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KIIS-FM again tops Arbitron ratings

The pop music station places first ahead of KOST-FM and cracks the 4-million mark in individual listeners.

March 22, 2011|By Steve Carney, Special to the Los Angeles Times

Pop music station KIIS-FM (102.7) positively owned 2010 when it came to the ratings. And the Top 40 outlet has begun 2011 even stronger.

Following its first-place showing in January, KIIS topped all Los Angeles-Orange County stations once again in February, according to figures released Monday by the Arbitron ratings service.

The musical home of such popular acts as Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and the Black Eyed Peas grabbed 5.6% of the audience aged 6 and older, while adult-contemporary station KOST-FM (103.5) followed with 4.9%, according to the survey of listeners from Feb. 3 to March 2.

In addition, KIIS was the only station in February to crack the 4-million mark among individual listeners, with Arbitron reporting that an average of 4,014,300 people tuned in for at least five minutes each week. KIIS also averaged 4 million listeners in January; last year it didn't reach that threshold until April.

KOST was a distant second in February, at 3.3 million. Rival Top 40 station KAMP-FM (97.1) was the only other outlet to top the 3 million mark, averaging just under 3.2 million for the month.

KOST, which thwarted KIIS' hopes of finishing No. 1 throughout 2010 by coming on strong at the end with its annual switch to all-holiday music, continued to stay strong in its return to regular programming. Last year the station saw a steep decline after cutting off the Christmas carols, but this year it held on to second place in January and remained there in February.

Oldies outlet KRTH-FM (101.1) and talk station KFI-AM (640) held onto third and fourth, respectively. But hip-hop station KPWR-FM (105.9) overtook Spanish-language adult-contemporary station KLVE-FM (107.5) for fifth place. KAMP joined KLVE in a sixth-place tie, at 3.5%, after doing the same with KPWR in January.

In radio's prime-time competition — the morning drive period, weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m. — KFI-AM (640) remained the leader. The morning bloc that features local host Bill Handel, followed by the first hour of Rush Limbaugh's syndicated program, claimed 5.7% of the audience. Just like the previous month, tying for second place were Ryan Seacrest on KIIS and the team of Kevin Ryder and Gene "Bean" Baxter on alternative KROQ-FM (106.7). The runners-up gained ground on KFI, taking a 5.4% audience share and cutting their deficit from 0.5% to 0.3%.

All-news station KNX-AM (1070) placed fourth in the morning, at 4.6%, and rounding out the Top 5 was KLVE, featuring Omar Velasco and Argelia Atilano, at 4.2%. The two stations had tied for fourth in January.

This was the first ratings period for KNX without newsman and earthquake specialist Jack Popejoy, who died Feb. 5 of cancer at age 63. He co-anchored mornings with Dick Helton and Vicky Moore until late January. Popejoy had been at sister station KFWB-AM (980) since 1986, most recently as morning anchor, before moving over to KNX in February 2009.

KOST held a firm grip on the top spot middays, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a 6% share of the audience. KRTH was a strong second at 5.3%, while smooth-jazz and adult-contemporary station KTWV-FM (94.7), "The Wave," was third with 4.2% of the audience.

KIIS was No. 1 from 3 p.m. until midnight and also finished first on weekends.

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