A changing of the guard was in play in the July 2014 radio ratings as the once almighty Entercom became once again almighty.
In a nutshell, Entercom’s The Point beat Mix 93.3, The Wolf beat KFKF and Q104 and The Rock and The Buzz soared, kicking ass in Adults 18-49.
Even 610 Sports – courtesy of the Kansas City Royals – rose significantly, narrowing the ratings gap with a 4.2 share in Men 18-49 to sports powerhouse WHB’s 4.5 share.
Trust me, the champagne corks were popping.
They most certainly were not however at the radio cluster formerly owned by Wilks Broadcasting that sold – just in time – this past June to Steel City Media of Pittsburgh.
Because Wilks’ country music pride and joy KFKF continued a year long plunge from the top ratings spot to a distant 3rd place in listeners 12 and older, Monday through Sunday, 6 a.m. to midnight.
That as Wilks’ longtime CHR force-to-be-reckoned with KMXV (Mix 93.3) allowed KZPT (The Point) to pass it for the first time ever in the broadest rankings in both cume (total listeners) and average quarter hour share.
The Point did slip past Mix in Women 25-54 average quarter hour share once last year and has beaten them in that demo in cume 14 out of the last 19 months.
“The only other radio station that’s ever beaten Mix in cume is KCFX (The Fox) and that was during football season with the Chiefs,” says a radio insider.
There’s a good reason for The Point’s rise and Mix’s fall.
And that’s because The Point has been playing a listener-friendly 25 percent more music (and fewer ads) than Mix.
With far more music and fewer ads, listeners are more likely to stay tuned than to “button push” away.
Net result: higher ratings.
“The Point’s 10 songs in a row is putting a world of hurt on the Mix,” says one radio exec. “It’s giving The Point the opportunity to overtake Mix and that’s why they have overtaken them.”
Ditto for Entercom’s WDAF FM (The Wolf) against and Q104 and KFKF.
Case in point: an accounting of the number of songs played per hour on The Point and Mix one weekday last month from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. had that Mix playing 135 songs to The Point’s 172 songs.
That’s more than 27 percent more music (and fewer ads) on The Point than on Mix.
Whixh is a lot.
In other noteworthy changes for July, moribund News Radio KMBZ basically flatlined (as in held steady) following its precipitous downturn this year.
“It’s still on its back heels,” says an insider. “The winter and fall elections can’t come fast enough.”
That said, KMBZ reportedly ranked in the Top Five in Men 25-54 in morning and afternoon drives – the time slots it features local programming – and it continues to be an advertising cash cow.
The flip side of that:
“Nobody cares about No. 5 in men,” says the source. “Very few big advertisers buy five deep for men 25-54 – they buy the top three. Here you have both an AM and an FM signal that’s only No. 5 – big deal – whoopee.
“They’re not going to be playing the ad agency game, they’re going to be stuck having to deal with (smaller) direct buys, but that’s what KMBZ is good at. They’re great at dealing with direct clients. The fact is though that they’re going the wrong way – they’re at the lowest point they’ve ever been at in the history of their AM/FM simulcast – and maybe the lowest ever period.”
In the wide world of sports, the buzz on the street in recent weeks has been about Sports Radio WHB losing its status as an “Official Broadcast Partner” of the Kansas City Chiefs.
“They couldn’t pay their rights fees to the Chiefs for being an Official Broadcast Partner,” says a source. “And it all unraveled right before training camp began and the Chiefs cancelled the agreement altogether.”
Insiders estimate the yearly rights fees for the Chiefs to be well into six-figures.
WHB owner Union Broadcasting reportedly experienced similar difficulties with the Royals several years back.
In the world of rock and roll, Entercom flexed it muscles as well, both at The Rock (98.9 FM) and The Buzz (96.5 FM).
The Rock was No. 1 in Adults 18-49 and morning mainstay Johnny Dare was No. 1 in that same demo with an 11.1 share.
The Buzz was No. 2 n Adults 18-49 with a 7.3 share and 1st in Adults 18-34 and Men 18-34. And Buzz afternoon drive maestro Lazlo captured the No. 1 slots for Men and Adults 18-34 (and No. 2 in Men and Adults 25-54).