UK National Stations

Extra Caroline

Radio Caroline’s satellite-delivered service will be on air every weekday evening commencing February 8th. The new Wednesday spot will feature Tom Anderson and Rob Harrison. Other presenters rejoining from the station’s past are Chris Kennedy, Dave Owen, Bob Lawrence and Stevie Gordon.
Radio Caroline have been given notice that their Astra 19°E channel is due to be switched off shortly – almost certainly on the 31st of March. They are now searching for a new analogue transponder to cover Europe.

Report: Mike Terry

Dustin should be King of England says BBC Radio 1’s Saviour

Ireland's favourite turkey would be the next king of England if BBC Radio 1 dj Chris Moyles had his way. On his show yesterday, Moyles explained to his audience who Dustin is and then sang his praises after playing one of the tracks from his cd. He has vowed to make Britain aware of the fowl-mouthed leader of 'The Poultry Party' within a week.

Ireland’s favourite turkey would be the next king of England if BBC Radio 1 dj Chris Moyles had his way. On his show yesterday, Moyles explained to his audience who Dustin is and then sang his praises after playing one of the tracks from his cd. He has vowed to make Britain aware of the fowl-mouthed leader of ‘The Poultry Party’ within a week.

Dustin the Chancer

Red-faced bosses at BBC Radio 1 have admitted they've had to recruit an Irishman to keep an eye on the slots Dustin has recorded for Sara Cox's Breakfast Show. "Dustin had been getting away with murder because of his use of Irish slang," a BBC spokesman said.
 Dustin was recruited for the show when an Irish listener based in the UK said that Dustin was the thing they missed most about not being in Ireland.

Red-faced bosses at BBC Radio 1 have admitted they’ve had to recruit an Irishman to keep an eye on the slots Dustin has recorded for Sara Cox’s Breakfast Show. “Dustin had been getting away with murder because of his use of Irish slang,” a BBC spokesman said.
Dustin was recruited for the show when an Irish listener based in the UK said that Dustin was the thing they missed most about not being in Ireland.

It’s cannabis, you silly cabbage!

A red-faced BBC Radio Scotland presenter had to apologise after unwittingly offering advice to a listener on how best to grow cannabis. Frieda Morrison co-presents ‘Beechgrove Potting Shed’, a gardening advice programme, with Jim McColl and they were both convinced that the caller to the programme had asked about growing cabbages. The question was about ‘Northern Lights’ which is a variety of cabbage, as well as a cannabis strain. Frieda apologised on BBC Scotland this morning. She joked: “We are a very happening programme and want to be at the cutting edge of any grass!”

The problem started when a caller named Joe McLaughlin from Perth was put to air at 12.25pm on Sunday. He started by complimenting the programme’s hosts, telling them he’d learned a lot from them over the years. He then said: “I recently bought a progagator and I seem to be having no luck at all. Can you give me any advice on what I’m doing wrong?”
Jim McColl then asked the caller what kind of cuttings he was talking about and was told that it was a ‘hybrid of cannabis called Northern Lights’.
The show’s presenters then spent three minutes advising the caller on the best way to grow the plant in question, not realising that they’d misheard the word ‘cannabis’ as ‘cabbages’.

Record share for BBC Radio in RAJARs release

The latest quarterly RAJAR listenership figures (September-December ’05) for the UK have produced a record share for the BBC’s radio services with 55.1% of all listening. In addition, the breakfast shows on the two main channels have added listeners: Radio 1’s Chris Moyles has added 370,000 weekly listeners year on year for Radio 1, and Terry Wogan on Radio 2 has added 300,000 listeners this quarter.

The Director of BBC Radio & Music Jenny Abramsky said: “Congratulations to Chris Moyles and Terry Wogan, whose unique presenting styles continue to attract listeners. It’s also exciting to see that more and more people are listening to radio through new, digital platforms.”

