The spotlight now turns to local commercial radio stations around the UK. Is networking having an impact? Which stations are going up, and which are going down.
A quick look through the [link=http://www.radiotoday.co.uk/rajar/]Radio Today graphs[/link] give first impressions.
Congratulations to those stations showing a significant rise this quarter, including [b]Brunel FM[/b] (4th rise in as many quarters), [b]U105[/b] in Belfast showing its highest ever figures, [b]Wave 105[/b] showing a main increase in many years and Wyvern FM increasing average hours per listeners up to 9.8 from 6.9.
[b]JACK fm[/b] remains static for its 2nd survey, [b]Nation Radio[/b] increases reach in south Wales in the ashes of the short-lived [b]Xfm[/b] and [b]Original[/b] Bristol sees a steady rise for their 4th survey since launch.
[b]Dream 100[/b] added an extra 7,000 listeners, which David Rees, programme director is particularly happy about: “We have been working really hard and invested both time and energy meeting our listeners, and I think they appreciated having a truly local station with a big heart which really serves North Essex”
But it's not so good news for former TLRC stations [b]Bath FM[/b], now with half the audience share it had two years ago, and [b]Midwest FM[/b] (previously known as Vale FM) – down from 8.6 last quarter (and 11.4 last year) to just 5.2 per cent audience share. [b]Dune FM[/b] in Southport, also under new ownership, also continues to lose listeners.
Most stations still owned by TLRC also saw a dip, with [b]Alpha [/b]and [b]Silk FM[/b] both at their lowest audience for a number of years.
In Oldham, Steve Penk's new station [b]96.2 The Revolution[/b] has a 12 per cent increase in the number of people tuning-in, but Steve is not celebrating yet: "It’s great to have more listeners” says Steve, “but the length of time people were listening for during the survey period has fallen from 7.5 hours a week to just 4.9 proving, once and for all, that we were right in dumping the ‘indie’ format as it was clearly totally unworkable.
"These latest figures relate to the period from 24th March to 14th September and we didn’t get the keys to the door until September 15th”.