In L.A. radio, espanol pays off

Times Staff Writer

Spanish-language radio stations continued their dominance of the Southland airwaves, capturing three of the top five spots, including first, in the winter Arbitron ratings released Monday.

Improving from its second-place finish from the previous quarter, KSCA-FM (101.9) claimed the No. 1 spot with an average of 4.8% of the listening audience age 12 and older between Jan. 11 and April 4. The station was powered by its top-rated morning host, Eddie “Piolin” Sotelo, who once again drew the largest audience in the Los Angeles-Orange County market during the industry’s most competitive time slot -- upping his audience share from 6.5% last quarter to 6.8%.

KLVE-FM (107.5) slipped from its first-place finish last time out to third, its ratings falling from 4.9% to a still-healthy 4.4%. KLAX-FM (97.9)'s average share remained steady at 3.9%, but that figure was good enough to move the station, better known as “La Raza,” from sixth place to fifth.

The English-language stations contained few surprises as well. Top 40 KIIS-FM (102.7) outpaced its closest English-language competitor, talk-radio KFI-AM (640), and finished second overall, behind KSCA. KIIS’ ratings inched up, from 4.5% to 4.6%. Likewise, KFI saw its numbers grow from 4.1% to 4.2%, and it placed fourth overall.


The only other notable movement among the top 20 English-language stations was KOST-FM (103.5), which fell from fourth place to sixth. The drop was expected, as the adult contemporary station’s end-of-the-year ratings are always high thanks to its annual all-holiday music format flip in mid-November through Christmas.

Modern rock station KROQ-FM (106.7) went from eighth to sixth, improving its audience share from 3.5% to 3.7%.

Switching from FM to AM did KMZT-AM (1260) no good in the ratings. The classical music station, which flipped dial positions with KKGO-FM (105.1) at the end of February, lost one-third of its audience and saw its average share tumble from 1.5% last quarter to 1%.

The effect at KKGO, which features a country format, was not as dramatic. Its numbers improved from 0.6% to 0.8%.


The key 6-10 a.m. competition among English-language stations remains fierce. KFI’s Bill Handel and Rush Limbaugh combined to take top honors again with 4.9% of the audience, but KROQ’s irreverent “Kevin and Bean” show made gains. The long-time L.A. duo rolled by Ryan Seacrest of KIIS, placing second among English-language programs and increasing its audience share from 4.4% to 4.6%

Rick Dees, who returned to local morning radio last September, continues to struggle at his new station, KMVN-FM (93.9), despite heavy advertising. The onetime king of drive-time at KIIS improved from 32nd place overall last quarter to 26th. His numbers rose from 0.9% to 1.2%.

Although it ranked only 11th in the overall ratings, KCBS-FM (93.1), better known as Jack-FM, placed first among English-language stations within the 25-to-54 age group, a key demographic for many advertisers. It’s the seventh time in the last eight quarterly ratings that the DJ-less, iPod-shuffle-style station has taken the top slot.




Radio Ratings

The area’s Top 25 stations and their average share of audience as measured by Arbitron for the winter months compared with the previous three-month period.


*--* Current Last Quarter 1 KSCA-FM 4.8 4.5 2 KIIS-FM 4.6 4.5 3 KLVE-FM 4.4 4.9 4 KFI-AM 4.2 4.1 5 KLAX-FM 3.9 3.9 6 KOST-FM 3.7 4.1 KPWR-FM 3.7 3.8 KROQ-FM 3.7 3.5 9 KBUE-FM 3.6 3.1 10 KRTH-FM 3.5 3.1 11 KCBS-FM 3.4 3.0 12 KTWV-FM 3.1 3.3 13 KRCD-FM 2.6 2.7 KXOL-FM 2.6 2.7 15 KHHT-FM 2.2 2.1 16 KLOS-FM 2.0 2.3 KYSR-FM 2.0 2.0 18 KSSE-FM 1.8 1.7 KABC-AM 1.8 2.5 20 KBIG-FM 1.7 1.8 21 KNX-AM 1.6 1.5 22 KHJ-AM 1.5 1.3 KLYY-FM 1.5 1.3 KLSX-FM 1.5 1.6 25 KRBV-FM 1.4 1.1


The ratings survey covers people 12 and older listening between 6 a.m. and midnight, from Jan. 11 through April 4.