Capital Radio, for years the UK's most popular commercial radio station, has been pushed into second place by Chrysalis-owned Heart 106.2, according to the latest RAJAR (Radio Joint Audience Research) data.
Capital's audience share dropped from last year's 8.8% to 7% during the quarter to September 30. The broadcaster's share price fell in tandem with its listeners as the news became public, sagging 6.5% from £4.80 ($8.13; €6.91) to £4.39.
Said Capital ceo David Mansfield: "We are obviously disappointed. Nobody wants to see these sorts of figures. But do I think the company is capable of regaining the lost ground? Yes I do."
At Heart 106.2 jubilance reigned. "The fact that we have taken number one spot before we planned is timely and we think we will be able to take more market share when Chris Tarrant [Capital's top-rated breakfast show presenter] hangs up his headphones in March," crowed ceo Richard Huntingford.
Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff