Capital Radio holds on to commercial crown in London

Global Radio’s Capital London holds on to top spot as Smooth Radio sees audience fall

Capital Radio remains the biggest commercial radio station in London, where there was a big drop in listeners for Smooth Radio.

Global Radio's Capital London held onto the top spot despite shedding 8.7% of its listeners on the previous three months, down to 2.07 million listeners a week in the three months to the end of June, according to official Rajar listening figures published on Thursday.

Bauer Radio's Magic 105.4 was in second place, with 1.95 million listeners a week, down 14.7% year on year.

Third-placed Heart London also lost listeners, the Global station down 9.6% year on year to 1.79 million, as was fourth-placed Kiss 100 FM, the Bauer dance station slipping 6.5% year on year and 11.1% on the previous quarter to 1.74 million.

But the most dramatic drop came at Smooth Radio London, which saw a 20.8% fall in audience year on year, and 38.5% on the previous quarter, to 385,000.

Global Radio bought Smooth from Guardian Media Group as part of the GMG Radio stable of stations in June. GMG also publishes MediaGuardian.

In terms of market share it was Heart, rather than Capital, which took the top spot, with a 5.3% share of the audience. Heart was ahead of Magic, with 5.1%, Kiss, with 4.7%, and Capital, with 4.6%.

Global's talk station LBC 97.3 had 809,000 listeners, down 6.7% on the previous quarter, while its talk rival BBC London 94.9 had 453,000 listeners, down 10.1% on the previous quarter and slipping 18.2% year on year.

Another Global station, Xfm London, had 417,000 listeners, down 37.9% year on year but up 2% on the previous quarter.

Capital's Dave Berry and Lisa Snowdon held onto the London breakfast show crown among the commercial stations, with 1.16 million listeners, down from 1.26 million in the previous quarter.

The battle for the runner-up spot was a closely fought one, with Magic's Neil Fox, with 760,000, just ahead of Kiss's Rickie, Melvin and Charlie (735,000) and Heart's Jamie Theakston and Harriet Scott (734,000). Absolute Radio's Christian O'Connell took fifth spot, with 674,000 listeners.

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John Plunkett

The GuardianTramp

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