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Fall 2018 Nielsen Audio #'s for Kalamazoo

Discussion pertaining to Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Muskegon, Battle Creek, Big Rapids, and Michiana
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MWmetalhead
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Fall 2018 Nielsen Audio #'s for Kalamazoo

Post by MWmetalhead » Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:24 pm

Headlines:
-K102.5 fared *very* well for an FM translator.
-Monster book, as usual, for 103.3 WKFR.
-FM 106.5 WVFM holds a dubious distinction.
-What ails 102.1 WMUK?
-Too soon to gauge 96.5 Jack FM

Numbers can be found here:
https://ratings.radio-online.com/cgi-bin/rol.exe/arb251

Remarkably, K102.5 damn near tied FM 106.5!

K102.5 soared to a 3.9 while FM 106.5 fell for the second straight book, this time to a 4.3 share.

Of course, K102.5 wasn't the only translator to score impressive numbers. AM 1560 / FM 95.5 The Touch racked up a 4.3 share, which ironically ties it with 50 kW blowtorch WVFM!

This is the first time in a long time I can remember FM 106.5 doing a Christmas music marathon. In practically every other market in the Country where a Heritage AC station does the all-Christmas thing, the ratings in a few cases hold steady but in the vast majority of cases see substantial - even massive - gains. Yet, in WVFM's case, ratings actually fell in the Fall book. That is rather incredible, I must say.

Too bad Star 105.7's numbers for K'zoo are no longer listed in the publicly released results. It would be interesting to see how their fall numbers compared to springtime.

West Michigan just doesn't seem to crave the all-Christmas music thing anymore. It is passe.

That brings me to 102.1 WMUK. Back in the day, this 50,000 watt beast was always good for a 5 or 6 share. This fall? Try a 2.4 share on for size. The station fell behind farmer/old geezer station 590 WKZO as well as Battle Creek-focused Country station Win 98.5.

Would not surprise me if 104.1 WVGR did much better than WMUK in the K'zoo numbers. I think WMUK's years of having a wishy-washy identity are catching up to it. Good luck trying to wrestle the news/NPR position away from Michigan Radio. Ain't...gonna...happen.

Just like WGVU-FM in the Grand Rapids area and WEMU in the Ann Arbor area, WMUK might be relegated to being the "other" (often forgotten about) university-sponsored public radio station for SW Michigan.

Unlisted:
- B93
- 92.5 The Zoo
- Cool 101
- WGRD
- 94.1 Duke FM
- Star 105.7

How odd that ESPN 96.1 is listed in the K'zoo book but iFart's other G.R.-based stations aren't! Makes no sense to me.


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Qs23
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Re: Fall 2018 Nielsen Audio #'s for Kalamazoo

Post by Qs23 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:47 am

Well it looks like WKZO lives and dies with the Tigers. WVFM also dropped in BC. I wonder what their morning drive time numbers are...

And I hope that this book kills the Christmas music push. I used Pandora way to much this last couple of months.



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Re: Fall 2018 Nielsen Audio #'s for Kalamazoo

Post by Michigan Media » Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:56 pm

I am curious about the sudden drop for WRKR. Is the Kalamazoo market too saturated with Classic Rock? WZUU and WRKR are virtually identical these days in terms of music direction. Jack FM's playlist is very heavy on Classic Rock tracks. Is that typical of the Jack format or is that unique to this market? Also, there is some Classic Rock crossover with the Classic Hits format on K102.5.

Would it be smart for WVFM to skew younger now that 96.5 is skewing older with the Jack FM format? I am not recommending a full blown CHR format, but I think Hot AC would reduce audience overlap with Jack FM and take some points away from WKFR.



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MWmetalhead
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Re: Fall 2018 Nielsen Audio #'s for Kalamazoo

Post by MWmetalhead » Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:17 pm

Good point. Would be interested to see if WRKR lost any listening to WZUU (I somehow doubt that's the culprit, but one never knows).

I find WRKR to be a boring listen. I hate their audio processing, which has pretty much sounded the same through the past three owners.

That said, I find WZUU's playlist to be downright tedious at times. The ZUU has a rednecky vibe to it; they also play a lot of truly bad music.

I will say RKR's playlist contained more of the music I liked when Cumulus still owned the station. The 90's & early 00's material was rolled back the instant Townsquare took over. A refreshing change perhaps at first. But now maybe the station's music selections are getting a little long in the tooth? I haven't given WRKR a good listen in at least a couple years, so I cannot say one way or the other with any degree of confidence.

If I lived in Battle Creek or K'zoo, WRKR is a station I probably wouldn't listen to very much. Q106, Jack-FM, The Edge, and WGRD (if I lived in the K'zoo area) would be the stations that would likely grab the lion's share of my listening.
Jack FM's playlist is very heavy on Classic Rock tracks. Is that typical of the Jack format or is that unique to this market?
It varies by market. The former Doug FM in Detroit was very classic rock heavy for much of its existence, more so than the Kalamazoo station.

The station in Los Angeles - which is another Jack - used to be very Classic Rock intensive. It still plays much more classic rock than any other genre but has spiced up its playlist since Entercom took over - perhaps even a bit before Entercom took over. These days, the playlist includes some hip-hop party hits, a little alternative rock and some other stuff.. That station largely steers clear of anything that you'd hear on an Adult Contemporary station - with the exception of a handful of artists - which is quite interesting to me.
Would it be smart for WVFM to skew younger now that 96.5 is skewing older with the Jack FM format? I am not recommending a full blown CHR format, but I think Hot AC would reduce audience overlap with Jack FM and take some points away from WKFR.
I don't think it would be smart. WVFM either needs to stay true to its heritage AC roots (I feel they are playing a little too much in the way of Hot AC-type recurrents already) or go in a completely different direction altogether.

A Hot AC sound would tick off longtime listeners and might not necessarily be successful at pulling listeners away from 103.3.

If 106.5 were to play the same music as 103.3, then 106.5 would need to win in the personality & promotion department for the strategy to be successful. 103.3 has strength in those two areas that would be difficult to match let alone beat.

The last five or so years have brought a seemingly never ending parade of music shifts, identity changes and DJ changes to a station that, historically, had seen a good deal of stability. Perhaps the audience has been rattled by all of these moves? Maybe it's best for WVFM to stay course for a while to give a chance for things to settle down. Making the new morning team visible in the community and some big time contests & promotions could help the cause, too.


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Re: Fall 2018 Nielsen Audio #'s for Kalamazoo

Post by MWmetalhead » Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:00 pm

I just looked at WVFM's Facebook page, and in particular, posts made by visitors back in November when the Christmas music started.

The response was largely unfavorable. The most typical responses:
-"If I wanted to hear Christmas music, I'd listen to 105.7."
-"Too soon. Save the Christmas music for December."

I think the fall book numbers were hampered by the decision to go all-Christmas.


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Re: Fall 2018 Nielsen Audio #'s for Kalamazoo

Post by option1 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:59 pm

How nobody, (hello Midwest), has put on a true top40 in k-zoo to compete with kfr is unbelievable. Look at the numbers. KFR has almost 3x the 12+ numbers as the closest competitor and it’s their sister station!

KFR has been masquerading as a top40 for years. It’s a Hot AC. They avoid rhythmic songs like the transmitter will blow up. Not to say that a top40 that bangs its powers 105x a week will beat kfr, but it can’t do any worse than what exists in the market now.



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