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Entertainment & Arts

KIIS still sits atop L.A.-Orange County radio dial

The race for No. 1 tightened a little, but KIIS-FM (102.7) maintained a comfortable lead as the top radio station in the Los Angeles-Orange County market, according to May ratings released Monday by Arbitron.

The pop station, featuring a playlist of Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas and others, garnered 5.4% of the listening audience age 6 and older — an increase from its 5.2% share in April. But second-place KFI-AM (640), the talk station that is home to Rush Limbaugh and Bill Handel, enjoyed an even bigger bump, swelling its audience share from 4.5% to 4.9%, based on the survey of listeners from April 28 to May 25.

Adult-contemporary station KOST-FM (103.5) and classic-hits outlet KRTH-FM (101.1) held their third and fourth places from the April survey, with KOST slipping from 4.4% to 4.3%, and KRTH dropping from 4.2% to 4%.

Pop-music station KAMP-FM (97.1) jumped from eighth to fifth, as its audience share grew from 3.5% to 3.8%. It switched places and percentages with hip-hop outlet KPWR-FM (105.9).

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The top Spanish-language station in the survey, pop-music venue KLVE-FM (107.5), held onto sixth place, creeping up from 3.6% to 3.7%.

KIIS was again the clear leader in average weekly audience, with 3.89 million people tuning in for at least five minutes per week, though that was down from 3.94 million in April. Next came KAMP at 3.24 million, which shot up from 3.08 million in April. KOST slipped from 3.28 million to 3.21 million, while its fellow adult-contemporary outlet KBIG-FM (104.3) went from 2.93 million to 3.02 million, marking the first time since last August that four stations in the market cracked the 3 million listener mark.

In May, KFI solidified its lead during the crucial morning drive time. From 6 to 10 a.m. weekdays, when KFI airs local host Handel and the first hour of Limbaugh’s syndicated show, the station improved its audience share from 6.4% to 7%. That was far ahead of second-place KIIS, where morning man Ryan Seacrest garnered 4.8% of the audience — the same share he held in April, when it was only good enough for fourth place. That’s because alternative rocker KROQ-FM (106.7) and all-news KNX-AM (1070) fell from 5.3% and 5%, respectively, into a third-place tie at 4.7%.

The May ratings survey also included the return of one-time morning star Rick Dees to the airwaves. On May 4, he took over a.m. duties at rhythmic oldies station KHHT-FM (92.3).

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Dees once had been synonymous with KIIS, as he held court there mornings for 23 years. But he left in a contract dispute in 2004, paving the way for Seacrest’s ascendance. Dees next helmed the morning show at then-KMVN-FM (93.9) from 2006-09, after the station switched from country to R&B-tinged pop. But ratings languished, and the station switched to Spanish-language programming.

Dees’ latest gig has yet to show dividends for KHHT. The morning show slipped from 14th place in April to 17th in May, as its audience share went from 2.5% to 2.4%.

calendar@latimes.com


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