Thursday, December 19, 2019


This week we have been looking at the November 2019 Nielsen PPM ratings compared to one-year prior, November 2018.

On Tuesday we looked at 20 full-time contemporary music stations. On Wednesday we looked at 50 full-time NPR News/Talk stations . Today we are looking at Classical and Jazz stations.

We choose a Station of the Year for each of public radio’s four major formats based on their one-year ratings performance. We recognized Indie 102.3 in Denver and MPR News. Today we are featuring KPAC, San Antonio and KMHD, Portland.

KPAC [link] has been a part of life in San Antonio for 37 years. 

Over these years, the station has been an advocate for Classical music, the arts community and events.  

Between November 2018 and November 2019, KPAC increased their estimated listeners 36%.

Overall, the estimated number of weekly listeners to 28 full-time Classical music stations dropped by 4.7%, from 5,087,000 in November 2018 to 4,845,600 in November 2019.

WQXR, New York had the biggest decline (24%) in estimated weekly listeners, loosing 165,000 listeners during the period.

However, the majority of 28 full-time Classical music stations (54%) increased the number weekly listeners.

In addition to the gains by KPAC, the number of weekly listeners went up 19% at KSJN, 17% at KBAQ and15% at WCRB and KQAC.

There are five HD channels airing full-time Classical music that met Nielsen’s criteria to be reported in November 2019. 

To the best of our knowledge, none of these HD stations is repeated on a FM translator. The only HD channel that had a significant audience Is KUHF-HD2.

Five stations with dual formats air blocks of Classical. Three have both Classical music and Jazz music. KANU in Lawrence and WKNO in Memphis.

Our choice for Jazz music Station of the Year is KMHD in Portland. Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) operates it. KMHD [link] faced an existential challenge during 2019 when KMBH’s licensee, Mount Hood Community College, considering ending their agreement with OPB. But KMHD signed a multi-year renewal.

Overall, Jazz stations had the largest gains of public radio’s four formats. Eight of the 12 FM stations (67%) increased their estimated weekly listeners in November 2019 compared to November 2018.

The estimated weekly listed to the 12 stations went up 8.4%, from 1,773,100 in November 2018 to 1,892,900 in November 2018.

None of the four HD channels airing Jazz, had a significant number of weekly listeners.

Dual format KNKX in Seattle-Tacoma lost over 22% of its estimated weekly listeners.


  1. WPR Classical is on WHAD HD-2, so it would fit under the "HD stations" column

  2. Ken you really need to pay close attention to WEAA. I would consider them to be a duel format of Jazz and Public Radio News Talk. They carry 1A from 10AM-12PM and run local talk programming from 3 to 7 pm.