Business

More listeners switch on to Cool FM and U105 says Rajar

Gary McDonald Business Editor

COMMERCIAL radio stations Cool FM and U105 have added a combined 88,000 listeners in the first quarter of this year compared with the same three months in 2015.

Figures yesterday from industry measurement body Rajar confirmed that the publicly-funded BBC Radio Ulster remains the north's most listened-to radio station, with a weekly reach of 546,000 in January, February and March - that's up from 524,000 a year ago.

And in the commercial sector Cool FM leads the way with 388,00 listeners (up from 349,000), while 229,000 people are now listening to U105 every week (180,000 last time).

Cool's sister station Downtown lost 5,000 listeners year on year, while the Q Radio group, which takes in the former Belfast Citybeat as well as stations covering Derry, South Derry and West Tyrone, the Causeway Coast, Newry & Mourne, Mid-Ulster and Antrim/Ballymena, also took a big hit when measured against 2015.

U105 manager Peter McVerry said the weekly reach for the station, up 27 per cent on the same period last year, and total hours listened every week (up 20 per cent up year-on-year from 1.8m to 2.1m hours) was "superb".

He said: “The ongoing success of U105 is down to the immense talent and huge dedication of the wonderful team we have here, both on-air and off-air, as well as the consistent support from our advertisers and listeners.

“The coming months are very exciting for U105 as we have some fantastic promotions planned and some very exciting announcements to make.”

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Top local radio stations (weekly listeners) Q1 2016 v Q1 2015:

- Radio Ulster - 546,000 (up from 524,000)

- Cool FM - 388,00 (up from 349,000)

- U105 - 229,000 (up from 180,000)

- Downtown - 294,000 (down from 299,000)

- Q Radio Group - 248,000 (down from 274,000)

Source: Rajar

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