As it has every month this year, pop station KIIS-FM (102.7) topped Southland radio ratings in October, according to figures released Monday by the Arbitron ratings service.
KIIS — with a playlist that includes tunes by such pop stars as Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Cee-lo and Rihanna — snagged 5.7% of the listening audience 12 and older in Los Angeles and Orange County. That was down slightly from its 6% share in September, but it was still more than enough to stay ahead of second-place KRTH-FM (101.1), as the classic-hits station also slipped, from 4.8% to 4.7%.
And KIIS was again the only station to amass an average weekly audience of 4 million listeners; the next closest was pop rival KAMP-FM (97.1), which had 3.4 million people tuning in for at least five minutes per week.
The top five stations all held their positions from the previous month, with KIIS and KRTH being trailed by adult contemporary station KOST-FM (103.5), KAMP and talk station KFI-AM (640), according to the survey of listeners from Sept. 16 to Oct.13.
Because of the quirks of Arbitron's calendar, the October ratings period actually includes more days in September. The company divides the year into 13 four-week periods — one for each month, plus the "holiday" time frame at the end of the year. The November survey will chart listening habits from Oct. 14 to Nov. 10.
KIIS' days at the top might be numbered, however. KOST's annual switch to an all-holiday music format, which usually happens around Thanksgiving, perennially pushes it to No. 1 at that point.
In the October ratings, KFI extended its lead over all competitors in the highly competitive morning drive period, 6-10 a.m. During that time slot, the talk station features local host Bill Handel and the first hour of Rush Limbaugh's syndicated show; they combined to take 6.2% of the audience, up from 5.7% in September.
Once again following at second and third were Ryan Seacrest of KIIS and the duo at alternative-rock station KROQ-FM (106.7), Kevin Ryder and Gene "Bean" Baxter.
A big gainer in the morning was Carson Daly at KAMP, who jumped from 15th to 6th. The former KROQ and MTV host increased his audience share from 2.7% to 3.8%, leaping past Mark Thompson and Brian Phelps at classic-rock station KLOS-FM (95.5), and Mark Wallengren and Kristen Cruz at KOST, among others.
Daly, who became a household name during the heyday of MTV's "Total Request Live" a decade ago, took over morning duties at KAMP Jan. 4. But until last month, he never finished higher than 11th in his time slot, in spite of the phenomenal success of his home station. KAMP, once a talk station known as KLSX that was home to Howard Stern and Danny Bonaduce, was languishing in the ratings until it switched to Top 40 in February 2009 and shot from 20th place to 4th in three months.
Not only did Daly rise in the rankings, he also snagged the largest morning audience in the market: His 1.24 million listeners per week edged out KIIS' Seacrest, who logged 1.23 million individuals tuning in for at least five minutes per week. KFI's top-rated Handel and Limbaugh, by contrast, averaged 741,000 listeners per week — but those people tend to listen for longer periods than the music audience at KAMP and KIIS, which is why KFI registered a higher overall share in the time slot.
Heading in the opposite direction was regional Mexican music station KBUE-FM (105.5), featuring "Don Cheto," alter ego of Juan Carlos Razo. KBUE's morning broadcast dropped from fifth in September to an 11th-place tie in October.