KOST-FM holds radio ratings top spot with Christmas music

Winter did wonders again for KOST-FM (103.5) as listeners' appetite for holiday-themed music bouyed the station to the top of the local radio ratings for the second straight month. 

Numbers released Tuesday by Arbitron showed that playlists with Christmas classics were a big draw for the station that switches to holiday programming every year.

The adult contemporary station grew its share of the Los Angeles-Orange County audience to 10.4% for the period that ran Dec. 5 to Jan. 1 -- up from 6.3% the previous month. More than 4.74 million people tuned in for more than five minutes each week.

In addition, the station's "Mark & Kristin in the Morning" scored the highest ratings during the 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. period on weekdays, considered prime time for radio. With a 7.7% share and 1.37 million tuning in, "Mark & Kristin" bested the prior month's top jockeys Kevin Ryder and Gene "Bean" Baxter of the alternative rock outlet KROQ-FM (106.7).

Ryder and Baxter brought in 5% of the audience this time around, coming in ahead of the morning lineup at talk station KFI-AM (640) featuring Bill Handel and Rush Limbaugh. This month, Limbaugh's show moved to KEIB-AM (1150), formerly known as KTLK-AM.

Radio giant Clear Channel owns KFI and KEIB and hopes to use Limbaugh's considerable draw to build an audience for the new station, dubbed "The Patriot," along with nationally known conservative voices including Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck.

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Vying for the top spot among public radio channels, news and information station KPCC-FM (89.3) and classical destination KUSC were neck-and-neck at No. 20 and No. 21, respectively. 

In terms of audience share, the top 10 stations were, in order, KOST, KBIG-FM (104.3), KIIS-FM (102.7), KPWR-FM (105.9), KAMP-FM (97.1), KRTH-FM (101.1), KROQ, KLVE-FM (107.5), KLAX-FM (97.9) and KFI. 


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