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ftm Radio Page - week ending June 16, 2017

New direction loses public radio audience
format competition moves otherwise

New Polish national radio audience estimates were released this week. The three month (March - May) survey shows, among other tidbits, further depreciating State broadcaster Polskie Radio (PR) channels. Ranking changes were slight, at least at the top. The Millward Brown Radio Track data was provided, as usual, by Polish media portal (June 14).

RMF FM held top top position with a commanding lead over all others in the national survey of persons 15 to 75, up slightly to 25.2% market share from 25.0% year on year. Perennial second place Radio ZET dropped to 13.3% market share from 13.6%. RMF FM is a full service adult contemporary (A/C) channel principally owned by Bauer Media. Radio ZET is also a full service A/C channel, principally owned by Lagardère Active Radio. Both have national coverage. (See Poland national radio market share trend chart here - in Resources)

The other full service A/C channel is Polskie Radio Jedynka, which held third place, dropping to 8.0% market share, lowest in years, from 8.4%. Dropping even more conspicuously, though remaining 4th, was alternative music channel PR Trojka, 7.0% market share from 8.0%. All Polskie Radio channels underwent management and programming changes last year, reflecting direction from the ruling populist/nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party. (See more about media in Poland here) Cultural channel PR Dwojka was slightly down at 0.5% market share. All news PR Radio 24, new to FM distribution last September, was up slightly to 0.4%.

Fifth place went to dance “super regional” channel VOX FM, up slightly to 4.2% market share. Next came the two channels gaining most one year on. News and information TOK FM, principally owned by publisher Agora, placed 6th with 2.4% market share, up from 1.9%. Alternative rock channel Antyradio, principally owned by Lagardère Active Radio, rose to 7th in the rankings to 1.8% market share from 1.3%. Religious channel Radio Maryja fell to 8th with 1.6% market share.

Change in news programs sparks outbursts
"What's good is good"

Dutch public broadcaster NPO Radio 1 investigative news programs Argos and Reporter Radio will no longer have weekly one-hour slots but will alternate every other week. Budgets will be significantly reduced. Both programs will move to Saturday afternoon, the normal time slot for Argos, from January 1st. A draft of NPO’s 2018 strategic plan for radio (Jaarplan Radio 2018) was obtained by Volkskrant (June 15).

Radio 1 station manager Laurens Borst described the reductions as benefiting the program’s quality. "We want to invest in quality and impact. It's still premature to say that certain programs are getting less broadcasting time or budget.” The NPO board will vote of the annual plan by the end of June with an official report in September, major changes are not expected.

“Year after year we get compliments, now Borst says suddenly we are not innovative enough. In times of fake news, NPO must invest in hardcore investigations,” said Argos editorial director Kees van den Bosch. “Instead, they delete 26 hours of Argos and 30 percent of our budget. Whoever calls that a decision on quality, argues like a bookkeeper.” (See more about media in the Netherlands here)

This being the digital age, reactions to the news jumped out all over social media. “Really wrong development this,” noted retired Dutch politician and diplomat Frans Weisglas. “These programs are the core of public broadcasting.” Also on Twitter, quoted by (June 15), said another politician, “How is investigative journalism ‘not innovative enough’? What’s good is good.”

Public broadcasting has a unique organzation in the Netherlands. NPO acts, essentially, as a distributor for programs and segments produced by NGOs and special interest groups, some being political. Argos is produced by VPRO, originally the broadcaster of the Protestant church, VARA, originally the amateur radio association, and Human, a humanist organizsation. Reporter Radio is produced by KRO-NCRV, a joint broadcasting service of the Catholic and Dutch Reformed churches. Both programs have won Dutch and international awards for reporting. Argos has been on the air for 25 years.


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