Ken Bruce more than doubles Greatest Hits Radio audience

Ken Bruce more than doubles Greatest Hits Radio audience
L-R: BBC Radio 2's Vernon Kay and Zoe Ball and former BBC presenter Ken Bruce on Bauer's Greatest Hits Radio.

Ken Bruce’s Greatest Hits Radio mid-morning show attracted 3.7 million weekly listeners last quarter, up 124% year-on-year, according to the latest Rajar figures.

Bruce joined the Bauer station in March this year, taking the 10am-1pm slot on Greatest Hits Radio after 31 years at the BBC.

Vernon Kay took over Ken Bruce’s BBC Radio 2 9.30am-12pm slot in May, so this quarter is the first full reporting period for the show’s weekly audience reach, impacts and total hours with him as presenter.

The slot attracted 6.9 million weekly listeners, a decrease of 19% year-on-year, though flat quarter-on-quarter. This could be seen as stabilising a decline seen for the slot previously, where from Q1 2023 to Q2 2023 there was a 16% drop in weekly audience reach.

BBC Radio 2 reports on quarterly data and Greatest Hits Radio uses a six-month reporting period like other radio networks like Global’s Heart and Capital. 

Both stations have a target audience of adults aged 35+. For this demographic, Kay’s show saw 6 million weekly listeners compared to 3.2 million for Bruce in Q3 2023.
However, where this has been steadily declining for the BBC Radio 2 timeslot, Greatest Hits Radio’s reach in this segment has been increasing.

Simon Kilby, managing director of Bauer Media Advertising, told The Media Leader the strategy for Greatest Hits Radio has been investing in great talent, like Simon Mayo, Kate Thornton and Martin Kemp. He called recruiting Ken Bruce from BBC Radio 2 the strategy’s “biggest success story”.

“50 years in to the commercial radio journey and our audience is at an all-time high,” he said. Along with continued innovation, this is down to brilliant broadcasters who are experts at connecting with listeners. Across the commercial audio sector, we’re investing in great talent.”

Kilby added: “This set of RAJAR results has shown the success of this strategy — be that Jordan and Perri on KISS, Ronan Keating on Magic Radio or Dave Berry on Absolute Radio — with growth across each of these brands. Ultimately, this intimate connection between host and listener creates a great environment for brands to reach engaged audience.”

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