Wales

BBC Radio Wales and Cymru listener figures at 16-year low

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Media captionCulture, Welsh language and communications committee chairwoman Bethan Jenkins said it would look into how people access news

The BBC's two national radio stations for Wales have recorded their lowest listening figures this century.

BBC Radio Wales lost 47,000 listeners between April and June, while Radio Cymru lost 9,000, according to radio audience researchers Rajar.

The weekly reach of both is now at its lowest level since at least 1999.

BBC Wales said listeners were tuning into Radio Wales for longer and Radio Cymru "remains a favourite station among fluent Welsh speakers".

Radio Wales reached a weekly audience of 333,000 listeners, a fall of 47,000 on the previous three months. It lost 75,000 listeners compared to the same period last year.

Radio Cymru had a weekly reach of 103,000 listeners between April and June, a fall of 9,000 compared to the previous quarter. Year on year, Radio Cymru's audience fell by 13,000 listeners.

Listening data compiled by industry observers, Media.info, showed the weekly reach of both stations had hit a 17-year low.

Image caption The listener figures for BBC Radio Wales and Radio Cymru for the second quarter of each year since 2008

A BBC Wales spokesman said: "Rajar figures are a helpful snapshot of live listening.

"The latest figures show a slight drop in listening over the past quarter for Radio Cymru, but it's encouraging that it remains a favourite station among fluent Welsh speakers in Wales.

"The fall in Radio Wales' reach figures is disappointing - but it's encouraging that Radio Wales listeners are tuning in for longer than they were previously."

Radio Cymru will launch a temporary station, Radio Cymru Mwy, in September which will broadcast online and on DAB digital radio in south east Wales for three months.

The latest listening figures do not take account of catch-up listening or podcast downloads, though Rajar says more than 98% of listening still happens live.

Image caption The listener figures for Welsh radio stations with audiences over 100,000

There were mixed fortunes for Wales' commercial radio sector compared to the previous quarter.

Capital FM's weekly audience grew in south Wales to 189,000 listeners - a rise of 19,000 - while its north Wales station also recorded an increase to 171,000 listeners - a jump of 16,000.

Heart lost 15,000 listeners in the north, reaching a weekly audience of 124,000, while it added 1,000 listeners in the south to reach an audience of 460,000.

There were increased weekly listeners for Smooth Radio South Wales, Swansea Sound, Bridge FM, Nation Radio and Radio Pembrokeshire.

But weekly audiences declined for Radio Carmarthenshire and Scarlet FM, as well as for The Wave in Swansea.

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