Radio 1’s reach is 10.29m, stable on the quarter (10.33m) and up on the year (9.92m). Share, at 9.2 per cent, is also up on the year (8.2%) and steady on the quarter (9.4%).

Radio 2’s strong performance continues, with a reach of 13.25 million (13.31m last year and 12.86m last quarter) and share of 16 per cent, up on the quarter (15.6%) but slightly down on the year (16.4%).

Radio 3 has 1.97 million listeners – slightly down on the quarter (2.07m) and the year (2.1m). Share is stable at 1.2 per cent against the same figure for last quarter and 1.3% last year.

Radio 4’s share is up to 11.8 per cent – the station’s highest since quarter 1 2003, during the Gulf War – and up from 11.5% last quarter and last year. Reach dips to 9.32 million from 9.62m last quarter and 9.41m last year.

Radio Five Live – which records a combined reach with its digital service Five Live Sports Extra – has a reach of 5.78 million, against 6.05m last year and 6.17m last quarter. Share at 4.3 per cent is also slightly down on the year (4.4%) and the quarter (4.7%). This is an expected decline after a strong performance across the station during the Ashes.

BBC Local and National Radio’s reach is at its highest for almost two years at 10.44 million, showing a significant improvement on the quarter (9.86m) and the year (10.24m). Share is also up to 11.1 per cent, from 10.7% last quarter and 11% last year.

BBC Radio Ulster – including Radio Foyle – broke all previous records with a weekly reach of 614,000 listeners and a share of listening of 29.8 per cent.
Amongst the digital-only services, BBC 6 Music’s weekly reach has grown to 354,000 listeners, from 285,000 last quarter and 238,000 last year, while share is up to 0.2 per cent from 0.1% last quarter and year.

1Xtra has 352,000 listeners – up on the year (288,000) but down from last quarter’s record of 405,000. Its share is unchanged on last year’s 0.1 per cent but down on last quarter’s high of 0.3%.

BBC 7 consolidated its position, with a reach of 600,000, a marked rise on last year (391,000) and slightly down on the quarter (631,000). Its share, at 0.3 per cent, is stable on the quarter and up on the year (0.2%).

The BBC Asian Network has 420,000 listeners – down on 524,000 last quarter and 535,000 last year – while share is unchanged at 0.3 per cent.

Five Live Sports Extra has a total reach of 460,000 compared with 343,000 last year and 482,000 last quarter. Its share is unchanged at 0.1 per cent.

The BBC World Service has 1.35 million listeners – down on the quarter (1.42m) but up on the year (1.27m). Share is 0.7 per cent, up on last year’s 0.6% and stable on the quarter.



Talking up figures

The UK’s national commercial speech station TalkSport have recorded their highest ever number of listening hours in the latest quarterly RAJAR audience figures release. The station has also achieved significant year-on-year increases in share and reach. TalkSport, now owned by UTV, have been fervent critics of RAJAR’s methods of recording listenership through their previous owner Kelvin McKenzie.

A million thanks

BBC Radio Scotland has attracted more than a million listeners in the latest figures just released – the only station in Scotland to top the million mark. The latest Rajar report for the final quarter of 2005 shows that the station attracted 1,017,000 listeners reaching 24.3 per cent of the population – an increase of 51,000 listeners on the previous quarter. Live streaming of Radio Scotland over the internet also attracted a record number for the last quarter according to BBC figures, with 358,000 requests – taking the total figure for the year to 1.14 million. Requests to listen to live SPL commentaries also proved a big hit, with 323,000 in the last quarter alone. The top-of-the-table clash between Celtic and Hearts in mid October, for example, received 14,225 requests – a record for an SPL streamed commentary – while the Edinburgh derby on 29 October was in second place with 13,889 listeners on the web.
Head of Radio at BBC Scotland, Jeff Zycinski, welcomed the latest figures: “We’re obviously delighted to be the only station in Scotland with more than a million listeners a week. It’s a real tribute to our programme makers across Scotland. We’ve tried out a lot of new ideas in the past year, and introduced many new voices to the station. We plan to continue with that kind of creative spirit in the year ahead. We’ll continue to provide exclusive SPL commentary, launch new comedy and drama and remain Scotland’s biggest champion of live music. Naturally there’s one thing we want to say to our listeners – thanks a million!”

