Thursday, August 08, 2013

L.A. Radio Ratings: The Return of Spanish Radio Dominance? And What's Happening to KFI?

For a second month in a row, KLAX-FM's "El Mandril" locked the No. 1 spot in morning drive among listeners over the age of 12, as well as in the persons 18-34 demo. He was No. 2 with listeners 25-54. Not bad for a morning show that was ranked No. 13 as recently as the end of December.

Also on the rise: KSCA-FM, which rose dramatically in July -- in part thanks to the controversy surrounding the firing of host Eddie "Piolin" Sotelo, who was removed from the show on July 22. In his final month on the air, Piolin rose to fourth place in mornings (and No. 3 with 25-54), having been in 12th place as recently as January.

But Piolin had already been back on the rise in 2013, having jumped from a 3.0 share in January to a 4.2 in April. (Which is why it was clear he wasn't removed for ratings reasons -- and allegations of sexual harassment have emerged.) Have listening habits changed that much over the past seven months? Much more likely, a change in the makeup Arbitron's local roster of Personal People Meter (PPM) users has brought in a few more listeners more likely to listen to Spanish-language radio.

Perhaps the new panel has also lost a few older listeners, as news/talk KFI has seen its share of listeners also tumble. The morning mix of Bill Handel and Rush Limbaugh is still No. 2 overall, but at a 4.9 share-- much smaller than the 8.1 share from August 2012 (granted, during a busy election cycle). The change is much more noticable in KFI's 6 a.m. to midnight listenership: In July, the station averaged a 3.2 share, putting it in a tie for 11th place. As recently as April, KFI was in fourth place, with a 4.3 share.

In morning drive, after KLAX (5.5) and KFI (4.9), KROQ's "Kevin & Bean Show" was third, with a 4.8 share, followed by KSCA (4.4) and KIIS' Ryan Seacrest in fifth (4.0). Among listeners 25-54, KROQ is No. 1 (6.8), followed by KLAX (6.5), KSCA (4.7), KIIS (4.6) and a tie between KBIG's Valentine and KBUE's "Don Cheto" (4.5).

Overall, from 6 a.m. to midnight, KBIG continued its winning streak with listeners 12+ (5.3), followed by KIIS (5.1), KOST (4.6), KAMP "Amp Radio" (4.4) and KPWR "Power 106" (4.2). With listeners 25-54, KBIG led (5.7), then KIIS (5.2), KROQ (4.5) and a tie between KSCA and KAMP (4.1).

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