October radio ratings: Twins, Vikings boost KFAN, AM1500

Well, it turns out all talk radio needs is our two biggest sports teams to play great. Though anger at Barack Obama doesn’t hurt.

The big winners in the October Arbitrons were KSTP-AM and KFAN, which rocketed into the top 10 on the backs of the Twins and Vikings. A couple of months ago, the stations ranked 15th and 16th among all listeners. (See chart below.)

Although the rating period is labeled October, it really covers Sept. 17-Oct. 14 because Arbitron has started carving out a “13th month” — a holiday reporting period teases out stations goosing their numbers with Christmas carols. The November period will cover Oct. 15-Nov. 11, and December Nov. 12-Dec. 9. I know, kooky.

I don’t yet have the numbers for the prime advertiser demographic (25-54-year-olds), or for drive-time. But the numbers show listeners turning away, however briefly, from country station K102, JACK-FM’s robo DJs, and hip hoppers B96. The Twins will be out of the next book, so we’ll see if rights-holder AM1500 comes back to earth; KFAN can hopefully enjoy a longer run.

Other numbers of note: Conservative yakker KTLK is on a four-month growth streak, though tea time is not boosting their cousins at the Patroit. Spanish-language AM station La Invasora came out of nowhere to nearly crack the Top 20. KQ reversed a five-month slide; did sports lift the Morning Show? While MPR news station KNOW is holding steady in the top six, both the Current and Classical had their worst books of the Personal People Meter era.

One component of the numbers is “cume” — how many different people listen during the period. Here, KS95 ruled with 968,000, followed by KQ (870,000), KDWB (860,000) and KOOL108 (719,000). Among talkers, KSTP-AM had 699,000, WCCO 602,000, KFAN 519,000 and KNOW 386,000. MPR folks just listen longer.

Anyway, here are the numbers for the entire PPM period. They measure share of the Twin Cities listening audience. Blue is for talk station, green is for MPR. Rankings-wise, I chose August as the comparison period for no particular reason.

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Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by leslie johnson on 11/06/2009 - 08:42 am.

    KFAN owes Brett Favre a lot of money!!!!

  2. Submitted by Annalise Cudahy on 11/06/2009 - 09:47 am.

    If I haven’t thanked you for dutifully reporting these each month, it was a terrible oversight. Thanks for letting us know just how all this stacks up, it’s really interesting.

    One thing I don’t understand is how commercial Classical music died all around the nation. If you look at the chart, their ratings are not great – but ahead of several commercial for-profit stations. The overhead on Classical music has to be minimal, even with the live performances they grace us with here at MPR. But with the WQXR now sold off to WNYC, I don’t think there’s a big commercial classical station left anywhere.

    You’d think the demographics would be amazing, even with a smaller audience. Apparently, they weren’t enough.

    Is there any way to divine how much MPR raises off of Classical versus News and the Current? My guess is that it keeps the whole operation afloat, even with the smaller overall audience.

    (disclosure: I spend my daze living as much in the 17th-19th Century as early 20th Century technology will allow, so I’m a big fan.)

  3. Submitted by Jim Swanson on 11/06/2009 - 01:09 pm.

    KNOW is MPR *and* talk. I suppose it should be something like turquoise?

    To complete the chart between #s 23 and 28:

    rnk station Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct

    24 WWJO-FM 0.8 0.9 0.8 0.8 0.7
    25 KTIS-AM 0.5 0.5 0.6 0.6 0.6
    26 WREY-AM 0.7 0.7 0.8 0.6 0.5
    27(t) KBEM-FM 0.4 0.3 0.5 0.4 0.4
    27(t) KMOJ-FM 0.8 0.7 0.9 0.6 0.4

  4. Submitted by Matthew Steele on 11/09/2009 - 08:15 am.

    Sure is good to know more people listen to KNOW than KTLK.

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