As if to prove the maxim that there's no such thing as bad publicity, KDND (The End, 107.9 FM) showed improved ratings in the latest Arbitron report, released today.
The End, you may recall, received a slew of negative attention in January after staging an on-air water-drinking contest that resulted in the death of contestant Jennifer Strange. Ten employees, including the "Morning Rave" DJs, were fired in the wake of the stunt. A civil suit is pending against the Entercom-owned station, and the Federal Communications Commission is reviewing the station's license.
Some in the radio industry speculated that The End - consistently a top 12 station in the nation's 27th-largest market - would suffer a ratings dive, too.
But, in fact, the opposite has occurred. In at least the 12-plus age category (the only demographic released to the media by Arbitron), The End finished in eighth place with a 4.0 rating. In the previous ratings period, The End ranked 11th with a 3.5 rating.
Considering that The End improved in that period in which it was without a morning team, the bar doesn't seem set too high for the recently hired new morning crew from Harrisburg, Pa.: "The Wake-Up Call With Jason, Kelly and Gavin."
In other ratings news:
* No surprise here: KFBK (1530 AM) finished first overall with a 7.6 rating. Still, it's down from an 8.0 a year ago.
* There's a battle heating up between Sacramento's two country music stations. KNCI (105.1 FM) finished third overall with a 4.8 rating, although that's down from 6.3 a year ago. Meanwhile, upstart KNTY (The Wolf, 101.9 FM) improved to 2.4 in its first full ratings book since switching to country music from oldies last July.
* In the competition for fans of hip hop, KSFM (102.5 FM) finished sixth at 4.3, compared with a rating of 3.6 for rival KBMB (The Bomb, 103.5 FM).