The Diary would like its readers to put their hands together for TalkSport, the UK’s only national commercial sports radio station, which – according to a statement released to the International Stock Exchange’s Regulatory News Service, quoting the latest Rajar figures – has just overtaken Virgin AM in terms of weekly reach, hours listened and market share.
Kelvin MacKenzie, chairman and chief executive of the Wireless Group, which owns TalkSport, crows: “These are fantastic results.”
But MacKenzie should not be too quick to crow. After all, there are those who question the accuracy of Rajar’s figures. Indeed, at least one radio group head is actively promoting a rival to Rajar. Just six weeks ago, he published research showing much higher levels of listening – up to six times higher for some stations – than those shown by Rajar’s diary system.
And who is this well-known industry figure, whose fulminations against the iniquities of Rajar are regularly reported in the advertising and marketing press? Step forward, Kelvin MacKenzie.
The Diary asks: can the industry ever trust research from a man who doesn’t even seem to be listening to himself?