Sunday 09 Mar 2014
BBC local radio in England has made strong progress in delivering for audiences adding a million more listeners compared to the previous quarter, new RAJAR figures show today.
Across the 40 local radio stations in England weekly reach for Q1 2010 was 18.6%, up 2.4% on the previous quarter (Q4 2009) and 0.9% on the equivalent Q1 last year.
On average 7.7m listeners tuned into BBC local radio in England each week, up by 1m on the previous quarter and up by 430,000 on the equivalent Q1 last year.
Evidence suggests that a significant proportion of the rise is attributable to people tuning into BBC local radio for information during the severe weather conditions this winter – suggesting that people continue to look to the BBC for vital information in times of crisis.
The BBC is also placing greater focus on quality journalism through its Strategy Review which includes measures to refocus resources towards breakfast shows.
David Holdsworth, BBC Controller of English Regions, welcomed the figures saying: "It is encouraging that people feel they can trust and turn to the BBC, particularly during times of crisis such as the heavy snowfalls that affected much of the country this winter. This is partly why local radio is such a valuable asset.
"However, we cannot be complacent as BBC local radio has been grappling with longer term challenges to our audience figures for some time as the media landscape has changed. We know we have to continually work hard and focus on providing quality and independent journalism – such as our recent General Election coverage – outstanding programmes and content that local people can identify with to best serve our audiences."
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