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KFI ratings steady in first month without Rush Limbaugh

Television IndustryRadioEntertainmentClear Channel Communications Inc.Rush LimbaughBill Handel

It's early days, but losing Rush Limbaugh to another Clear Channel station didn't seem to hurt ratings for KFI-AM (640) in January. 

Numbers released Tuesday by Nielsen Audio showed little change in KFI's numbers in the first month after Clear Channel moved the conservative talk show host to KEIB-AM (1150), formerly


FOR THE RECORD:
Radio ratings: An article in the Feb. 19 Calendar section about January ratings for KFI-AM (640) said ratings had not been affected in the first month since Rush Limbaugh’s program moved to another station. Limbaugh’s program began airing on KEIB-AM (1150) on Jan. 1 but was also broadcast on KFI until Jan. 17. So KFI had only 12 days in the ratings period without Limbaugh’s program. —


KFI, which has switched to all-local programming, accounted for a 3.1% share of the Los Angeles-Orange County audience for the period of Jan. 2 to Jan. 29, flat with the previous month and ranking at No. 10.

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Clear Channel, which owns KFI and KEIB, hopes to use Limbaugh's considerable draw to build an audience for the new station, dubbed "The Patriot," along with nationally known conservative voices including Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck.

KEIB ranked 42nd in January, accounting for roughly 0.4% of listenership. That's better than KTLK's final month, in which it landed in 52nd with a 0.1% share. The channel drew 230,000 listeners for at least five minutes each week in January, compared with 117,000 over the holiday period. 

Market representatives for Clear Channel declined to comment on the ratings. 

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Meanwhile, pop and rock hits outlet KBIG-FM (104.3) regained the top spot for the first time in months. KBIG drew 5.4% of the radio audience.

After ruling with holiday music for two months, KOST-FM (103.5) fell to third place behind KIIS-FM (102.7) as it returned to its regular playlists. 

Regional Mexican station KLAX-FM (97.9), known as "La Raza," fell to No. 16 after scoring a ninth-place finish for the previous month. This comes after morning radio personality Ricardo "El Mandril" Sanchez officially moved to KXOS-FM (93.9) after being sidelined last fall. 

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The CBS-affiliated all-news destination KNX-AM (1070) entered the top 10 with 3.1% of listenership.

In the weekday 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. time period, considered prime time for radio, KROQ-FM (106.7) returned to the No. 1 spot (5.2% share). KFI finished in second with 4.3% of the audience for that time period, which features host Bill Handel. 

KLAX-FM landed at No. 24 for the so-called morning drive, barely ahead of KXOS. During the prior ratings window, KLAX was No. 13 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. 

In terms of overall audience share, the top 10 stations were, in order: KBIG, KIIS, KOST, KPWR-FM (105.9), KAMP-FM (97.1), KRTH-FM (101.1), KLVE-FM (107.5), KROQ, KNX and KFI. 

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ryan.faughnder@latimes.com

Twitter: @rfaughnder

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Television IndustryRadioEntertainmentClear Channel Communications Inc.Rush LimbaughBill Handel
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