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ACs Rule On Day 1 Of January PPMs.

In five of the eight non-embedded markets reporting on Day 1 of Nielsen's January PPM survey, based on activity from Jan. 4-31, it's like Santa never left – except for the music, that is.

The adult contemporary or soft AC stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, and Houston that ranked at the top while airing Christmas music during Nielsen's Holiday book continued to lead in January. In Dallas and Atlanta, those stations – AC and contemporary Christian, respectively – remained inside the top five, while Philly's AC-gone-all-Christmas moved from first to sixth.

For the 10 top-five-ranked (actually, top two) Christmas flippers in these markets, share retention from the Holiday to January surveys averages out at 59%, off a bit from last year's 63%. Top performers in this regard include Bonneville's KOIT San Francisco, keeping 61% of its Holiday audience, while iHeartMedia's KOST Los Angeles holds onto 56%. Hope Media Group's KSBJ Houston, meanwhile, is in a class by itself, with a 12% higher share in January than during the Holiday book.

In addition to those three stations, three others – iHeart's “Star 102.1” Dallas and “Sunny 99.1” Houston, and Audacy's “B101.1” WBEB – came back stronger with their usual formats in January than they were in November, before the flip. KOST is making a habit of this, up 32% Nov.-Jan. this time around, and up 33% a year ago.

For Day 1, the leaderboard shows four crowns for AC, and one each for soft AC, sports, news/talk, and classic rock.

The holiday lights may be back in storage, but it's business as usual for iHeart AC “Lite FM” WLTW, as it racks up its 16th consecutive win in the Apple, holding on to a respectable 54% of its Holiday survey audience. Lite keeps a 1.1-share point lead over classic rock sister “Q104.3” WAXQ, which has been the market's runner-up station since March 2023. Audacy classic hits WCBS-FM jumps from sixth to third with a 1.8-point gain, for its highest share delivery since February 2023, while iHeart CHR “Z100” WHTZ adds nearly a full share point for its best showing since last May. While Mediaco urban AC WBLS slips from third to fifth, its share is still up for a second straight book.

iHeart AC KOST also stays at No. 1 after Santa heads back to the North Pole, with not only a 56% retention of Holiday book listenership, but a 32% share lift from pre-all-Christmas November to January. KOST is 0.8 up on Audacy classic hits “K-Earth 101” KRTH, still in second, while iHeart news/talk KFI and Audacy urban AC “94.7 The Wave” KTWV place third and fourth, both up by 0.9.

Make it four wins in a row for iHeart soft AC “93.9 Lite FM” WLIT, which keeps 43% of its Holiday all-Christmas share. Lite is seven-tenths of a share point up on Audacy news WBBM-AM/WCFS, with Hubbard Radio classic rock “The Drive” WDRV and iHeart urban AC sister “V103” WVAZ finishing third and fourth. Audacy adult alternative WXRT lands at fifth, returning to the top five for the first time since last September.

It's an 11th straight victory for Bonneville AC KOIT, which hangs on to 61% of its all-Christmas audience, while up 16% Nov.-Jan. Just 0.7 behind is news/talk pubcaster KQED, followed by Audacy news KCBS-AM/KFRC-FM and Bonneville CHR sister “99.7 Now” KMVQ, all share gainers even as they stick at second, third, and fourth. Back in the top five, up from 10th, is iHeart hot AC “Star 101.3” KIOI.

With a major point gain in January – something the Cowboys could have used – Cumulus Media sports “The Ticket” KTCK-AM-FM reclaims the top spot, having last led the market in November's survey. It's got a 0.9-share edge over Service Broadcasting urban AC “Smooth R&B 105.7” KRNB and Audacy classic hits “98.7 The Spot” KSPF, which tie for second. iHeart AC “Star 102.1” KDGE, which ruled with all-Christmas during the past two books, comes in fourth while retaining 44% of its Holiday audience, and up 29% from November. With a 1.1-point lift, Univision Spanish regional Mexican “Que Buena 94.1” KLNO moves from 10th to fifth.

Houston's top two stations during the Holiday survey, when both played only holiday music, stay there in January. iHeart AC “Sunny 99.1” KODA boasts a 61% share retention from that book, while up 22% from November. Hope Media Group contemporary Christian KSBJ fares even better, with a higher January share than its November, December, or Holiday showings. Urban One's urban AC “Majic 102.1” KMJQ and country “93Q” KKBQ, and Audacy adult hits “95.7 the spot” KKHH finish at 3-4-5.

Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM returns to the top spot, where it reigned during the November and December surveys, 0.7 ahead of Urban One urban AC “Majic 107.5/97.5” WAMJ. Right behind are CMG's AC “B98.5” WSB-FM and classic hits “97.1 The River” WSRV, the latter at its lowest rank over the past two years, having steadily fallen from first to fourth over the past four surveys. The Holiday champ, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian “104.7 The Fish” WFSH, drops to fifth with a 45% retention of its all-Christmas Holiday book share.

For the first time since last September, Beasley Media Group classic rock WMGK takes the prize, with a 0.7 edge over rock sister WMMR. iHeart urban AC WDAS-FM, which led in October and November, places third, just ahead of Audacy sports WIP-FM, with Audacy news sister KYW up 1.5 to move into fifth. Sliding from first to sixth is Audacy AC “B101.1” WBEB, holding onto 33% of its Holiday Santacaster listeners, although up 8% from pre-flip November.

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