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Meruelo Media Ends Nielsen Ratings for KLOS, KPWR, KLLI, and KDAY

Meruelo no longer subscribes to Nielsen. So anyone who checks the Los Angeles ratings will not see...

-95.5 KLOS Classic Rock
-105.9 KPWR Rhythmic Contemporary
-93.9 KLLI Reggaeton/Latin Rhythm
-93.5 KDAY Classic Hip Hop

A check of the Los Angeles Holiday 2023 Ratings shows none of these stations listed. If you subscribe, you can see where they rank but that info is not available to the public.

Cumulus is also a non-subscriber in Los Angeles, so you don't see the ratings for 790 KABC.
 
Cumulus is also a non-subscriber in Los Angeles, so you don't see the ratings for 790 KABC.
I am not sure you would "see" them even if they were fully subscribed.
 

The notable lines from the article:

"More significantly, Nielsen will no longer include listening data for Meruelo stations in the summary dataset that fuels the major buying systems used by agencies and advertisers, per its Subscriber First policy adopted in 2020."

"Critics have said the (Subscriber First) policy gives media buyers an incomplete picture of the market since the data no longer reflects all the listening that occurs in the market.
 
I don't see a quote from the owner. Until Inside Radio or someone gets a quote, we really don't know the plan.

In other markets, I've seen owners like EMF become selective in the way they subscribe.
 
Elsewhere in the Meruelo business empire, speculation is heating up that he will sell his troubled Arizona Coyotes NHL team, which would then be relocated to Salt Lake City. The Utah Jazz ownership just made a big splash about its desire for an expansion or relocated NHL team.

Such a sale might mean more money for future Meruelo Media acquisitions?
 
Elsewhere in the Meruelo business empire, speculation is heating up that he will sell his troubled Arizona Coyotes NHL team, which would then be relocated to Salt Lake City. The Utah Jazz ownership just made a big splash about its desire for an expansion or relocated NHL team.

Such a sale might mean more money for future Meruelo Media acquisitions?
I think the Coyotes moving to Atlanta is the latest rumor. But, he needs to do something quick with the Coyotes before worrying about his stations. i never thought I’d live to see the day a pro sports franchise is playing in an on campus college arena
 
I think the Coyotes moving to Atlanta is the latest rumor. But, he needs to do something quick with the Coyotes before worrying about his stations. i never thought I’d live to see the day a pro sports franchise is playing in an on campus college arena
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman loves the Sun Belt and is determined to make hockey work in as many growing, vibrant markets there as possible. While Atlanta has failed twice, and the Coyotes -- who were the original Winnipeg Jets -- have never been a good draw even when they played in a full-size arena, Dallas, Nashville and Tampa Bay are success stories, and Carolina and Florida (Miami market) are doing much better than they used to.

Salt Lake City isn't in the Sun Belt, but it's nuts about sports and would seem a surer bet for the NHL than a third stab at making Atlanta work. We shall see.
 
We see some owners try to avoid Nielsen, especially if they don't like the price or think their stations are not given their due.

--Dick Broadcasting in the South withdrew from Nielsen for a time. The company owns Classic Rock 92.5 WKRR and Top 40 107.5 WKZL in Greensboro, among other stations. The company thought their stations were underperforming what their real listenership was. Another ratings firm tried supplying numbers in a few markets and Dick went with them instead of Nielsen. But I see it's back. WKRR is #5 and WKZL is #12 in the latest ratings.

--Salem Media doesn't subscribe in most markets. After all, if you run Christian talk and teaching stations, you don't really need ratings. You just count donations to the preachers on your stations. And the company knows its Conservative Talk stations get poor ratings. But I suppose they sell to local mom and pop advertisers who are supporting the Conservative message. Salem does subscribe in most cities where it has a commercial Christian Contemporary music station, including LA, Dallas and Atlanta. They really do need CCM ratings to sell to advertisers.

--As I said above, Cumulus doesn't subscribe in LA or NYC. It has poorly rated AM talk stations in Market #1 and #2. But those stations are really there to tell national advertisers that their spots are getting cleared in the two biggest markets. And we suppose because Cumulus hasn't found anyone to buy them for a decent price. But you'd think that Cumulus would have a national deal with Nielsen for all markets in which they operate which would include NYC and LA.
 
I don't see a quote from the owner. Until Inside Radio or someone gets a quote, we really don't know the plan.
As an operator with no prior radio experience, this seems to me to just be an owner who thinks that their wonderful stations have lots more listeners than Nielsen is showing and they believe they can sell them based only on the great image they have.
In other markets, I've seen owners like EMF become selective in the way they subscribe.
But EMF does not sell to ad agencies who basically require ratings data to buy.
 
