August radio ratings: The Current surges, KS95 slips

The August radio ratings are out and it’s a mixed bag for Minnesota Public Radio. Among all listeners 6 a.m. to midnight, The Current surged to its highest share (2.3) since May 2009. However, MPR News again drifted lower, its fourth straight monthly decline and its lowest of the 17-month Portable People Meter era (4.3).

On the commercial side, KS95 made a little of the wrong kind of noise, falling to fifth place for the first time ever during PPMs. The new number four? The 93X headbangers, whose 5.9 bested KS95’s 5.8. Within the past year, KS has lead 93X by as many as three full share points.

Here’s how the market’s top five tracked:

Meanwhile, 1500 ESPN produced a number (4.3) not seen since the Twins were in the playoffs last October (4.5). This is the biggest share since Soucheray’s and Reusse’s outfit became a full-on sports station.

However, 1500’s gain doesn’t appear to be coming from KFAN’s hide; the Vikings station posted a number (2.5) nearly identical to a year ago. (KFAN’s share peaks from October to January when Vikings season is in full swing.)

Just for fun, I’d note MPR News doubled 1500’s number last August and now the two are tied.

WCCO slumped to its second-lowest PPM month (5.0) after a July surge, a cautionary tale about making too much of a single ratings period as opposed to longer trends.

The usual disclaimer: these are Arbitron’s only publicly released numbers, and they don’t measure the 18-49 or 25-54 demographic that profit-seeking programmers focus on. (I chew through those every three months or so.) However, they best show what the Twin Cities is listening to.

Other trends of note:

KHTC, the former B96, continues its rise, matching its PPM high (4.4).

KQ (7.7) shows no signs of pulling out of its long-term decline, down for the fourth month in a row and again hitting a new PPM low.

Christian station KTIS, a ratings riser for most of the PPM era, posted its lowest 2010 number (3.8).

For a bit of history, here at the most recent numbers compared to those a year ago (talk stations in blue, MPR’s in green). They show, for example, that The Current has only regained ground it’s lost in the past year. Then again, it’s above the 1-something share the station has claimed since last October:

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Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by matt wells on 09/14/2010 - 09:30 am.

    ESPN1500 network programs “The Herd” and “Mike and Mike” have a new “clock” designed to be more PPM friendly as of August 30: http://www.espnradioaffiliatezone.com/images/stories/ESPN/espnprogrammingclocks_memo%208-30-10.pdf

  2. Submitted by Ray Aune on 09/14/2010 - 09:56 am.

    So music’s getting more eartime than talk, and country and Top 40 bubblegum are the most popular. Also, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. This just in: Water is wet.
    Ok, maybe I’m still a little bitter about the alternative stations being replaced by ‘love 105’.

  3. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 09/14/2010 - 10:01 am.

    I do find the Current to more listenable as of late, they seem to be playing more Alt Rock stuff that I’m hearing over on the satellite radio, and they seem to have picked up the tempo a bit, or least mixed it up. I wonder if people are finally getting tired of Classic Rock? And now that Country music stars have FINALLY started leaving those goofy cowboy hats at home maybe the world is ready for country music. In fact I think country is kind of evolving into a hybrid of sorts, a mix of alt rock with lyrics you can understand and relate to.

    MPR news is MPR news. It’s not bad but it needs a serious reboot.

  4. Submitted by Mark Ohm on 09/14/2010 - 08:55 pm.

    As a sample of one, I know I have cut back on my MPR listening. The news is just one big downer these days. I find myself ping-ponging between the two sports stations.

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