Research Director, Inc.: Exclusive February PPM Analysis For Houston, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Philadelphia, Boston

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Markets #6-#10

Welcome back to the ratings roundtable. We are the knights who say … no, wait – that’s something completely different. We are The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. Along with our merry men and women from XTRENDS, we are on a holy quest to bring you the latest and most comprehensive look at the numbers you can legally see anywhere. The FEBRUARY survey covered 1/31 through 2/27 and featured a big football game, a real live holiday, some ridiculously cold weather but not a single shrubbery.

HOUSTON-GALVESTON: Sunny & Hot

The song remained the same as iHEARTMEDIA AC KODA (SUNNY) again was the dominant 6+ player. The station was off slightly (8.6-8.5) but widened its lead over #2 UNIVISION Regional Mexican KLTN (QUE BUENA) as it posted its lowest score since OCTOBER (7.0-6.2). The next two stations remained in place with flat performances. URBAN ONE Urban AC KMJQ (MAJIC) was #3 (6.1-6.1) and COX RADIO Classic Rock KGLK (THE EAGLE) was #4 (5.3-5.3). ENTERCOM Country KILT-F (THE BULL) has been on a three-book roll that has taken it from a tie at #13 to its current #5 ranking. The station just happened to land its largest share in over a year (4.5-5.2). CUMULUS Top 40/M KRBE was pushed back to #6 (5.1-5.0). 

There was a lot more drama in the 25-54 arena. Yes, KODA was still #1 though it did revert to its pre-Rudolph level. It was not alone in the spotlight as KLTN forged its share of the demo lead with a small increase. KILT-F leapt from a tie at #8 to #3 with – again – its best book in over a year. As recently as OCTOBER, the station was #18. URBAN ONE Top 40/R KBXX (THE BOX) slipped back to #4 with a slight decrease. KRBE stepped back to #5, also with a slight decrease, and was joined in that space by KMJQ, which had its third straight up book. KSBJ EDUCATIONAL Christian Contemporary KSBJ fell from #5 to a tie at #11. On the surface that seems precipitous, but the reality was that seven stations between #7 and #11 were separated by less than half a share.

KODA was flat and remained the far-away 18-34 leader. The big story was ENTERCOM Spanish Contemporary KLOL (MEGA), which rocketed from a tie at #9 to #2 with its largest number in over a year. KBXX was up slightly but was still forced to step back to #3. iHEARTMEDIA Urban KQBT (THE BEAT) remained alone at #4 despite getting its best report card in over a year. KILT-F was up slightly but managed to slide back to #5. While KODA led the pack by a share, the next four stations were less than half a share apart. KRBE slid to #6 with a down book and was tied with KLTN, which was up.

The top two 18-49 stations were the same as before with KODA again capturing the crown and KLTN taking the place position. However, SUNNY was down a bit while KLTN was up so the gap between the two was more than halved. KBXX moved up to a distant #3 as it regained all of last month’s loss. KILT-F took two steps upward to #4 with its fifth straight up book. KRBE slid back to #5 with a small loss while KLOL jumped seven spots to #6 with its best outing since AUGUST. iHEARTMEDIA Alternative KTBZ (THE BUZZ) slid to #7 where it was tied with KQBT.

WASHINGTON, DC: Staying On Top

The news biz is abuzz because three of the top four 6+ stations do not play songs for a living. As reported previously, HUBBARD News WTOP was again #1 though it was not able to replicate last month’s double-digit performance (10.4-9.8). AMERICAN UNIVERSITY N/T WAMU placed second again though it returned the unused portion of last survey’s big increase (9.8-8.6). Moving up to #4 with its best book in over a year was CUMULUS Talk WMAL (5.7-6.6). In case you are keeping score (and face it – we all do), that’s a twenty-five share for spoken-word programming. Maintaining its #3 position and ranking as the leading music station was URBAN ONE Urban AC WMMJ (MAJIC), which had its highest share since JULY (7.5-7.9). Its chief nemesis – HOWARD UNIVERSITY Urban AC WHUR – slipped to #5 despite being up for the third straight survey (6.4-6.5). Last month iHEARTMEDIA AC WASH experienced the expected post-Santa decline. The station rebounded this time (4.3-5.0) to hold on to its #6 ranking. Rumors of its demise are a bit premature as CUMULUS Hot AC WRQX (MIX) ended a three-book slide (3.5-4.1) as it moved up to #7.

The top four 25-54 stations were unchanged from last survey. WAMU repeated at #1 with a small decrease while WMMJ returned at #2 with its best performance in over a year. As a result, the gap between them shrank to under a share. WTOP was #3 again though it returned a good portion of last month’s increase. WHUR held steady at #4 with a slight decrease. Breaking into the top five was URBAN ONE Urban WKYS (KISS), which advanced six spaces with its largest number since JULY. The two previous occupants of the #5 position fell farther off the pace. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WIHT (HOT) dropped into a tie at #8 with WRQX (which was up from #15). iHEARTMEDIA Classic Rock WBIG turned it down to a tie at #11 with its lowest score since MARCH.

