Classic FM results hit five million watershed

Classic FM has broken the five million listener barrier in the Rajar results for the first quarter of 1998.

Classic FM has broken the five million listener barrier in the

Rajar results for the first quarter of 1998.

The long-term goal was met when the station recorded its highest weekly

reach in terms of total hours and share with an emerging younger

audience. Share rose from 3.3 per cent to 3.6 per cent year on year.

Of the other national commercial stations, Virgin also recorded its

strongest results, achieving a record 3.9 per cent share for the

combined AM and FM frequencies, up from last quarter’s 3.3 per cent

share. Another climber was Talk Radio - in the process of being sold by

CLT - which has increased its audience by 473,000 listeners year on year

to record a total of 2,267,000 listeners. Its sister station, Atlantic

252, fell quarter on quarter from 2,879,000 to 2,264,000.

Commercial radio’s share of listening rose to 50.1 per cent, increasing

its lead over the BBC by 2.4 per cent quarter on quarter.

Radio 2 maintained its lead over the national stations at 13.2 per cent

with a weekly reach of nine million. Radio 1’s reach rose by 240,000

quarter on quarter to 11.1 million listeners per week, although the

station’s reach is down year on year compared with its 11.8 million

listeners in the first quarter of 1997.

Despite Radio 4’s controversial programming changes, the station

increased its reach this quarter from 8,068,000 to 8,161,000, although

its share of listening remained at 10.4 per cent.

In London, Heart 106.2 pushed Capital Gold into third from second

position, attracting 1.35 million listeners per week compared with

Capital Gold’s 1.24 million.

However, Capital FM retained its hold as London’s top station, recording

the highest reach at 2,836,000 and largest share at 15.5 per cent.

Melody Radio - soon to be bought by Emap, pending a public interest test

- recorded more than one million listeners for the first time, compared

with last quarter’s 956,000.

Liberty Radio has yet to see the fruits of its relaunch as a 70s music

station, having seen a small slump in its reach from 140,000 to 137,000.