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FALL 2013 RADIO RATINGS: STATUS QUO

In the quarterly radio ratings cycle, where surprises are few, Lotus Communications is likely the company most pleased with the latest numbers. Two of the cluster's heavy hitters, classic rocker KLPX 96.1 FM and new rocker KFMA 92.1FM/101.3 FM saw nice increases in their 12-plus numbers.

KLPX finished fifth in the market with a 5.1 share for 12-plus. That's its best book in more than a year. Same story for KFMA, which finished seventh in the market but saw its number increase to 4.1 from 3.0 in the previous book.

Other improved performers: Clear Channel hip-hop format KOHT 98.3 FM jumped from 4.1 to 4.7, Cumulus top-40 station KSZR 97.5 FM cracked the 3 barrier for the first time since its format flip and Clear Channel Spanish-language station KTZR 1450 AM more than doubled its numbers, from 1.0 to 2.3.

Overall, the big three occupied the top spots again. Cumulus-owned KIIM 99.5 FM was No. 1 in the market for the fifth consecutive book, although its 9.3 was down from the galactic 10.2 it delivered in the summer 2013 ratings period. Journal Broadcasting-owned KMXZ 94.9 FM was second with a 7.9, and Clear Channel top-40 station KRQQ 93.7 FM delivered a 7.4.

Among head-to-head competitors, Journal's KQTH 104.1 FM nipped KNST 790 AM 2.9 to 2.7 among news/talkers. Journal-owned KFFN 1490 AM/104.9 FM slipped past Cumulus sports-talker KCUB 1290 AM with an 0.9 compared to KCUB's 0.8.

Clear Channel-owned hot AC KMIY 92.9 FM continues to be the market's biggest disappointment. It has excellent frequency coverage, but terrible numbers. It delivered a 2.9. That's three out of the last four books where the station's ill-focused hot adult contemporary format has had numbers below the 3 threshold. Cumulus-owned oldies format KTUC 1400 AM also took a shellacking. It slipped from a 2.9, best among AM stations in the market in the last book, to 1.6, ahead of just five other AMs.

KXCI NEAR HALFWAY POINT IN FUNDRAISER

Community radio station KXCI 91.3 FM has made a lot of progress in its immense fundraising push, but there's still a way to go. An email from KXCI GM Randy Peterson outlines how far the effort has come and where things stood at the conclusion of the holidays:

"KXCI has received $367,229 in pledges on our goal of $750,000 in the Amplify KXCI Capital Campaign. We anticipate reaching the halfway point of $375,000 in the campaign before the end of January. "Since mid-November 2013 we have been in what would be termed the first 'public phase' of the campaign, soliciting grassroots support, as well as continuing to pursue larger gifts. As part of this grassroots effort, we have also launched the station's first-ever crowd funding campaign through the Rocket Hub site (rockethub.com), specifically seeking smaller gifts to support renovations to Studio 2A and funds for increased training that will allow us to have even more live in-studio performances in the future. As part of this crowd funding campaign, KXCI will be producing its first compilation of live studio recordings by national artists since 2010. People can learn more about this special effort on our website at KXCI.org. "This first public phase will continue through February, then resume again in mid-May. The crowd funding effort has a deadline of March 1. "While the campaign has always had three major goals (transmitter for the northwest and foothills; building improvements including retiring the mortgage; and capacity building and technology improvements) we have always considered the transmitter to be the 'first dollars' of the effort and it's toward this goal that we have applied most of our time and energy. "At the point at which we reach $400,000 in pledges, we will begin ordering the antenna and related items for the auxiliary transmitter. Transmitters are built to very exacting specifications so it will take two or three months to arrive. We will be locating on the Los Altos tower site owned by Good News Broadcasting, near Grant and First Avenue. KXCI has already secured a lease for the site and in October 2013 we received FCC approval for the auxiliary transmitter. "Assuming that we can continue to secure pledges at about the same rate as we have since mid-November, I would anticipate that we will be field testing the auxiliary transmitter in July and fully operational in August 2014."

In other KXCI happenings, the station has been forced to pull the plug on the Festival en El Barrio music event this year. Headlining act Calexico had scheduling issues and Peterson says it would be difficult to organize an audible in time. KXCI intends to get the music festival back on track in 2015.

CHANGES AT TUCSON WEST PUBLISHING

Brad Allis has been promoted to editor of Tucson West online neighborhood publications The Marana News and Foothills News. Allis has worked as sports editor under the two banners for the past few years, but accepted the enhanced responsibilities when Tonja Greenfield accepted a position as publisher of the Lake Powell Chronicle in Page, Ariz.

The Lake Powell Chronicle has been in operation for close to 50 years and is owned by News Media Corporation, based out of Rochelle, Ill. The organization also owns Tucson West. News Media has newspapers and specialty publications in nine states, most west of the Mississippi.

Greenfield has been something of a traveling editor for the past couple of years. She's spent about as much time improving the status of numerous small-town News Media publications as she has overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Tucson publications.

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