Hearne: Holiday Radio Ratings & The Death of ‘Alice”

6a00d8341bf6cb53ef01156e667e5e970c-320wiThere’s nothing quite like quarreling over radio station ratings

On the surface, radio ratings may appear to be a zero sum game, but after the slicing and dicing of the all-important demographics go down – you know, men, women, age groups,  sexual orientation, etc – are factored in, practically anybody can play and everybody is a winner. Or are they?

Most media buyers probably know better though they may be loath to admit it.

Smza_64255330321262177.170x170-75o as we await the fast-apporaching death of the Adult Album Alternative (AAA) music format on Alice 102.1 FM – and the possible return of Adult Contemporary (give it up Star 102 refugees) – let us now survey the most recent, lowly 6-plus holiday radio rankings, shall we?


The Holiday 2013 Radio Ratings, Listeners 6 and older for the KC market

1)   KFKF FM (Country 94.1) Country 11.4 share

2)   KPRS FM (Hot 103 JAMZ) Urban Contemporary 6.9 share

3)   KCFX FM (The Fox) Classic Rock 6.6 share

4)   WDAF FM (The Wolf) Country 6.4 share

5)   KBEQ FM ( Q104) Country 4.9 share

6)   KMJK FM (Magic 107.3) Urban AC  4.7 share

6)   KQRC FM (The Rock) Rock 4.7 share

7)   KMBZ AM & FM News/Talk 4.5 share

8)   KJNW FM (Life 88.5) Contemporary Christian 4.4 share

9)   KZPT FM (The Point) Hot AC 4.2 share

10)  KMXV FM (Mix 93.3) Contemporary Hit Radio 4.0 share

11)  KCMO FM (Kansas City’s Greatest Hits) Oldies 3.7 share

11)  KRBZ FM (The Buzz) Modern Rock 3.7 share

11)  KCHZ FM (The Vibe)  Contemporary Hit Radio 3.7 share

12)  KCUR FM (89.3 FM Kansas City Public Media) News/Talk 3.0 share

13)  KCSP FM – KCSP-HD2 (610 Sports) Sports 2.0 share

13)  KCKC FM (Alice 102.1) AAA 2.0 share

14)  KCJK FM (Jack FM 105.1) Adult Hits 1.8 share

14)  KCMO AM – 103.7 FM (KCMO Talk Radio) News/Talk 1.8 share

15) KANU FM (KPR Kansas Public Radio) Classical .4 share

*******       *******       *******       *******      *******

btl300x250Hey look, obviously there are individual breakdowns that matter tremendously to advertisers and the stations the market to businesses that want to reach the people in the very specific demographics those stations reach.

Equally obviously – to radio insiders, anyway – stations like Sports Radio 810 WHB have some significant ratings and are a major player in the local marketplace.

Just one problem…

The boyz at HB way are too frugal to shell out big bucks to Arbitron, to get the numbers they need to sell off of, so their digits go unreported…except to other ratings subscribers who do get to see what they are and they can either use them to program against WHB or use them to make more informed ad buys.

In any case, these 6-plus rankings are the broadest ratings and thus arguably the most accurate. Because once you start slicing and dicing and breaking down the demos, it can get a little, you know, dicey. In my humble opinion.


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27 Responses to Hearne: Holiday Radio Ratings & The Death of ‘Alice”

  1. mike t. says:

    I used to buy radio as a client, not a media buyer. almost a damn shell game the way they can break down the demos. I especially like the times when I’m buying 35 – 54 homeowners and station reps tout “12+” ratings. ohhhkaaaayyy…..

    (as an aside, I’m also highly entertained when sales proposals/presentations show a different client name somewhere in the copy or slide title. geeee… prepared especially for me? thanks!

  2. paulwilsonkc says:

    Wow, does KCMO news talk have ANY listeners?

  3. paulwilsonkc says:

    Hey, I was told the contemp Christian 97.3 KLOVE was doing big things in KC rating but they don’t even show up. Do you hate Jesus or am I looking at it wrong?

    • admin says:

      Relax, you’re OK.

      They are doing big things but they don’t pay Arbitron (like WHB) and therefore are nowhere to be found.

      Poor babies

  4. hot harley says:

    you’re wrong again hearne.
    You failed to announce that kfkf played xmas music duringthis book…that’s
    the only reason they are #1…another major mistake on your part. And that
    had amajor affect on the entire ratings book because ittook lots of females
    away from the other stations. Anothermistake on your part.
    So take away kfkf…take the people who want country music and they
    switched to q and the wolf…hence 5their ratings go up…another mistake
    on your part.
    Because you don’t know anything about the business…you think the 6 plus
    ratings are pertinent…they’re not…who cares…who’s looking for
    9 year old ratings shares? another mistake on your part.
    And don’t forget Pandora…which I will enlighten you on in later information….
    as far as whb…they’re smar5….they sell out the station…don’t have to pay
    the 6 figures to ratings company….but if they bought the book…their numbers
    would skyrocket because …well I can go into this at a later time with exact
    details on why buying the book increase ratings (duh!!!!!!!!!!!)
    even the scribes best friends didn’t look good 6 plus…but johny knows how
    to draw in the sweet demos that make a station money.
    Don’t doubt wilks…guys a genius and he makes more money than all the
    other guys in town…..
    so hearne…mistake after mistake…after mistake…and not givingall the
    details about facts that are presented without real live data.
    sorry…again its an epic fail on your part when you venture into something
    your friend

