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Hours up for UTV Radio

UTV Radio are celebrating after the group's 17 stations posted their first quarter-on-quarter increase in listening hours in almost two years. The company saw steady increases at its newest broadcasters – U105 in Belfast and talk107 in Edinburgh.

The group's ILR market share quarter on quarter went up from 6.9% to 7.7% in Q4 2006, with its national brand, talkSPORT remaining constant with a 1.8% share of the nation's radio listening. talkSPORT's reach is down almost 30,000 compared with the previous three months, but has seen a rise year-on-year.

UTV Radio's portfolio of stations includes The Pulse in Bradford, which lost 33,000 listeners this quarter, giving the station one of it's worst ever RAJAR books – and Stoke's Signal One, which added 10,000 listeners a week. Wish FM and Wire FM added to their reach, although Radio Wave in Blackpool and Tower FM were down.

Overall, the group reported that it's weekly reach was up to 3.5 million adults and listening hours were up to 31.5 million.

Chris Hurst, managing director of UTV Radio’s GB local music stations, said: “Our music testing and audience research over the past year is starting to pay dividends and we look forward to continued growth in 2007.”

UTV Radio recently won the licence to broadcast to Chorley, Leyland and Preston under the name Pride FM. There has also been much speculation recently of a merger between UTV and SMG.

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