September 28, 2017

CBS Radio's 94.7 The Wave Defies Logic Format Wise, Still a Ratings Winner

There are more radio stations in the Los Angeles market per capita than any other market in the country. Therefore the competition is fierce for ratings. A few points here or there makes a big difference in terms of revenue for a station. Now that brings us to 94.7 The Wave, the CBS owned outlet in LA. The Wave has been putting together a winning formula since the early 90's. However its transition from Smooth Jazz to Smooth R&B to what it is today was bumpy. Very bumpy.

The Wave is considered to be the first station in the country to go with the NAC format by incorporating Smooth Jazz, Instrumentals, and Soft Rock into their playlist in 1987. Here's what defies logic. The station has virtually eliminated the music that defined it early beginning and has become a hybrid Rhythmic AC/AC/UAC station. They are now a top rated station in Los Angeles once again.


Now that brings us to it most recent ratings over the summer for KTWV and Los Angeles. They are within striking distance of Hot AC 104.3 My FM (KBIG). The demos, when broken down even further, are attractive to advertisers.


Los Angeles (#2)
SUBSCRIBERFORMATJUN 17JUL 17AUG 17
KBIG-FMHot AC5.86.16.4
KTWV-FMRhythmic AC5.45.35.9
KRTH-FMClassic Hits5.14.84.8
KIIS-FMPop CHR5.04.74.7
KOST-FMAC4.84.74.5
KLVE-FMSpanish Contemp.3.54.44.2
KFI-AMNews Talk Info.3.33.43.5
KCBS-FMAdult Hits3.53.43.4
KNX-AMAll News3.32.93.0
KAMP-FMPop CHR3.03.02.9
KPWR-FMRhythmic2.93.12.9
KKGO-FMCountry2.82.82.7
KROQ-FMAlternative2.42.52.7
KXOL-FMSpanish Contemp.2.52.92.7
KRRL-FMUrban2.92.82.6

Has there ever been a music station that completely changed format and still held on to its imaging name and ratings? The Wave was one of the top rated stations in the country during the height of Smooth Jazz format era in the 90's.


This is what a typical music set might look like at 94-7 The Wave.
















94.7 The WAVE

The station, now known as 'The Soul of Southern California," success is purely based on it's imaging. They're not playing 60's and 70's Soul music. The station that began as a "mood service" with no announcers, is a radio station that captures the lifestyle of California. While most Smooth Jazz stations no longer exist The Wave moves on and tweaked its format by incorporating tracks that use to play on Hot 92.3. That iHeart Radio station flipped to Hip Hop as Real 92.3 (KRRL) with Big Boy Morning Show.

Here's Frankie Ross, the Quiet Storm host at the station and former personality at 102.3 KJLH.



There has been stability in the station lineup through the years from its transition from Smooth Jazz to AC/UAC. Pat Prescott (formerly of WBLS in New York) has hosted or co-hosted (at one time with singer Brian McKnight) the station's morning show since 2001. Talaya Trigueros first came to the station in 1988 and has been a midday fixture. Like successful stations throughout the country there is a sense of comfort that is exists with their listeners. It's one of the things that CBS Radio does across the country. They go local. No matter if it's Los Angeles, Atlanta, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, or Hartford. They don't do syndication. That's there philosophy. We hope to see that continue with the impeding merger with Entercom.

The lesson learned here is: reinvention is possible.



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