    • admin says:

      Covering radio and ratings is hardly new for me, wildman…

      I just gave people the numbers to look at and draw their own conclusions. I also noted that the demo breakdowns is how the game is played with advertisers, etc. However, the broad trend given in the 6-plus is a pretty good indicator still and since it’s not being mutilated and/or diluted by the breakdown formulas, it’s arguably the most accurate…for…what…it…is.

      For example, the far lower rated stations on this list can almost always find some glimmer of positivity to sell on,but bottom dwellers are bottom dwellers. And while many may disdain the demographic of a KPRS pr KFKF, their lofty 6-plus numbers still speak of a quite large overall listenership.

      Now get back to those other blogs you were mumbling about!

      • hot harley says:

        you’re more evasive than chris Christie is about his new
        jersey machine and corrupt sandy aid fund money
        why not answer my retorts about your inadequate
        analysis of the ratings for 6 years and older.
        You don’t get it about this business hearne..
        please addrss the mistakes you made in your article.

  5. Radio dude says:

    Message to Hot Harley…are you under a rock or something? Your saying KFKF is number 1 because of Christmas music. Dude, KFKF has been número uno for almost every month for the last twelve. Holiday book put them way….way on top, but every month in 12+ they have been #1.
    Check it out….then come back and eat a little crow. Oh, I know your gonna come back with nobody cares about 12 plus….but that’s what the good book allows the non Neilson buyers to print.
    Harley, I’m not your friend….and don’t really care to be. If you think Neilson can be influenced to increase numbers by a station purchasing a book…..well, you are not one to call Hearne or his information a mistake.

    • hot harley says:

      radio dude…what demo was kfkf #1….never….maybe 35-80 years old..
      but they are not #1 nor have they been ever to my knowledge in this
      market……maybeb 20 years ago…but I’ve got money that says
      you are wrong.
      as far as numbers for a station going up when they start buying
      the ratings book I can go back to kprs and their numbers skyrocketing
      after they started buying the ratings book…its a proven fact!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      even though they never got the rating they deserved…once they started
      buying the book…majic….their numbers ranked then within the
      top 2 or 3 stations in the market when prior to that they were
      much much lower………..a proven fact!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      now about kfkf being #1…that’s complete b.s. on your part…
      I will prove it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      I will provide from my friends the books…you are a freaking idoit you
      stupid idiot with no knowledge of this business.
      go back to the $8 an hour job…..and stfu!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      ask anyone in the media business about kfkf being #1…which they
      werev not in months prior to December…
      I am always right sir…never doubt me…you look like a freaking

      • admin says:

        Geez, trying to breath knowledge into Harley can be a thankless task.

        Can you even imagine his parents frustration?

        But I’ll try.

        You ask Radio Dude what demo KFKF was No. 1 in despite the fact that it clearly shows they are No. 1 in the demo being reported and discussed here. Listeners 6 (or 12) plus in age.

        Yeah that’s the broadest measure and not the demo usually rolled out for ad sales pitches, but because of the higher sampling rate, it’s the most accurate.

        Arbitron used to distribute about 2,500 diaries in this market before they went with those pricey people meters a handful of years back. Now, there’s maybe 1,000 or so people being measure.

        All of whom fit in the 6-plus demo.

        Imagine talking just men 18 to 35 out of that 1,000 to pinpoint that demographic. The smaller the sampling the more chance there is for error.

        For example, there might only be 100 people out of the 1,000 in that demo, whereas there are maybe 100,000 or more in the marketplace.

        Smaller sampling, greater room for error. Get it?

        Probably not, who am I kidding?

  6. Radio dude says:

    Harley, go ask your friends…then come back here and eat crow. Anyone in the radio business who reads your rant will know you are the idiot.
    You should avoid any future posts as they pertain to radio. It is obvious are not or ever been in the radio business.
    The only thing you prove on your posts is how stupid you really are.

  7. radio dude says:

    Harley…here are the #’s from the months Nov, Dec, Holiday KF #1 in all three

    Station Format Owner/LMA Nov13 Dec13 Hol13 Cume
    KFKF-F Country Wilks Broadcasting, LLC 8.6 9.1 11.4 540,500
    KPRS Urban Contemporary 7.2 6.5 6.9
    KCFX Classic Rock Cumulus Media, Inc. 8.2 7.3 6.6 607,500
    WDAF-F Country Entercom 5.6 6.6 6.4 344,000

    • hot harley says:

      get the info for the last 12 months radio dude…for the
      money demo…not 12 plus which no business owner/media buyer
      or large agency looks at.
      18-34/ 25-45/25-54…….they are not #1 12 months…
      again…they were #1 in December because of the xmas music.
      when I write with hearne I feel likev I’m conversing with an old
      man with dementia because he wrote several articles over the
      last 3 years about which stations would be playing xmas mucis
      in November/December…hearne…please go back an check those
      articles and see that xmas music had a huge inpact on the overall
      ratings in the mrket..
      remember kudl and other station both ran xmas music one year…
      do your rememeber that hearne?
      you’re both wrong….you don’t get it so please go get your
      toys and learn the real facts…..

