The Arbitron ratings are in. BlatherWatch’s vast network of moles, plumbers, leakers, deep throats, blathermonkeys and bag men located in strategic cubicles in the belly of the beast are coming up with reliable numbers from the Winter Book (Jan, Feb, Mar).
BlatherWatch knows this stuff is snarky, and a little complicated. But we get more requests for ratings that anything else (except, of course, for us to put some pants on and get a real job). For a rundown how Arbitrary-tron works, (it’s quite the travesty) click here for our definitive post, Cooking The Book.
We don’t have much yet from KVI, KTTH, KOMO or Air America. But we’re loaded with the KIRO goods and as we predicted, the goods are bad.
The new out-of-the-box line-up, so highly touted by its perps, PD Tom Clendening and afternoon talk host Dori Monson, has been an abysmal blow-out.
KIRO sank to 6th place in the the not-so-meaningful “all listeners 12 and older,” demographic, going from a 5.0 to 4.2 audience share.
But even worse, in the vital 25-54 year old adults demo, the place where radio stations live or die, KIRO went from 8th to 13th place.
KIRO’s January numbers were strongest, but eroded each month. When the January numbers go away, (Arbitron trends are a rolling 3 months) and are replaced by KOMO’s high Mariners’ ratings, KIRO will really be in the House of Poo.
Devastating is KIRO’s fall from 4th to 9th in the morning drive (6-10a). This has always been a time slot KIRO could take to the bank. “With it weakening,” our guy says, “it's abandon ship time ...horrible for the sales department, because many ad buys are based on the top 3 or 5 morning drive stations in the 25-54 demo.”
Allen Prell and Dori Monson’s 10a-3p: fell from 13th to 16th. There’s huge overhead with these two highly paid hosts, producers, and a bevy of newsies. And all this, says a source, “for numbers that some of the tiniest, bare bones operations are now beating. Not only is Prell DOA, says our guy, “but Monson is in absolutely huge trouble.”
(Sources say Al Franken came in at 18th in this time slot, which we say is not too bad).
Dave Ross in the 3 to 7p ratings period, gave KIRO a ray of hope, though meager. The news block he replaced was 14th in the fall, Ross made 10th. That's a little lower than he scored in his old slot and last year, and the news he replaced was in 9th place in the comparable 2004 period.
Tony Ventrella and Mike Webb (7-midnight) are a catastrophe. They went from 9th to 15th place, and in the baseball season, they'll be lucky to stay in the top 20.
Sources deep in the bowels of Entercom now say KIRO firings are not likely quite yet. Ratings are in a free fall and no one knows where the bottom will be. When they stabilize, look for some of the help being frog-walked scross the street to the Azteca for a good-bye single malt.
We can tell you that in the 12+ ratings (which don't tell you much), AM1090 (Air America) gained a half point, a good thing, but not a great thing. KVI lost nearly half a share, the lackluster KOMO lost a couple of points; (but they’ll perk up next month with baseball). KTTH lost a half share but stayed ahead of KVI by a single point.
Stay tuned and stand by and we'll get some more definitive 25-54 numbers for these stations.