Global’s Heart sinks

Rajar: Heart’s flagship London station lost almost 300,000 listeners in the final quarter of 2010, according to Rajar.

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The Global Radio-owned station had an audience of 1.76 million listeners in the three months to 31 December, a drop of 14.1% on the 2.05 million registered in the third quarter and down 6.1% on the same period last year.

The station is now the fourth most listened to commercial radio station in London, down from third in the previous quarter.

Sister station Capital also lost listeners in the quarter, dropping 7.7% to 1.96 million. Year on year, however, the station added 134,000 listeners.

Better news for Global came from talk station LBC 97.3, which saw listener numbers jump 4.3% on the previous quarter and 15.1% on last year to 968,000.

Bauer’s Magic retained the top spot in the capital with 2.05 million listeners, down 4.6% on the previous quarter but up 12.6% on the same period last year.

Urban station Kiss 100, also Bauer-owned, registered 1.82 million listeners in the quarter, up 2.8% from 1.77 million in the third quarter and 13.5% on last year.

Steve Parkinson, managing director of Bauer’s London stations, says Magic has benefited from an investment in research that has “brightened” up its playlist, adding Kiss’s audience engagement strategy via Facebook helped add listeners.

At breakfast, Capital’s Johnny Vaughan and Lisa Snowdon remain the top commercial breakfast draw in the capital despite losing listeners.

The pair registered 1.08 million listeners in the quarter, down from the 1.15 million in the third quarter and 1.23 million last year.

Heart’s Jamie Theakston and Harriet Scott matched the poor performance of the station, dropping to 777,000 listeners, down from 834,000 in the third quarter and 790,000 last year.

Magic’s Neil Fox had 853,000 listeners, up from 787,000 in the previous quarter and 782,000 last year.

Kiss 100 pairing Rickie and Melvin registered 777,000 listeners, up quarter on quarter and year on year.

Top 5 commercial radio stations in London by audience reach:

1. Magic 105.4 – 2.05m
2. 95.8 Capital – 1.96m
3. Kiss 100 – 1.82m
4. Heart London – 1.76m
5. LBC 97.3 – 968,000

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