Many radio vets will be MIA in next Arbitron rating survey


POSTED: Saturday, May 02, 2009

The winter 2009 Arbitron radio ratings survey marks a milestone in Honolulu radio, as it could be the last so-called “;book”; for many beloved local radio personalities.

Lifelong radio careers have been interrupted, if not halted, since the April 1 end of the rating period — for Dave Lancaster at KAIM-FM 95.5, Dick Wainwright of KSSK-AM 590, Lanai Tabura and Junior Kekuewa Jr. of KDNN-FM 98.5, and Brock Whaley of KPOI-FM 105.9.

Still gainfully employed, Michael W. Perry and Larry Price rule morning radio on KSSK-FM 92.3/AM 590. More than a fourth of the morning radio audience listens to Perry and Price. Its closest competitor, KRTR-FM 96.3, has 6 percent of the audience.

The long-tenured team at KSSK is also tops among 25- to 54-year-olds but fell to fourth place among 18- to 34-year-olds from its year-ago first-place tie with KCCN-FM 100.3.

The KRTR morning show is No. 2 among listeners 12 and over, as well as in the 25- to 54-year-old age group, but leapt to No. 1 among 18- to 34-year-olds from seventh place last year. Former isle radio personality Steve Kelly returned to Hawaii and joined Sistah Sherry on the “;Krater”; morning show in October.

Adult contemporary Krater was also the No. 1 station overall for 18- to 34-year-olds, unusual as that battle is normally dominated by youth-oriented hip-hop or island music formats.

“;Krater does really well with females 25 to 34,”; said Mike Kelly, vice president and general manager of the Hawaii stations owned by Atlanta-based Cox Radio Inc.

Drilling down deeper into demographics among dramatically moving stations, the morning show at contemporary Christian KAIM-FM 95.5 “;The Fish”; leapt to 10th place from No. 16 a year ago among listeners 25 to 54. Host Dave Lancaster was laid off last month in cost-cutting at the Honolulu stations owned by California-based Salem Communications Corp.

The station's performance echoed Lancaster's in the demographic.

KDNN-FM 98.5 is No. 4 in its target audience of 18- to 34-year-olds. Its morning show improved to No. 6 from No. 8 among those listeners, and to No. 7 from No. 11 among 25- to 54-year-olds — but hosts Lanai and Junior Kekuewa Jr. were laid off this week.

KPOI's morning show hit No. 9 among 25- to 54-year-olds, up from No. 11 and following a mid-February format flip to classic hits from classic rock. Morning host and Director of Programming Brock Whaley was let go this week.

KSSK-AM, Honolulu's No. 5 station and the only AM in the top 10, is up from No. 10 a year ago — and laid off 30-year employee Dick Wainwright this week.




Winter radio rating

        Top 10 radio stations overall (among listeners 12 and older)

StationWinter 2009Winter 2008 (rank)
1. KSSK-FM 92.311.911.1 (1)
2. KRTR-FM (3)
3t KCCN-FM (4)
3t KINE-FM (2)
5. KSSK-AM 5905.63.9 (10, a)
6. KDDB-FM (9)
7. KDNN-FM (11)
8t KHUI-FM (8)
8t KPHW-FM (5)
10. KKOL-FM (7, b)



(a) 30-year station veteran Dick Wainwright, the only local personality on the station aside from morning hosts Perry and Price, was laid off this week in a cost-cutting move by station owner Clear Channel Communications Inc., based in Texas.


(b) Call letters were KGMZ-FM until January.




Oahu's top morning shows


StationWinter 2009Winter 2008 (rank)
1. KSSK-A/F25.321.4 (1, a)
2. KRTR-FM (4)
3. KINE-FM (5)
4. KCCN-FM (3)
5. KDDB-FM (11)
6. KDNN-FM (14, b)
7t KIKI-FM (6t)
7t KKOL-FM (9)
7t KHVH-AM 8303.13.0 (15)
10. KPHW-FM (10)


(a) KSSK AM and FM simulcast the morning show and began round-the-clock simulcasting this week as part of cost-cutting and layoffs at Clear Channel.


(b) Morning hosts Lanai Tabura and Junior Kekuewa Jr. were laid off this week, replaced by Rory Wild and Gregg Hammer, formerly of KIKI-FM. They were replaced by Maleko McDonnell, who is also the afternoon host at KUCD-FM 101.9.


Share is the percentage of audience listening. Honolulu is the nation's 64th-largest radio market. Survey dates: Jan. 8-April 1.


Source: Arbitron Inc.