Commercial radio continues to lead the BBC

- Commercial radio has proved itself the market leader for the seventh quarter in a row, as the latest set of RAJAR figures show the sector having a 2.1 per cent lead over the BBC, with a 49.9 per cent share against the Corporation's 47.8 per cent.

- Commercial radio has proved itself the market leader for the seventh quarter in a row, as the latest set of RAJAR figures show the sector having a 2.1 per cent lead over the BBC, with a 49.9 per cent share against the Corporation's 47.8 per cent.

Individual stations which performed well include Melody Radio in London, recently been bought by Emap, which broke through the 1 million listeners barrier for the first time since RAJAR began, recording a 1,126,000 reach.

Talk Radio's listeners have apparently remained oblivious to the uncertainty over its future, and its reach has increased by almost 250,000 listeners year-on-year to 2,399,000.

But Virgin Radio has lost 331,000 listeners nationally since last quarter, dropping below the 4 million mark to record 3,913,000. The drop has been partly attributed to Chris Evans's long holiday over the summer.

The BBC had a mixed quarter. Radio 4's listeners fell dramatically -- as predicted -- from 8,254,000 in quarter two to 7,682,000. Radio 1, however, is beginning to pull some listeners back after a steady fall for several periods in a row. It recorded 9,739,000 listeners tuning in each week compared to 9,356,000 last quarter.



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