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ACs Still Look Good, And Sports Comes Back Strong, During January PPM Days 1 And 2.

To the five adult contemporary or soft AC stations in Nielsen's Day 1 non-embedded PPM markets that held onto their thrones in January after flipping back from Christmas music, you can add three more from Day 2.

Looking at the 20 non-embedded markets for both days during Nielsen's January survey covering Jan. 4-31, a total eight stations stayed on top post-Santa, with Tampa's soft AC along with ACs in Phoenix and Baltimore doing so on Day 2. Meanwhile in Minneapolis, the second-ranked of the market's Holiday top two, contemporary Christian KTIS-FM – which, like iHeartMedia classic hits “Kool 108” KQQL, also went all-Christmas – moved back into the top spot in the January book.

For the 25 top-five-ranked Christmas stations in these markets, share retention from the Holiday to the January survey averaged 56.0%, not far behind last year's 57.5%.

While no sports-formatted stations led these markets in the December or Holiday surveys, the same three that ruled in Dallas, Boston, and Detroit in their November books returned in January.

For Days 1 and 2, the PPM leaderboard shows AC out front with six crowns, three for sports, two each for news/talk, soft AC, and country, and one each for classic rock, urban AC, contemporary Christian, hot AC, and adult hits.

American University news/talk WAMU kicks off 2024 by again breaking into 12-share territory, which it last did in October 2023 and in six of the past 14 Nielsen surveys since last January. For the last time WAMU didn't deliver a share in double digits, you'd have to go back to April 2022. Even as Hubbard Radio news WTOP adds two share points to move from fourth to runner-up, it's still 4.2 behind WAMU. Howard University urban AC WHUR, iHeart AC (and former all-Christmas) WASH, and Urban One urban AC “Majic 102.3/92.7” WMMJ line up at 3-4-5.

Beasley Media Group's “98.5 The Sports Hub” WBZ-FM again grabs the ball and takes it to the end zone, as Holiday leader Audacy AC “Magic 106.7” WMJX comes in 4.5 points behind. The good news for Magic is it posts a 22% higher share than in November's survey, before if flipped to Santacasting. News/talk pubcaster WBUR, Beasley classic hits 105.7 WROR, and iHeart classic rock WZLX round out Beantown's top five.

With its 12th consecutive victory, Cox Media Group urban AC “Hot 105” WHQT widens its lead over Univision Spanish AC “Amor 107.5” WAMR, from the Holiday survey's 0.7 to 1.8 in January. CMG soft AC sister “Easy 93.1” WFEZ gains a point to move up to third, as Audacy AC and de facto Christmas music station “101.5 Lite FM” WLYF moves in the other direction, off by 1.6 from the Holiday book. After its splashy debut, iHeart Spanish language gold AC “Magic 93.9” WMIA-FM repeats in Miami's top five.

For the eighth time in the past year, Audacy country “100.7 The Wolf” KKWF wears the crown in Seattle, as the Holiday champ, Hubbard AC (and Santacaster) “Warm 106.9” KRWM drops to sixth. News/talk pubcaster KUOW-FM is just 0.4 behind the leader, with iHeart classic rock KZOK placing third, while Audacy's “Rock 99.9” KISW and soft AC (and also Holiday season Santacaster) “94.1 The Sound” KSWD finish fourth and fifth.

iHeart AC “99.9 K-EZ” KESZ stays on top for a sixth straight survey, ahead of Hubbard classic rock sister KSLX by 2.6 share points. Making impressive gains to take third and fourth are Hubbard rocker KUPD and Audacy classic hits “Big 94.5” KOOL-FM - up 1.1 and 1.7, respectively – while Desert Valley Media classic hits “The Wow Factor” 95.1/94.9 KOAI hangs on in fifth.

The Lions roar at the top as the team's flagship, Audacy “97.1 The Ticket” WXYT-FM, gains 1.2 share points during their magic playoff season run. iHeart AC WNIC sits 2.2 points behind The Ticket, following its two books on top with holiday music, as CHR sister “Channel 955” WKQI adds 1.8 to move from fifth to third. Returning to the top five with a 1.7-point gain is Audacy country WYCD.

Following its first-ever 12 share during the Holiday survey, contemporary Christian pubcaster KTIS-FM moves back to No. 1 in the Twin Cities, holding onto 88% of its delivery during that book as it leads iHeart sports “K-FAN” KFXN by 3.2 share points. iHeart classic hits sister “Kool 108” KQQL, which like KTIS featured all Christmas songs during the run-up to the holidays, slips from first to third, just 0.1 ahead of news/talk pubcaster KNOW.

For the first time since August 2023, Communicacion XERSA hot AC “Magic 92.5” XHRM tops the market, with a 0.4 lead over news/talk pubcaster KPBS, which gets a 1.5-point lift to land in second. Audacy classic hits “Sunny 98.1” KXSN and AC sister (and holiday season all-Christmas) KYXY come in third and fourth, which country sister KSON and iHeart news/talk KOGO-AM tie for fifth.

Why stop now? CMG soft AC WDUV notches its 31st consecutive win as it retains 73% of its all-Christmas share from the Holiday survey, and it's up 43% from November. WDUV has a comfy lead over classic rock sister “The Eagle 107.3” WXGL, while talk sister “102.5 The Bone” WHPT gets a 1.2-share-point lift, moving from a tie for seventh up to third.

For a third straight Nielsen survey, Bonneville rules Denver's top two, as country KYGO and AC KOSI switch places, separated by just three-tenths of a share point. KSE Radio Ventures hot AC “Mix 100” KIMN and classic hits sister “Kool 105” KXKL finish third and fifth, with iHeart modern/alternative rock “Channel 93.3” KTCL in the middle.

From playing Christmas favorites to the 80's-to-today's favorites, Audacy AC “Today's 101.9” WLIF doesn't skip a beat, settling in at the top for a sixth straight survey, while keeping 79% of its Holiday book share and up 57% from pre-Christmas November. WLIF has a 5.4-point lead over iHeart country WPOC, which moves from fourth to second with a 1.3-point gain. Urban One's urban contemporary “92Q Jams” WERQ and urban AC “Magic 95.9” WWIN-FM place third and fourth, while Peter and John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian “Bright FM” WRBS-FM slips from third to fifth.

Hubbard's back in control of the top two, as adult hits “106.5 The Arch” WARH gets a 1.7-point lift to move from third back up to the throne, ahead of rock sister KSHE by just 0.6. iHeart classic hits KLOU's up 1.3 as it slides into third, while the Holiday champ, Audacy AC KEZK, ties with Hubbard modern/alternative rock “105.7 The Point” KPNT and iHeart country “93.7 The Bull” KSD-FM for fourth.

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