Friday, February 5, 2016

NPR NEWS STATIONS SHOW BIGGEST GAINS IN ONE-YEAR DIARY MARKET TRENDS




NPR News Stations overall did very, very well in Fall 2015 Diary Markets. Sixty-seven percent added new estimated weekly cumulative listeners compared to Fall 2014. This is good news for the folks on North Capitol Street because it appears their good work is appreciated more than over in medium and small sized markets.

In the analysis, we included only stations that are fulltime in each format (with the exception of Jazz) to provide an apples-to-apples comparison.  Dual formatted stations were not included because without seeing hour-by-hour data the impact of one format versus another.

We analyzed the top 21 NPR News stations, ranked by the number of estimated weekly cumulative listens that have full-time news formats. As a group, the Diary market stations outperformed stations in PPM markets in the one-year trends.

Here is a summary of the five major noncommercial formats in Diary markets:
  
Here is a summary of the four “secular” noncommercial formats in PPM markets:



Classical Stations as a group saw declines in weekly listeners in both PPM and Diary markets.  Between Fall 2014 and Fall 2015 62% of Classical Stations in Diary markets lost weekly listeners and 72% in PPM markets lost weekly listeners.

Triple A Stations did pretty well in both Diary and PPM markets. There were several stations in Diary markets that are new Nielsen Audio subscribers, so we couldn’t calculate trends.

Jazz Stations did extremely well in PPM markets – 69% of the stations gained weekly listeners.  Jazz stations in Diary markets are harder to characterize because we are tracking only two that have full-time music formats. We added three dual-format stations that air lots of Jazz.  Here is the Diary market Jazz chart:


Contemporary Christian Music (“CCM”) in Diary markets was a mixed bag – half of the most-listened-to added weekly listeners, and the other half lost listeners. Here is the Diary market CCM chart:

 TRENDS OBSERVED

1. Lots of people currently listen to noncommercial radio. Let me repeat that: Lots of people currently listen to noncommercial radio. At a time when persons using radio declines 1% - 2% per year, many noncommercial stations are adding new listeners. There is no mass exodus away from noncom radio.

2. It is good to see the listener gains by NPR News stations. The angst about loosing younger listeners is balanced with solid support – even growth - in the Boomer and Gen-X demoa.

3. Look for continued growth in the number and performance of Triple A stations. New “Music discovery” noncoms have signed on, or will soon, in Santa Cruz, Fort Collins/Denver and Duluth. At some point in the future I predict there will be more Triple A noncoms than Classical noncoms.


DATA © NIELSON AUDIO
Provided by RRC, Inc. for use by subscribers only
© Radio Research Consortium, Inc. // www.RRConline.org //
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 12+ (Diary markets)
Monday-Sunday 6AM-Midnight Persons 6+ (PPM markets)

Data Copyright Nielsen Audio.
Format designations are the sole responsibility of Ken Mills Agency, LLC.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

WEEKLY LISTENER GAINS AT WBOI, KBSX & WNIJ SET THE PACE FOR NPR NEWS STATIONS



NOTE: UPDATE BELOW


Today we focus on the top twenty full-time NPR News stations in Nielsen Audio Diary markets comparing estimates for Fall 2015 and Fall 2014.  For clarity, this is an apples-to-apples comparison of stations that air primarily NPR and other news programming. There are many stations in Diary markets that have dual formats. Without hour-by-hour data, these stations are harder to compare to each other.



Scroll down to see the complete list.
Peter Dominowski



 WBOI – Northeast Indiana Public Radio in Fort Wayne [link] is the star performer adding 35% more weekly listeners in the one-year period. GM Peter Dominowski and PD Katy Anderson have done a terrific job turning around WBOI is a very challenging city. 

More listening leads to more support.  According to Northeast Indiana Public Radio’s 2014 financial report, two-thirds of the organization’s $1.6 million revenue comes from listener-sensitive activities like pledging and underwriting.

KBSX, Boise gained 32% more weekly listeners; WNIJ, Rockford gained 28%; WVPE, South Bend gained 26%; and, KCLU-FM, Thousand Oaks added 24%.

Overall, 13 (65%) of the top twenty stations in Diary markets gained weekly listeners between Fall 2014 and Fall 2015. Seven stations (35%) lost weekly listeners. The most dramatic decline was at WFSU, Tallahassee (21%).

UPDATE: 
An eagle-eyed reader said I missed WUWF when I compiled the information below. Thank you! Add WUWF to the list of full-time NPR News stations showing double digit increases in weekly cumulative listeners.

MARKET
STATION
2014 WEEKLY LISTENERS
2015 WEEKLY LISTENERS
TREND
Pensacola
WUWF
45,000
55,900
+ 19%



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 12+

Data Copyright Nielsen Audio.
Format designations are the sole responsibility of Ken Mills Agency, LLC.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

KHPR, WMHT & WXXI-FM LEAD IN DIARY MARKET CLASSICAL LISTENERS


Today we look at 28 stations in Diary markets that have full-time Classical music formats.

Hawaii Public Radio’s Classical service (“KHPR”) again tallied over 100,000 weekly cumulative listeners according to estimates reported by Nielsen Audio during the Fall 2015 survey period. KHPR saw a slight decrease in weekly listeners compared to Fall 2015.

