32 million for commercial radio
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32 million for commercial radio

Even with the BBC increasing their local radio audience by a million, commercial radio has managed to increase listening in both year on year and quarter on quarter.

And even Pennine FM – which closed down last month – saw a rise in hours and listeners.

The Huddersfield station saw an increase of nine per cent reach and 12 per cent hours, but still wasn't enough to keep the station on the air.

Nationally, Classic FM enjoyed a big rise in audience, with an extra half a million new listeners. Galaxy did well as a brand, with Galaxy Scotland in particular picking up an extra 80,000 listeners.

Heart held its own nationally, with Heart Dorset celebrating a 23 per cent increase in listeners this time round. Heart Essex also enjoyed a boost in listeners.

talkSPORT kept its audience, but lost out on hours, whilst other stations around the UTV Group saw no major ups or downs, with the exception of Signal Two which gained an extra 21,000 listeners.

In the Midlands, Orion Media's newly re-constructed BRMB had a small increase, whilst Mercia gained an extra 22,000 listeners.

Other stations seeing a significant rise in audience this quarter includes Yorkshire Radio (digital), Exeter FM, 107 The Bee, Juice Liverpool and Revolution Radio.

Owner Steve Penk is happy: “This is fantastic news”, says Steve, “and confirms yet again that our unique style of programming is cutting through in one of the UK’s most competitive radio landscapes”.

Tindle Radio as a group reported total hours are over three million for first time in nine surveys, now 3,012,000. It's the best ever reach for Norwich 99.9 at 48,000 weekly adults and Island FM (Guernsey) retains the highest market share of any station in British Isles at 34.8 per cent.

One of the biggest losers this quarter is FM107.9, which sadly shed 50 per cent of its audience – down from 12,000 to just 6,000. The station is currently under-going an Ofcom review to change the station to an older format. Rock Radio in Manchester also had what could be described as a "blip" – down almost 30,000 listeners and total hours.

Connect FM, both Kettering and Peterborough, also had a bad book.

Andrew Harrison, Chief Executive of RadioCentre: “It is fantastic to see the greatest number of listeners tuning into commercial radio since 2002.

"Commercial radio remains part of the fabric of British daily life, despite the plethora of new devices now competing for listeners’ time. It is also very encouraging to see digital’s share of listening increasing, with almost a quarter of all listening now being via a digital platform."

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0 4 2761 13 May, 2010 RAJAR News 1:54 am 20105 Thursday, May 13th, 2010

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