GMG: Bates is London saviour

The arrival of former Radio 1 DJ Simon Bates has had an immediate impact on turning round the fortunes of Smooth Radio in London.

His arrival in January’s sparked a 39 percent rise in breakfast listening to the station in the capital, as well as helping achieve the highest reach for GMG in London since the rebrand from Jazz FM to Smooth.

Smooth London’s weekly reach is up to 643,000 (a level not achieved since Q1/05), with an extra 1.72m hours giving the station 4.114m hours a week of listening.

The other regions where the Smooth brand is on FM report half-yearly figures so the full effect of Simon Bates’ arrival won’t be felt until the Q2/11 results are out in early August.

Across the UK, total reach for Smooth Radio is the same as it was in Q4/10 at 3.084m. The North East regional licence is the brand’s top performer with a 17 percent reach and 7 percent market share, The North West region pulls in the biggest audience at 825,000 and, although that’s a drop of 27,000 this quarter, it remains the number one station in the region.

GMG Radio Chief Executive Stuart Taylor said: “What a great achievement for the Smooth brand. Its fantastic line-up of talented presenters from Simon Bates, Mark Goodier, Carlos, Lynn Parsons and Pat Sharp has ensured listeners have remained with the brand as it made its transition to a national station. The recent addition of David Jensen and Emma B to the line-up will help Smooth’s status as one of the three biggest national commercial radio stations in the UK – our sights are firmly set on becoming number one.”

After two Sony Gold Awards this week, GMG’s Real Radio brand saw a rise in both reach and total hours when combined across the five-station network. The North East region has increased its audience by just under 50,000, while in Yorkshire the station is also up when looking at either quarterly or yearly trends. Real Yorkshire’s at its highest reach for just over 4 years and delivers the best average hours per listener of any of the Real stations at 10.1 a week. In Scotland the brand is up compared with the poor book last quarter but down on the year, while in Wales last quarter’s record high isn’t matched although the yearly increase for the station is a respectable 55,000 listeners. This time’s figures don’t yet incorporate the new regional licence for North Wales which launched in January. Sony Gold station of the Year (1m+ TSA), Real Radio North West added 30,000 to its reach in a year, although quarters 2 and 3 in 2010 were higher.

Stuart Taylor added: “For Real Radio, the week just gets better and better….. adding almost 1.2 million hours of listening a week just goes to show the brand’s strength in the markets it serves.”

GMG’s Rock Radio brand posted its best ever audience reach in Manchester, with 143,000 being a 50k (53 percent) rise compared with Q1/10. In Glasgow, Rock added another 8,000 listeners to last quarter’s best-ever reach so now serves 69,000 people a week.

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Posted on Wednesday, May 11th, 2011 at 11:05 pm by RadioToday UK

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