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RAJAR: Local radio round up for Q2 2015

by RadioToday UK
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Our regular round-up of local radio RAJAR figures continues, and includes debut figures for Bauer’s new City 3 network.

Starting in Scotland, and Glasgow’s Smooth Radio is continuing to enjoy its best ever audience figures, up 38% to 392,000 listeners compared with 284,000 last year. Clyde 1 and 2 are up whilst Clyde 3 debuts with 21,000 listeners on digital radio. Tay 2 has seen a 33% decline in weekly listeners since last year.

On the new ‘Hits’ network, Forth 3 has 10,000 listeners but Tay 3 gets just 1,000 in its first book in a TSA of 390,00 adults.

Talking of digital radio, RockSport‘s first RAJAR gives them 7,000 listeners in a TSA of 2.8m.

In England and Wales, the thirteen local stations owned by UTV have collectively posted a 3% increase in the number of listeners year on year.

Signal 107, which broadcasts across Wolverhampton, Shrewsbury, Oswestry, Kidderminster, and Telford, performed particularly well. The station has had a huge gain in listeners year on year, posting an increase of 157%, and the audience are listening for longer as total hours have grown by 164% in the same period. The station has also just announced that it will broadcast full live commentary of every single Wolverhampton Wanderers match for the next three seasons and was recently re-awarded the Wolverhampton licence by Ofcom for the next 12 years.

Wish FM in Wigan and St Helens has grown listeners by 31% year on year and 13% quarter on quarter, with average hours also increasing on the year and on the quarter. Wire FM in Warrington has posted an increase in hours of 74% year on year, with listeners growing both on the quarter and on the year.

Iain Fowler, Director of Local Radio for UTV Media (GB), said: “This result is pleasing. Our programming teams both on and off air, demonstrate a connection with their audiences each and every day and these numbers once again show just what a unique proposition UTV Local stations are for both listeners and advertisers alike.”

Juice FM, recently sold to Global for £10m, has lost 6,000 listeners this quarter, but gained 13,000 year on year.

Back at Bauer, and the the City 3 network stations are reporting the following weekly reach figures:

Rock FM 3: 22,000
Metro Radio 3: 11,000
TFM 3: 7,000
Viking 3: 4,000
Key 3: 52,000
Hallam 3: 15,000
Radio City 3: 25,000
Radio Aire 3: 13,000
Forth 3: 10,000
Clyde 3: 21,000
Tay 3: 1,000

The Hits meanwhile is reporting a weekly reach of 777,000 listeners – steady year on year but up 96,000 on the quarter.

In Manchester, Key 103 has hit an all time low, with 387,000 listeners – down from 444,000 three months ago and 558,000 a year ago. For comparison, Capital Manchester has 565,000, up by 54,000 this quarter.

In Newcastle, Metro Radio is reporting its lowest weekly reach since 2012, down at 379,000 from 406,000 last quarter.

In Sunderland, Sun FM has lost over 5,000 listeners but Programme Director and breakfast show presenter Simon Grundy is happy he’s still number one in his TSA: “There are 44 radio stations on the research diaries in our area, and it makes me very proud to see, once again, that we are consistently number 1 in the area (Reach, Share, Total Hours and at Breakfast) beating ALL other stations, and personally for me being on air at Breakfast for 18 years here is still as popular as ever”.

JACK fm in Oxfordshire has increased from 69,000 to 83,000 in the last three months and has announced it wants to be number one for Christmas. It is now just 18,000 listeners behind the local Heart station. JACK 2 has also increased its audience by 7,000. Tim Parker JACK’s Programme Director said “I am so thrilled that JACK’s Morning Glory with Trev and Caroline have picked up new listeners and that our two dynamic radio brands are loved so much across Oxfordshire. Our commitment to providing more of what our audiences enjoy whilst providing our commercial partners with creative dynamic solutions allows our digital entertainment business to continue to innovate. Watch this space as we aim to become the Christmas Number One in Oxfordshire”.

Ian Walker JACK’s CEO said “With one of the most brilliant creative teams working in UK commercial radio and our sales and marketing teams forging brilliant local relationships we are always delighted picking up new listeners, plus up our sleeve we have some very exciting news coming up regarding the growth of the JACK brand, one of the most exciting and fresh radio brands to appear in the UK in the last 20 years. We are asking all of Oxfordshire to help make JACK Oxfordshire Christmas Number 1″.

Free Radio in Birmingham and Black Country is up 21,000 listeners whilst Shropshire is up 7,000. Free Radio Coventry along with Herefordshire/Worcestershire stays the same, as does Gem 106. The Free Radio brand has also seen a 9% increase in listening hours across the West Midlands, year on year.

Orion Media Chief Executive, Adrian Serle, said: “We’re delighted to announce another solid set of RAJAR results, once again reflecting the hard work and passion delivered by all our teams, and the engagement of our listeners”.

It’s the first survey for SAM FM stations since they changed from JACK in Bristol, South Coast and Swindon. Bristol is down 10,000 listeners to 104,000 – South Coast is down 15,000 to 216,000 and Swindon is down 8,000 to 31,000.

In Northern Ireland, Q Radio and Citybeat have an extra 287,000 listeners tuning in across the group, with Citybeat accounting for 42,000 of those.

Robert Walshe, Managing Director, commented on the figures. “We are delighted with this phenomenal listener increase in what is a very competitive commercial radio industry here in Northern Ireland. We are particularly pleased to see listeners tuning in to our regional stations in such numbers, the figures today show an increase of 57,000 listeners against the same period last year. We look forward to growing and developing our stations with a fantastic presenter line up and an exciting programming mix”.

In the South, Wave 105 has increased its audience quarter on quarter and year on year. It now has its biggest ever reach with 395,000 weekly listeners compared with 366,000 last quarter and 376,000 last year.

At the BBC, local/regional radio reached 8.84 million listeners per week – from 8.82m last quarter and 9m last year. In London, BBC London 94.9 has 477,000 weekly listeners, which is less than its commercial radio competitor LBC London News (1152AM) which has 513,000.

BBC Radio Manchester has added 41,000 listeners in a year – a 21% rise in its audience. Managing Editor of BBC Radio Manchester Kate Squire is thrilled with the results: “We have got an amazing line up of presenters and shows, and I’m absolutely thrilled listeners in Greater Manchester are loving the station”.

In Wales, Capital North West and Wales, previously known as Heart, has lost over 50,000 listeners in the last year, and is also down on the quarter. It now has 146,000 weekly listeners.

Oak FM, which has just been sold by Quidem, has dropped from 29,000 to 18,000 listeners in Hinckley / Loughborough.

We are adding more facts, figures and quotes to the end of this article as we continue to analyse results and receive information from stations, so please let us know how you’ve done via

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