Britain’s commercial radio sector enjoyed a stable first quarter, retaining its 46% listener-share and raising the total audience by 1% to 31 million, according to the latest RAJAR measurement figures.

One station experiencing a robust Q1 was Virgin Radio, which managed to check its recent slide with a marginal increase in listeners from 2.59m in Q4 2000 to 2.61m. However, it is still substantially below its 3.3m audience in March last year.

TalkSPORT, meanwhile, saw its number of listeners rise 1% on the previous quarter to 2.25m, but sagged 100,000 year-on-year.

London’s Capital Radio saw a slight decline from Q4 2000, though its figure of 2.8m listeners marks a 1% rise on Q1 of that year. However, among London’s 15–24-year-old market it lagged Emap’s Kiss, which registered a 19.2% share of this sector compared to Capital’s 17.1%. Kiss registered a 4.8% overall share in London, overtaking the BBC’s Radio 1 for the first time.

The publicly-owned BBC had a good first quarter overall, raising its audience share 1% year-on-year to 52.1%, largely thanks to a 1% growth in BBC local radio’s share to 12.2%. However, the youth-oriented Radio 1 lost nearly a million listeners from Q1 2000, falling to 10.37m and being overtaken for the first time by its more middle-of-the-road sibling Radio 2, which reported 10.87m listeners.

News Source: CampaignLive (UK)