Though it was off slightly, WAMU was able to take the lead in the 18-34 race – not something you often see in a News/Talk station. It has more than doubled its share in this demo compared with a year ago. WASH had a very strong showing as it nearly doubled its share from last month and jumped from a tie at #10 to #2. WIHT fell from first to third with its lowest total in over a year. WKYS moved up to #4 as it rebounded from a down book. iHEARTMEDIA Alternative WWDC (DC101) slid to #5 with a slight decrease while ENTERCOM Top 40/R WPGC dropped to #6 with its fourth down book in a row. ENTERCOM Classic Hits WIAD (THE DRIVE) shifted gears and went from a tie at #3 to #8 as it ended a three-book surge.

WAMU led the way 18-49 for the second month in a row despite a small loss. WMMJ returned as the #2 station with its highest share in over a year. It also cut WAMU’s lead in half. WKYS was up three slots to #3 with its best book in over a year. WASH advanced six spaces to #4 with its best Frosty-free number in over a year. WIHT slid to #5 with its least productive outing in over a year while WTOP dropped to #6 where it was tied with WHUR. WPGC fell to #8 with its lowest mark in over a year.

ATLANTA: Everybody’s Talkin’ At Me

There’s something to be said for COX RADIO Talk WSB-A. Mainly, it continued to lead the 6+ pack but with a lower share than the previous book (7.9-7.0). URBAN ONE Urban AC WAMJ (MAJIC) moved up two spots to #2 and was within a share of the lead (5.5-6.3) after posting its best number in over a year. ENTERCOM Urban WVEE (V-103) slipped back to #3 as it ended a two-book run (6.4-5.9). It was tied with COX RADIO Classic Hits WSRV (THE RIVER), which landed its lowest mark in over a year (6.3-5.9). SALEM Christian Contemporary WFSH (THE FISH) was treading water at #5 though it had a solid increase (4.9-5.4). URBAN ONE Urban WHTA (HOT) had its highest score in over a year (4.1-5.2) to leap four slots to #6. There were a couple of stations not far behind at #7. COX RADIO Urban AC WALR (KISS) – which also had its best book in over a year (4.5-5.1) – and COX RADIO AC WSB-F (B98.5), which got back some of last month’s big loss (4.6-5.1).

Though the top three 25-54 stations were the same as before, the gap between shrank considerably. WVEE was again #1 but with its lowest total since MARCH. WSRV repeated at #2 though it returned all of last month’s increase. WAMJ returned as the #3 station but with its largest share in over a year. WHTA had its best book since JULY to move from #8 to #4. CITY OF ATLANTA BOARD OF EDUCATION N/T WABE slid back to #5 with a slight decrease and was just ahead of WSB-A at #6. CUMULUS Top 40/M WWWQ (Q99.7) dropped four places to #8 as it returned almost all of last month’s increase and was tied with WALR, which moved up from lucky #13.

WVEE remained strong, solid, and #1 18-34 with a slight increase. However, WHTA narrowed the gap considerably from its #2 position after posting its best score since JULY (and there is nothing hotter than JULY …). WAMJ jumped six places to #3. The station has more than doubled its share since the HOLIDAY survey when it was tied at #15. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WWPW (POWER) remained at #4 but was off considerably from last month. WWWQ held steady at #5 though with its lowest share in over a year. It was also forced to share the moment with two other stations. WALR was up from #11 as it regained almost all of last month’s decline. WSB-F advanced from #13 with its best outing since SEPTEMBER.

Though WVEE had its lowest 18-49 share in exactly a year, the station was still #1. WHTA moved up to #2 with its highest mark since JUNE and, just like that, V-103’s demo lead was cut in half. WAMJ had a strong gain for the second straight survey to move up to #3 while WSRV ebbed to #4 as it returned all of last month’s solid increase. WSB-F became the lone occupant of the #5 position with a slight decrease as WWWQ slipped back to #6 with its lowest total in over a year.

