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KIIS-FM wins top ratings spot

The Top 40 station edges KLVE-FM, the Spanish-language pop station, which slipped since winter's survey. KFI-AM remains third.

April 29, 2008|Steve Carney | Special to The Times

Top 40 station KIIS-FM (102.7) snagged the top spot in the local radio ratings released Monday, edging Spanish-language pop station KLVE-FM (107.5).

KIIS garnered an average 5% of Los Angeles-Orange County listeners 12 and older in the first three months of this year, compared with 4.7% in previous quarter, when it placed second. KLVE did just the opposite, slipping from 5% to 4.7%, according to the winter ratings, which surveyed audience habits from Jan. 10 to April 2.

"I love to see us at the top of the page," said KIIS program director John Ivey, whose station last grabbed the top spot in winter 2006. With a playlist that ranges from hip-hop to tween favorites Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers, Ivey said, "the music is really in our favor. It's a really good time for Top 40."

Talk station KFI-AM (640) -- the last English-language station to hit No. 1 in the market, in spring 2006, just after KIIS -- maintained third place from the fall, holding steady with an average 4.4% of the audience. But regional Mexican music station KSCA-FM (101.9) dropped from a tie with KFI in the fall to sixth place in the winter, with 3.4% of local listeners.

Rounding out the top five in the latest numbers were regional Mexican station KBUE-FM (105.5) with 4.1%, and hip-hop station KPWR (105.9) at 3.8%, both of which were tied for seventh in the ratings survey that covered October, November and December 2007.

Adult contemporary station KOST-FM (103.5), which usually sees a ratings bump every fall, when it switches to continuous Christmas music, dropped back in the winter. It went from fifth place with 3.9% to eighth place and 3.3%.

A shake-up among morning-show ratings -- considered radio's prime time because of all the people on their way to work between 6 and 10 a.m. -- saw perennial leader Eddie "Piolin" Sotelo on KSCA drop from first to a third-place tie with KIIS' Ryan Seacrest, with 5% of the audience. Sotelo plunged from his top-ranked 7% in the fall, while Seacrest rose from 4.7% and fourth place.

Leading the pack was KFI's morning bloc, featuring Bill Handel (from 5 to 9 a.m., followed by Rush Limbaugh). They finished with 5.3% of the audience, up from 5.1% and second place in the fall.

This ratings book was the last for KRBV-FM (100.3) as urban adult-contemporary station "V-100." Before that, it was KKBT "The Beat," a hip-hop station that featured morning host Steve Harvey, the comedian who topped morning-drive ratings after he debuted in 2000. But ratings began to slip, Harvey left, and the station shifted to rhythm and blues, changing its call letters to KRBV in December 2006.

Last month, Salt Lake City-based Bonneville International, owner of 30 radio stations nationwide, bought KRBV from Radio One, the Washington, D.C.-area-based radio chain that bills itself as the largest primarily focused on African American listeners. On April 8 Bonneville debuted "The Sound" on KRBV, a mixture of new and classic rock.

In its rhythm and blues swan song, KBRV kept its 1.3% share of the audience from fall to winter but, lapped by other stations, dropped two spots to 27th.

Among spoken-word stations, all-news KNX-AM (1070) maintained its 2% share, rising from 18th to 17th. Sister news station KFWB-AM (980) fell from 21st to 22nd, despite increasing its audience share from 1.4% to 1.5%. Talk station KABC-AM (790) rose from 2.1% to 2.3%. Meanwhile, FM talker KLSX-FM (97.1) inched up from 1.7% 1.8%.

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(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

Radio Ratings

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

*--* --- --- --- Last --- --- Current Quarter 1 KIIS-FM 5.0 4.7 2 KLVE-FM 4.7 5.0 3 KFI-AM 4.4 4.4 4 KBUE-FM 4.1 3.5 5 KPWR-FM 3.8 3.5 6 KSCA-FM 3.6 4.4 7 KTWV-FM 3.5 3.0 8 KOST-FM 3.3 3.9 9 KRTH-FM 3.2 3.3 10 KLAX-FM 3.1 3.6 ---- KROQ-FM 3.1 3.3 12 KRCD-FM 2.8 3.0 13 KCBS-FM 2.7 2.8 14 KXOL-FM 2.6 2.6 15 KHHT-FM 2.5 2.4 16 KABC-AM 2.3 2.1 17 KNX-AM 2.0 2.0 18 KLOS-FM 1.9 2.2 19 KLSX-FM 1.8 1.7 -- KBIG-FM 1.8 2.0 21 KHJ-AM 1.7 1.4 22 KKGO-FM 1.5 1.4 --- KFWB-AM 1.5 1.4 -- KSSE-FM 1.5 1.2 25 KYSR-FM 1.4 1.4 --- KJLH-FM 1.4 0.8 *--*

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The ratings survey covers people 12 and older listening between 6 a.m. and midnight, from Jan. 10 to April 2.

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