Communicorp’s North West station Smooth Radio has attracted one million listeners for the first time, making it the biggest UK commercial radio station outside London.
Global Radio’s Capital Yorkshire has held the title for a number of years but a slight drop this quarter for Capital and an extra 100,000 listeners for Smooth Radio North West means the former specialist jazz station is now on top.
Jamie Griffiths, Brand Programme Director for Smooth Radio at Communicorp told RadioToday: “Smooth recently celebrated its tenth anniversary in the North West and to smash the one million mark is the icing on the cake”.
Regional Managing Director for Smooth Radio North West, Ali Forshaw added: “This huge increase in reach is proof the station is really connecting with our listeners and the people of the North West.”
The Smooth brand nationally has also grown thanks to the addition of the former Gold AM frequencies now used by Smooth. The brand has 4.3m listeners up from 3.3m last quarter and 3.1m 12 months ago. On balance Gold now has 772k listeners compared to 1.3m a year ago.
Looking at other Global Radio brands, and Heart is the biggest commercial radio brand with 9.1m listeners thanks to an additional two million Real listeners and in London has almost doubled its Total Hours from 7,582,000 to 11,398,000. This takes it back to where it was last year before it started to drop. Meanwhile, Xfm’s national reach has gone down this quarter despite the addition of Real Radio XS’s 69,000 listeners.
Capital now has 7.8m listeners across the UK when including Capital Xtra, and LBC is celebrating the highest reach of any commercial station in London.
Ashley Tabor, founder & executive president at Global said: “We’re thrilled to be winning the fiercely competitive London breakfast market yet again. Dave & Lisa and Nick Ferrari triumph with London’s number one commercial breakfast shows.”
He continued: “This is already proving to be one of the biggest years in Global’s history, and it’s fantastic to see audience figures that reflect the great work the team put in across our brands. We have more listeners tuning into Global brands than ever before, with 23.1m people listening each week in the UK.”
Richard Park, group executive director and director of broadcasting of Global added: “I’m particularly proud of our success in London – but also many of our regional stations have seen impressive growth. In the West Midlands for example, Global now occupies the top three commercial slots with Heart, Capital and Smooth.”