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Santastic! All-Christmas Stations Rule In PPM Day 1's Big Eight Markets.

In the eight non-embedded markets reporting on Day 1 of Nielsen's Holiday PPM measurement period – based on activity from Dec. 7-Jan. 3 – all 10 of the top-five-ranked stations that were rockin' around the Christmas tree 24/7 are surely now doing so around the ratings books, and with good reason.

All 10 stations – including one topping each market, and two in the top two in Dallas and Houston – saw their numbers go up from December's book, with six of the 10 seeing growth from, and one breaking even with, 2022's Holiday book. Those year-over-year gains ranged from 8.1% to 43.8%, with five stations boasting double-digit growth.

Dating back to 2015, three of these all-Christmas outlets posted their highest shares over the past nine Holiday books. That includes two iHeartMedia stations in the top three markets – New York's and Chicago's “Lite FM,” WLTW and WLIT, respectively – and Salem Media Group's Atlanta contemporary Christian station, “104.7 The Fish” WFSH.

iHeart AC-turned-Santacaster “Lite FM” WLTW posts a seasonal best for the past nine Holiday books, its 14.3 share a 37.5% improvement over Holiday 2022, while also up an impressive 26.5% from December. As Lite celebrates a 15th straight victory, it takes an 8.4-share-point lead over classic rock sister “Q104.3” WAXQ. Just below, Mediaco urban AC WBLS bounces back up from sixth to third, as Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical “Mega 97.9” WSKQ jumps from ninth to a tie for fourth with iHeart CHR “Z100” WHTZ.

With its annual flip to holiday music, iHeart's L.A. AC continued to KOST at No. 1, with a second consecutive double-digit book, putting it up 24.8% from December but just 3.8% short of Holiday 2022's 13.1. KOST extends its lead to 6.8 share points over Audacy classic hits “K-Earth 101” KRTH, while iHeart sisters CHR KIIS-FM, news/talk KFI, and hot AC “104.3 MyFM” KBIG are tightly packed from third to fifth.

It's also a nine-year high for iHeart soft AC “93.9 Lite FM” WLIT, its all-Christmas 16.0 share up 30.1% from December, and 8.1% vs. a year ago. That puts Lite 9.9 share points ahead of urban AC sister “V103” WVAZ, which moves up to second for the first time since June 2022. Hubbard Radio classic rock “The Drive” WDRV, meantime, slips to third for the first time since last January.

Bonneville AC KOIT celebrates its 10th straight win in the bay city with a four-share-point gain from December, giving its annual Christmas flip a 39.6% gain from December, although 9% off from Holiday 2022, when it hit 15.5. Nonetheless, KOIT more than doubles its lead over news/talk pubcaster KQED, from December's 3.5 to 7.2. While Audacy news KCBS-AM/KFRC-FM stays in third place, contemporary music formats round out the top five, with Bonneville CHR sister “99.7 Now” KMVQ still fourth, and iHeart urban contemporary KMEL up from seventh to fifth.

Holiday music takes over Dallas' top two, as Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY dashes from 14th to the runner-up spot, 5.7 points behind iHeart AC “Star 102.1” KDGE. Both stations improve on their Holiday 2022 share delivery, with Star up 13.2% and KLTY up 43.8%. For the former, that's just 0.3 shy of Holiday 2021's 10.6, while the latter shows its highest share since Holiday 2020's 7.0. Below the festive top two, Cumulus Media sports “The Ticket” KTCK-AM-FM, Audacy classic hits “98.7 The Spot” KSPF, and Service Broadcasting urban AC “Smooth R&B 105.7” KRNB tie for third, the latter up from 10th in December's book.

It's also an all-Christmas top two in Houston, even as Hope Media Group contemporary Christian KSBJ settles for a tie for second with Urban One classic rock “The Eagle” KGLK. iHeart AC “Sunny 99.1” KODA's 13.7 share, while 14.2% higher than its December book delivery, is 6.8% off from Holiday 2022's 14.7, while KSBJ is up 8.3% from December and 12.1% vs. a year ago, even if 0.4 short of Holiday 2021's 6.9.

Atlanta's all-Christmas station, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian “104.7 The Fish” WFSH, swims back to the top for the first time since December 2022, with its first double-digit delivery over the past nine holiday measurement periods. It's showing a 31.6% gain from Dec. 2023, and a 29.6% rise from Holiday 2022, with a 3.1-point edge over Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, which led in November and December. In third, CMG classic hits “97.1 The River” WSRV is half a point behind its sister, and 0.2 ahead of Urban One urban AC “Majic 107.5/97.5” WAMJ.

With a 16.8, Audacy AC-gone-Christmas “B101.1” WBEB matches its Holiday 2022 share, while up 76.8% from December's book. That widens its lead over iHeart urban AC WDAS-FM to 8.2 points, with Beasley Media Group classic rock WMGK holding at third, and Audacy sports sister WIP-FM and Beasley rock sister WMMR tied for fourth.

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