Capital takes biggest share but loses listeners

RAJAR: 95.8 Capital Radio’s resurgence continued in the third quarter when the station became the capital’s top commercial radio station in terms of market share, despite losing listeners.

Johnny Vaughan and Lisa Snowdon

The Global Radio owned station took a 5.6% slice of the London commercial radio market in the three months to 30 September, pushing Magic 105.4 into second place on 5.5%, according to RAJAR data.

The station’s fortunes have improved over the last 12 months from a low two years ago when it fell into fourth place. The reversal of fortunes has been driven by the success of breakfast pairing Johnny Vaughan and Lisa Snowdon, who retained their title as London’s most listened to commercial radio breakfast show in the third quarter with 1.03 million listeners.

Bauer Media owned Magic retained its long held position as London’s number one station in terms of audience reach, registering 2 million listeners, down 2.2% on the second quarter but up 6.6% on the same period last year.

Despite gaining share, Capital actually lost listeners in the third quarter compared with the second, down 6.9% month on month to 1.8 million but still up 14.3% on last year.

The station was pushed into third place in terms of reach by fellow Global station Heart 106.2, which registered 1.9m listeners.

Elsewhere in London, talk radio station LBC 97.3 increased both its share of the market to 4.8%, the third largest in the capital, and its weekly reach, which rose to 907,000, the fifth largest commercial radio audience in London and up 15.2% quarter on quarter and 40.2% on last year.

Alternative station XFM 104.9 also continued to claw back some of the listeners it lost last year after it dropped presenters from its daytime schedules before reversing the policy, up 17.9% on last year to 546,000 listeners.

Absolute Radio, which has just celebrated its first birthday, had a steady quarter after early losses following its rebranding from Virgin Radio last year, registering 877,000 listeners, down just 0.6% on quarter two.

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