Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Radio 1 Listeners Slump to Their Lowest-Ever Level; BBC CHIEFS DISAPPOINTED BUT SAY THEY WILL PERSIST WITH NEW MUSIC POLICY

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Radio 1 Listeners Slump to Their Lowest-Ever Level; BBC CHIEFS DISAPPOINTED BUT SAY THEY WILL PERSIST WITH NEW MUSIC POLICY

Article excerpt

Byline: ANDR PAINE

RADIO 1 has seen its ratings slump to the lowest in its history.

The number of people who tune in to the BBC station each week has fallen below 10 million for the first time.

But today's figures from Rajar, which measures radio audiences, show Radio2 is prospering.

Radio1, which targets 15-to 24-year olds, saw its weekly audience fall to 9,870,000 for the three months to June, down almost half a million on the previous quarter. In the last year, 656,000 listeners have deserted the station.

Its market s h a re - measured by how long people tune in for over a single week - is 7.6 per cent, compared to 8.3 per cent a year ago.

Figures are expected to show Sara Cox's breakfast show has also lost listeners across the UK in the last year. In London alone, Cox lost 200,000 listeners to her show, which now attracts 554,000 in the capital.

Radio1 admitted its disappointment at the results but insisted it would not alter its policy of championing new music and backing specialist dance, rock and hip-hop artists, such as Tim Westwood, and Bobby Friction and Nihal who play Asian dance music.

Bosses are convinced their music policy means they can claim some credit for the success of acts like Coldplay and The White Stripes, first played on Radio 1.

The station has also dedicated resources to covering live events such as Glastonbury, and Robbie Williams at Knebworth this weekend.

A Radio1 spokesman said: "It is a disappointing quarter. But Radio 1 is public service radio - we don't chase ratings. We break new music to the widest possible audience, which is what the BBC charter says we must do. We don't simply play Justin Timberlake and Beyonce Knowles every hour."

He described the task of keeping listeners while breaking new music as like "walking a tightrope".

S t a t i o n bosses are understood to be looking at the operation of their daytime shows.

Other BBC stations are faring better. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.