Scottish Daily Mail

BBC Radio Scotland – it’s a big turn-off

- By Mark Howarth

LISTENERS are continuing to desert BBC Radio Scotland, figures have revealed.

Over the past year, its audience has shrunk again – by 31,000.

Between July and September this year, 870,000 people tuned in for at least five minutes a week. That compares with 901,000 in the same period in 2016 and 948,000 for the third quarter of 2015.

The figures – produced by industry data body Radio Joint Audience Research (RAJAR) – showed BBC Radio Scotland remains the most widely listened to homegrown station.

But it has haemorrhag­ed 8 per cent of its listeners in only two years.

The latest figures are the first since BBC Scotland’s head of radio, Jeff Zycinski, announced his intention to resign in July.

His departure – scheduled for next year – comes as BBC Scotland director Donalda MacKinnon is planning an overhaul for the troubled broadcaste­r.

A BBC Scotland spokesman said: ‘RAJAR figures are subject to a degree of fluctuatio­n and it is worth noting they have also gone up between quarters over the last couple of years.

‘Although reach is down this quarter, the drop is not statistica­lly significan­t. We’re sure our audiences will enjoy our packed winter schedule.’

UK-wide, BBC Radio 5 Live also lost nearly half a million listeners this year, as sports fans turn elsewhere for news.

The station – which devotes huge swathes of airtime to football and rugby – now gets fewer than 5.07million listeners every week, down nearly 8 per cent from more than 5.50million a year ago.

By contrast, commercial stations Forth 1 and 2 – which cover Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife – attracted an additional 79,000 listeners, while Kingdom FM in Fife increased its audience by 11,000.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom