No ratings hangover for Christmas format.
Getting a ratings thunderbolt from the all-Christmas format is only half the battle. The more difficult maneuver is convincing a portion of that newfound cume to stick around once regular programming resumes. For a third consecutive year, the Christmas format produced a ratings halo that lingered after the holidays.
Of the 12 Christmas stations in non-embedded PPM markets whose January ratings were released yesterday, 9 posted a bigger 6+ share than in November 2012, before all Christmas music sent their ratings into the stratosphere. All-Christmas stations came out of the holidays with an average 9% higher 6+ share than when they entered the season, rising from an average 4.7 in November to a 5.1 in January.
Santa helped Jerry Lee AC “B101” WBEB, Philadelphia convert a 5.6 in November into a 6.8 in January. All-Yule helped add a full share in January for Clear Channel “Coast 103” KOST, Los Angeles and a 0.7 for sister “106.7 Lite FM” WLTW, New York. All Christmas ACs in Dallas, Chicago, San Francisco and Houston gained half a share or less. Programmers say on-air execution and off-air marketing have been critical in getting newfound listeners to stick around after the station returns to its regular format.
Even with one toe in the Christmas format, Cox Media Group AC “B98.5” WSB, Atlanta emerged 0.7 higher in January than in November to rank third in the market. But year-over-year January ratings were a mixed bag. Half of the stations that went all-Christmas both years had a higher 6+ share in January 2013 compared to one year earlier.
Elsewhere, there are new victors in a pair of format wars. There’s been an upset in Chicago’s regional Mexican battle. Apart from a November hiccup, Clear Channel’s “El Patron 95.5” WNUA has been steadily climbing for the past seven monthlies. The station more than doubled its 6+ share from a 1.5 in July 2012 to a 3.7 in January, to rank sixth. That moves it ahead of Univision Radio rival “Que Buena 105.1” WOJO for the first time in years. Trending 3.9-3.5 in January, WOJO had its lowest 6+ share in more than a year.
January also brought a shakeup to Atlanta’s CHR skirmish. Lunging 3.7-4.6, Cumulus Media’s “Q100” WWWQ regains its lead over Clear Channel challenger “Power 96.1” WWPW, which stumbles 4.6-4.1.
There were also big ratings books for hot AC in L.A. and Chicago. CBS Radio SVP of programming Greg Strassell began 2013 by heralding it “the year of hot AC.” Based on the first batch of January PPM results, he may be on to something. In Los Angeles, Clear Channel hot AC “104.3 My FM” KBIG jumps 4.8-5.4 to finish second, just 0.3 behind first place sister CHR KIIIS. It’s KBIG’s all-time highest PPM 6+ share. In Chicago, Hubbard Broadcasting “101.9 FM the Mix” WTMX rips 3.9-4.8 to rank third for its best 6+ share since June of last year.
Head over to StationRatings.com for more January PPM results.