KOST-FM Coasts to 8th Straight Ratings Win : Radio: KLOS-FM's team of Mark and Brian still rule the morning airwaves.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Rounding out a period of two straight years, KOST-FM again emerged at the top of the radio ratings heap, while top-ranked morning duo Mark and Brian, of KLOS-FM, also maintained their lead over the early morning airwaves, according to quarterly Arbitron ratings released Thursday.

"It's great to be No. 1," said KOST general manager Howard Neal. "In my opinion, it's reflective of the programming of the radio station and the mood that the station puts the listeners in."

Even though the KLOS (95.5) duo of Mark Thompson and Brian Phelps have been No. 1 for almost two years themselves (seven consecutive ratings periods), their latest ratings dropped significantly, from a 8.7 share of the audience to a 7.7 share.

"I think their ratings were a little inflated because of (the publicity generated by) their television show ("The Adventures of Mark and Brian on NBC Sunday nights)," said KLOS program director Ken Anthony. "This is now kind of where it should be, which is still phenomenal."

Their newest competitor, KLSX-FM "shock jock" Howard Stern--who since his debut on July 25 has repeatedly promised to unseat the popular duo--made substantial inroads, going from 21st place to 14th place, with a jump from 1.8% of the audience to 2.9%, a 67% overall increase in audience, according to Andy Blume, KLSX program director.

"This continues to parallel very closely what happened when Stern was introduced into other markets," said Blume of the radio personality whose show originates from New York and is also heard in Washington and Philadelphia. "He'll take another big jump then he'll start going in baby steps."

Stern's increase represented the biggest jump in morning drive on English-language stations.

The Spanish-language stations did particularly well this quarter, reflecting Arbitron's readjustment in the population estimates in October, based on the 1990 census, which included an estimated 3% to 4% increase in the number of Latinos in the survey. This means that more Latinos were polled in the latest survey than in previous surveys.

The audience size of Spanish-language KTNQ jumped substantially, from 2.4% of the overall listening audience to to 3.0%, and fellow Spanish station KLVE-FM went from 3.5% to 4.0% while KWKW's number of listeners increased from 3.1% to 3.8%.

KABC-AM's Ken Minyard and Roger Barkley kept their hold on second place in the mornings contest, followed by KIIS-FM and AM's Rick Dees.

The latest quarterly Arbitron survey covers the period from Sept. 12, 1991 to Dec. 11, 1991.

Arbitron Audience Survey

Here are the area's top 15 stations, followed by their ratings for the most recent fall quarter and the preceding summer quarter, as measured by Arbitron.

FALL SUMMER 1.KOST-FM 6.0 5.9 2.KIIS-FM 4.8 5.2 3.KLOS-FM 4.4 4.5 4.KPWR-FM 4.3 3.5 5.KABC-AM 4.2 4.7 6.KLVE-FM 4.0 3.5 6.KRTH-FM 4.0 3.8 8.KWKW-AM 3.8 3.1 8.KKBT-FM 3.8 4.9 10.KBIG-FM 3.2 3.8 10.KROQ-FM 3.2 2.7 12.KTNQ-AM 3.0 2.4 13.KXEZ-FM 2.9 2.8 14.KLSX-FM 2.8 2.8 14.KMPC-FM 2.8 2.6 14.KNX-AM 2.8 2.6

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