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KIIS-FM stays No. 1 in local radio ratings

March 26, 2009|Steve Carney

Pop station KIIS-FM (102.7) maintained its top spot in local radio through February, according to ratings for the Los Angeles-Orange County market released Wednesday.

Though its share of the local audience decreased slightly, from 6% in January to 5.7% last month, KIIS kept second-place KRTH-FM (101.1) at bay. The oldies station claimed 4.5% of listeners ages 6 and older, also down from the previous month, according to figures from the Arbitron ratings service.

Talk station KFI-AM (640) placed third, followed by Spanish-language pop station KLVE-FM (107.5). Tying for fifth place were regional Mexican music station KLAX-FM (97.9) and adult-contemporary outlet KOST-FM (103.5), each with 3.7% during the survey period, from Feb. 5 to March 4.

KIIS also boasted an average weekly audience of 3.9 million people -- individuals who tuned in for at least five minutes during the week -- by far the largest listening pool among local radio outlets. KOST placed second in this category, with just more than 3 million listeners in an average week; KRTH was fifth with 2.58 million. KRTH's ranking in audience share was higher because its listeners, though fewer in number, tended to tune in for longer periods than with some of its rivals.

"Top 40 music is real popular right now, and there are a lot of styles" within that genre, KIIS' vice president of programming, John Ivey, said Wednesday. "We just try to keep it interesting."

He added that although KIIS is a Top 40 station, its audience isn't just teeny-boppers. "We have a lot of loyal listeners who have been with us a long time. KIIS has been around long enough where it's multi-generational."

This ratings period included the format change at KLSX-FM (97.1), which dropped its lineup of talk hosts such as Adam Carolla and Tom Leykis and switched to Top 40 on Feb. 20. The then-talk station garnered a 1.4% share in December and 1.8% in January, then rose again to 2.1% in February -- half of that month featuring its new incarnation.

And this was the first full report for "El Gato," the regional Mexican music station at KDLD/KDLE-FM (103.1), which had been alternative music station "Indie 103.1" until Jan. 15. The move appears to have paid off for parent company Entravision Communications. "Indie" attracted 0.3% of the local audience in November and December, but the figure rose to 0.9% in January and 1.2% in February. The increase is especially noteworthy because the station, with such a drastic format change, basically had to rebuild its audience from scratch.

All-news station KNX-AM (1070) had a strong February, finishing in 13th place, up from 18th in January, as its audience share went from 2.5% to 3.1%. Meanwhile, sister news station KFWB-AM (980), also owned by CBS Radio, dropped from 1.9% to 1.5% and tied for 26th.

During morning drive-time, from 5 to 9 a.m. weekdays, KFI's Bill Handel once again was No. 1, garnering 5.7% of the audience, just ahead of Gary Bryan on KRTH, with 5.6%. Next came Ryan Seacrest, celebrating his fifth anniversary leading off the day at KIIS, who claimed 5.4%. He led in cumulative audience, though, with his 1.14 million weekly listeners far outpacing Bryan's 710,300.

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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 last month compared with the previous month.

*--* Rank Station Current Last month 1 KIIS-FM 5.7 6.0 2 KRTH-FM 4.5 4.6 3 KFI-AM 4.4 4.3 4 KLVE-FM 3.8 4.0 5 KLAX-FM 3.7 3.5 KOST-FM 3.7 3.9 7 KPWR-FM 3.6 3.5 KRCD-FM 3.6 3.4 9 KROQ-FM 3.5 3.4 10 KBUE-FM 3.3 3.2 11 KBIG-FM 3.2 3.0 KKFO-FM 3.2 2.7 13 KNX-AM 3.1 2.5 KTWV-FM 3.1 3.2 15 KYSR-FM 3.0 2.9 16 KCBS-FM 2.8 3.3 KHHT-FM 2.8 2.8 18 KSCA-FM 2.6 3.0 19 KLOS-FM 2.4 2.5 20 KLSX-FM 2.1 1.8 KUSC-FM 2.1 1.9 22 KXOL-FM 2.0 2.3 23 KABC-AM 1.8 1.9 KMVN-FM 1.8 1.5 KPCC-FM 1.8 1.9 *--*

The rating survey covers people 6 and older listening between 6 a.m. and midnight, from Feb. 5 to March 4.

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