With local host Bill Handel's show preceding the first hour of talk… (Los Angeles Times )
Pop-music powerhouse KIIS-FM (102.7) continues to ride the wave of listeners that has carried it above other stations all summer, according to figures released Tuesday by the Arbitron ratings service.
KIIS — the home of Top 40 artists such as Taylor Swift, Chris Brown and Nicki Minaj — maintained the same share of the Los Angeles-Orange County audience that it held in July. But second-place adult-contemporary station KBIG-FM (104.3) slipped backward slightly in the August ratings, which are based on the survey of listeners ages 6 and older from July 19 to Aug. 15.
KIIS also showed its dominance by remaining near the 4 million threshold in cumulative audience, the number of listeners who tuned in for at least five minutes per week. In August, it tallied 3.92 million, down only slightly from July.
The only other station to break 3 million in August was KBIG at 3.24 million; in July, four stations hit the 3 million mark.
Otherwise, the rankings remained fairly static, with the top seven stations in the market remaining the same as in July. Those beyond KIIS, KBIG and talk station KFI-AM (640) shuffled positions among themselves slightly.
The next two months will show whether KIIS can ride the wave to the end of the year, or whether it will crest and crash now that its young listeners are back in school. Also, the stretch run to the November election may swell the audience for talk station KFI, which overtook KIIS last October for first place, and which currently lurks in third.
KFI continues to lead all others in morning drive, the 6-10 a.m. weekday time slot when stations hope to lock down listeners for the remainder of the day. With local host Bill Handel's show preceding the first hour of talk icon Rush Limbaugh's program, KFI grabbed 7.9% of the audience — its highest total in more than three years.
But KFI's lead over second place actually shrank from July. That's because Kevin Ryder and Gene "Bean" Baxter on alternative rock station KROQ-FM (106.7) leap-frogged KIIS, and snagged a 5.1% share. Ryan Seacrest on KIIS slipped to third when his ratings share dropped from 4.6% to 4.3% in August. Placing fourth, at 4%, were Omar Velasco and Argelia Atilano on Spanish-language pop-music station KLVE-FM (107.5).
Mark Thompson and Brian Phelps both retired from their quarter-century perch of mornings at rock station KLOS-FM (95.5) on Aug.17, so this was their last full ratings month on the air. The duo finished their nearly 25-year run by holding steady at 3%, earning them a ninth-place tie for August.