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Heavy losses for BBC Locals

BBC Local Radio struggled through the latest set of audience figures with several high-profile casualties.

The number of listeners to stations in the Nations and Regions dropped nearly 800,000 to 9.5 million. While average hours improved, 4.6 million hours of listening were lost.

BBC Radio Solent recorded its lowest ever numbers against every measure since RAJAR's new methodology of measuring audiences was introduced nine years ago.

BBC Radio Newcastle showed a slight increase in reach, but now stands at its lowest ever total hours since December 1999, and its lowest ever market share since the changes in methodology.

BBC Radio Bristol also recorded record lows in reach and listening hours; BBC Derby, BBC Radio Three Counties and BBC Radio Northampton posted their worst ever total hours; BBC Radio Nottingham and BBC Radio York reached new depths in terms of share and hours; BBC Radio Kent recorded its lowest ever reach (236,000 listeners) since September 1999.

While not enough to level out the losses, there was a handful of good news stories from around the regions. There were improvements in figures across the board for BBC Radio Cornwall, while BBC Radio Cumbria's market share leaped from 13.5 to 16.7 in three months.

There were record audiences for both BBC Radio Gloucestershire (104,000) and BBC Radio Suffolk (159,000), while BBC Radio Merseyside and BBC Radio Lincolnshire continued to show impressive recovery from their worst figures ever last September.

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