RAJAR Q3 2009: TalkSport grows as Absolute, Classic FM fall
TalkSport was the only one of the three main national commercial stations to expand its weekly reach year on year in Q3, the latest Rajars show.
TalkSport: boss Scott Taunton has overseen Rajar growth
The UTV-owned station increased its weekly reach to 2.47 million listeners, up 7% year on year and 2.9% quarter on quarter.
TalkSport's share of audience was 1.9%, level year on year and up from 1.8% in Q2. It is also the first time the station has topped 2.4 million listeners for the fourth successive quarter.
By contrast, the other two main UK-wide national commercial stations, Classic FM and Absolute Radio shed listeners year on year.
Absolute Radio, formerly known as Virgin Radio until September 2008, suffered a fall in reach to 1.59 million, down 6.1% from Q2.
Virgin rebranded as Absolute Radio at the end of September last year, following its purchase by the Times of India Group. Since that time, Absolute's weekly reach is down 31.6% from Virgin's reach of 2.5million.
Global Radio's Classic FM retained its position as the commercial station with the widest reach, with an average of 5.5 million listeners a week. But this was down 1.8% year on year and down 4.8% month on month.
TalkSport owner UTV recently withdrew from RadioCentre, the trade body for the commercial radio industry, because of what it termed the influence of Global Radio.
Bauer Media's Kiss network's weekly reach was up 10.6% year-on-year to 3.5 million, though it was down 1.3% period on period. Its share was level period on period at 1.9% and up from 1.8% in Q3 last year.
Global's Heart network, which has expanded to 33 stations over the last year, recorded a weekly reach of 7.4 million, up 7.4% year on year but down 1.5% quarter on quarter.
The Galaxy network, also owned by Global Radio, rose 3.6% year on year to 3.8 million, up 2.5% period on period.
The Q3 Rajar period covers the three months to 20 September.
For full analysis of the Q3 Rajars, read Media Week's 3 November print edition.
This article was first published on mediaweek.co.uk
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