XFM DWINDLES AND THE BEAT GOES ON

But Glasgow and Edinburgh get a new alternative station...

XFM‘s latest quarterly listening figures from the Radio Joint Audience Research, the independent radio auditing body, show that the station’s listening figures have dropped from a high of 329,000 to 244,000 for the the period between September and December on 1998.

That’s a fall from the previous quarter when the figures were 283,000, though the station was still shedding listeners.

“I’m quite content with those figures,” Richard Park, Capital Radio MD told nme.com. “These figures are just a snapshot and there will be another one in three months. It’s still very early days.”

“To be fair, when we met Richard Park in December he led us to believe that he expected these figures and that they won’t come as any great surprise to him,” said Kris Stewart from Demonstration X, the campaigning body opposed to the changes that Capital made to the related news

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station when they took over. “To me, though, the most telling thing about these latest RAJAR figures is the length of time that people are actually listening to the station. That’s down. We’ve always said that the rigid playlist is what puts people off the station.”

Richard Park wouldn’t be drawn on changes that would take place during the proposed relaunch of the station or when he expected that the figures would improve.

“The problem is that I don’t have a crystal ball,” he said. “We’re in this for the long haul. We didn’t get into this just to let it go now. It’s still early days.”

Meanwhile Beat FM – a consortium fronted by Del Amitri‘s Justin Currie, Sharleen Spitteri from Texas along with Ally McCoist, Carole Smiley and T In The Park and King Tut‘s promoter Stuart Clumpas – have been successful in their bid for a new central Scotland franchise. Beat FM will cover the Glasgow and Edinburgh and is aimed at a 15 to 25 year old audience with an emphasis of new music, rock and dance. Among the rival bidders was Alan McGee‘s XFM-style station.

Crisis? What crisis? Are you one of the 244,000 XFM listeners? Why do you still tune in? Will the Scottish station be any better? Do the names Justin Currie, Ally McCoist and Carole Smiley fill you with confidence? Tell us what you think. Post a message on Angst!

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