Northern Media Group performs well in latest RAJARs

Stations within the Northern Media Group have performed exceptionally well in the latest RAJAR listener figures released yesterday.

In the last quarter of 2007, the Q Network was the only commercial radio station in Northern Ireland to increase its listeners. The Q Network includes Q102 in Derry, Q97 in Coleraine and Q101 in Omagh and Enniskillen. The station increased its weekly reach by 2,000 listeners, from 85,000 to 87,000. Weekly reach is the amount of people who listen to a radio station over the course of a week and is one of the most important measurements for advertisers. The Q Network also has 13.7% of the potential audience listening every week.

Seven FM has been broadcasting for two years and this is the first official listener figures the station has received. Each week, 18,000 people tune in to Seven FM in the Ballymena and Antrim areas.

“This is a great first result for Seven FM,” said Robert Walshe, Chief Executive of Northern Media Group. “Having 18,000 listeners each week puts Seven FM on a par with much more established radio stations. To get to that stage while the station is so young is a massive achievement. We now have a very firm foundation to build on and I am extremely confident we can do that. The result today is a credit to all the staff at Seven FM and I would like to thank them for their dedication and hard work. And I would also like to thank the advertisers who have been a great support to Seven FM in its formative years. I look forward to continuing to build those relationships.”

That is something Mr Walshe re-iterated for advertisers to the whole Northern Media Group. Five of the six stations in the group have received official listener figures for the last quarter of 2007. The figures show that over 125,000 people tune in to a Northern Media Group station every week.

Robert continued: “This is a superb result for the group. The Q Network has performed exceptionally well, being the only radio stations in Northern Ireland to increase the amount of listeners. The Q Network is also incredibly popular in its area, with almost 14% of the population tuning in at some stage throughout the week. Our other stations also performed well. Six FM remains very popular in mid-Ulster and while we don’t yet have official figures for our newest station, Five FM, the indications are good. We are getting great feedback from our listeners in the Newry and Mourne area and we are looking forward to the results for Five FM, which we expect later this year. Thank you again to our listeners – and tell your friends about us. We have some great shows, features and competitions coming up in 2008.


Today’s Newspapers: February 20th 2009

Derry Journal – Derry-based radio station breached industry rules

Derry-based radio station breached industry rules

A Derry based radio station has admitted misleading listeners by inviting them to contact a show that had been pre-recorded.

The Saturday Night Warm Up was broadcast across all six of Northern Media Group’s (NMG) stations – including Derry’s Q102 – on September 6 of last year.

During the programme, portrayed as being broadcast live but in reality having been pre-recorded, listeners were encouraged to contact the show on a number of occasions.

At one point the presenter even thanked listeners for their contributions saying ” Thanks for all your texts tonight – a lot of texts requesting that one from Underworld, ‘Born Slippy’.”

Industry watchdog Ofcom investigated the show after receiving a complaint from a listener.

Ofcom found NMG to be in serious breach of the broadcasting code in relation to the programme. The industry regulator said: “Ofcom is extremely concerned that the broadcaster failed to have sufficient procedures in place to prevent the deception of its audience. In this case the presenter not only pre-recorded ‘calls to action’ that stated or implied the possibility of immediate audience interaction with the programme but also reported on fictitious messages, which the presenter claimed to have received during the programme. This was unacceptable and in breach of the Code.”

Ofcom accepted NMG had made no commercial gain from inviting listeners to contact the show but found they had deceived their audience.

“As the programme progressed, the audience would have believed that some listeners had interacted with it.

Listener trust

“The presenter appeared to intend deliberately to deceive listeners, in a serious breach of listener trust.”

Responding to Ofcom’s concerns NMG said messages that were sent to the broadcaster during the pre-recorded programme were checked in the days that followed and the presenter was encouraged to use them in the next available programme.

NMG said that the practice resulted from deficiencies in its policies and procedures. Those procedures have since been amended and NMG has apologised for the breach.

Audience interaction no longer features in pre-recorded editions of the Saturday Night Warm Up.

NMG listener figures continue to rise

Stations within the Northern Media Group in Northern Ireland have continued to increase their listenership figures in the latest official RAJAR release. The results show that over 141,000 people tune in to a Northern Media Group station every week, an increase on the last quarter of 137,000. Northern Media Group’s station network is also the only radio group in Northern Ireland to increase weekly audience in this survey period.

Chief Executive and Programme Director Robert Walshe said: “The figures show Northern Media Group to have a very strong proposition for potential advertisers. We are clearly a very real alternative. The local approach to our news, sport and programming, and our out-and-about policy in recent months, are all indicators of the power of local radio.”

The Q Network continues to dominate the north and west of the region, with 92,000 people listening weekly. Q102 in Derry, Q97 in Coleraine and Q101 in Omagh are all heritage stations in their respective areas and a key aspect of Northern Media Group’s latest listenership success. Newry and Mourne’s Five FM, Six FM in mid-Ulster and Ballymena-based Seven FM remain popular.

A number of new programmes across the schedule – including Laurence John’s ‘Country Collection’ and Kevin Mc Alister’s ‘Sunday Café’ on Five FM – form part of a fresh line-up for the radio network in Spring 2010.