Newspaper: Radio enters a new golden age as digital use takes off

The Independent
Radio enters a new golden age as digital use takes off

The Independent – February 2nd 2007

By Terry Kirby, Chief Reporter

The digital revolution and the expansion of new ways of accessing information through the internet has given a huge boost to one of the older and more traditional forms of electronic media – the radio.

According to figures released yesterday, the digital age has created a new golden age of radio, with the number of listeners in Britain at a record high of more than 45 million every week.

The figure for the last three months of 2006 is the highest since Radio Joint Audience Research (Rajar) began compiling records in 1992, and is attributed to growing numbers of people tuning in on the internet, digital television and mobile phones.

Rajar said almost 8 per cent of people aged 15 and above listen to the radio on their mobile phones, a 24 per cent increase over the same period of 2005. A quarter of 15- to 24-year-olds said they tuned in this way. Listening over the internet rose by 10 per cent and by 9 per cent on digital television.

Podcasts are also more popular. More than two million people, the equivalent of 17 per cent of all owners of MP3 players, listen to the audio downloads – a rise of 15 per cent on the previous three months. The figures are likely to rise as more content is made available as a podcast.

Jenny Abramsky, the BBC’s director of audio and music, said: “It proves radio still plays an incredibly important part in people’s lives and, despite the range of new media available, listeners continue to value the close relationship they have with radio.”

The figures show a small decline in audiences for long-established BBC Radio 4 favourites The Archers and Desert Island Discs, programmes which have suffered recent upheavals and whose listeners are renowned for their loyalty and resistance to change. The Rajar figures show The Archers’ weekly audience is 4.4 million, 169,000 down on the previous quarter and 197,000 less than this time last year. Desert Island Discs also registered a shortfall, with 2.54 million tuning in compared with 2.69 million 12 months ago.

However, the falls were brushed aside by the Radio 4 controller, Mark Damazer, who said such fluctuations during the year were normal. “We’re very happy with the performance of the shows,” he said. Radio 4’s audience was 9.34 million.

Radio 2 remains the nation’s favourite station with an audience of 13.27 million – up 530,000 in three months. Terry Wogan added 330,000 listeners at the end of last year, lifting the total audience for his breakfast show from 7.65 million to 7.98 million. The afternoon presenter Steve Wright added 360,000 listeners in the last quarter, taking the audience for his show from 6.15 million to 6.51 million.

Radio 1’s audience of 10.26 million was down 320,000 on the previous quarter, which the station attributed to a seasonal dip. The breakfast presenter Chris Moyles bucked the trend by adding 100,000 listeners in that period to reach 6.82 million.

Jane Thynne, a broadcasting critic and writer, said BBC radio was benefiting more from the digital era than television. “The figures show that early adopters are prepared to embrace what has traditionally been seen as the more fustier of mediums.

“Radio, as something which is intensely personal, is also a much more suitable medium for podcasting than television… It’s essentially what radio has been doing for a long while anyway.”

The winners and losers


* Radio 2 increased its audience by 530,000 in the last three months of 2006, reaching 13.27 million listeners, the largest in the UK.

* Terry Wogan, the breakfast DJ, added 330,000 listeners, taking his total audience to 7.98m. Steve Wright, the afternoon presenter, added 360,000 listeners, taking the audience for his show to 6.51 million.

* In London, Jamie Theakston and Harriet Scott have become the capital’s most popular commercial breakfast hosts, with 948,000 listeners to their Heart FM show, up 180,000.


* Kirsty Young has lost listeners since taking over from Sue Lawley as host of Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs in October. Her audience was 2.54 million, compared with 2.67 million for the previous three months when Lawley was at the helm, and down from 2.69 million for the same period of 2005.

