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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Houston radio changes = change in ratings? Plus news radio?

It was a wild ride this past summer for Houston radio. We watched a station dump a format and others dump well known morning show talent.

I've already looked at how 107.5 The Eagle KGLK's ratings jumped after taking over 106.9 The Zone.

Now let's examine what has happened to Mix 96.5 KHMX and 740 KTRH since replacing Maria Todd with Kidd Kraddick and Lana Hughes and J.P. Pritchard with Matt Patrick respectively. I can tell you that both got a huge reaction on my blog from readers.

Let me start by saying I only am looking at the 12+ ratings numbers from Arbitron. They are the only ones released to the public (Nielsen does not offer any Houston TV ratings publicly). That being said, we will not get a full picture of how a radio station is doing in certain demos and time slots (examples of metrics used to sell advertising and make money for the stations).

Luckily for us, David Barron of the Houston Chronicle does see more than just the 12+ Arbitron numbers. He reports that for the first time in his memory, SportsRadio 610 KILT is nipping at the heels of 740 KTRH for top rated AM station in Houston:

KTRH continues to lead KILT in the weeklong persons 12-plus ratings, as reported by Arbitron for September, with a 2.8 percent audience share to 2.2 for KILT (for comparison purposes, Clear Channel's KODA, 99.1 FM, is No. 1 overall at 7.0).

But KILT leads by two-tenths of a point in the weeklong adults 25-54 ratings, and it leads by seven-tenths of a point in morning drive, which reflects KILT's Texans-fueled surge and the KTRH's slump as the Astros dawdled toward 100 losses and also since it ditched longtime news anchors Lana Hughes and J.P. Pritchard in favor of talk show host Matt Patrick. Since the numbers for June, the last full month that Pritchard and Hughes were on the air, KTRH is down more than a point in morning drive share for adults 25-54. KILT is up by about a point. READ MORE

There are currently rumors swirling around town of an all news station replacing an FM station on the Houston radio dial. Connected to the departure of Lana and J.P.? Who knows? Place for former KTRH reporters and anchors to work if rumors are true...maybe.

Next over at Mix 96.5 KHMX, the public 12+ Arbitron numbers over the last three months show a decline in ratings:

July 2011 - August 2011  - September 2011
3.2 1,158,300 | 2.9 1,172,500 | 2.2 1,100,200

CBS Houston declined to comment on this. However I talked to an informed source in the broadcast ratings world and was told the station has been declining in the ratings even before Maria Todd was taken off mornings. It might have more to do with the station's format being affected by sister station Hot 95.7 KKHH and across town rivals 104.1 KRBE and Sunny 99.1 KODA.

- 740 KTRH replaces Lana Hughes and J.P. Pritchard; KTRH is now NewsTalk 740
- Kidd Kraddick replaces Maria Todd mornings on Mix 96.5 KHMX
- 106.9 The Zone gets zapped, will simulcast 107.5 The Eagle KGLK COMMENT: Click to leave your thoughts on this post here