Whilst the groups are concentrating on how well their brands are doing in the latest audience figures, we thought we'd take time out to look around the local radio stations around the UK. Starting with the only station to enter RAJAR this time – Original 106 in the Solent region.
CanWest-owned Original were hoping for a much larger share of the listening cake from their top floor offices in Southampton but were only offered 2 per cent – or 27,000 listeners out of a possible one and a half million. Maybe it's just another example of entering RAJAR too early, as demonstrated by talk107 last year. At least people who did tune in listened for an acceptable length of time, with 7.6 average hours.
Elsewhere, Merseyside's 106.7 KCR FM lost listeners after changing back from The Rocket last year. KLFM in Kings Lynn dropped numbers, as did Magic 828 in Leeds. Other stations with a noticeable drop this quarter includes The Pulse in Bradford, and BBC Radio Cornwall.
Celebrating quite a large increase in listeners are Gemini FM (Exeter) from 31 to 35 per cent reach, and The Bee in Blackburn almost doubled their reach after a not-quite-so-hot first survey last quarter. BBC Radio Wales and Cleveland also did well.
FM107.9 in Oxford has survived the re-brand from Passion so far as figures stayed the same, and Tindle's Radio Norwich managed to keep hold of their first results three months ago.
The biggest shock has to be awarded to 96.2 The Revolution who have almost halved their audience in the last 12 months, with year-on-year figures not looking to good, from 13 to 7 per cent reach and average hours down from 8.8 to 4.5. The most obvious answer is the arrival of Xfm hitting their similar format. But having said that, even Xfm went down this quarter.
Dee 106.3 in Chester are celebrating their biggest results yet – meaning nearly a quarter of all adults in the area tune in to the station. Station Director Stef Roberts told RadioToday.co.uk: "Our thanks must go to our hard working and dedicated staff at Dee 106.3. Without their constant commitment to thrive in what is already a saturated commercial radio market here in the North West; today’s news is well deserved. It just proves that a local and independent radio station can quite easily compete against the media giants out there and succeed!"
Radio Clyde’s Programme Director, Gordon Davidson is shouting about the figures for the Clyde 1 breakfast show and the brand as a whole: "We can be pleased that Clyde 1 continues to attract more listeners than any other station in Glasgow and the West of Scotland and that Clyde 2 is performing well and increasing its market share and the amount of hours spent listening."
John Rosborough, Managing Director of U105 is also happy with his 36% increase in listeners since last quarter: "This is a fantastic achievement for everyone at U105. As a relatively new station we took the opportunity to refresh our daily schedule towards the end of 2006. I’m absolutely delighted that U105’s winning combination of Maurice Jay’s breakfast; Frank Mitchell’s morning; Lynda Bryans’ lunch; George Jones’ afternoon and Carolyn Stewart’s evening shows are all proving firm favourites with local listeners.
“We enjoyed growth across all sectors of our programming including our extensive weekend and night time specialist shows, which proves that great music, quality news and top presenters are what local listeners want from their radio.
“Our market share has also increased by an impressive 36% since the last RAJAR and 56% of our listeners are now ABC1. We look forward to building on this success in the coming months.”
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