Rajar: TalkSport has something to shout about

The nationwide commercial talk station, TalkSport, is toasting its highest audience figures since 2004 and its highest ever market share, according to this morning's Rajar figures.

The medium-wave station, owned by Ulster Television, has boosted its weekly audience reach by more than 13 per cent year on year.

It is now listened to each week by 2.34 million adults – up 270,000 on the same period last year, but this figure is still eclipsed by the mammoth 2.48m reach it commanded in autumn 2004.

The station's breakfast show, presented by Alan Brazil, is marginally down quarter on quarter but up on the year.

Some 1.03 million adults tune into the show each week – up from 976,000 this time last year.

Bill Ridley, the programme director of TalkSport, said: "This is a fantastic start to the year for and shows that despite increased competition, we are continuing to win new listeners.

"This phenomenal success has been achieved before we signed up football legend Ian Wright for drivetime, before we begin to broadcast live and exclusive commentary of Premiership matches for the first time and before we launch our coverage of the Rugby World Cup in September and October."

Meanwhile, in the London market, it was swings and roundabouts for Chrysalis-owned talk station, LBC.

The news and speech station on FM has shed 11 per cent of its listeners year on year – down from 671,000 to 597,000.

Meanwhile, LBC's rolling news station, LBC News 1152, has boosted its weekly audience by almost a quarter – up from 266,000 to 327,000.

The station, which broadcasts on medium wave, will be renamed Sky News Radio as part of a partnership between Sky and Chrysalis, but this is contingent on Channel 4 winning the bid for the new nationwide digital radio multiplex.

LBC's breakfast show with Nick Ferrari has recovered from last quarter's figure of 354,000, putting on 25,000 listeners in the last three months. But the show is still down year on year – with 379,000 listeners compared with 402,000 last spring.

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