Los Angeles-Orange County market during the industry's most competitive time slot -- upping his audience share from 6.5% last quarter to 6.8%.

KLVE-FM (107.5) slipped from its first-place finish last time out to third, its ratings falling from 4.9% to a still-healthy 4.4%. KLAX-FM (97.9)'s average share remained steady at 3.9%, but that figure was good enough to move the station, better known as "La Raza," from sixth place to fifth.

The English-language stations contained few surprises as well. Top 40 KIIS-FM (102.7) outpaced its closest English-language competitor, talk-radio KFI-AM (640), and finished second overall, behind KSCA. KIIS' ratings inched up, from 4.5% to 4.6%. Likewise, KFI saw its numbers grow from 4.1% to 4.2%, and it placed fourth overall.

The only other notable movement among the top 20 English-language stations was KOST-FM (103.5), which fell from fourth place to sixth. The drop was expected, as the adult contemporary station's end-of-the-year ratings are always high thanks to its annual all-holiday music format flip in mid-November through Christmas.

Modern rock station KROQ-FM (106.7) went from eighth to sixth, improving its audience share from 3.5% to 3.7%.

Switching from FM to AM did KMZT-AM (1260) no good in the ratings. The classical music station, which flipped dial positions with KKGO-FM (105.1) at the end of February, lost one-third of its audience and saw its average share tumble from 1.5% last quarter to 1%.

The effect at KKGO, which features a country format, was not as dramatic. Its numbers improved from 0.6% to 0.8%.

The key 6-10 a.m. competition among English-language stations remains fierce. KFI's Bill Handel and Rush Limbaugh combined to take top honors again with 4.9% of the audience, but KROQ's irreverent "Kevin and Bean" show made gains. The long-time L.A. duo rolled by Ryan Seacrest of KIIS, placing second among English-language programs and increasing its audience share from 4.4% to 4.6%

Rick Dees, who returned to local morning radio last September, continues to struggle at his new station, KMVN-FM (93.9), despite heavy advertising. The onetime king of drive-time at KIIS improved from 32nd place overall last quarter to 26th. His numbers rose from 0.9% to 1.2%.

Although it ranked only 11th in the overall ratings, KCBS-FM (93.1), better known as Jack-FM, placed first among English-language stations within the 25-to-54 age group, a key demographic for many advertisers. It's the seventh time in the last eight quarterly ratings that the DJ-less, iPod-shuffle-style station has taken the top slot.

martin.miller@latimes.com

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Radio Ratings

The area's Top 25 stations and their average share of audience as measured by Arbitron for the winter months compared with the previous three-month period.

*--* Current Last Quarter 1 KSCA-FM 4.8 4.5 2 KIIS-FM 4.6 4.5 3 KLVE-FM 4.4 4.9 4 KFI-AM 4.2 4.1 5 KLAX-FM 3.9 3.9 6 KOST-FM 3.7 4.1 KPWR-FM 3.7 3.8 KROQ-FM 3.7 3.5 9 KBUE-FM 3.6 3.1 10 KRTH-FM 3.5 3.1 11 KCBS-FM 3.4 3.0 12 KTWV-FM 3.1 3.3 13 KRCD-FM 2.6 2.7 KXOL-FM 2.6 2.7 15 KHHT-FM 2.2 2.1 16 KLOS-FM 2.0 2.3 KYSR-FM 2.0 2.0 18 KSSE-FM 1.8 1.7 KABC-AM 1.8 2.5 20 KBIG-FM 1.7 1.8 21 KNX-AM 1.6 1.5 22 KHJ-AM 1.5 1.3 KLYY-FM 1.5 1.3 KLSX-FM 1.5 1.6 25 KRBV-FM 1.4 1.1

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The ratings survey covers people 12 and older listening between 6 a.m. and midnight, from Jan. 11 through April 4.

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