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ftm Radio Page - week ending November 17, 2017

Audience expects show hosts to fit channel, not really loyal

French media measurement institute Médiamétrie released this week national radio audience for the September-October period, known as the rentreé, arguably the most important for the end-of-year holiday retail advertising season. It’s arrival is always anticipated, sometimes with glee, sometimes dread. This year is no different; well, maybe a little different.

Legacy national general interest channel RTL is, again, on top of the rankings. For that, it is rarely challenged. RTL’s audience share, Monday through Friday, bumped up to 12.8% from 12.5% year on year. Time spent listening was also up.

Public radio news and talk channel France Inter, still number two, took a sizable hit. Audience share for the period dropped to 10.1% from 11.6%. Time spent listening also too a major hit. In the last six months France Inter lost major executives and show hosts. Aside from this, the September-October period was good to Radio France. The France Bleu network got a boost, 6.7% audience share - 4th place - from 6.4%. All-news channel France Info rose to 3.8% audience share - 8th place - from 3.4%. France Culture and France Musiques were both up. On aggregate, the Radio France channels were up as slice, to 25.1% audience share.

RMC, the national news and talk channel with plenty of sports and business, is in third place with 6.9% audience share up from 6.4%.

The big story within French media circles, perhaps the only one for a day or so, is the continued slide of general interest channel Europe 1. It has dropped to 6th place nationally, 5.6% audience share from 6.6% year on year. “Free-fall” is how Le Monde (November 16) described its plight.

Owner Lagardère Group enticed, noted above, highly respected Radio France director Frédéric Schlesinger and several notable show hosts. It hurt France Inter, clearly, but listeners did not, it seems, move with their favorite talk show hosts. “The main thing is that we stop the bleeding,” said M. Schlesinger, quoted by Le Parisian (November 16). “We can't reverse the situation in forty days. Our only ambition is to be at 9 audience share points in three years.” (See French national radio audience estimates trend chart here in Resources)

Less exciting were results for the French national music channels. NRJ claimed 5th place, down to 6.2% audience share from 6.6% one year on. Fun Radio was also down, to 9th with 3.7% audience share. Nostalgie and RTL2 were up a bit. Aggregate audience share for commercial channels fell slightly to 70.2% from 70.4%.

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The Czech radio market, like many others, is undergoing brand consolidation, affecting the national Radio Projekt STEM/MARK audience estimates rankings. A new “super-regional” designation combines, at least for marketing purposes, co-branded local stations shifting, somewhat, the rankings. And, in the process, some stations have disappeared into the competitive never-never land.

At the top of the March through September (Q3 and Q3) national rankings, as it has been for years, is Radio Impuls, a general interest national channel, pop music and lots of news and talk shows. Its daily reach rose, year on year, 3.7%. Non-broadcast attention to Radio Impuls has come in recent months as an asset, through the Mafra subsidiary of Agrofert Holding, principally owned by Andrej Babis, prime minister-designate after his ANO party claimed a plurality of legislative seats in October elections. Though forced to place the Argofert assets, including Radio Impuls and to daily newspapers, in a trust fund, Mr. Babis will become when the Czech parliament seats next week the most visible European politician to own media outlets since Silvio Berlusconi. (See more about media in the Czech Republic here)

Dance/urban hit music national channel Evropa 2 moved into 2nd place, from 4th one year on. Sister channel Frekvence 1 moved from 2nd place to 4th. Both are owned by Lagardère Active CR, subsidiary of French media house Lagardère. Differences between the channels are “within statistical error,” said STEM/MARK researcher Pavel Simonik, quoted by (November 9). The company recently upgraded video marketing for low-rated Dance Radio, noted (November 14). (See Czech radio national reach trend chart here in Resources)

Within that “statistical error” is Czech public radio (Cesky rozhlas - CRo) national news and talk channel Radiozurnal, remaining in 3rd place. Family-oriented CRo Dvojka, formerly Radio Praha, dropped 15% in daily reach year on year for 8th place overall. Classical music and arts channel CRo Vitava was up slightly, ranked 20th.

Media Bohemia converted the Hitradio, Fajn Radio and Radio Blanik franchises to a super-regional status within the last year. Radio United, principally owned by Czech billionaire Ivan Zach, did the same with the Kiss branded stations.

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