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KIIS retains top spot as KNX moves up in radio ratings

August 13, 2009|Steve Carney

Pop station KIIS-FM (102.7) held on to the top spot in the local radio ratings for July, while all-news station KNX-AM (1070) staked a claim as a morning staple for Los Angeles-Orange County listeners, according to figures released Wednesday.

KIIS dipped slightly in its share of the local audience ages 6 and older, going from 5% in June to 4.8% last month, but the station kept its grip on the No. 1 ranking that it has held since January, based on the Arbitron survey of listeners from June 25 through July 22.

Talk station KFI-AM (640) slipped from 4.6% to 4.4% during that period and tied for second with adult-contemporary outlet KOST-FM (103.5), which held its percentage from June.

Oldies station KRTH-FM (101.1) remained in fourth, while its audience share grew from 3.9% to 4.1%.

Top 40 station KAMP-FM (97.1), known as Amp Radio, leveled off after a meteoric rise in its first three months -- it remained in fifth place from June to July, and held its 3.9% share of the audience for the third straight month. It ranked first on weeknights from 7 p.m. to midnight.

KAMP switched from talk to pop on Feb. 20, and immediately began its ascent from 20th place. During the July ratings period, the station also shed the last vestige of its history as a classic rock, then FM talk station by changing its call letters from KLSX, a move approved by the Federal Communications Commission June 30.

All-news stations KNX-AM (1070) and KFWB-AM (980), both owned by CBS Radio, continued their moves in opposite directions. KNX climbed from 19th place in June, with 2.5% of the audience, to being tied for 15th in July, with 2.8%. KFWB -- which led KNX only a year ago -- fell from 29th, with 1.3%, to 31st, with 1.1%.

CBS Radio announced Monday that KFWB will turn to a talk format come Sept. 8, adding hosts Laura Schlessinger, Laura Ingraham and Michael Smerconish.

For years KNX battled with KFWB with similar all-news formats, each fighting to crack the Top 20 among all radio stations in the market. But after decades of competing, earlier this year the sister stations began pooling resources, with KNX focusing on hard news and KFWB specializing on news of Hollywood and the entertainment industry. In March, KFWB's weekday morning anchor, Jack Popejoy, moved over to join Dick Helton and Vicky Moore at KNX.

It was in the morning that KNX made its best showing, jumping from seventh in June, at 3.5%, to third in July, with 4.1%. It trailed only first-place KFI, which garnered a 6.3% during the 6-10 a.m. slot, featuring Bill Handel and the first hour of Rush Limbaugh's show, and Ryan Seacrest on KIIS, with 4.4%.

In the overall rankings, KIIS' share of audience declined between June and July even as its total number of listeners increased. The cumulative audience -- meaning the number of listeners who tuned in for at least five minutes per week -- rose to 3.96 million from 3.68 million. But those listeners spent less time with KIIS than the month before, thus accounting for the decline in audience share.

The only other station to top the 3-million figure in cumulative audience was KOST, with just under 3.1 million.

In the reverse phenomenon, KFI had a cumulative audience of only 1.27 million, but those listeners tuned in for long stretches of time, boosting the station's audience share to a level not far behind top-rated KIIS.

KFI finished far ahead of its talk rivals. KABC-AM (790) tied for 25th, with a 1.5% audience share, while KRLA-AM (870) was 36th, KTLK-AM (1150) was 41st and KGIL-AM (1260) was 50th.

Country music station KKGO-FM (105.1) tied for 10th while jazz outlet KKJZ-FM (88.1) was 38th.

calendar@latimes.com

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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 July, compared with June.

*--* Rank Station Current Last month 1. KIIS-FM 4.8 5.0 2. KOST-FM 4.4 4.4 KFI-AM 4.4 4.6 4. KRTH-FM 4.1 3.9 5. KAMP-FM 3.9 3.9 6. KLVE-FM 3.8 3.8 7. KPWR-FM 3.7 3.2 KCBS-FM 3.7 3.2 9. KBIG-FM 3.3 3.7 10. KTWV-FM 3.2 3.2 KLAX-FM 3.2 3.2 KKGO-FM 3.2 2.8 13. KHHT-FM 3.1 2.6 KROQ-FM 3.1 2.9 15. KRCD-FM 2.8 2.9 KNX-AM 2.8 2.5 KSCA-FM 2.8 2.9 18. KBUE-FM 2.7 2.7 19. KLOS-FM 2.6 2.4 20. KYSR-FM 2.4 2.8 21. KUSC-FM 2.2 2.4 22. KXOL-FM 1.8 1.8 23. KSWD-FM 1.6 1.3 KPCC-FM 1.6 1.7 25. KLYY-FM 1.5 1.5 KABC-AM 1.5 1.8 *--*

The rating survey covers people 6 and older listening between 6 a.m. and midnight, from June 25 to July 22.

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