Thursday, 1 February 2007


Well, another 3 months have passed by. It must be RAJAR time across the UK again.

It's funny watching the different 'spin' that radio groups and stations put on their results. Stations that are actually doing really well don't have to try that hard in their press release... it's obvious they're doing well. Heart 106.2, for example, have had a great set of numbers.

Their breakfast show is now number 1 in London whichever way you look at it, with 948,000 listeners a week (with Capital now at 813,000) and with the station sitting on a 7.1% share, it's clearly London's number 1 commercial station.

So... there's a station that needs no spin.

On the other hand if you read the press release from Talk 107 in Edinburgh, you feel they're perhaps trying to make it sound better than it is!

"Weekly reach is up 1% to 34,000" and "Audience share increases from 0.4% to 0.7%"

Well let's crack open that bottle of 12 year old malt we've been saving for such an occasion!!

OK it's gone up a bit... but this is a 3% reach in a TSA of over 1 Million!!

"Our weekly audience has now more than doubled in the last 2 RAJAR surveys". True, but if your first book comes in at 16,000 listeners, you really need to be doing more than doubling your audience pretty quickly if you're going to meet the prediction you made in your application to Ofcom - which aims for 140,000 reach after year 1!

I'm sure Talk 107 is a very fine station with lots of great people at it, and I'm not picking on them per say. It's more the corporate spin that goes with RAJAR press releases that I find amusing. (And I've written a few 'well spun' releases in my time too, so I should know!)

It's just the name of the game. We can't really be too honest in the hope that lazy journalists don't look beyond the press releases, don't read beyond the spin, and just re-hash the release therefore publishing a good story for the station... which as we all know, they sometimes do!

So actually, if you've had a bad survey, go ahead... write as good a release as you can. You never know... you might just get away with it. It's more enjoyable reading than all those numbers!!

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