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Jack radio jacks KIIS auds

KCBS' new format a hit with listeners

L.A. radio listeners jacked up KCBS-FM’s ratings — and blew a kiss to market leader KIIS-FM — this spring, according to Arbitron ratings released Tuesday.

KCBS’ decision to drop its long-running classic rock “Arrow” format earlier this year and replace it with the “Jack” format appears to have paid off for the Infinity-owned station. Listenership for the station among audiences aged 12 and older jumped from 1.7% of the market in winter to a 3.0 share in spring.

The “Jack” format, which boasts a wide playlist and no DJs, was born in Canada and has rapidly spread (along with several imitators) across the country. It’s still too soon to gauge the long term viability of the format — which critics argue fades in popularity as the novelty wears off — but it’s clear “Jack” made quickly made an impact in the market.

But the local “Jack” appears to have hit its sibling Infinity alternative rocker KROQ the hardest. That station slipped from fourth to a tie for eighth place in L.A. this time out.

Meanwhile, Clear Channel’s KIIS-FM (which merges its ratings with sister Antelope Valley station KVVS) was tops in the market this time out, with a 4.6 share (unchanged from winter). KIIS was able to claim the top spot after usual market leader KPWR (Emmis-owned “Power 106”) dropped from a 4.7 to a second-place 4.2.

Other winners this spring included Spanish-lingo KLAX, which jumped from a 3.0 to a 4.0 share. That put the SBS-owned station in a three-way tie for third place, along with two more Spanish outlets: Univision’s KLVE and KSCA.

Talk leader KFI saw its numbers dip slightly, from a 4.6 share to a 3.9. Alternative KDLD/KDLE “Indie 103.1” posted its best results yet (1.0 share). And in its debut as an Air America affiliate, KTLK improved on what the station had been posting as a sports outlet.

Although an overall benchmark, 12-plus figures aren’t generally used by stations (which push demos) to sell ad time.

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