Talk’s figures up, Beeb’s down – say radio listening figures

A RADICAL overhaul of Edinburgh’s all-speech radio station, talk107, appears to have reaped its rewards, with big hikes in their listening figures.

But the celebrations may be tempered, somewhat, with the news that one of their star presenters has decided to leave tomorrow.

Says audit body, RAJAR – which has just published its radio listening figures for the second quarter of this year, ie April, May and June – the station’s weekly reach is up to 41,000, compared to 26,000 this time last year.

‘Weekly reach’ is defined by the number of adult listeners who have tuned in for at least five minutes during the week. For talk, its reach – from an albeit low-ish baseline – was up 57.7 per cent, year on year, and 24.2 per cent between the first three months of this year and the following three.

But the news that Dominik Diamond is leaving will put a dampener on celebrations, since he was key to the changes at the station, which saw the departure of presenters, less reliance on phone-ins and a less confrontational style of presenting.

The ‘Rajars’ did not bring particularly good news, either, to BBC Radio Scotland, which saw its weekly reach down to 824,000 – equivalent to its share of the available market standing at 7.5 per cent. This time last year, it was 909,000 and eight per cent. Between the first quarter of this year and the second, its reach was down 18.3 per cent.

For the station, the quarter began with its broadcasting of Scottish Premier League football enjoying a nail-biting climax to the season, before its summer break. However, TV coverage of this year’s European Championships may have drawn a sizeable crowd away from their radios.

However, for less clear possible reasons, there was a decrease too in the number of people listening to the flagship news programme, Good Morning Scotland. That said, it still brings in the peak audience – at 8am, it is around 141,000. It’s understood, however, that the dip may be just over ten per cent, year-on-year.

Elsewhere, Real Radio Scotland’s market share of 16 per cent was down on the quarter and on last year. Its reach – across the whole of Scotland’s central belt – of 727,000 was down year-on-year, but up very slightly on the quarter.