Whilst the brands expand and the nationals fight for audience, we take a look at how our local radio stations are performing in the latest RAJAR figures.
Celador Radio Broadcasting has published its best set of audience figures to date with increases in both weekly reach and total hours. The group, now comprising sixteen licences, saw weekly reach increase to 473,000 (15%) and total hours grow to 3.5 million.
The Breeze in the South West (Bristol, Bath, Frome and West Wiltshire) posted its highest ever reach, almost doubling total hours, quarter on quarter, to 394,000. There was also growth for The Breeze in the South, adding another 15,000 listeners in the quarter.
Jack fm in Bristol had a strong book with an increase in weekly reach to 17% and average hours up from 5.0 to 6.2.
At the BBC, local Radio in England shows an increase of 209,000 listeners in its weekly reach figure. Overall reach came in at 6.9m (16.4%), stable on last quarter’s 6.7m (15.9%) and a reduction compared to last year’s 7.3m (17.4%)
Market share was also stable at 7.5% (compared to 7.4% last quarter and 8.4% last year).
David Holdsworth, Controller, English Regions, said: “It’s good to see listeners continue to value the journalism, debate and interaction with local life offered by BBC Local Radio.”
UTV Media’s new station, Signal 107 in Wolverhampton, Shrewsbury, Oswestry and Kidderminster has gained a strong listenership since the launch last year, now with 57,000 listeners across the region. Signal 107 was a merger of four stations, including UTV’s The Wolf, which signed off with 34,000 listeners.
Marie Wright, Station Director, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled with this result – even though the station is very new it’s clearly hitting the mark and is a very exciting proposition for both listeners and advertisers.”
107.6 Juice FM has again posted record figures, with listener reach up 27% and hours increasing by 9%, both year on year. The Pulse in West Yorkshire is showing an increase in hours of 29% year on year, and Radio Wave in Blackpool has also increased listening hours by 19% quarter on quarter and 6% year on year.
Iain Fowler, Director of Local Radio for UTV Media, said: “It’s really pleasing to see our stations doing so well in such a difficult market. The figures reflect that our push towards staying local and engaging with our communities has paid off and audiences love what we do.”
At UKRD, Star North East is now commercial number one in its core Darlington area. Star NE (South) has more listeners per week than Capital, TFM, Smooth, Real Radio & Magic 1170.
“We’ve still got work to do in our Northern area but this is great news!,” PD Robin Banks tells us.
Reach at Spire FM is now up to 40%, whilst at Breakfast it remains ahead of both Radio 1 and Radio 2. The biggest increase at Spire has been mid-mornings, up 24% year on year.
“We’re delighted with the latest figures, especially following on from our Nations and Regions success last year. To beat Radio 1 and Radio 2 in our market place again, shows that the huge focus we place upon the local community is being well received by our audience,” says Spire FM Programme Controller Martin Starke.
Dorset’s Wessex FM has seen a 17% rise in total listening hours since this time last year to a record total for the station.
As well as the increase in hours, there are an additional two and a half thousand people listening since this time a year ago, giving Wessex FM very nearly a fifth of the share all radio listening in the area.
Managing Director, Steve Bulley, said, “I’m delighted that Wessex FM is clearly the number one local radio station in the area. We are committed to playing an active role in the local community, providing quality local news and programming, and developing our excellent relationship with the local business community, schools, and charities, to supporting the great things that happen in Dorset.”
And Eagle Extra, the AM service to The Eagle, has more than doubled the listening in the latest data release.
Town and Country Broadcasting‘s re-licensed Radio Ceredigion gains a reach increase of 75% from this time last year, now with over 18,000 listeners tuning in every single week.
TCB Managing Director, Martin Mumford said; “We knew that Radio Ceredigion was a sleeping giant and could be operated more effectively. Last year we took a considerable risk in reapplying for our licence with a new programming format that we believed would significantly increase our audience. These latest figures prove we were right! The new format for the station provides local news, music and information for Ceredigion and targets a broad 15+ audience. and including regular and identifiable Welsh language programming.”
Elsewhere the latest listening figures have also delivered a record weekly audience across the commercial radio stations operated by Town and Country Broadcasting with almost 300,000 listeners tuning in across Wales every week.
How has your station done? Let us know via [email protected]