Radio 1 loses more listeners

Beleaguered BBC Radio 1 lost nearly half a million listeners at the end of last year, falling to its third consecutive all-time low.

Beleaguered BBC Radio 1 lost nearly half a million listeners at the end of last year, falling to its third consecutive all-time low.

The station's audience fell to 9.4 million in the final quarter of last year, down from 9.85 million in the previous quarter and 10.5 million at the end of 2002.

The Radio 1 controller, Andy Parfitt, will be hoping his new breakfast show host Chris Moyles, the former Drivetime presenter who swapped slots with Sara Cox at the beginning of this year, can help reverse the trend. Parfitt has also signed Jason Griffith and Joel Hogg - dubbed Manchester's answer to Ant and Dec - from Emap's Key 103. They will join Radio 1 in the summer.

There were no such problems at Radio 2, which added nearly 700,000 listeners on the quarter to 13.15 million. The station is now only a whisker away from its record audience of 13.26 million, in 2002.

For the first time the total number of hours people listen to Radio 2 is now twice that of Radio 1. 5 Live also added listeners, up 400,000 on the previous quarter to 6.1 million, but was down 150,000 on the same period at the end of 2002.

Radio 4 also lost listeners year-on-year, slipping nearly 300,000 to 9.5 million. Radio 3 added around 40,000 to 2.2 million, but saw its total listening hours soar across the quarter by nearly 20% because audiences tuned in for longer.


John Plunkett

The GuardianTramp

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