Despite a significant drop-off from its summer ratings, adult-contemporary station KOST-FM topped Los Angeles stations in Arbitron fall-quarter radio rankings, giving the station four consecutive quarters in that position.

Prior to its taking over first place in winter 1990, no AC station ever had led the market in share among listeners age 12 and up. KOST’s major drop was due largely to a decline in time spent listening, though its cumulative audience (1.54 million listeners a week) also took a hit while remaining the market’s second highest.

AM/FM combo KIIS ranked second and maintained its claim to the highest cumulative audience (1.68 million), while ABC-owned FM rocker KLOS – buoyed by its top-rated morning duo of Mark & Brian – jumped to third place, just ahead of urban-dance format KPWR-FM.

Thanks to Mark & Brian’s antics, KLOS posted a huge 8.1 share from 6 to 10 a.m., the key morning-drive daypart, up 11%. Talk-radio station KABC-AM was second, at 5.8, followed KIIS (5.1), KOST (4.4), AM newsradio stations KFWB (4.4), KNX (4.2) and KPWR (4.0).

KABC, as usual, exhibited a decline in the wake of the baseball season (the station carries Dodgers broadcasts), though the steep 12% drop may reflect some of the tumult surrounding changes at the station, including the departure of Sportstalk host Ed (Superfan) Bieler.

CBS o&o KNX reclaimed the lead over KFWB after trailing the Westinghouse station for three quarters.

The most significant surge, meanwhile, was posted by Spanish-language station KLVE-FM, which improved by nearly a full rating point to rank seventh in the market – increasing its time-spent-listening and upping its audience cume.

Eight-month-old Spanish format KKHJ-AM also jumped dramatically for the second straight quarter, from a 1.7 to a 2.5, to rank third in that genre, moving ahead of KLVE’s sister station KTNQ (flat at 2.3). KALI-AM also was up solidly, to 1.7 from a 1.0.

All told, Spanish-language stations accounted for more than 16% of total listening, demonstrating growth in that demographic.

KKBT-FM continued its ratings gains, picking up a half-rating point, while KQLZ fell significantly and KROQ was down slightly. Classic-rock station KLSX was basically flat at a 2.2 share.

With KPWR and KKBT appealing to a crossover mix, black-oriented formats were generally down, though KACE-FM was flat with a 1.2 share.

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