Heart claims London’s biggest breakfast show title

Capital Radio has lost the title of London’s biggest breakfast show to rival Heart just days after presenter Johnny Vaughan signed a new three-year contract.

Heart’s Jamie Theakston and Harriet Scott grew their audience by almost a quarter to 948,000, while Vaughan added 31,000 listeners in the final quarter of last year to take his total to 813,000, according to the latest Rajar figures.

Chrysalis-owned Heart overtook GCap Media’s Capital in terms of market share for the first time last quarter but this is the first time Capital has lost out in terms of reach.

Heart’s overall reach increased by 140,000 to 1.84 million in the fourth quarter giving it a 7.1% share of the audience. EMAP’s Magic remains in second place with 1.79 million listeners, which equates to a 5.5% share, while Capital’s weekly reach is 1.46 million, a share of 4.7%.

Heart Managing Director Barnaby Dawe says: “This is a really strong performance for the Heart brand across the board, reflecting our consistent investment in quality programming, music and personalities that win the hearts of listeners.”

Emap’s Kiss is now challenging Capital for third place in London after narrowing its lead by almost 400,000 listeners over the last year. The station, which was relaunched in September last year, added 120,000 new listeners in the final quarter to take its audience to 1.44 million – just 18,000 behind Capital.

GCap operations director Steve Orchard says the Rajar figures show Capital’s audience has “stabilised” and adds: “We will be stepping up marketing activity over the coming months and are confident that this will lead to audience growth throughout 2007.”

GCap renewed Vaughan’s breakfast show contract on Monday, ending months of speculation about his future.

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