      • admin says:

        I don’t have to check them, H.

        KFKF was No. 1 in December as well with a 9.1 share and No. 1 in November with an 8.6 share.

        So yes, they got a bump on the Xmas music but they were still No. 1 going into it.

        Geez, for somebody with as small of a brain as you sometimes seem to have, you sure have a big mouth

        • kansas karl says:

          A good bit of slobbering non-sense from the harley, but no facts, much like most of the tea party and faux news nary a real fact to back up the screaming red faced slobber noise. The narrower the demo the less accurate the rating, so Hearne is right, and Harley KFKF may not be #1 in all the money demos, but they have the largest audience in the Metro, WHB never was, they used to buy the book and they were top 5 12+ and ruled with men, in all the money demos. As worked up as you get over ratings that mean essentially nothing is concerning. The real story about the change from diaries to PPM is the size of the sample and the revelation of the amount of time the average listener spends daily with each station. Under an hour a day out of some 3 or so hours of radio listening a day, the reality is consumer’s are song searching looking for the best song on the air right now, and spot breaks are the death, how would you like to be the guy running 8th in a break who paid more per spot than the first guy in the break? At work listening is radio’s savior, take a look at the hour by hour, any one buying radio looking for those with families prior to 8am is wasting money, they are watching the TV morning news, midday is radio’s strongest daypart by far.

          Harley learn and please your slobber is getting the inside of my monitor all messy.

          • hot harley says:

            bring the stats radio dud…
            and kfkf started xmas music in November…
            come on hearne …go back to your previous
            articles and bring out the real facts…
            radio dud is a dud…period….
            and radio dud…go tell that to sonic/wal mart/
            bern rein/any car dealer…you don’t know
            crap so you make it up with
            sheer stupidity.
            go ask any one in the media business if
            they pay attention to 12 plus figures..
            go ask grey/satchi/go ask deutch…..
            if you think you can b.s. on this you’re
            with computer and digital information we
            now can determine 1000 things about a
            audience in tv or radio.
            you’re still playing in the 80’s son….we
            can analyze an audience down to what they
            watch and eat…
            and any fool who says advertisers spending
            billions of dollars use those 12 plus figures
            is obviously a loser radio sales person who
            never made any big money.
            Your writings are very menial and are fine
            if we were in 1990….things have changed
            hearne and radio dud…
            now show the 12 months of data on the
            money demos that account for billions of
            dollars in ad spending.
            stop pussy footing around…lets get real
            and show why Harley is right again!!!!!!
            you’re great for an old timer in a fast
            changing business..and from the advertiseers
            on hearnes blog he looks like he’s lockstep
            in the 80’s…..lets get into the new world
            of data and integrated fully accountable
            radio dud…you are just that …one big
            dud….just another b.s. artist who can’t
            prove his points…
            bring on the ratings big mouth fool…
            bring on the old stories old man hearne…
            put up or shut up….

        • hot harley says:

          you suffer from dementia…go get your articles
          you run on your blog every November
          and December about stations who are playing
          xmas music.
          you are getting old hearne..your memory is
          becoming bad…you can’t remember what you
          wrote just a month ago and it’s scary.
          hopefully you have signed somemoe to handle
          your affairs since it appears you are no longer
          of sound mind and body!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • admin says:

            You think I’m bad?

            You can’t even remember what I just wrote in my reply to your comment. Let alone the story itself you read clear back yesterday.

            Physician heal thyself!

  8. Radio dude says:

    Harley….I hope you get serious help soon…..before you go off the deep end. Oops, sorry I think that time has passed.

  9. kansas karl says:

    Harley has seen some numbers as part of a presentation, yet he knows little of how the ratings business works, radio stations show what they need to make the sale nothing more.

    All this noise about ratings and will Alice listeners move to the Bridge is nonsense they are 2 different beasts, one the Wilks station is commercial that has to return a profit on a large investment, it has to pay it’s way plus plus. The investment for the Bridge is miniscule in comparison and as a result the pressure to return earnings above expenses is a bit less, it is there but not at a take no prisoners level. Plus the Bridge can ask for voluteers and does and gets them to spread the word at concerts and events, with the KCPT connection means instant credibility among the movers and shakers. Commercial radio listeners and public radio listeners are not interchangable, a whole Harley level presentation can be made on that difference.

    • admin says:

      Interesting points, Kansas karl.

      Hey while we’re on the subject, would somebody please remind me to stop replying to Harley? What was I thinking?

  10. Jimmy B. says:

    Just by reading, and not knowing any back ground, Harley is making the home team here at KCCC look stupid.

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