Commercial radio has recorded its highest ever share of listening
in Rajar’s second quarterly figures for 1998, with a 51.1 per cent share
of the marketplace against the BBC’s 46.8 per cent share.
The recent battle over Talk Radio’s future has not adversely affected
listening, and its reach of 2,267,000 in the first three months of 1998
rose to 2,575,000 during the second quarter - reflecting the success of
its World Cup coverage. However, Atlantic 252, the other station being
sold by CLT-Ufa,recorded a quarter-on-quarter drop in reach of 127,000
listeners to 2,971,000.
Virgin Radio’s national listeners rose from 4,206,000 to 4,244,000.
Classic FM’s share was up year on year from 3.3 per cent to 3.7 per cent
and its reach remained over the five million mark with 5,045,000.
In London, Capital FM retained its position as the most listened-to
station with 2,695,000 listeners. Heart 106.2 outperformed Capital Gold
for the second quarter in a row, and its share of listening was up to
6.1 per cent from 5.4 per cent. Kiss FM’s London share fell by 0.4 per
cent to 2.4 per cent, although it increased its reach and hours.
Liberty Radio’s relaunch as a 70s-style station has not helped improve
its performance. Its share of the London market halved from 0.2 per cent
to 0.1 per cent and it lost 14,000 listeners, down to 123,000 per
Among other London stations, Jazz FM suffered a small drop in reach to
537,000 from 561,000, but its sister station in the North-west rose by
91,000 to 304,000, giving the combined network its highest yet
Xfm - recently bought by Capital - put on a healthy 110,000 listeners
during the second quarter to 329,000 and increased its share from 0.6 to
0.9 per cent.