Two Spanish-language music stations--KSCA-FM (101.9), playing Mexican regional fare, and KLVE--FM (107.5), with an adult contemporary format--took first- and second-place honors for the third quarter in a row in the Arbitron ratings race Thursday.
Meanwhile, Top 40 station KIIS-FM (102.7), which has a substantial Latino audience, moved into third place and was the leading English-language station among listeners age 12 and over from 6 a.m. to midnight during the survey period from April 1 to June 23. The station, which had been tied last quarter with KPWR-FM (105.9), saw its share of audience climb from 4.3% to 4.7%, while KPWR, also popular with Latinos, dropped to 4%.
Just a year ago, KIIS had scored a 3.3% share and was tied for seventh place.
Roy Laughlin, KIIS' president and general manager, attributed his station's jump to two contests--the "Million Dollar Birthday Game" on Rick Dees' morning show and the ticket giveaway for the Ricky Martin concert at Dodger Stadium on June 10. "Ricky Martin's the biggest thing on the planet," he said.
Meanwhile, talk radio mostly lost ground. KFI-AM (640) dropped to 3.3% from 3.6% last quarter, while staying put in seventh place. KABC-AM (790) went down one-tenth of a point to 2.3%, hitting its lowest point in at least a decade. And in its second quarter as a full-fledged talk station, CBS-owned KRLA-AM (1110) dropped to 0.8% from its 1% opener in the previous quarter.
"That could be a million things," mused Bob Moore, vice president and general manager, "mornings, noon, nights." Moore had not seen any numbers so he declined to say anything further.
KYSR-FM (98.7), whose adult contemporary music is geared to a female audience, hit the top 10 for the first time with a 3.2% share, its highest score ever among the 12-and-up audience. It had made a 20% leap in the previous quarter.
On the other end of the ratings seesaw, urban station KKBT-FM (92.3) fell from a 3.8% share to 3. Last quarter it was in fifth place; now it's tied for ninth.
Rival all-news stations KNX-AM (1170) and KFWB-AM (980) were virtually even with 2% and 1.9%, respectively.
In addition to amassing the largest audience shares in the Los Angeles-Orange County market, KSCA (6.2%) and KLVE (5.9%) had the top-rated shows in the critical 6-to-10 a.m. period. KSCA's Renan Almendarez Coello garnered 9.8% of the audience while KLVE's Pepe Barreto captured 5.9%.
At the same time, Howard Stern of KLSX-FM (97.1) made a huge jump from the previous quarter, from 3.6% to 4.7%, once again leading the English-language field in the morning. His ratings are now more in line with what they have been in previous quarters, though he hardly surpassed himself: Last spring Stern drew a 5.1% share.
KIIS' Dees took fourth place in the morning race with a 4.6% showing, up three-tenths from the previous quarter, although he had taken top English-language-host honors last time.
In the afternoon drive time, from 3 to 7 p.m., KFI, with new hosts, dropped back from 2.5% and 16th place to 1.8% and 24th place. Karel Bouley and Andrew Howard, an openly gay couple who do general talk fare, debuted March 22 in the 4-to-7 p.m. slot, taking over from longtime 3-to-7 p.m. hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou, who on July 1 moved over to morning drive time on KABC.
KSCA and KLVE also led the field among listeners ages 25 to 54, while easy-listening station KOST-FM (103.5) slid into third place with a 3.8% showing, up five-tenths of a point from last quarter, when it was tied for ninth. And KTWV-FM (94.7), better known as the Wave, was tied for fourth place with KIIS and KLAX-FM (97.9) at 3.7%.
Times staff writer Kevin Baxter contributed to this report.
(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)
The area's Top 25 stations and their Arbitron ratings for the spring months compared with the preceding winter quarter of the year:
CURRENT LAST QUARTER 1. KSCA-FM 6.2 6.0 2. KLVE-FM 5.9 5.4 3. KIIS-FM 4.7 4.3 4. KPWR-FM 4.0 4.3 5. KROQ-FM 3.7 3.7 6. KOST-FM 3.5 3.0 7. KFI-AM 3.3 3.6 8. KYSR-FM 3.2 3.0 9. KKBT-FM 3.0 3.8 KLAX-FM 3.0 3.3 11. KTWV-FM 2.9 3.5 KRTH-FM 2.9 3.2 13. KBUE-FM 2.7 2.1 14. KCMG-FM 2.5 2.8 KCBS-FM 2.5 2.6 16. KLOS-FM 2.4 2.1 17. KABC-AM 2.3 2.4 18. KLSX-FM 2.2 1.9 KZLA-FM 2.2 2.1 20. KBIG-FM 2.1 2.5 21. KKGO-FM 2.0 2.1 KNX-AM 2.0 2.5 23. KFWB-AM 1.9 1.9 KTNQ-AM 1.9 1.6 25. KSSE-FM 1.8 1.8
The ratings survey covers people 12 and older listening between 6 a.m. and midnight, from April 1 through June 23.