--As I said above, Cumulus doesn't subscribe in LA or NYC. It has poorly rated AM talk stations in Market #1 and #2. But those stations are really there to tell national advertisers that their spots are getting cleared in the two biggest markets. And we suppose because Cumulus hasn't found anyone to buy them for a decent price. But you'd think that Cumulus would have a national deal with Nielsen for all markets in which they operate which would include NYC and LA.
Cumulus doesn't subscribe in NYC because it no longer owns anything in NYC proper. WABC is gone, WPLJ likewise, WNSH the same. Do they even still own 103.9? They do still own WFAS, but it's now 100% HD, over a thousand watt signal on 1230 AM, no analog component, and the station gets no ratings because all their listeners -- all five or six of them -- are their own employees in their own facility, listening via off-air monitors. I doubt any normal "civilian" is listening to them over the air. So why waste any money on Nielsen, or any other ratings service, to tell them what they already know?

(Edit: since this is the L.A. board, WFAS is a suburban AM signal in Westchester County, north of The Bronx. Cumulus switched them to a 100% digital IBOC signal last year. On any normal radio, tuning in 1230 is just digital hash, even if a modern radio would stop on it when doing a seek or scan (which is a big if), and assuming a listener would even switch over to the AM band in the first place.)
 
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As an operator with no prior radio experience, this seems to me to just be an owner who thinks that their wonderful stations have lots more listeners than Nielsen is showing and they believe they can sell them based only on the great image they have.

There are plenty of reasons to be critical of Nielsen. If this is a protest by Meruelo, it will be interesting to hear the actual explanation.
 
But EMF does not sell to ad agencies who basically require ratings data to buy.

I mention them because they will subscribe for a short time and then unsubscribe. I've seen other groups do that. So my take is Meruelo is saving money for a few months, and will resubscribe in March when it matters. Advertising is so bad right now, there's no point spending money on Nielsen. I don't see this as a permanent thing.
 
As an operator with no prior radio experience, this seems to me to just be an owner who thinks that their wonderful stations have lots more listeners than Nielsen is showing and they believe they can sell them based only on the great image they have.
Honestly can't see as I blame them. If local direct and national were doing well enough, why not see if you can get the renewals without having to take it in the shorts from Nielsen?
 
Cumulus doesn't subscribe in NYC because it no longer owns anything in NYC proper. WABC is gone, WPLJ likewise, WNSH the same. Do they even still own 103.9? They do still own WFAS, but it's now 100% HD, over a thousand watt signal on 1230 AM, no analog component, and the station gets no ratings because all their listeners -- all five or six of them -- are their own employees in their own facility, listening via off-air monitors. I doubt any normal "civilian" is listening to them over the air. So why waste any money on Nielsen, or any other ratings service, to tell them what they already know?

(Edit: since this is the L.A. board, WFAS is a suburban AM signal in Westchester County, north of The Bronx. Cumulus switched them to a 100% digital IBOC signal last year. On any normal radio, tuning in 1230 is just digital hash, even if a modern radio would stop on it when doing a seek or scan (which is a big if), and assuming a listener would even switch over to the AM band in the first place.)
True, WFAS 1230 White Plains is only audible in Westchester and Rockland Counties, north of NYC and only on HD AM radios. Cumulus does have Total Traffic supply the station with some AM and PM traffic reports. I think there is weather as well. But that's it. Cumulus doesn't even ask Total Traffic to do a one-minute local newscast here and there. It uses USA Radio for hourly news updates. (Gotta be the worst news network imaginable.)

But Cumulus hasn't shut it down or handed in the license. WFAS runs only syndicated talk, mostly from Cumulus-owned Westwood One. So all the company's sales materials for Dan Bongino, Ben Shapiro, Michael Knowles, Red Eye Radio and America in The Morning say these shows are carried in Markets #1 and #2.
 
I mention them because they will subscribe for a short time and then unsubscribe.
They generally have a group of stations that represent different kinds and sizes of markets. And they seem to subscribe for new stations for a while, then drop them.
I've seen other groups do that.
Other than Saga's refusal to subscribe in some markets, I have not seen this done with any significant station. Fringe stations sometimes try with the intent to see if they get any sales action, and when they don't, they drop it.
So my take is Meruelo is saving money for a few months, and will resubscribe in March when it matters. Advertising is so bad right now, there's no point spending money on Nielsen. I don't see this as a permanent thing.
And Nielsen will respond by increasing the price. This is not an a la carte menu.
 
Now we have confirmation that there was in fact a dispute between Meruelo and Nielsen, and the dispute has been resolved:

 


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