The Bauer station saw its audience grow 11.7 year-on-year (14.4% quarter on quarter) to 2.29 million, fractionally ahead of Radio 2, which had 2.28 million listeners in London, according to Rajar figures for the second quarter of 2011.
Global Radio’s Capital London station, which last quarter regained its crown as London’s biggest commercial radio station, lost ground.
Its audience was down 4.7% in the quarter to 2.08 million, although breakfast duo Johnny Vaughan and Lisa Snowdon remain London’s favourite commercial breakfast show, with 1.14 million listeners every week.
Bauer Media group managing director radio Dee Ford said that Bauer’s strategy of dividing its stations into Place (for local stations, including 105.4 in London) and Passion (for bigger brands) portfolios was paying dividend.
“I am particularly pleased to see Magic 105.4 return to number one spot in London, with the largest reach of all music stations, including the BBC,” she said.
“Commercial radio as a whole is performing very well and listening hours are up across the board.”
Among the national music radio brands, black music station 1Xtra was the star performer for the BBC. The digital station saw its reach increase 65.3% year on year (11.2% quarter on quarter) to 0.99 million.
Meanwhile, fellow digital station 6Music, whose listenership has grown strongly since the BBC announced last year it was to be shut – a decision since reversed – experienced a fall in listeners, with its reach down 2.1% on the quarter to 1.27 million.
Both Radio 1 and Radio 2 were fairly stable. The former saw its audience fall 1.1% in the quarter to 11.69 million, while Radio 2’s reach fell 3.9% in the same period to 13.97 million.
Chris Evans’ Radio 2 breakfast show lost 517,000 listeners in the quarter – wiping out the 460,000 gain it made in Q1 – while Chris Moyles at Radio 1 lost 80,000 listeners in the same period.