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Increase for BBC Radio Scotland

BBC Radio Scotland has strengthened its position with a year-on-year rise of almost 90,000 listeners to break through the million barrier again.

The latest Rajar report for the first quarter of 2006 highlights the continuing success of innovative programming at the only station in Scotland to top a million. During the three month period the station attracted 1,036,000 listeners, reaching 24.7 per cent of the population.

Over the first quarter in 2005, the figure was 947,000, a reach of 22.7 per cent. The latest Rajar report underlines the station’s strong performance.

In the last quarter of 2005 Radio Scotland attracted 1,017,000 listeners, a rise of 51,000 on the previous quarter. The popularity of live streaming of Radio Scotland programmes rose to a new high with 363,000 requests during the first quarter of this year, according to BBC figures.

Live SPL commentaries on the internet also proved a big hit during a crucial stage of the league and cup campaigns. There were 23,000 requests each for the Aberdeen against Rangers clash in February and for the Clyde cup shock against Celtic the previous month.

Both games set new records for the station’s streamed commentary, easily beating the previous quarter’s record of 14,225 requests. Jeff Zycinski, Head of Radio at BBC Scotland, said he was delighted by the latest success.

He said: “Our willingness to take risks and try new ideas seems to have won the hearts of our listeners. “Accepted wisdom in radio these days seems to be about playing it safe, but in the first few months of 2006 our production teams invested so much creative energy into the schedule.

“We had a Big Day of Music at the new City Halls venue in Glasgow and then, on Valentine’s Day, we aired our topical drama King of Hearts.

“We launched a new overnight service, our first football podcast, sent Fred MacAulay and John Beattie to cover Scotland’s success in the Commonwealth Games and, back home, we played an active part in the Glasgow Comedy festival.

“Across news, sport, music, comedy, drama and documentaries we’ve been ahead of the pack.” Among the new programming in the pipeline is a summer season of music, including a new Friday format for Colin & Justin and, in July, Karen Dunbar will present a new mid-morning programme.

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