Hearne: March Radio Ratings Madness

Rockfest-Kansas-CityHere we go again, boys and grrrls…

Hot off the presses, the latest radio ratings for the merry month of March.

And again country is king with a nearly 18 percent share of  listeners.

Yep, the days of urban station KPRS FM ruling the roost are in the rearview mirror. Because forget the Christmas music factor, once again KFKF FM is large and in charge at the top of the heap.

And while The Rock 98.9 FM may still be able to draw 50,000 beer swilling headbangers to Liberty Memorial, the station’s reign atop the ratings slag heap are yesterday’s news. The station barely made the Top 5.

And speaking of nosedives, highway shootings and zoo riots aside, News Radio KMBZ fell out of the Top 10, despite the fact that it’s heard both on the AM and FM dials.

Oh and remember that station – what was it called – oh yeah, Alice? The Adult Album Alternative signal at 102.1 FM that sold its soul two months back for a nondescript slogan and a run at the adult contemporary market.

Well, looks like it’s starting to pay off as the station climbed more than half a share point (a 28 percent increase) avoiding a spot just shy of the bottom end of the Top 20.

So did Channel 19′s new baby The Bridge 90.9 FM finally make it into the ratings with its spiffy, new tower and a monopoly now on the Triple A format locally?

In a word, no.

Not only that, KTBG didn’t even garner a mention on the also ran list of unrated local stations that range in formats from “Religious Teaching” to “Regional Mexican.”

Not exactly a good sign, but let’s give ’em a bit more time.

And now, on with the March ratings show…

originalThe March 2014 Radio Rankings


1)     KFKF FM, Country, 8.8 share with a cume of 372,800 listeners

2)     KPRS FM, Urban, 7.6 share, with a cume of 329,500

3)     KCFX FM, Classic Rock, 6.4 share, with a cume of 417,000

4)     KCMO FM, Oldies, 5.4 share, with a cume of 413,000

5)     Mix 93.3 FM, CHR, 5.0 share, with a cume of 465,000

5)     The Rock 98.9 FM, Rock, 5.0 share, with a cume of 287,900

6)     WDAF FM, Country, 4.6 share, with a cume of 341,400

7)     Magic 107.3 FM, Urban AC 4.4 share, with a cume of 183,300

7)     The Point 99.7 FM, Hot AC, 4.4 share, with a cume of 454,100

7)     Q104 FM, Country 4.4 share, with a cume of 351,200

8)     NewsRadio KMBZ AM/FM, News/Talk, 4.1 share, with a cume of 215,400

9)     The Vibe, CHR, 3.9 share, with a cume of 413,700

10)    Life 88.5 FM, Contemporary Christian, 3.2 share, with a cume of 127,100

11)    96.5 The Buzz,  Modern Rock, 3.0 share, with a cume of 219,500

12)    KCUR FM, News/Talk, 2.7 share, with a cume of 148,900

12)    KCKC FM (ex Alice), Adult Contemporary, 2.7 share, with a cume of 275,600

12)    610 Sports, Sports Talk, 2.7 share, with a cume of 187,200

13)    105.1 Jack FM, Adult Hits, 2.5 share, with a cume of 272,000

14)    KCMO AM, Talk, 1.6 share, with a cume of 90,200

15)    KANU FM, Classical, 0.6 share, with a cume of 45,000

16)     KCMO HD2, Sports, 0.3 share, with a cume of 36,900

17)    KPRT Gospel 1590 AM, Black Gospel, 0.2 share, with a cume of 14,800

As always, these ratings are listeners 12 and older, Monday-Sunday, 6 a.m. to midnight – the broadest measure.

And Sports Radio WHB is not listed because – you know – it costs a ton of dough to subscribe to Nielsen and they ain’t…oh, never mind.

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32 Responses to Hearne: March Radio Ratings Madness

  1. Libertarian says:

    Monopoly on AAA?


    • admin says:

      OK, Lib…

      With Alice in Triple A Heaven, who else is sporting the format here in KC?

      • Libertarian says:

        KKFI has played AAA for over 25 years, just not exclusively, as the Bridge does not play ALL AAA music. They play top 40 commercial crap now, too.

