Thursday, June 9, 2016


Nielsen Audio has released ratings estimates for a few of the top markets. More markets will be known tomorrow. Three Classical stations are showing notable increases in weekly cumulative listeners. For a format that some think is in decline, real world data tells a different story.

In San Francisco KDFC was up over 45,000 weekly listeners, an 11% increase from one month ago. WQXR, New York had over 25,000 more estimated weekly listeners and one of the best PPM reports in over a year. WFMT, Chicago – a commercial station that walks and talks like a noncom - was up a shopping 18%, adding around 50,000 new weekly listeners.

KUSC, Los Angeles, was down slightly but ts still has the most estimated weekly listeners for any noncommercial station in LA. Commercial WRR, Dallas, was down a bit.  I don’t consider WRTI, Philadelphia to be a Classical station because it airs Jazz for half of it airtime. WRTI would probably do a lot better if they picked one format and stuck to it.

WNYC-FM posted big gains in New York, up almost 100,000 (12%) estimated weekly cumulative listeners from April.

Recently a blog reader asked me why I use weekly cume estimates rather than Average-Quarter-Hour (AQH) info. To me AQH is better suited for commercial stations and ad agencies. Cost per rating point is still the currency for ad buys despite the fact that estimates for 15-minute periods date back to Hooper Ratings in the 1930s when radio was filled with fifteen minute programs.  Nielsen Audio PPM data is far more granular than arbitrary AQH tabulations.

To me weekly cume is the best way to track to noncom stations. A standard rule-of-thumb is that a noncom station’s members should be more or less 10% of total listening. Weekly cume also reflects changes in total persons using radio.

 ALL rated noncom stations in New York were up from April. WBGO and WFUV saw solid gains in weekly listeners.

 Jazz KKJZ continues to do very, very well. KCRW’s estimates may be a “wobble.”

 Steve Robinson at WFMT is probably popping a bottle of champagne now.

KQED remains very strong.  KALW has been up for six consecutive PPM reports.  Thank your lucky stars you aren’t working at commercial KFOG.  A noncom Triple A would be appreciated in the Bay Area.

KERA and KKXT in Dallas continue to add weekly listeners.  In the very competitive CCM race, the Adventists (KJRN) now have more weekly listeners than the folks at the local branch of WAY-FM.

These data are provided for use by Nielsen Audio subscribers ONLY, in accordance with
RRC's limited license with Nielsen Audio.
Monday-Sunday 6AM-Midnight Persons 6+
Data Copyright Nielsen Audio.
Format designations are the sole responsibility of Ken Mills Agency, LLC.

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