CBC Radio loses ground in Ottawa

Mark Brownlee
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The number of people listening to CBC Radio One in Ottawa fell more than 10 per cent in the fall of 2012 as the public broadcaster lost market share to competitors in private radio, according to ratings released Thursday.

(Stock image)

The report from BBM Canada showed the number of people who listened to CBC Radio One in Ottawa for at least 15 minutes in a week dropped to 191,200 this fall, down from 213,800 in the same period in 2011.

That’s less than Newcap Radio’s top-40 music station Hot 89.9, which reached 226,900 listeners, up from 180,200 a year earlier.

However, CBC Radio One held onto the top spot in terms of market share, calculated by dividing the number hours tuned into a station by the total hours turned into all radio.

The public broadcaster had a 15.9-per-cent share, down from 20.5 per cent a year earlier. Hot 89.9’s market share grew from 9.4 per cent in the fall of 2011 to 13 per cent this year.

News-talk station CFRA was third in market share at 10.2 per cent, down from 10.6 per cent.

Dan Mellon, broadcasting professor at Algonquin College and former director of several Ontario private radio stations, said the ratings are significant for national companies that often base advertising decisions on these numbers.

He said that despite the decline, CBC’s numbers are close to its four-year average.

The top five radio stations during the fall 2012 ratings period, measured by number of listeners who spent at least 15 minutes tuned into that station in a week:

-Hot 89.9: 226,900

-CBC Radio One: 191,200

-Majic 100: 114,400

-Kiss FM: 113,300

-CFRA: 105,700

Organizations: Algonquin College, CBC Radio, BBM Canada

Geographic location: Ottawa, Ontario

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