        But, back to your “monopoly” claim.

        Simply not true.

        • Hearne says:

          With all due respect, KKFI is hardly a AAA station. Are you kidding?
          It’s a patchwork quilt of oddball talk themes and helter smelter music miss matches and mashups. Triple A?

          If you say so, I guess

  2. hot harley says:

    do rich guys like you have easter egg hunts or do you just hide $100 bills
    around the house for the kids?

    • admin says:

      The egg thing is getting a little old, but good idea. Church first then an Easter Egg hunt. No $100 bills tho

      • balbonis moleskine says:

        It was always a tradition in my house that the eggs had kisses or nickles in them but there were always a $20 egg planted for each of us to find as kids…I never felt like such a 1%er before!

  3. rkcal says:

    Radio stations are this decade’s video rental store. Who’s in first of a dying industry is not very important.

    • radio dude says:

      With more than 90% of American consumers listening to radio each week for an average of over 2 and 1/2 hours per day radio is far from a dying industry.

      • admin says:

        I’m with radio dude, rkcal…

        The road ahead may be difficult, but for now radio – and even television – are alive and kicking for the foreseeable future.

        • rkcal says:

          I’ll concede the point, I guess. With so many ad-less options, those stats baffle me.

          • admin says:

            I think you’re onto something, rkcal.

            Just think it’s a bit more into the future than you seemed to imply.

            Curious how long radio dude thinks terrestrial radio can remain dominant…relevant even.

          • kansas karl says:

            Free always wins in a competitive market, the mass will put up with mountains of ads, listen today, as long as it is free to them. All anyone ty has to do is turn on any one of the radios that have accumulated over the years and tolerable programming comes out, for free.

            I understand the desire for alternative music sources to win, but it won’t happen, oh those who have the money to burn, or those truly committed to alternative/new music, or those wanting a status symbol will always gear up. At home the internets provide thousands of music options, yet none reaches as many people as any one of the listed radio stations, and the car? Free wins.

          • balbonis moleskine says:

            open the pandora app and play something. You’ll find they have about 5x the ads of a regular station like 101.

  4. radio dude says:

    Let us not forget that KLRX (KLove) is also not listed because they too for a commercial signal do not pay Nielson. For some reason the ratings company prints non-coms numbers even if they don’t pony up. I would imagine K-Love is also in the top 10 if Life 88.5 is up there.
    These rankings would change dramatically if these were based on certain demos…..but nobody is sharing those for fear of fines and lawsuits.
    I would imagine both The Rock and KPRS are both on top if these were in demo reports
    The KMBZ drop is not surprising as News Talks rise and fall with news and weather changes in a market.
    One more noticeable change is KCMO FM’s return to the top five. Following a decline in their ratings during the November thru Holiday books they are back to where they were. Hmmm, I wonder if anyone took notice of the fact that KFKF climbed with Christmas music and the station that dropped the most during that period was KCMO FM which then returned to the top after Christmas passed?
    It is going to be interesting to see what Wilks will be doing in November with Christmas Music…will it stay on KF or move to KC 102.1?

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      Radio, nice to see you kicked Harley’s a$$ on ratings facts; now all he can do is come insult Hearne about Easter egg hunts. He just has to see his name in print, even if its stupid and doesn’t apply to the story. Hmmm, I apologize, I guess that’s no different than most his comments, but the Great and mighty Harley Oz has spoken, regardless.
      If a tree falls in the forrest and Harley is there, would it make a sound?

  5. kinder says:

    why are there 2 #5s?

    • radio dude says:

      And 3 #7s. It is because of ties with tbe same shares, in reality KMBZ is really ranked 11th and not 8th

  6. paulwilsonkc says:

    Re; 90.9 The Bridge, I may well go down in flames on this one, but it’s worth the risk. If I’m listening to terrestrial radio in my car, or streaming in my office, I’m listening to 90.9 The Bridge. I always donate to public TV, but just made the biggest TV/Radio donation I ever have when they started their pledge drive. So far it’s a great station, love local music getting a shot and I hope they make it.

