Talksport overtakes Virgin

TalkSport, the Wireless Group’s national speech station, has
recorded its highest weekly reach in the latest Rajar figures which
places it ahead of music station Virgin for
the first time.
Between January and March 2005 TalkSport had a
weekly reach of 2.5 million adults – a 16 per cent increase over the
same quarter last year and up 500,000 listeners on the previous quarter.
Kelvin MacKenzie, chairman and chief executive of
The Wireless Group, said: “This is a fantastic chapter in the success
story of TalkSport. There has been a lot of talk in the music radio
industry recently about speech formats not working in commercial terms
– but we are proving them wrong.”
The Wireless Group is planning to launch a
network of local speech stations under the brand allTalk FM and is
currently applying for licences in Manchester and the Solent area.
Its station in Edinburgh, allTalk FM, will begin broadcasting later this year.
“This is just the beginning for commercial speech
radio beginning able to take its rightful place in the forefront of
popular broadcasting in the UK”, said MacKenzie.
Despite TalkSport’s success, commercial radio’s
overall share is now 10 per cent behind BBC radio at 43.8 percent. But
in local listening, commercial radio takes a 76 per cent share.
Radio 4’s reach at 9.26 million listeners is down year-on-year (9.37m) and on the previous the quarter (9.41m).
The station’s share remains stable compared with
the previous quarter at 11.4 per cent and up year-on the year (11
per cent).
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