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Capital falls as the rest of London radio rises

LONDON - Xfm outshined its bigger sister Capital FM as the alternative music station saw listenership jump while Capital suffered badly, according to the latest Rajar figures.

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Rajar data for the third quarter of 2002 reveals a positive period for London listening with the majority of stations seeing weekly reach increase.

The sector's leader in terms of reach, Capital 95.8FM, experienced a 4.5% decline period on period, bringing its weekly reach to around 2.6m. Capital Gold also fared relatively poorly, experiencing a 16.9% drop to 1.1m.

Elsewhere, Emap's Kiss 100 saw a 14.6% period-on-period increase bringing its weekly reach to 1.7m listeners.

Alternative music station Xfm also had a successful period, with weekly reach jumping by 46.2% to just over 500,000. According to the station, the increase was spearheaded by Christian O'Connell's Breakfast Show, which added 100,000 listeners period on period.

Commercial news network LBC, which was recently acquired by Chrysalis, was up 33% period on period to 480,000, while News Direct increased its weekly reach by 13.7% during the three months to September 2002.

Culturally specific stations proved they can continue to thrive in the London market, with Premier Christian Radio increasing its weekly reach by 59.8% period on period.

In terms of share, Capital 95.8FM experienced the sector's biggest decline, with a 1.5% point drop period on period to 8.8%. However, this was not enough to threaten the station's dominance of the London market.

Capital's closest rival in terms of audience share, Heart 106.2, had a positive period with share increasing by 0.5% points to 6.3%, up from 5.8% the previous period. Magic 105.4 also fared well, increasing its share by 0.5% points during the same period.

Xfm reached its highest audience share on record during the three months to September 2002, with a 0.8% point increase. As well as the success of its breakfast show, the station has benefited from the increasing popularity of guitar-based music and high-profile signings such as Zoe Ball.

Elsewhere, speech-radio station, LBC 1152 AM, which is soon to relaunch on the FM network, saw its audience share increase to 3.2%, up from 2.2% in the previous period.

Report compiled by MediaTel. For detailed Rajar information, visit MediaTel on Brand Republic.

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