Category: Analysis

April 2020 PPM Analysis:
Classic Hits-Oldies

| May 22, 2020

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES — The first two installments of this comprehensive four-part special feature series of April 2020 ratings overviews dealt with news (Wednesday, 5/20) and sports talk (yesterday, 5/21).

Our attention now turns to a music intensive format, as this summary is comprised of PPM-market classic hits-oldies facilities that rank in the top 20 (April 2020, 6+).

Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for facilities that subscribe to its services. Owing to that reason, ratings stats in this exclusive analysis are limited to stations that pay Nielsen Audio for its data.

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April 2020 PPM Analysis: Sports Talk

| May 21, 2020

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES — This past Tuesday (5/19), TALKERS posted 2020’s “100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America” and, as executive editor Kevin Casey points out, “The publication of this year’s list was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. Although we were prepared to publish the list in March, we delayed publication in order to focus on the pandemic’s effect on the radio industry.”

Owing to COVID-19, the NBA and NHL seasons were put on hold roughly two months ago.

After starting exhibition contests on schedule, MLB pulled the plug in mid-March and the official season has yet to get underway.

Only time will tell when – or if – we will see any MLB, NBA, NHL, and/or NFL games this calendar year.

Sports talk stations with pro (or college) play-by-play commitments have been scrambling to air longform replacement content.

Never has the creativity for sports talk hosts been so challenged for such a prolonged period; they continue earning well-deserved high-mark industry acknowledgement.

Associated in further recognition of important sports talk hosts, we present the second in our four-part series of April 2020 PPM overviews – an examination of the sports talk format.

The following scoreboards are comprised of sports talk facilities that rank in the top 20 (6+) in any of the 48 PPM-markets during the April 2020 ratings period, which covered March 26 – April 22.

Ratings information in this exclusive analysis is limited to sports talk properties that subscribe to Nielsen Audio’s audience estimates.

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April 2020 PPM Analysis:
The News Format

| May 20, 2020

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES — Our comprehensive four-part series of ratings summaries for the April 2020 survey period (March 26 – April 22) commences with an overview of news stations.

It would have been highly unrealistic to believe the format could match what it accomplished this time last month when every station meeting our ratings criteria posted a 6+ February 2020 – March 2020 improvement, with nearly half doing so by at least one full-share.

Month-to-month (March 2020 – April 2020) figures show a significant decrease from February 2020 – March 2020’s clean sweep, as 47% of our eligible panelists expand (6+).

Conversely – and this is highly noteworthy – a whopping 82% register year-to-year increases (April 2019 – April 2020, 6+).

Entercom owns all but three stations listed in this format analysis.

Non-Entercom all-news operations in this report are iHeartMedia’s news – talk hybrid WBZ-AM, Boston (also listed in Providence); Hubbard Broadcasting Washington, DC’s WTOP-FM; and Sinclair Broadcast Group Seattle’s KOMO.

Ratings stats in this exclusive analysis are limited to stations paying Nielsen Audio for its data.

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March 2020 PPM Analysis: Extra

| May 5, 2020

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES — Here’s something that will put things regarding COVID-19 in mind-numbing perspective: Just over two months ago (February 29), the US death toll attributed to the coronavirus was one (1) person in Washington State. Some 73,000 Americans have succumbed to it in less than a nine-week period.

As noted here this time last month, in light of the coronavirus crisis, our “Extra” coverage of each PPM sweep in the foreseeable future will uniquely detail month-to-month shifts among news/talk; all-news; public radio news/talk; and sports talk stations.

These “Extra” overviews will enhance and supplement our thorough analyses via individual format scoreboards, which are appearing as usual.

In the past week, for example, we posted comprehensive overviews for all-news; public radio news/talk; and (commercial, English-language) news/talk.

Noted below are news/talk stations that appear in any PPM-market with at least a .1 (March 2020, 6+). Meanwhile, a top 20 ranking (March 2020, 6+) is the inclusion threshold for all-news; public radio news/talk; and sports talk facilities.

Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for stations subscribing to its services. As a result, ratings stats in this analysis are limited to outlets paying that company for its information.

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March 2020 PPM Analysis: News/Talk

| April 29, 2020

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES — Our four-part series of March 2020 ratings recaps concludes with a detailed overview of news/talk.

Included in this thorough synopsis are all commercial, English-language news/talk outlets (including online streams, if applicable) that appeared in any of Nielsen Audio’s 48 PPM-markets during the March 2020 ratings period (February 27 – March 25).

Coronavirus-Related Impact: Based on analysis of stations meeting our ratings criteria, there is absolutely no doubt that – among all-news; news/talk; and public radio news/talk – all-news is the clear-cut (6+) February 2020 – March 2020 winner.

Every all-news station in our sample registers a (6+) month-to-month uptick, with the average increase a healthy +.92 (6+), and the typical all-news outlet ranks eighth (#8.0, 6+).

While essentially three of every four news/talk outlets improved (54%) or remained even (20%) month-to-month, that was the lowest success rate among the three aforementioned spoken-word formats.

