Rajar: Mixed results for BBC speech radio

Radio listening figures released this morning are a mixed bag for speech radio, with Radio 4 celebrating a four-year high and FiveLive shedding listeners.

BBC Radio 4 is enjoying its highest audience figures in almost four years, with a weekly audience of more than 9.6 million adults.

Quarterly radio listening figures from Rajar show the BBC station inching closer towards the 10 million mark that it last reached in spring 2003.

Radio 4's market share in the first three months of 2007 is 12.2 per cent – its highest ever recorded share under the current measurement system.

It remains the most popular radio station in London, with almost 2.5 million listeners each week – an increase of 10.8 per cent since the same period last year.

Meanwhile, Radio 4's flagship morning news programme, Today, has put on 280,000 listeners year on year nationwide, and now claims a weekly audience of 6.4 million.

Meanwhile, BBC Radio FiveLive has fewer reasons to celebrate in the latest set of Rajar figures.

The station's weekly audience reach is down almost 5 per cent year on year, slipping below the 6 million mark at 5.87m.

The figure is, however, a slight improvement on the last quarter and FiveLive's spin-off digital-only station, FiveLive Sports Extra is continuing to put on listeners as more people buy DAB radio sets.

Sports Extra has gained 70,000 listeners since this time last year, and now boasts a weekly audience of 682,000 – that's an increase of more than 11 per cent year on year.

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