Heat Radio’s audience has overtaken the weekly celebrity magazine’s UK circulation, according to official data released today by Rajar.
The celebrity news channel, one of a handful of magazine-branded radio services run by Bauer, recorded its highest-ever weekly audience, up 20.5 per cent year on year to 465,000 listeners in the last three months of 2008.
In the most recent set of consumer magazine ABCs, covering the first half of 2008, Heat recorded an average weekly circulation of 460,051 in the UK and Ireland.
Heat Radio is now just over 5,000 listeners away from overtaking the celeb weekly’s total circulation of 470,129, including overseas sales of the UK title.
More up-to-date circulation figures, covering the second half of the year, are expected on 11 February.
Heat Radio launched as a non-stop music station in 2003. It relaunched four years later, adding presenters, news and other editorial content from the magazine journalists.
Another Bauer magazine-branded channel, music station Q Radio, underwent a similar relaunch last June, led by former 6Music executive Ric Blaxill.
Its average weekly audience for the last quarter of 2008 fell 17.7 per cent year on year to 245,000 – a decline of 25.8 per cent compared with the previous quarter.
Mojo Radio, which was closed by Bauer at the end of November, recorded a final Rajar audience figure of 258,000 – down slightly on quarter but up 16.9 per cent year on year.
Bauer’s biggest magazine-turned-radio station is Kerrang, which broadcasts on FM in the West Midlands and nationally on Sky and Freeview.
In the last quarter of 2008, it posted an average weekly audience of 1.384 million – up 4.8 per cent on the same period last year.