Iowa Public Radio’s Classical service, WXXI-FM, Vermont Public Radio’s Classical service had double-digit gains.  KBSU, KLRE and WBNI saw the biggest decreases in weekly listeners.

Of the 28 stations tracked, 16 (62%) saw decreases in weekly listeners and 10 (38%) gained weekly listeners.  Data for Fall 2014 was available for two stations.



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 12+

Data Copyright Nielsen Audio.
Format designations are the sole responsibility of Ken Mills Agency, LLC.







Tuesday, February 2, 2016

WNRN IS THE STAR PERFORMER IN DIARY MARKET TRIPLE A TRENDS


WNRN is a Star! The Triple A station based in Charlottesville, Virginia, scored an estimated 73,000 Weekly cumulative listeners in the Fall 2015 Nielsen Audio ratings.

WNCN serves a wide region that includes four (4!) Nielsen Audio Diary markets.
From its 300-watt transmitter it feeds an extensive network of translators in the heart of Virginia. WNRN [link] is a major presence in Roanoke, Lynchburg, Richmond and Harrisonburg in addition to Charlottesville. 

WNRN is operated by STU-COMM, a fiercely independent nonprofit corporation that began in 1993. WNRN signed on in 1996. They earn their success: More than 90% of WNRN’s operating budget comes from listener and underwriting support.

Congratulations to everyone at WNRN! 



 
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 12+

Data Copyright Nielsen Audio.
Format designations are the sole responsibility of Ken Mills Agency, LLC.



Monday, February 1, 2016

TODAY IT IS ALL ABOUT IOWA


With the Iowa caucuses happening tonight, I thought it might be timely to focus on radio in the Hawkeye State. Political candidates have made extensive use of commercial stations, particularly right wing talk stations, to target potential caucus goers with messages.

Speaking of right wing talkers, WHO AM 1040 is king of the hill. WHO is the only single media source that reaches the entire state. WHO [link] in the home of Mickelson In the Morning, considered a very influential conservative agenda setter.  It is also the place on the dial to hear Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and local Evangelical crusader Simon Conway.

WHO has a long legacy serving the people of Iowa. It signed on April 10, 1924. Future US President Ronald Reagan worked at WHO in the mid 1930s. Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia) acquired WHO in 1998 and operates it today. According the Nielsen Audio, WHO had a 9.3 average-quarter-hour (AQH) in Fall 2015 – the number one station in the market. WHO is likely a big money-maker for iHeart.  The Iowa caucuses bring a windfall every four years.  Local folks say WHO is run as cheaply as possible.

ALMOST IOWA PUBLIC RADIO


Iowa Public Radio (“IPR”) [link] was created around ten years ago when the State of Iowa forced a merger of WOI (Iowa State University), WSUI/KSUI (University of Iowa) and KUNI (Northern Iowa University).  These stations and universities are fierce competitors and remnants of past disputes between them still surface occasionally.

The three stations also brought different cultures to the union. WOI focused on agriculture on WOI AM 640 and didn’t concentrate on its Des Moines FM. WSUI/KSUI was so sleepy they didn’t begin on-air fundraising until the early 1990s.  Doug Vernier at KUNI created a remarkable local network of stations and translators with two discreet program streams.

One handicap for Iowa Public Radio is that it doesn’t cover all of Iowa.  IPR lacks stations in two essential Iowa markets: Sioux City and Council Bluffs, part of the Omaha metro.  Here is an IPR planning map for the merger:


Despite the drawbacks, IPR today sounds terrific. It offers three distinct program streams: 24/7 NPR News, 24/7 Classical and Studio One, a dual format of NPR News and Triple A. 


IPR has two of the best daily talk and interview programs in the nation. Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe and River to River hosted by Ben Kieffer frequently receive PRNDI Awards for their excellence competing with some of the largest NPR News stations.

IOWA RATED MARKETS

Below are charts showing listening in four Iowa markets. Nielsen Audio data for Sioux City and Waterloo/Cedars Falls was not available because local stations do not subscribe to the ratings.  IPR purchases data only for Des Moines so we dug into our archives to find illustrative results from older Arbitron reports. Of course, things have changed since then but these are the best estimates available.




DES MOINES: The two IPR channels that provide NPR News appear to be doing very well. IPR’s Classical channel is underperforming, perhaps due to signal coverage issues.  Northwestern College’s CCM giant KNWI has significant listening.

Not shown in the Fall 2015 is Triple A KFMG, led by my old progressive rock friend Ron Sorenson. Check out this remarkable LPFM station at [link].










CEDAR RAPIDS: All three IPR channels do well. Small independent Jazz station KCCR, based at Coe College, seems to have slipped a bit but they still provide a unique service.













QUAD CITIES: The “quads” are Davenport and Bettendorf in Iowa and Moline and Rock Island in Illinois, bunched together on the Mississippi River. Because none of the “quads” are major cities, the market has a small-town feel. There are two notable noncoms: WVIK (Rock Island) where GM Jay Pearce has bought a once sleepy station to life, and Urban Contemporary WVGG, one of the highest-rated LPFM stations in the nation.






OMAHA/COUNCIL BLUFFS: People should pay more attention to KIWR, serving the Omaha metro from the Bluffs. It is known as The River [link] and it airs kick-ass modern rock that is loved (and supported) by thousands of listeners.


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 12+

Data Copyright Nielsen Audio.
Format designations are the sole responsibility of Ken Mills Agency, LLC.