Capital FM holds steady as London rivals slide

Global Radio-owned station falls by just 0.6% as its breakfast show increases its weekly audience by 10% to 1.19 million

Capital FM proved the most resilient of London's commercial radio broadcasters in the final three months of 2013, almost managing to hold its audience flat at 2.2 million.

The Global Radio-owned station saw its average weekly audience in London fall just 0.6% period on period in the fourth quarter as a number of rivals suffered double-digit percentage falls, according to the latest official Rajar audience figures published on Thursday.

Capital's London breakfast show, fronted by Lisa Snowdon and Dave Berry, increased its weekly audience by 10% to 1.19 million to remain the most popular among commercial broadcasters.

However, the Capital network nationally lost 2.8% of its listeners in the quarter, down to 7.5 million, although it remains up 9.7% year on year.

Bauer's Kiss extended its lead over stablemate Magic FM as the second most popular London station, a position it narrowly took in the previous quarter, despite a 7.5% quarterly fall in listeners to 1.82 million.

Kiss FM's breakfast show, presented by Rickie, Melvin and Charlie, had a strong quarter up 22% to 824,000 and reinforced its position as the second most popular among commercial stations in London.

Overall Kiss's UK network attracted just over 5 million listeners, a 0.7% fall period on period, but up 18% year on year.

Stablemate Magic FM pulled in 1.75 million listeners in London, holding on to third spot despite a 10.7% fall quarter on quarter.

Magic FM's breakfast DJ Neil Fox managed to increase his audience from 644,000 to 714,000, making his show the third most popular in the capital.

Overall Magic FM's national network drew 3.6 million listeners, down 2.4% period on period and 3.5% year on year.

Bauer's biggest success story was the newly-acquired Absolute Radio, which increased its London audience 17% quarter on quarter to 809,000. However it was still down 9% year on year.

Absolute's bounceback followed a slump in the summer which it says is caused by factors including the summer holidays, when many of Absolute's 25- to 44-year-old demographic go away.

The station's breakfast show, fronted by Christian O'Connell, marginally increased its audience from 477,000 to 488,000.

Across the UK the Absolute Radio main station attracted 1.76 million listeners, up 7.9% quarter on quarter and almost flat year on year.

Global Radio-owned Heart continued its tough run, after slipping to fourth in the London radio battle in the last audience figures, with audiences in the capital down 10.6% quarter on quarter.

Heart drew 1.55 million in London, putting it almost 200,000 listeners behind third-placed Magic.

Heart's London breakfast show was the only one to lose audience among its main competitors, falling from 647,000 to 610,000 listeners.

Nationally the Heart network attracted 7.3 million listeners, down 3.5% quarter on quarter and 0.8% year on year.

London talk station LBC ended its strong run, where it managed to crack 1 million listeners, with a 10.7% quarter-on-quarter fall to 958,000. The station is still up 6.2% year on year.

LBC's breakfast show also slipped back, falling from 654,000 listeners to 599,000.

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Mark Sweney

The GuardianTramp

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