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: My my, changes are afoot

A number of changes are rolling across the radio dials of Boise and Twin Falls. Stations are changing hands, flipping formats, and getting new competitors.

On October 31st, KSAS/103.3 Kiss FM moved up the dial to 103.5 FM. This was the first, and for the Boise market at least, most visible part of a plan that’s been in the works since 2006.

myShortly after KSAS moved, a brand new station joined the radio dial at 102.7 FM. The station moved in from Elko, NV – getting a prized transmitter on Deer Point with full coverage of the Boise market. It took on the call letters KZMG (the long-time heritage call letters of Magic 93.1, which date back to April of 1990; the new station has no direct relation to Magic).

KZMG signed on playing non-stop music under the name My 102.7 FM — taking aim at KCIX/Mix 106 and to some degree KXLT/107.9 Lite FM.  News came late last week that FM Idaho/Impact Radio would purchase the station from its current owner, giving Impact a new, full-market signal. The station should complement sister KWYD/Wild 101 with female demographics and sales efforts, in much the same way Town Square Media’s (formerly Peak Broadcasting) Kiss FM & Mix 106 do.

With recent shifts at KRVB/94.9 The River, the number of stations playing some version of pop or adult contemporary hits stands at six – KWYD/Wild 101, KSAS/103.5 Kiss FM, KCIX/Mix 106, KZMG/My 102.7, KRVB/94.9 The River and KXLT/107.9 Lite FM. You can visualize the way the stations lay out with this handy little chart:


La PerronaThe next piece of the puzzle is the purchase of KINF-FM from Impact Radio by Lee Family Broadcasting of Twin Falls. KINF currently serves both the Boise and Twin Falls markets, but soon will shift entirely toward the Magic Valley. Lee Family announced it would buy KINF and flip the format from talk to  Regional Mexican under the name La Perrona 99.1 FM with call letters KPNA.

It’s my understanding a few more things will change up affecting some stations not listed here in coming weeks. We’ll provide an update on that soon.

Update: If it wasn’t clear which station Impact was targeting, this Facebook post makes it so:

Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 2.09.28 PM

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

IdahoRadioNews: Changes on the Boise radio dial

The changes in the Boise market never stop.  KSAS/103.3 Kiss FM transitioned to 103.5 FM on Thursday. The move was smartly marketed as an “upgrade” and is part of a number of station moves around the state.

Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 11.09.20 PMA new station, KPHD/102.7 FM will soon light up in the market. It is currently broadcasting in the Elko, NV area, but once it begins to air in Boise it will have full market coverage (map at right). It is presently owned by Kevin Terry, who also owns a group of stations in Montana. It is unclear if Terry will operate the station. I’ve heard unconfirmed reports an existing local group will run the station.

KZNO/102.9 The Zone in Twin Falls is also moving – to 103.1 FM. KSKI Sun Valley will move from 103.7 to 94.5. Those three moves make up enough space on the FM band for the new signal at 102.7 (essentially moving all three around to open up the slot).

When first proposed this was even more complicated and impacted another half a dozen or so additional stations. To give you an idea of how long this process took, I first wrote about it in 2006 – more than seven years ago.

1013275_678280445523079_1618957351_nAs for Kiss – the station put a big push into the move. The transition itself had a few neat hooks for radio geeks. Music director Chris “Lucky tha DJ” Stewart played “Ooops… I Did It Again” by Britney Spears as the penultimate song on 103.3 FM. This was the very first song played when Kiss took over for a rock format in 2000.

They then played a song related to the station’s long-standing child abuse prevention awareness campaign. After an extensive bit of imaging, the station segued to 103.5 FM — and played… Baby Got Back by Sir Mixalot.

Then, since it was Halloween, Stewart played Thriller by Michael Jackson.  Thriller is a favorite of Darrell Calton at rival Impact Radio – who often plays the song on loop when launching new stations in the market. Hoss Grigg, the first program director for Kiss FM told me the station actually played Thriller during its transition from rock to pop as well. Neat symmetry.

You can hear an iPhone recording of the flip here:

(Don is the Internet Sales/Product Manager for KTVB, and the former editor of

IdahoRadioNews: Fall book results

Meridian radio towers
Meridian radio towers

You can scope out the 12+ results over here, but I’ve compiled a quick scorecard of winners (and losers) in areas folks care about.

  • Adults 25-54
    1. KSRV/96.1 Bob FM – Impact
    2. KCIX/Mix 106 – Peak
    3. KSAS/103.3 Kiss FM – Peak
  • Women 25-54
    1. tie – KCIX/Mix 106 – Peak
      tie – KSAS/103.3 Kiss FM – Peak
    2. tie – KXLT/107.9 Lite FM – Peak
      tie – KWYD/Wild 101 – Impact
      tie – KIZN/Kissin’ 92.3 – Cumulus
  • Men 25-54
    1. KSRV/96.1 Bob FM – Impact
    2. KQXR/100.3 The X – Journal
    3. KBOI/NewsTalk 670 – Cumulus
  • Mornings 12+
    1. KCIX/Mix 106
    2. KBOI/NewsTalk 670
  • Mornings W25-54
    1. tie – KCIX/Mix 106
      tie – KSAS/103.3 Kiss FM
  • Mornings M25-54
    1. KQXR/100.3 The X
    2. tie – KCIX/Mix 106
      tie – KSRV/96.1 Bob FM

A couple of other battles of note: The country battle was a bit of a split decision – KQFC won 12+, but KIZN won among women. KAWO, which was the big story in the last book fell off a bit in most demographics.

Lite FM handily topped KJOT among Christmas stations.

The story of this book might be a collapse at KKGL. As noted above, the station was topped in mornings among men by Mike & Kate on KCIX. Traditionally KCIX is strong with women in the morning and the syndicated Bob & Tom sees big strength among men – but in this book KKGL lost significant ground – with KKGL losing well more than half of its ratings points in the daypart. In another fluke, among 12+, KJOT beat KKGL – though KJOT was fueled by Christmas music, something they can’t sustain in the spring.

For the four groups, Impact and Peak have much to celebrate. Journal and Cumulus have a few bright spots but also feel like they have some work to do I’d imagine.

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.