At the same time, however, it should be noted that the news/talk panel is 6.5 times greater than its all-news counterpart and just over twice the size of public radio news/talk.

As far as year-to-year results are concerned, nearly four of every five (78%) all-news operations gained or held steady, versus 71% (news/talk) and 61% (public radio news/talk).

Albeit that March 2019 – March 2020 combined up and flat totals aren’t as lofty as those for February 2020 – March 2020, typical year-to-year increases are especially noteworthy. Specifically, they are +1.40 (all-news) and +1.06 (both news/talk and public radio news/talk). Furthermore, nearly half the news/talk year-to-year bumps (48.5%) are by at least one full-share.

Unless otherwise noted, information for each news/talk station and stream was factored into all of our highlighted charts.

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March 2020 PPM Analysis:
Public Radio News/Talk

| April 28, 2020

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES —  A detailed look at public radio news/talk stations continues our comprehensive four-part March 2020 ratings summary.

Breakouts shown here consist of data from public radio news/talk facilities that rank in the top 20 (6+) in any PPM-market during the March 2020 sweep (February 27 – March 25).

Coronavirus-Related Note: Whereas six of seven of our qualifying panelists either improve (79%) or remain steady (7%) month-to-month, two of every five are down (41%) year-to-year.

Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for stations subscribing to its services.

As a result, ratings stats in this analysis are limited to facilities paying that company for its information.

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March 2020 PPM Analysis:
Mainstream Rock

| April 27, 2020

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES — Each month, we review PPM performances of three spoken-word genres and one music-intensive format.

Mainstream rock takes center-stage today in that latter category.

This overview is comprised of PPM-market mainstream rock facilities that rank in the top 20 (6+) in the March 2020 survey period (February 27 through March 25).

Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for facilities that subscribe to its services. Owing to that reason, ratings stats in this exclusive analysis are limited to stations that pay Nielsen Audio for its data.

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March 2020 PPM Analysis:
The All-News Format

| April 24, 2020

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES — An overview of all-news stations initiates our extensive four-part series of ratings summaries for March 2020, a truly noteworthy ratings sweep (February 27 – March 25).

“Noteworthy” because this marks our first real opportunity to witness how the coronavirus conversation impacted radio listening.

What happened in terms of the all-news format is rather monumental, as every station meeting our ratings criteria of a top-20 March 2020 finish logs a 6+ improvement versus February2020.

Moreover, nearly half do so by a magnitude of at least one full-share.

Ironically though, as strong as the March 2020 results are for all-news, one of every three of our panelists (33%) was either down (22%) or flat (11%) from this time last year (March 2019, 6+).

Entercom owns all but three stations listed in this format analysis.

Non-Entercom all-news operations in this report are iHeartMedia’s WBZ-AM, Boston (also listed in Providence); Hubbard Broadcasting Washington, DC’s WTOP-FM; and Sinclair Broadcast Group Seattle’s KOMO.

Ratings stats in this exclusive analysis are limited to stations paying Nielsen Audio for its data.

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February 2020 PPM Analysis: Extra

| April 7, 2020

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES —  Given that “coronavirus” and “COVID-19” thoroughly dominate virtually every one of today’s conversations, it’s worth remembering that – as shocking as it is – the nation as a whole has been familiar with those terms for only the last few months.

Stations in all formats are stepping up coverage of what has become a pandemic; however, spoken-word outlets are naturally leading the way.

Thus, for (at least) the next several months, our “Extra” coverage of each PPM sweep will detail month-to-month shifts among news/talk; all-news; public radio news/talk; and sports talk stations. Regarding the latter, with the cancellation/postponement of NBA, NHL, and MLB games (as well as signature sports events such as March Madness, Kentucky Derby, etc.), it will be interesting to see what fluctuations (if any) occur in sports talk.

These “Extra” overviews will supplement our detailed analyses via individual format scoreboards, which will be posted as usual.

We are beginning with the February 2020 ratings period (January 30 – February 26).

For timeline/context purposes only (and not in any way meant as a political commentary), the President – at a February 28 South Carolina rally –  referred to what was becoming accelerated mention of coronavirus (if not COVID-19 itself) as a “hoax.” That was two days after the final day of the February sweep. As a result, “coronavirus” was certainly in mainstream discussions at that time and could have influenced radio listening.

News/talk and all-news stations (including business news) appearing with at least a .1 (6+) in the February 2020 sweep are noted below, while the threshold for inclusion by public radio news/talk and sports talk stations is a top 20 ranking (6+).

Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for stations subscribing to its services. As a result, ratings stats in this analysis are limited to facilities paying that company for its information.

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February 2020 PPM Analysis: News/Talk

| March 30, 2020

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES — A wide-ranging news/talk analysis concludes our four-part series of February 2020 overviews.

Included in this thorough synopsis are all commercial, English-language news/talk outlets (including online streams, if applicable) that appeared in any of Nielsen Audio’s 48 PPM-markets during the February 2020 ratings period (January 30 – February 26).

Unless otherwise noted, information for each station and stream was factored into all of our highlighted charts.

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