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FORMAT SWITCH GIVES KPWR-FM RATING BOOST

Arbitron listener ratings released this week delivered a powerful surprise to Los Angeles radio, demonstrating that the management at KPWR-FM (105.9) made the right decision by dumping its “magic” three months ago.

When KMGG “Magic 106" dropped its Top 40 format, fired veteran deejay Robert W. Morgan and changed its logo to “Power 106" last January, some industry observers predicted disaster.

For the record:

12:00 AM, May. 01, 1986 FOR THE RECORD
Los Angeles Times Thursday May 1, 1986 Home Edition Calendar Part 6 Page 6 Column 1 Entertainment Desk 1 inches; 33 words Type of Material: Correction
In an April 25 story on current Arbitron listener ratings, KMET-FM (94.7) was incorrectly cited as having lost listeners during the first three months of 1986. Actually, the Arbitron survey indicated that KMET’s audience had increased.

They were wrong.

As KPWR, the perennially low-rated KMGG jumped to the fifth most listened-to station in Los Angeles during a 12-week period between January and March, according to Arbitron.

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“I’d like all my decisions to be vindicated this well,” said Jeff Smulyen, president of Indiana-based Emmis broadcasting, which owns KPWR.

KIQQ-FM (100.3) was another--if less astonishing--surprise among the ratings, finishing eighth. The station switched from Top 40 to a partially automated soft rock format eight months ago. Though its call letters were never changed, the station now identifies itself as “K-LITE” to match its “all music, all memories” format.

KIQQ operations director Bob Sky credited the ratings jump to the station’s no-nonsense attention to easy-listening oldies.

“The deejays are friendly but they don’t talk very much,” he said. “We offer music--the kind (that adult) listeners want to hear.”

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Biggest losers among the top 15 stations appeared to be KLOS-FM (95.5) and KMET-FM (94.7), rivals for the album rock audience. KLOS, which has been among the four or five most listened-to stations for the last year, dropped to No. 10, and KMET continued to slide down to No. 13.

The complete listing of Arbitron’s winter-quarter ratings cites the following stations as the most popular in Los Angeles, followed by their share of the audience:

KIIS-FM (102.7) 7.4

KABC-AM (790) 6.1

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KJOI-FM (98.7) 5.1

KBIG-FM (104.3) 5.1

KPWR-FM (105.9) 4.4

KROQ-FM (106.7) 4.3

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KOST-FM (103.5) 4.1

KIQQ-FM (100.3) 3.9

KRTH-FM (101.1) 3.7

KLOS-FM (95.5) 3.3

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KFWB-AM (980) 3.3

KNX-AM (1070) 3.3

KMET-FM (94.7) 3.2

KMPC-AM (710) 2.9

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KTNQ-AM (1020) 2.2


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