PHILADELPHIA: The Old Folks Boogie

And by that we mean that experience matters. ENTERCOM Classic Hits WOGL moved back to #1 6+ for the first time since NOVEMBER with its best book since then (6.3-7.1). BEASLEY Classic Rock WMGK remained at #2 (7.1-6.7). Also remaining in place was ENTERCOM AC WBEB (B101.1), which repeated at #3 (6.3-6.5) as it returned to its pre-Santa level. BEASLEY Active Rock WMMR moved up to #4 with its highest share since NOVEMBER (6.0-6.4) while iHEARTMEDIA Urban AC WDAS slipped to #5 with its third straight down book (6.3-6.0). Basically, the market returned to where it was before the onslaught of holiday tunage and the ill-fated EAGLES run captured everyone’s attention. Speaking of which, ENTERCOM Sports WIP-F slipped from #1 to #6 with its lowest score since SEPTEMBER (7.2-5.9). Now, if only the local nine had something to talk about …

In 25-54 world, WMMR increased its dominant hold over the rest of the market. The station had its best book in over a year and led its older cluster bro WMGK – which moved up to #2 despite a slight decrease – by almost three shares. Both WDAS and WBEB were tied at #4 last month. They each were off slightly to remain tied but managed to move up to #3. iHEARTMEDIA Urban WUSL (POWER) inched up to #5 despite ending a two-book surge. WOGL was close behind at #6 thanks to a slight increase. WIP-F fell from #2 to #7.

WBEB was flat 18-34 but that was enough to propel the station to #1. WMMR was up slightly as it elevated to #2 and was a little more than a half share off the lead. ENTERCOM Top 40/M WTDY dropped from first to third as it ended a string of five straight up books. BEASLEY Country WXTU moved up to #4 with a flat performance and was tied with WUSL, which remained in place despite losing all of last month’s big gain. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WIOQ (Q102) moved up to #6 with a small increase. WMGK fell back to #7 as it returned most of last month’s big gain.

WMMR continued to dominate the 18-49 demo with its best book since NOVEMBER. The station led #2 WBEB – which was up slightly – by almost two shares. WUSL slipped back to #3 with a small loss while WIP-F held firm at #4 despite a down book. WMGK repeated at #5 though it, too, was down. Close behind at #6 were WDAS, which was off slightly, and WXTU, which had its best outing since NOVEMBER.

BOSTON: What A Kissah

Neither cold, nor sleet, nor a SUPER BOWL could deter iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/M WXKS (KISS) from being #1 6+ as the station posted its largest share since AUGUST (7.3-7.4). BEASLEY Classic Hits WROR moved up to #2 with its best book in over a year (6.2-6.8). Though the aforementioned big game had a happy ending (couldn’t resist) for the local eleven, BEASLEY Sports WBZ-F (THE SPORTS HUB) did slip to #3 (7.2-6.4). ENTERCOM AC WMJX (MAGIC) returned at #4 with its best Frosty-free share since MAY (6.1-6.3). iHEARTMEDIA News WBZ-A inched up to #5 with its best outing since JULY (5.5-5.6). iHEARTMEDIA Classic Rock WZLX was flat (5.3-5.3) but moved up a spot to #6. BOSTON UNIVERSITY N/T WBUR gave back most of last month’s huge increase as it slid to #7 (5.7-4.6).

Now that Santa and TOM BRADY have left the stage, WXKS returned to the top spot 25-54 for the first time since NOVEMBER. WBZ-F dropped back to #2 but was still in a very solid position. It was less than a half share off the lead and more than a share ahead of WMJX, which remained at #3 with a small increase. WZLX moved up to #4 and was tied with WROR. Both stations posted their best shares since JUNE. ENTERCOM Hot AC WWBX (MIX) advanced three spaces to #6 with its best mark in over a year. BEASLEY Rhythmic AC WBQT (HOT) fell to #7 with its lowest total since SEPTEMBER and was tied with BEASLEY Alternative WBOS (ALT 92.9), which advanced from a tie at #13 with its best showing in over a year.

For the second book in a row, both WXKS and WBZ-F cracked the double-digit barrier 18-34. However, this time KISS was on top as it just barely edged out THE SPORTS HUB. WMJX was off slightly to remain #3 but was forced to share with WBOS, which moved up from #7 with its third up book in a row. WBQT was down for the third straight survey as it slipped to #5. ENTERCOM Top 40/M WODS (AMP) had a slight decrease as it dropped to #6 and into a tie with WWBX.

As with the previous demo, WXKS and WBZ-F swapped spots 18-49. KISS was on top with its best book since SEPTEMBER while WBZ-F slipped to #2. WMJX repeated at #3 with a slight increase while WBQT remained at #4 with a small loss. WBOS advanced seven spaces to #5 with – once again – its best book in over a year. WWBX accomplished the same feat as it rose to #6. iHEARTMEDIA Top 40/R WJMN (JAM’N) fell from #5 to a tie at #10 with its lowest score since NOVEMBER.

Round two of our FEBRUARY survey review is now officially concluded. You may now go on with the rest of your day. But, before you do …

The Ratings Experts from RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. invite you to read our blog. We promise it will be interesting or we’ll refund double the purchase price! Check it out here

Oh, we’ll back shortly with MIAMI, SEATTLE, DETROIT, PHOENIX and MINNEAPOLIS. 

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