IdahoRadioNews: Spring ratings roundup

­More ups and downs in the Boise radio market – but one thing is clear: country ruled the day this spring.

Look – let’s just say something: people writing down what they listened to on the radio (or watched on TV) is a pretty ridiculous way to determine millions of dollars in ad spending in 2016… but it’s all we have.

With that in mind, let’s look at winners and losers in the spring Nielsen book for radio among people 12+.

KBOI-AM topped the ratings with a 6.4.

The first Wild Swing Award goes to KAWO/Wow Country 104.3 which doubled its ratings from last fall – popping from a 2.7 to a 5.8, and the number two spot in the ratings. The station has a new-ish morning show and it seems to be gelling with audiences.

In the number three spot is relative upstart KQBL/101.9 The Bull. The station popped to a 4.9 rating. The ratings snapshot happened before Kevin & Brenda Mee joined the station – which could help increase ratings even further for the station.

After KTHI/107.1 K-Hits in fourth place – comes another country station, KIZN/Kissin 92. Kissin also nearly doubled its rating from a 2.6 to a 4.7 in the spring book.

Just those three country stations account for a combined 15.4 rating. Lots of country lovers got ratings diaries this spring!

Elsewhere: In the pop war, KSAS/103.5 Kiss FM climbed back on top of KWYD/Wild 101. Wild won the fall, Kiss wins the spring with a sold 4.5 rating to Wild’s 4.0.

Among hot adult contemporary stations, KCIX/Mix 106 saw significant falloff from the fall after the exit of popular morning host Kate McGwire. Mix fell from a 5.0 to a 3.8. However, the station still topped competitor KZMG/My 102.7. KXLT/107.9 Lite FM dropped significantly as it usually does in the spring when Christmas music is long gone – from a 5.6 rating to a 4.0.

Something notable happened in the sports race: KTIK/The Ticket got knocked off the throne. The heritage sports station fell to KNFL/ESPN Boise in the ratings for the first time. In fact, KNFL beat both KTIK stations, combined by quite a bit. (1.4 for ESPN Boise versus a total of 1.0 for both KTIK AM & FM). KNFL added BJ Rains & Jay Tust from 9-11am and beefed up its local afternoon show – a formula that appears to be working.

If you look at the ratings by group, Scripps cemented its status as the lowest-rated cluster in the market. The Scripps stations saw slight growth from fall, but came in fourth place behind leader Townsquare, second-place finisher Cumulus, and Impact radio in third. The average rating for a Scripps station is just 3.325 – while the average Townsquare station brings an average of 4.22 points (and Townsquare has more stations).

Don Day is principal at Don Day Digital after a 17-year career in media. 

IdahoRadioNews: Movin’ to the country

With the spring book right around the corner, a flurry of changes in recent weeks on the airwaves — especially those waves that carry a country twang.

Cumulus personell moves

KQFC/97.9 Nash FM has swapped out its local morning show with a syndicated product. Long-running host Cory Mikhals gave way to Blair Garner and America’s Morning Show. The show is part of the Nash brand launched by KQFC owner Cumulus last year, and will be heard on a wide variety of stations across the, er– country.

At sister station KIZN/Kissin’ 92.3, 15-year veteran morning team Mee in the Morning is out. The married pair (somewhat better known as Kevin & Brenda) segued out of the station earlier this month. The reason behind the parting of ways is unknown – but sources say contract negotiations had been going on for a while. Nielsen (Arbitron) ratings for the Mees, and KIZN in general, have flagged in recent years.

cory-mikhalsThe Mee-team will be replaced this week by — wait for it — Cory Mikhals. Mikhals will switch studios in the Cumulus building effective Tuesday.

Here’s the announcement of the Nash & Kissin’ changes.

Bull moseys back into town

tNCrhmSjFriday, another development for country listeners: Boise got another Western-themed station. KQBL/100.7 The Bull replaced KPDA/100.7 La Poderosa at 5 p.m., replacing the regional Mexican format used by the Impact-owned station in recent years.

The change on 100.7 happened at the same time Impact officially sold off 99.1 FM to Lee Family Broadcasting of Twin Falls. 99.1 now leaves the Boise market (more on that in a moment).

With the chess moves, Impact now operates four English-language music formats and a sports radio frequency: KSRV/96.1 Bob FM, KWYD/Wild 101, KQBL/100.7 The Bull, KZMG/My 102.7 and KNFL/96.5 ESPN Boise. Those moves double the number of music stations in Impact’s… bull-pen.

So why all the fancy footwork? Ultimately, Impact trades away a rough signal that broadcast out of Mountain Home for a strong signal on top of Bogus Basin.

Not mentioned in all this country fun: KAWO/Wow Country 104.3. The Townsquare Media-owned country station is the market leader in the segment, and hasn’t made any recent shifts.

Here’s the launch of The Bull:

My 102.7 still spot-less

myKZMG/My 102.7 is still without commercials — but that may not last long. Impact could not own the station until it closed on the sale of  99.1 FM due to FCC rules. Now that’s happened, expect commercial messages soon.

The station is introducing a variety of interactive features. Some are routine, while others are novel to the Boise market. Listeners are invited to dial up my1027fm.com and vote songs up and down. They can also get a text or email alert when their favorite jam is about to play. During work-hours, the station will allow listeners to pick the first song played at the top of the hour from its website (from a pre-selected list).

99.1 to the dogs

Last year, Lee Family Broadcasting announced it would format 99.1 as “La Perrona” – a Regional Mexican station. When Lee Family got its hooks into the station, it launched… 99.1 The Dog.  Imaging takes swipes at cross-town country station Kat Kountry. It isn’t really clear to me the long term story here. You can hear the launch of 99.1 The Dog below:

(Update: 99.1 has now transitioned to the La Perrona format)

Don Day is the Digital Sales & Product Manager for KTVB, and wrote and edited IdahoRadioNews.com for more than six years.

IdahoRadioNews: Lights out after 7, for now

Call any Boise radio station’s request line after 7 p.m. and you won’t get a human being. Long a staple of radio – the evening shift is now a wasteland of musical jokeboxes and voicetrackers.

The last holdout was KSAS/103.3 Kiss FM’s Nathan Fast who held down the 7 p.m. to midnight shift for the Peak Broadcasting station for the past several years. Fast announced via social media (and YouTube) late Monday that this Friday would be his last day on the air.

But as Tuesday evening came around, the station was in automated mode – and Fast had gone largely silent on social. KSAS scrubbed (most) references to Fast Tuesday on its website.

Once upon a time, a radio personality would quit or be laid off and the audience would never hear from them again. But in the age of social media, the personality maintains a connection with the audience. Fast happens to be the most-followed local media personality on Twitter (more than at the newspaper or any TV station). That plus a robust Facebook presence gives Fast (and any jock who engages on social) a way to at least say goodbye. It appears that may outreach may have signaled the end for Nathan. It’s not clear whether the initial decision to leave was his or the station’s.

Update: For now Boise will be jockless after 7 p.m.  Sources say this isn’t likely to be a long-term situation, at least at the top-rated station in the market.

Update2: Peak GM Kevin Godwin says Fast got a new job in a bigger market and the parting is amicable and wishes Nathan the best. He emphasizes a search for a new PM jock will start shortly.

Welcoming a new contributor

Here at Idaho Ad Agencies, we’ve long counted on tips and contributions from others, and for years Don Day’s Idaho Radio News site was one we turned to for all things radio-related.

And today we’re happy to announce that Don has now become a contributor to the Idaho Ad Agencies site. Look for posts from him, and his unique perspective on the media, advertising and marketing from time to time.

Welcome aboard Don.