If you've ever been stuck in traffic on the 405 or the 10, you know how important morning radio is to Los Angelenos. The top stations and shows they're tuned to are the focus of this week's edition of Inside Radio's “By The Numbers,” reviewing Nielsen's L.A. morning drive top 25, based on weekly cume persons 6+ from the September 2021 PPM survey.
Topping the list is iHeartMedia Adult Contemporary KOST's “Ellen K Morning Show,” with a weekly cume of 619,300, representing close to 6% of the market's population. Having made her KOST morning debut in 2016 following 25 years co-hosting both Rick Dees' and Ryan Seacrest's morning shows on CHR sister KIIS-FM, Ellen is the market's longest continuously airing morning radio personality, and the first female in Los Angeles radio history to anchor a morning radio show.
“The bond that we share with our listeners is galvanized by the bond we feel within the show,” says Ellen, who attributes the show's success to “a combination of positivity, familiarity, and genuine love and care for those who tune in. Over the years, on three different number-one morning shows in L.A., I have learned that no show makes it to number one without a close loving team and a ton of support from management. That is what fuels us to consistently maintain a positive attitude.”
Hot on KOST's heels is Audacy Classic Hits “K-Earth 101” KRTH, where Gary Bryan reaches 618,600 listeners weekly. “We’ve been doing this show for twenty years, and we’ve created a solid relationship with the audience,” Bryan says. “Our mission is to create momentum and stay in sync with the character of K-Earth: fun, upbeat and plugged into what’s happening now. Our gig is to be a positive relief from the rest of life, and we never hesitate to tell our callers that we love ‘em.”
In third is iHeart CHR KIIS-FM's Ryan Seacrest, with a 569,600 weekly cume. Seacrest, who since 2004 has hosted KISS' morning show – syndicated as “On Air With Ryan Seacrest” since 2008 – is one of three L.A. morning hosts in Nielsen's top 25 who are Marconi Award winners for “major market personality of the year,” the other two also anchoring mornings on iHeart stations: Hip-Hop/R&B “Real 92.3” KRRL-FM's Big Boy, and News/Talk KFI's Bill Handel.
Rounding out L.A. AM drive top five are Univision Spanish Adult Contemporary/Romantica “KLove 107.5” KLVE-FM's “Wake Up With Ysaac Alvarez,” and iHeart Hot AC “104.3 MyFM” KBIG-FM's “Valentine in the Morning.” iHeart lands one more in the top 10 with “Alt 98.7” KYSR-FM's “The Woody Show,” while Audacy places three more: Adult Hits “93.1 Jack-FM” KCBS-FM with Crystal Z, Adult R&B “94.7 The Wave” KTWV-FM's Pat Prescott, and All-News KNX-AM morning anchors Dick Helton and Vicky Moore. Also in the top 10 is pubcaster KPCC with NPR's “Morning Edition” and hour one of “The Takeaway.”
In addition to iHeart and Audacy, other station owners with more than one morning show in L.A.'s top 25 include: Meruelo Media, represented by Classic Rock KLOS' Heidi and Frank Show, Rhythmic CHR “Power 106” KPWR-FM's Teddy Mora, and Spanish Hot AC “Cali 93.9” KLLI-FM's “The Cali Morning Show with Angelica Vale”; Univision with KLove's Alvarez and Spanish Adult Hits “Recuerdo 103.9/98.3” KRCD-FM's Ricardo Rendon; and Spanish Broadcasting System with Mexican Regional “La Raza 97.9” KLAX-FM's El Terrible, and Spanish CHR “Mega 96.3” KXOL-FM's Melissa “La Popis” y Smoochy.