Thursday, May 3, 2001

Youth radio market
shaken up in latest ratings

By Erika Engle

Big changes in youth and adult radio listenership burst out of the latest Arbitron Co. ratings survey, released yesterday.

Among the most dramatic developments were a shift of prominence among Honolulu's contemporary hit radio stations and the return of some so-called "heritage call letters" to the top 10 stations among adult listeners.

Among the youth-oriented stations, KDDB 102.7 FM, which launched in the fall, rose to No. 1 among listeners 12 and older for Honolulu's three contemporary hit radio stations.In spite of a five-point drop by KDNN 98.5 FM among listeners 18 to 34 years old, it is tied for No. 1 with sister station KIKI 93.9 FM. "Extreme Radio" KXME 104.3 FM dropped from No. 3 in the demographic with 8.9 share points to No. 8 with 6.2.

Adult-contemporary formatted KUMU FM 94.7 has broken into the top five among 25- to 54-year-old listeners, ranking at No. 6 in the mornings from 6 to 10 a.m., and No. 4 in all-day listening.

KQMQ 93.1 FM and its "'80s and more" format broke into the top 10 among adults, tied at No. 6 with KINE 105.1 FM and its Hawaiian music format.

KINE suffered a share point drop of 3.9 in the adult demographic, which General Manager Mike Kelly said he would reluctantly call an aberration. He cited anomalies in detailed demographic breakouts between KINE and KCCN FM, both of which play Hawaiian music, but geared toward different ages.

He said in spite of the differences listeners often confuse them.

In the previous ratings survey, Arbitron showed a similar audience drop for KRTR 96.3 FM, but the station's ratings were up in the winter survey, or "book," as it's known.

"We had the proof that Arbitron screwed up in the last book," Cox Radio Hawaii Vice President and General Manger Austin Vali said.

He said advertisers that continued to advertise on KRTR "were rewarded, and those that didn't continue were not rewarded."

Decades of dominance continue for No. 1 KSSK FM/AM (92.3/590) and morning show hosts Michael W. Perry and Larry Price.

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