* The Archers’ weekly audience on Radio 4 dropped by 169,000 to 4.44 million, down 197,000 year on year.

* Capital Radio saw its audience fall from 1.8 million in the last quarter of 2005 to 1.4 million in the same period in 2006, a drop of almost 19 per cent.

BBC Radio 4 record highest share in latest RAJARs

BBC Radio 4 has added half-a-million listeners and recorded its highest share – buoyed by a strong performance from the Today programme – according to data released today by RAJAR .

The station now has 9.81 million listeners – up from 9.29m last year, 9.45m last quarter – and its highest reach since the start of 2003. During the measurement period (15 September to 14 December) it posted a record share of 12.4% – up from 11.8% last year and 11.5% last quarter.

The Today programme has 6.6m listeners, up nearly half-a-million on the quarter (6.11m), almost 400,000 on the year, and its largest audience since the end of 2001.

Tim Davie, Director BBC Audio & Music, said: “This quarter’s figures are good news for the radio industry, the BBC and particularly Radio 4. Radio 4 plays a unique role in the country’s cultural and news agenda and these results reflect its influential place in British life.”

All BBC Radio now has a reach of 33.52m (from 33.14m last year and 32.98m last quarter) and a share of 55.7% (from 55.4% last year and 54.9% last quarter).

BBC Radio 1 drew 10.58m listeners per week in the quarter, from 10.69m last year and 10.87m last quarter. Its share, at 10.1%, is up on last quarter (9.8%) but slightly down on last year (10.3%).

The Chris Moyles Show has 7.30m listeners – up from 7.02m last quarter and steady on 7.31m last year.

BBC Radio 2 has a weekly reach of 13.47m listeners – up from 13.06m last quarter and 12.82m last year. Share, at 15.8%, is level with the year (15.7%) and slightly down on the quarter (16%).

Wake Up To Wogan has 7.96m listeners tuning in each week (from 7.74m last quarter and 7.73m last year).

BBC Radio 3’s reach rose to 1.98m, from 1.95m last quarter and 1.95m last year. Share is 1.3% – up from 1.2% last year and last quarter.

BBC Radio 5 Live and its digital service BBC 5 Live Sports Extra recorded a combined reach of 6.11m – up on last quarter’s combined total (5.94m) but down on last year (6.17m). Combined share is up to 5.0%, from 4.8% last quarter and 4.7% last year. 5 Live Sports Extra has a weekly reach of 663,000.

In digital-only services, BBC 6 Music posted its sixth consecutive record reach, with 619,000 listeners, up on both year and quarter.

BBC Radio 7 has 850,000 listeners, the BBC Asian Network has 379,000 listeners and 1Xtra has a reach of 533,000.

The BBC World Service increased its reach to 1.43m – up from 1.18m last year and 1.36m last quarter.



New BBC Radio 2 controller is named

BBC Radio 2’s new controller has been named. Bob Shennan, the former BBC Five Live controller, will take his new role as controller of BBC Radio 2 and BBC 6 Music in February and will report to Tim Davie, the BBC’s Director of Audio & Music. He left his previous role at Five Live in 2008 to become Channel 4’s Director of Radio last April. Channel 4 have since backed down on their plans to introduce digital radio.

Tim Davie welcomed the appointment, saying: “Bob is an outstanding leader with extensive radio experience and a proven track record in station management. Bob’s energy, enthusiasm and passion for Radio 2 will ensure that the station remains creative and vibrant, and continues to offer unique programmes to the widest possible audience.”

Bob Shennan said: “Radio 2 is the cornerstone of UK Radio. 6 Music is at the forefront of digital radio. It is a privilege to be asked to lead the extraordinary creative forces of both stations.”

Shennan replaces Lesley Douglas who resigned last October after the infamous prank calls made to Andrew Sachs by Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross