MD talks up station’s prospects

THE managing director of Scotland’s newest radio station has described his station’s poor listenership figures as part of an ‘initial period’ where it’s about “getting the programming right and reviewing things in response to listener feedback”.

Peter Gillespie of talk107 was responding to figures published yesterday, which estimated the station was enjoying an audience share of just 0.2 per cent.

The station, launched in February, is the first all-speech radio station in the UK, outside of London.

And Gillespie took comfort in the station’s reach into the adult population of its broadcast territory: Edinburgh, Fife and the Lothians. According to RAJAR estimates for the quarter year between April 1 and June 30 (Q2), talk107’s average monthly reach was 30,000 and its average weekly reach was 16,000.

Says talk107, the audience tuned in for an average 2.2 hours per week, that total weekly listening hours to the station were 36,000, and its core target profile of adults aged 35-54 accounted for 56 per cent of all those listening, with their average weekly hours almost double that of the adult (aged 15+) average.

Said Gillespie: “We launched in February this year as a totally new and unique broadcast proposition. We negotiated with RAJAR to enable us to publish data three months earlier than required to help us understand how listeners are responding.

“As a new, ‘growth station’, these numbers are already history, but we are pleased that, after only four months on air, we were already attracting 30,000 listeners monthly. We are also pleased with our profile showing a strong appeal to our target group of 35-to-54 year-old adults.”

He added: “This ‘initial period’ is all about getting the programming right and reviewing things in response to listener feedback. We have developed our on-air offer quite considerably since our first couple of months on air and in the last month of the survey period, in particular.

“With our investment in football, with ‘live’ commentary on the Scottish Cup, George Galloway joining at the start of June and a five-week TV and press campaign in the second half of ‘Q2’, we look forward to seeing the benefits in the future two survey periods.

“Launching a brand new speech service to an older, more sophisticated audience is a longer game than a relatively easily formatted music station and this is a long-term project for everyone involved.

“We are confident of hitting our reach targets by the end of our first year and continuing our growth in the future.”