IdahoRadioNews: Kiss tops Fall radio ratings

The new year means a new set of radio ratings – this time for the fall of 2013 ‘book’ that ran from mid-September through early-December.

1013275_678280445523079_1618957351_nThe big winner: KSAS/103.5 Kiss FM. In fact, the station is one of the biggest winners in a single book I’ve seen in my 15 years watching the Boise radio market. Among listeners 12 years and older, Kiss notched a 9.6 rating – 30% higher than the number two station.

Kiss made a splash as it changed dial positions from 103.3 to 103.5 FM right in the middle of the rating period. Billboards and digital ads helped support the switch. Even when you filter out teens and young adults, KSAS is on top in the 25-54 demo, tied with sister station KCIX/Mix 106.

Comparing the numbers to last fall, KBOI-AM saw a large drop – losing more than 25% of its ratings. This comes as a surprise as KBOI generally has a strong fall rating book buoyed by Boise State football.

KRVB/94.9 The River, which we profiled here earlier this year did a major image makeover – and saw ratings go up, though the rise was only 7%. The River was up slightly in the 25-54 as well.

KSRV/96.1 Bob FM saw large decreases from fall 2012 as well, falling from a 5.1 to a 2.9 12+. In the 25-54 demo the decease for Bob was even more pronounced, falling from first place to 10th, losing half its audience.

KKOO/99.5 Kool Oldies saw a surprising rise from nowhere, to land a 3.3 12+ rating. But when you look at folks younger than 54 years old, the station has a very small 0.3 number. The shortcut: There are a large number of folks well outside the advertiser demo listening to this station.

The group with the big bragging rights is Townsquare Media (formerly Peak Broadcasting). Its stations – Kiss, Wow, Mix and Lite make up four out of the top five stations in both 12+ and 25-54 ratings. No group really comes close, though Cumulus Media comes in a distant second.

(A note: Nielsen purchased Arbitron last year, and now conducts the radio ratings in the market with the same methods used previously. The Nielsen radio ratings period is conducted separately from the Nielsen television ratings period).

The full rundown, 12+:
KSAS/103.5 Kiss FM – Townsquare – 9.6
KAWO/Wow Country 104.3 – Townsquare – 7.1
KCIX/Mix 106 – Townsquare – 6.7
KBOI/670 AM – Cumulus – 5.9
KXLT/107.9 Lite FM – Townsquare – 4.6
KQFC/97.9 Nash FM – Cumlus – 4.2
KIZN/Kissin 92.3 – Cumulus – 4.2
KQXR/100.3 The X Rocks – Journal – 4.0
KTHI/107.1 K-Hits – Journal – 3.8
KWYD/Wild 101 – Impact – 3.4
KRVB/94.9 The River – Journal – 3.3
KKOO/ Kool Oldies 99.5 – Treasure Valley – 3.3
KSRV/96.1 Bob FM – Impact – 2.9
KKGL/96.9 The Eagle – Cumulus – 2.7
KJOT/Variety Rock 105.1 – Journal – 2.7
KIDO/NewsRadio 580 – Townsquare – 2.1
KTIK/93.1 The Ticket – Cumulus – 1.5
KNFL/96.5 ESPN Boise – Impact – 1.0

Top 12 25-54:
Kiss FM – 8.7
Mix 106 – 8.7
Wow Country – 7.6
The X – 5.1
Lite FM – 4.7
Kissin 92.3 – 4.4
KQFC – 4.0
The Eagle – 4.0
Bob FM – 3.6
KBOI – 3.3
Wild 101 – 3.3
Variety Rock 105.1 – 3.3

Disclosure: Don Day is the digital sales & product manager for KTVB. Ad campaigns for several local stations ran on the products he oversees during the ratings period. He wrote the blog for more than six years.

IdahoRadioNews: New ‘flow’ for The River

KRVB/Idaho’s 94.9 The River has been part of the Boise airwaves for just more than 13 years. It launched by evolving KFXJ/KF-95 in May of 2000. For quite some time, the station was thematically similar to its predecesor – and in its station imaging promoted that it played “world class rock” and sub-genres like blues, folk and reggae. Over the decade the station evolved – but in recent months has seen a fairly agressive format tweak.

Former KRVB logo
Former KRVB logo

Obvious changes like a new logo and tagline (“music first”) are accompanied by more subtle updates like the station’s playlist. But that playlist is really the soul of any station, and The River is flowing a bit faster these days.

A casual radio listener remarked to me that The River sounds a lot more like Mix 106 these days – and it doesn’t take long to hear the similarities. In the past week, The River played the latest track by Pink almost 40 times – a song that is at home on pop stations as much as on formats like the River.

In an interview with trade publication All Access, newly promoted program director Tim Johnstone acknowledged both the changes and the similarity to Mix – though Johnstone notes the similarities are as much drive by Mix’s deviation into his territory as anything.

tim-johnstone-2013-06-24“KCIX has been taking advantage of the groundwork we’ve laid for artists like The Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, Of Monsters & Men and many of the singer/songwriters who have launched from this format,” he said. “In terms of overlap, it definitely ebbs and flows. Were in a heavy flow period currently.”

The River is one of those stations that has a unique place in the market. It might be cliche to say it is popular among North Enders – but there is possible some kernel of truth. One local agency rep once told me that it isn’t a coincidence that Subaru dealers find a good fit for their ads on The River.  The station clearly drives results from many advertisers – but it has long struggled in a key area: the ratings. Numbers have bounced in the 3.0 range (12+) for the last three books – at the bottom of the pile among the FM, English-language music stations.

While no official word is available on the station’s website or social media, it appears former Miss Idaho Misty Taylor has been added to mornings alongside Boise radio stalwart Ken Bass – with Tim Johnstone segueing to a live afternoon shift. Taylor actually appeared on the Boise morning radio waves once before – about a decade ago on KSAS/103.3 Kiss FM. They tease the change here – but it’s not clear if it’s permanent.

There is a vast land of opportunity for The River. KCIX was the number three station in the book on the broad ratings measure – and was exceedingly strong with women. If KRVB can chip a few listeners away – increased ad dollars should follow.