IdahoRadioNews: Big changes in spring 2014 ratings book

Ups and downs.

The world of radio is full of them. But in the recently released Nielsen Audio spring ratings survey of Boise, there is a tremendous amount of change.

Doing an analysis of 25-54 ratings from spring 2013 to spring 2014 shows near chaos. Look at this, ranked on percent change:

+172% KKGL/96.9 The Eagle
+100% KZMG/My 102.7
+81% KQXR/100.3 The X
+75% KJOT/Variety Rocks
+54% KSRV/96.1 Bob FM
+5% KAWO/Wow Country 104.3

-4% KWYD/Wild 101
-14% KCIX/Mix 106
-17% KRVB/94.9 The River
-20% KBOI
-25% KXLT/107.9 Lite FM
-33% KTHI/107.1 K-Hits
-34% KSAS/103.5 Kiss FM
-43% KQFC/97.9 Nash FM
-44% KTIK
-51% KIZN/Kissin 92.3

There are perhaps three storylines that come to light here: rising rock, Cumulus country challenges and My 102.7 FM’s arrival.

Starting with rock: the cohort of stations that primarily plays rock songs saw immense growth — even though KRVB fell off 17%. The rest of the group – KKGL, KQXR, KJOT & KSRV all saw gains with 25-54-year-old adults added 12 total points. Twelve. The Eagle went from the bottom to the top in one year flat (and it was before the boobs and drugs stuff), adding five full points. KKGL has had these odd ‘fluke books’ before where they rise up out of nowhere, then fall back to earth. We’ll see what happens in the fall. Bob FM also had a good book after fixing its format early this year. KJOT, a bit of a BOB-FM wannabe also saw good growth and is now back among the top stations in the market after decades off.

The folks who got Nielsen Audio books this spring were clearly rock fans.

The second storyline is My 102.7. This station was commercial free for months leading up to the ratings period, and saw strong word of mouth. It remains light on personality and spot load, giving it an edge over other stations in its category. The station jumped from not existing (zero) to a 4.7. While the new station still did not top Mix 106 (5.8), it built a strong base, and beat sister station Wild 101 and poppier rival Kiss FM. My 102.7’s 4.7 points were offset by a combined 3.9 point loss across Mix, Wild, Kiss and the River.

Mee-oh-my… Cumulus Media certainly did its best to upset the country apple cart in the market. While I don’t have the morning numbers (if you do, I’m happy to take your emails!), it is clear that KIZN was hurt by the exit of Kevin & Brenda Mee – and KQFC was devastated by the national Nash-FM brand. KQFC dropped from a 3.2 to a 1.8 in the 25-54 demo – a 43% blow. KIZN dropped from a 4.5 to a 2.2 – a 51% drop. Combined, the two stations shed nearly four points.  The two Cumulus country stations used to lead the market. Now, they’re near the bottom.

Wow Country 104.3 did benefit from the Cumulus problems – somewhat. It gained about 6%. New entry KQBL/100.7 The Bull notched a 1.1, soaking up some of the lost Cumulus points. It will be interesting to see if the Mee fanbase moves to the light AC format of KXLT. We’ll know more in the fall.

Summing it up

In the 12+ category, Kiss FM is still on top, followed by Wow Country, The Eagle, Bob FM and KBOI.  KTIK is hurting, but KNFL/ESPN Radio Boise didn’t rate – so we’ll see where this lands as we head to the sports-heavy fall season. The next book will be intriguing – I have a feeling rock will fall back to earth – but where everything else settles remains to be seen.

This chart shows 12+ share among the four major groups (and KKOO).

  • Townsquare (purple) has 30% share. That averages to 5% per station (when KFXD-AM, not rated, is factored in).
  • Cumulus (blue) has 25% of the points. That averages to  4.1% per station (when KTIK-AM , not rated, is factored in)
  • Impact (red) has 21% share. That averages to 4.2% per station (when KNFL-FM, not rated, is factored in)
  • Journal (green) has 20% share. All four stations have a relatively equal 5% rating.

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Don Day is the Digital Sales & Product Manager for KTVB and wrote & edited for five years. He also tweets a lot