Stern puts shock back on top

KLSX-FM’s Howard Stern is back on top in the mornings, while Spanish-language KLAX-FM racked up its third consecutive ratings win in Arbitron’s spring radio rankings.

The imported Gotham shock jock recaptured his No. 1 status in the Los Angeles market with a 6.1 share of the 12-plus audience, down slightly from his winter quarter ranking but up nearly a full point over spring 1992. KLSX finished 10th overall in the 6 a.m.-midnight average, rising to 10th-place 3.6 from a 3.3 last spring.

KLAX’s morning man Juan Carlos Hidalgo, who led during the winter, took a big tumble in the latest book, with his program sliding to a 4.6 from a 6.5 share.

His performance reflected that of the station, which dropped to a 5.7 from a 7.2 in the 6 a.m.-midnight standings. That is still a remarkable improvement over spring ’92, when KLAX collected a barely visible 0.7 share with a different format.

The once-dominant team of KLOS-FM’s Mark & Brian wound up with a second-place 5.7 share, up several notches from the winter but down a half point from the previous spring.

Rick Dees, who hosts the morning show on KIIS’ AM/FM combo, walked away in fifth place with a 4.9 share — flat with the previous spring — but he still enjoys the highest cumulative audience in the market (the share is a function of the cume and the time spent listening to a station). KABC-AM’s Ken & Barkley took the third spot with a 5.1 share, a few tenths off last spring’s average.

Elsewhere, fourth-ranked KFI-AM, home to the popular conservative syndicated gabber Rush Limbaugh, continued to dominate its primary talk competitor, ninth-place KABC.

In its third straight victory since the fall, KFI maintained nearly a full point lead over its competitor, which is down nearly a full point from the previous spring, despite the improved perf of the Dodgers.

Fifth-place rocker KROQ-FM continued to roll, with the station gaining an impressive 1.2 points over spring ’92.

Sixth-place KIIS, however, is down nearly half a point from its year-ago mark with its contemporary hit radio format.

In seventh place, oldies outlet KRTH-FM, which was recently sold for a record price of $ 110 million, improved over its winter average but was down a few ticks from its 4.1 mark a year ago. KRTH tied KLOS, which was basically flat year-to-year.

KRTH’s primary competitor, KCBS-FM, continued to lag in the ratings with a paltry 20th-ranked 1.7 share, down from a 2.0 the previous spring.

In the news wars, 12th-ranked KFWB-AM beat KNX-AM by a full share, its largest margin of victory in recent memory.

While second-place KOST-FM continued to sail, its adult contemporary rival KBIG-FM fell to a 3.2 from a 4.0 a year ago.

But Viacom’s double-barreled assault on the major adult contemporary players doesn’t appear to be paying many dividends.

The company’s easy listening “hot” adult contemporary station KYSR-FM finished in 15th place, with its ratings down to a 3.0 from a 3.7 the previous spring. The newly redubbed “soft contemporary” KXEZ-FM, meanwhile, dawdled in 25 th place with its ratings plunging to a 1.0 share from a 2.3 a year earlier (when it was Pirate Radio KQLZ-FM).

Over at KMPC-AM, where the “for sale” sign is up, the station remains mired in 26th place with a 0.9 share, down nearly a half point from last spring.

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