    • b12 says:

      @paulwilsonkc….so you’re the one…

    • admin says:

      They’ll make it, Paul…

      KCPT has too much money invested and with Alice out of the way, they’ll pick up some of that audience, some KCUR and KANU types, maybe a few Buzz heads and some stoners like you.

      But they’re not exactly making it look easy…yet!

      • kansas karl says:

        It is not easy for a non-comm, particularly one heading the opposite way from all the commercial stations and other local non-comms. The direction of KTBG and the road headed on can be found with a small amount of research. A simple search would have opened the window to a vibrant and growing world of the non-comm AAA radio. http://triplearadio.com/ is place to start, an insiders source for all thing AAA/non-comm including information on the upcoming non-commvention in Philly the weekend of May 14. Hundreds of similar stations/streaming included taking in what the collaboration of a successful AAA and the music scene in a city, and not only Philly, Baltimore, San Diego, Denver, Austin……. can do, each has a vibrant growing music scene with a AAA station leading the charge.

        By the way to use your quote “Imagine Dragons alone all but sold out Starlight” where do you think 8000 people heard about Imagine Dragons? Your head is too full of commercial radio nonsense from “z” and the other has been radio “experts” you quote, to seriously have an understanding of what non-comm radio is about.

        Ratings? not likely, KTBG does not have to have ratings successful, the recent pledge drive was a success, but you didn’t check that did you Hearne? Hearne no matter how hard you try to compare the 2, the bar is in a different arena than the commercial one, ratings don’t matter.

        All niceties aside, to be at the top of the game and pay for a TV station and an expensive local music radio station they have to have a competent “development staff”/”sale staff” and management that is able to relate the advertising community that there is value without ratings, not an easy task.

        • admin says:

          Let me get this straight, kansas karl…

          You’re saying because they can beg for money from people like Paul Wilson, they really don’t have to have hardly any listeners to make it?

          I’ll buy that.

          Jerry Mazer built a career here begging for money and it’s doubtful he could even begin to fill out a resume. Obviously if they can get enough people to give them free money, they can survive on that.

          If you’re implying that Imagine Dragons mounted it’s local success at Starlight on Triple AAA radio, I think you’re kidding yourself.

          I’ll take it a step farther.

          I seriously doubt you have much of a clue about the band – although they’ve since achieved more mainstream success – and didn’t even consider attending that show.

          On the other hand, I was listening to the band’s album for months and months prior to the show and would suggest that The Buzz gave them a fair bit of exposure, despite the fact that the station was at odds with Kanrocksas and considered it a competitor.

          Commercial and noncom stations may have a different bar, as you suggest, but if they don’t get any listeners, it’s going to be mighty lonely at the bottom.

          That said, I’m not forecasting that they won’t. There are plenty of reasons to suggest that they will at some point before too long begin to show some signs of life…besides at the begging post.

          Your turn…

          • kansas karl says:

            I won’t get into an anecdotal battle over who played who first, if you spend any time with KTBG every break features some kind of music venue with real fresh bands all the way to the oldster stuff like Lyle with his now acoustic band. The entertainment dollars, particularly, are very sensitive to how many tickets this or that radio station sold yesterday and if KTBG was not ringing the phone the concert promoters would be history. The current influx of bonus spots for KCPT underwriters is……expected, all radio groups bonus on the new station.

            This is new to you, and most of Kansas City and will remain for the majority non-existent in their daily lives. The business model is pretty standard among non-comms and works. The subsidy from the Public Broadcasting corporation is way less than you think, all this is available on the station’s website as it is for all non-comms.

            Your obsession with KTBG’s ratings and the fund raising puzzle me, Like KCUR, KCPT the Kaufman center, the Nelson, the Nierman, all bring divergent art to the city and do it with donations from the public as a service to the public. The local music being showcased daily on KTBG, from what I hear, has revitalized many in local music.

            To put it a way you may recognize, the listener to KTBG is much like the buyer of a Fiat, not many exist and they are extremely loyal in the case of the listener willing to donate money and in the case of the Fiat owner, maybe a .9% of the market car, is as loyal making sure the service department is profitable.

