Last month, longtime morning-show host Peter Boyles debuted at KNUS mere weeks after being fired at KHOW following an incident involving longtime producer Greg Hollenback. And his audience appears to have followed him.
We've obtained listenership figures for Boyles's first month on the air, and during his time slot, KNUS, which had been a relative a.m. ratings also-ran prior to his arrival, beat KHOW handily in the most commonly used demographic. Here are the details.
During a late June interview announcing his jump to KNUS, Boyles told us that he and Hollenbeck, who'd been friends and worked together for many years, got into a heated exchange during a high-profile June broadcast -- a 9News crew was on hand to watch Tom Tancredo announce his latest run for governor -- that ended with the host pulling the producer toward him by a lanyard around his neck, leaving red marks.
The scene was reported to KHOW management and Boyles was taken off the air while a decision was made about his fate. The suspension continued until the expiration of his contract, which had been under negotiation at the time of the incident. At that point, he was fired, but soon found a suitor in KNUS -- and after an unexpected delay that pushed back his debut, he took to the air amid congratulations from listeners who called the outlet in droves.
From the looks of the document we obtained, most of them appear to be sticking around. The ranker we received shows July ratings for three Clear Channel stations -- KOA, KHOW and KKZN -- plus KNUS in two demos: 12+ (listeners age twelve and older) and 6+ (listeners age six and over). Most stations don't use these particular demos in their sales pitches to advertisers, preferring to concentrate on niches -- women between the ages of 25 and 54, for example. But they do provide a broad sense of programs' popularity, and by that measure, Boyles got off to a good start.
Let's look at 12+ ratings Mondays through Fridays during the 6-7 a.m. hour (Boyles's show starts at 6 a.m.). Over that span, KOA remained king, with a 6.60 audience share. But KNUS finished next, with a 3.30 share, followed by KHOW, with a 2.70, and KKZN trailing the quartet with a 1.30.
The numbers held in similar fashion in regard to 12+ Monday through Friday ratings in the 7-8 a.m. hour. KOA: 5.40 share; KNUS, 2.90 share; KHOW, 1.70 share; KNUS, .80 share. And the rankings and percentages are mighty close in the 6+ demographic.
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Granted, KHOW was still using fill-in hosts during July. It wasn't until this month that Boyles's replacement, Mandy Connell, took over microphone duties at the signal full time.
With that in mind, the ratings for August and, especially, September could be even more telling. By then, we should get a better idea about the repercussions about Boyles's high-profile dismissal and whether or not he'll continue to get his revenge on his ex-employer over the long term.