Radios are sometimess odd creatures that defy logic. For example, my Sangean LB-100 worksite radio, which I use in the kitchen (twin toddlers might rip a telescopic antenna off something I really want like a Tecsun PL-880), grabs the difficult KPCC 89.3 with ease, but the usually "easy," and closer, station, KCRW 89.9 has a lot of static.
AM on the small ferrite isn't great but doesn't present me any problems in Torrance. As I recall, the Sangean U3 worksite radio is more sensitive on FM (and AM with its bigger ferrite), but my wife took the U3 to her school two years ago (she uses the speaker for her classroom presentations).
I'm tempted to buy another U3 for the kitchen (it's only $97 or so on Amazon), but as I recall the bass-heavy speaker was less than ideal and the lack of a rotating FM antenna could sometimes be a problem, so the LB-100 stays for now.
Yesterday, while playing KCRW in the kitchen, I turned off the LB-100 and made a guest appearance with my vintage Panasonic RF-877 (running on 4 C batteries). The 877 grabbed KCRW with ease and filled the kitchen with superior sound. For now, I'll use the LB-100 and the 877 as my occasional pinch hitter.