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March PPMs, Day 1: No Changes At The Top, But Adult R&B, News/Talk And Adult Hits Are On The Rise.

On first glance, Nielsen's reported ratings for Day 1 of the March 2022 PPM survey (covering the period from Mar. 3-30) might seem like 'same old, same old,' as February's top-ranked station repeats in all eight measured major markets, with the top two or three the same in six of those eight. Beneath the surface, however, are several interesting trends.

Adult R&B, which again claims the most Day 1 champs with three, gains share in six markets, most notably in Atlanta (up 0.8) and New York (+0.6), for a total 2.3 point gain across all markets. News/talk or all news stations show growth in seven markets, with 11 stations in either format up a total 6.0 share points. And a potential sleeping giant, adult hits, gains 2.4 points across five markets, most notably in Dallas where Audacy's KJKK leaps into the market's top three.

After Day 1, the leaderboard shows the aforementioned three crowns for adult R&B, two for AC and one each for news/talk, classic hits and regional Mexican.

All Rhythm, No Blues

Make it a third consecutive month on top in New York for Mediaco adult R&B WBLS (Jan-Feb-Mar market rank: 1-1-1; Jan-Feb-Mar AQH share: 6.6-5.9-6.5), widening its lead a bit over iHeartMedia adult contemporary “106.7 Lite FM” WLTW (2-2-2; 6.0-5.5-5.9). Both Audacy classic hits WCBS-FM (3-3-3; 5.3-5.4-5.2) and Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical “Mega 97.9” WSKQ (5-4-4; 4.6-4.6-4.9) stick at third and fourth, while iHeart classic rock sister “Q104.3” WAXQ (6-6-5; 4.4-4.3-4.8) moves up to fifth. And it's ring-the-chime time (sorry, old habits die hard) for Red Apple Media news/talk WABC-AM/WLIR-FM (12-13(tie)-8; 3.0-2.9-3.8), returning to the top 10.

The only change in L.A.'s top three is that it's now four, with iHeart AC KOST (1-1-1; 6.3-5.8-5.5) and Audacy classic hits “K-Earth 101” KRTH (2-2-2; 5.6-5.3-4.9) still first and second, and a tie for third between iHeart Hot AC sister “104.3 MyFM” KBIG (3-3-3(tie); 4.6-4.8-4.8) and Audacy adult R&B sister “94.7 The Wave” KTWV (5-4-3(tie); 4.2-4.7-4.8). Missing out on a three-way tie by a tenth of a point is iHeart's big mover, news/talk KFI (7-7-5; 3.7-4.0-4.7). Also making steady gains: Audacy's all news KNX-FM (10-11-7; 3.1-3.3-3.9) and adult hits “93.1 Jack FM” KCBS-FM (11(tie)-9(tie)-8; 3.0-3.4-3.7), and Meruelo Media classic rock KLOS (17(tie)-17-11; 2.3-2.4-3.0).

After settling for a tie in both January and February, iHeart adult R&B “V103” WVAZ (1(tie)-1(tie)-1; 5.7-5.7-5.8) has the Chicago crown to itself, although it's the closest lead in all these markets, ahead of Audacy all-news WBBM/WCFS (1(tie)-3-2; 5.7-5.1-5.5) by just 0.3 and news/talk pubcaster WBEZ (3-1-3; 5.4-5.7-5.4) by 0.4. iHeart AC sister “Lite FM” WLIT (5-4-4; 5.1-5.0-5.0) stays in fourth, and last month's station to watch, Audacy Triple-A WXRT (9-7-6; 3.2-3.7-4.4), continues its upward march.

They Do Know Jack

There's no change in San Francisco's top three, except that the gap widens between news/talk pubcaster KQED (1-1-1; 8.5-7.9-9.0) and Audacy all-news KCBS/KFRC (2-2-2; 7.1-7.3-7.0), as Bonneville AC KOIT (3-3-3; 5.9-6.6-5.8) again finishes third. February's station to watch, iHeart rhythmic CHR “Wild 94.9” KYLD (9-6-5; 3.2-3.4-3.7), is at it again as it moves into the top five.

While Univision regional Mexican “Que Buena” KLNO (2-1-1; 5.2-7.2-6.8) makes it a second month on top in Dallas, with a slightly slimmer lead over iHeart classic rock “Lone Star 92.5” KZPS (1-2-2; 5.3-5.3-5.4), making the move o' the month is Audacy adult hits “100.3 Jack-FM” KJKK (7(tie)-7(tie)-3; 3.7-3.7-4.8), up 1.1 from seventh-ranked to third.

In Houston, the seemingly immovable iHeart AC “Sunny 99.1” KODA (1-1-1; 7.4-8.1-7.5) keeps a comfortable lead over contemporary Christian pubcaster KSBJ (2-2(tie)-2; 6.1-6.0-6.2) and Univision regional Mexican “Que Buena” KLTN (3-2(tie)-3; 6.0-6.0-5.8), which switch places. Another Audacy adult hits gainer is “95.7 the spot” KKHH (5-5(tie)-4; 5.1-5.0-5.5), while making an impressive move into the top five is Cox Media Group classic rock “The Eagle 106.9/107.5” KGLK/KHPT (8-8-5; 4.5-4.5-5.4).

More Of...The Same

It's a third straight month on top in Atlanta for Cox Media Group classic hits “The River” WSRV (1(tie)-1-1; 7.1-8.8-8.1) while, just below, adult R&B sister “Kiss 104.1” WALR (1(tie)-3-2; 7.1-6.5-7.3) and news/talk sister WSB-AM/WSBB-FM (3-2-3; 6.9-7.4-6.9) swap places. Station to watch: news/talk pubcaster WABE (12(tie)-10-8; 2.8-3.1-3.5).

Philadelphia's top two stay the same, with iHeart adult R&B WDAS-FM (3-1-1; 7.3-8.0-8.2) again six-tenths of a share point up on Beasley Media Group rocker WMMR (1-2-2; 7.6-7.4-7.6), while news/talk pubcaster WHYY (2-4-3; 7.4-6.1-6.9) steps up to third. Audacy AC “B101.1” WBEB (7-5-4; 4.8-5.1-5.6) sees another growth spurt as it moves into fourth, while further down, Beasley's “95.7 Ben FM” WBEN (13-13-11; 2.9-2.7-3.1) joins the adult hits upward trend.

All numbers quoted are 6+ AQH shares, Mon-Sun, 6am-12midnight.

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