  7. radio dude says:

    Hearne..have to say I am confused
    Why you are so interested in KTBG.
    They do not need, want or probably desire to be viable in the ratings game, The KCPT TV folks do not have a good business plan to drive revenue from advertising subscribers, so I dont believe that is in their
    Plan for KTBG.
    They will hold out their hands and ask the few loyal fans they have to support them.
    Triple A is never gonna work in KC.
    They would have better ratings success with Smooth Jazz or even Classical.

    • admin says:

      I’m interested in The Bridge because it’s a (mostly) brand new signal in the marketplace and Channel 19 just sunk a ton of money into buying and gearing up its signal.

      So what’s going to happen now? That’s why I’m interested.

      I do understand the “non profit” nature of the business…on the surface.

      Look how much money the station head is taking down. That’s a fairly serious paycheck and they’re going to need listenership beyond what we’ve seen thus far to justify that kind of money The ratings I’ve been able to get a hold of indicate fewer people are listening to The Bridge than I have brain cells.

      The Avett Brothers promoter is letting the station present the show at Sandstone this summer on faith. If he determines down the road that virtually nobody is listening, will he be back with more shows?

      Not for profits like the Kauffman Center, symphony and ballet are charitable organizations that have a very strong core of well-heeled donors and society and business types with powerful interests in seeing those organizations survive and thrive.

      They represent society and the arts and have significant community support in high places. I don’t think a radio station playing a broader, more eclectic variety of modern, commercial music is anywhere near being in the same league.

      With all due respect, I have a hard time imagining Paul Wilson and his wife lording over an outrageously expensive high brow gala or ball and raising tens of thousands of dollars from hoi polloi listeners of The Bridge.

      I can maybe see Paul choking out a couple hundred a year – perhaps more – until he maybe buys a new car with free satellite radio for six months and figures out that there are quite a few other musical fishes in the sea.

      To me however, the one major advantage local radio has over iPods,Pandora, Sirius, etc is local personalities and advertisers talking about and promoting local events, stores, etc.

      BTW, even if The Bridge played Imagine Dragons first, it’s of little consequence to the people who attended the concert at Starlight. I guarantee you my daughters and their friends didn’t discover the band on a Warrensburg station with microscopic local listenership. Nor did I. And I seriously doubt hardly anybody at that show did either.

      Maybe down the road…

      There’s no reason The Bridge cannot attain some degree of popularity here. That is if they can claw their way past KKFI!

  8. John Altevogt says:

    KMBC and KMBZ have got to be run by the two dumbest schmucks in the business. You couldn’t deliberately set out to destroy these stations and trash them any quicker than these morons.

    As for KKFI, laugh if you will at it’s patchwork quilt of programs and unprofessional on air staff, but the music tends to be first rate and some of the shows are so stupid that you just sit there mesmerized by how dumb they are, but you listen. I remember one where they were going to interview some paranoid whacko about the CIA and the guy pulled a no show. Unfazed, the host, who had never read the book, sat and talked to a series of stoners who, along with the host, tried to guess what the boo moght have been about and how they would react if that was what it really was about. Then there are the programs in Farsi (for that vast Iranian audence) and the American Indian tom-tom music that sounds like they’re burning John Wayne at the stake. How you can tell they’re playing a different song, and maybey they’re not, is beyond me.

    They should let the guy running KKFI run KMBC and KMBZ in his part time, he couldn’t do any worse and the worst host on KKFI is still more pleasant than listening to Dana and Parks. Maybe they should do their show in Farsi.

    • radio dude says:

      KMBC is a Television station…uh… Channel 9.
      Or were you referencing KCMO AM.
      Can’t say I disagree with Dana and Parks on lack of talent. However using KKFI as a replacement simply shows your not touch.
      Now if they could get a show like KCUR’s all things considered, then they would have some compelling content. Compelling content will always WIN

      • John Altevogt says:

        Understand that KMBC is TV, but in a similar tailspin as KMBZ and for what appears to be the same reason. And I agree on much of NPR programming. I took KMBZ ff my presets and put KCUR on in it’s place.

        • Late Breaking says:

          Who at KMBZ is an idiot? Seems to me that station is near the Top of Revenue each year, with hardly any ratings, same with WHB (ask any buyer for the demo numbers). so what makes this person a “schmuck?”

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