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Deck the Halls and Pass the Ammunition

The most recent San Diego radio ratings are out.  I just finished perusing them in Chris Carmichael’s SDRadio.net blog … the bible of broadcasting in the lower left corner.  Since Arbitron ratings are proprietary and my station is not a subscriber, I’ll not quote the actual numbers, just tell you that KYXY (96.5 FM) reindeer-kicked the competition’s butts with their Christmas bag of goodies.  Their Average Quarter Hour share was up there with what it used to take to win the market 30 years ago when there wasn’t nearly as much competition.  Trailing far behind were KSON (97.3 FM), Star 94,.1 (KMYI FM), Channel 933 (KHTS, 93.3 FM), KPBS FM (89.5), Jack FM (KFMB 100.7), Smooth 98.1 FM (KIFM), Recuerdo 102.9 (KLQV), La Nueva 106.5 (KLNV) and Z90.3 (XHTZ) rounding out the top ten highest rated stations out of … well, I’ll save that bomb for a few paragraphs.  Here then are some random thoughts about San Diego radio.  Think of it as my State of the Spectrum address for 2012. 

KYXY’s Christmas numbers hint at a repeat of LA’s holiday wars in America’s Finest City this Fall.  KOST (103.5) has traditionally done so well with all-Christmas music from Thanksgiving through Christmas Day in La-la land that The Wave (KTWV 94.7) jumped them and went all-Christmas music two days before KOST this past quarter.  KYXY is ripe for some competition this year.  We tried here at Pala Rez Radio, but with only 91.3 hours of the barking dogs and Grandma wearing hoofprints starting December 22, I guess we didn’t have enough time to build a credible challenge … LOL.  But you know, we didn’t turn on our Personal People Meter coding until two weeks ago, so maybe … mega LOL.  Trust me, I know my station is not in the same ball game.  That’s why I can talk about everyone else!

Speaking of PPM’s, they’ve really revolutionized ratings.  KHTS and XHTZ are getting monster cumes, but not nearly the time spent listening they used to promise clients.  So basically, if you’re an advertiser and want under 30 demographics in San Diego, buy a #@&*load of spots on those two stations, run one every 5 minutes and every under-30 in town will hear you.

Look at cume (relatively massive) vs. AQH (pitiful) for Ponte Exa 91.7 (XHGLX) and Q96, or as some call it, K-Sick (KSIQ 96.1), the half-hearted move-in from Brawley.  People are checking them out, but not sticking around.

I’m sure it will as people get used to the idea of news/talk on FM, but KOGO FM really needs to show ratings improvement in Q1 2012.  That’s embarrassing to finish behind the Julian repeater for the K-Love network! 

It’s always been said that San Diego is “over-radioed”.  What with move-ins, PPM’s and improved signal processing, transmission and reception there are now 67 signals listed in the San Diego ratings.  67!  And talk about fragmentation!  Only 19 of them have better than a 2 share … the point at which it was time to fire the PD and switch formats back in the day (1970’s and 80’s).  Barely more than a third have better than a 1 share.  OK, I’ll cut some slack and even offer congratulations to the stations based in LA and Inland Empire that made small showings in the San Diego book.

One of the most interesting and positive signs I see for the future of streaming is KYXY’s stream-only ratings.  Though it may be tainted by their substitute holiday format, when the relatively few streaming listeners they have tuned in, they really stuck with it.  If they’re listening on the go, I’d like to know who their cell service is with.  I can’t listen more than 10 or 15 minutes without losing connection.

If goofy government and myopic music companies don’t wreck it, streaming will soon be a force for the current over-the-air top dogs to contend with.  Some of the potential victims like KYXY are wisely leading the charge.

In the works now, I hope to let you know soon about some important streaming changes and a San Diego radio icon coming to Rez Radio.



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