RAJAR round up

By | Published on Thursday 2 February 2012


Global Radio bosses may have gotten tired of Johnny Vaughan, but listeners to the firm’s Capital FM station seemingly did not. As previously reported, Vaughan departed the London station somewhat suddenly late last year, and although his departure was officially amicable, it was clearly initiated by management rather than the presenter himself. This despite latest RAJAR radio listening figures revealing he had 2.25 million listeners in the final quarter of 2011, up 14.9% year on year. Perhaps even Global Radio bosses don’t believe the slightly made up RAJAR figures any more.

Though I bet Team Global are nevertheless touting the fact Capital regained the title of London’s biggest commercial station from rival Magic once again in the latest set of RAJAR stats. Capital is only slightly ahead of Magic though, and the two stations are close enough for any difference to be accounted for by a margin of error, given the relatively small sample group of listeners on which these figures are based.

The third biggest London station depends on which set of figures you use, on weekly reach Capital’s sister station Heart is in third place, but on audience share Magic’s sister station Kiss is ahead. Elsewhere in London, Xfm, Smooth and BBC London all saw their listening figures slip quarter on quarter.

At the national stations, Radio 2 remains the UK’s most popular station by some distance, followed by Radio 1 and Radio 4. The same is true of the respective network’s breakfast shows, though Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme is getting close to matching Radio 1’s flagging Chris Moyles breakfast show. But all three BBC networks are performing OK overall, especially when compared to the Beeb’s news and sport station 5Live, which lost nearly a million listeners year on year. Ouch. Bosses there insist last year’s figures were abnormally high because of some particularly big sport events.

Both the commercial analogue national stations, Absolute and Classic FM, saw slight drops in listening figures quarter on quarter, though the former was up over 16% year on year. Meanwhile Global Radio’s quasi-national stations – the Capital network and Heart network – were slightly up and down respectively.

In digital land, 6music continues to enjoy the renaissance ironically initiated by the subsequently dropped plans by BBC bosses to axe it in 2010. The digital music station, close to its tenth birthday, now has nearly 1.5 million listeners. Other BBC stations Radio 4 Extra (formerly Radio 7) and 1Xtra also scored record audiences.