AC stations that went all Christmas in Washington, DC, St. Louis and Tampa set station records in Nielsen’s Holiday 2020 ratings survey, propelled by high demand for Christmas cheer in a year where there was little else to celebrate. The new ratings records are all the more remarkable when you consider the Holiday survey, which ran from Dec. 3, 2020 - Jan. 6, 2021, included a fifth week, meaning stations had returned to regular programming before the survey ended.
All shares quoted are Persons 6+, Mon-Sun 6am-Mid.
In St. Louis, tracking Nov.-Dec.-Holiday, Entercom AC KEZK-FM trended 5.4-7.9-16.9, setting an all-time record for a station that has been a fixture of St. Louis radio for decades. That outsized number beat its previous Christmas share high of 15.6 set in the Holiday 2018 survey.
In Washington, iHeartMedia AC WASH-FM went 7.0-9.8-15.2, reaching an all-time station high. It’s the third year in a row WASH-FM increased its Christmas ratings, building from 9.7 in Holiday 2017 to 10.4 in 2018 to 12.9 in 2019.
And in Tampa, iHeartMedia hot AC “Mix 100.7” WMTX leapt to its highest share of the PPM era. In its second year of going all Christmas, WTMX charged 3.3-4.0-8.2 to place second behind perennial all holiday favorite, Cox Media Group’s WDUV (7.9-7.2-9.0). The two stations split the Christmas spoils in 2020 after “The Dove” has mostly monopolized the format.
And while it’s not a station record, the trend for Entercom’s WMJX Boston is something to behold: 5.5-7.3-15.8. That’s its best share since 2014 when it had a 16.5.
This after ACs in Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and Houston skated to their highest 6+ shares in station history in Day One Holiday 2020 ratings released Tuesday.
Elsewhere, Christmas stations posted boxcar ratings but fell short of previous records. Entercom AC WLIF Baltimore (4.3-6.3-11.0) didn’t approach the 16.0 it achieved in Holiday 2019. Bonneville AC KOSI Denver (4.3-6.3-13.3) didn’t quite reach the 14.4 it set one year earlier.
In Detroit, iHeartMedia AC WNIC (4.1-10.0-16.6) missed the 17.9 high watermark set in Holiday 2018. Entercom AC KYXY San Diego (3.6-5.7-9.4) did better in 2019 (11.1). In Minneapolis, iHeartMedia classic hits KQQL Minneapolis (6.9-7.8-11.5) posted its lowest Holiday share in at least five years. AC sister KESZ Phoenix (6.0-11.4-16.7) fell short of the 19.2 it nailed in Holiday 2019.
Seattle was unique with four all-Christmas stations splitting up the Holiday ratings pie. Perennial favorite Hubbard AC KRWM led the pack, ranking third overall (3.7-3.4-6.0), followed by Entercom AC KSWD in fifth place (3.1-3.0-4.9). Crista Media contemporary Christian KCMS finished ninth (2.0-3.2-4.0) and Sinclair hot AC KPLZ-FM was tenth (3.3-3.2-3.7)
Since making the move to all Christmas music in 2018, Entercom AC WLYF Miami has gained Holiday ground each year. This time it trended (6.3-5.2-8.0) to rank second, just a tenth of a share behind Cox Media Group AC WFEZ.
In Day Two Holiday PPM ratings, Christmas stations finished first in Baltimore, Boston, Denver, Detroit, Minneapolis, Phoenix, San Diego, St. Louis, Tampa, and Washington; second in Miami and third in Seattle.