ABC Radio Canberra reclaims ratings lead amid turmoil
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ABC Radio Canberra reclaims ratings lead amid turmoil

The ABC has reclaimed top spot in Canberra's radio ratings, climbing back above commercial stations Mix 106.3 and Hit 104.7.

The latest GfK Radio Ratings Survey radio survey delivered some good news for the public broadcaster, which has been plunged into turmoil this week by the sacking of managing director Michelle Guthrie and resignation of chairman Justin Milne, who told Ms Guthrie to fire journalist Emma Alberici and political editor Andrew Probyn.

ABC Radio Canberra Breakfast presenter Dan Bourchier, whose program remains the most popular breakfast radio show in the capital despite dropping 0.3 share points.

ABC Radio Canberra Breakfast presenter Dan Bourchier, whose program remains the most popular breakfast radio show in the capital despite dropping 0.3 share points.

The new ratings, covering July to September, show ABC Canberra rose 1.8 percentage points to 15.2 per cent, catapulting the ABC from third place to the top spot in the Monday to Friday ACT market.

Hit 104.7 dropped from first to third, down from 16 per cent to 14.4 per cent, while Mix 103.6 retained second place despite falling from 15.7 per cent to 14.8 per cent.

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ABC Canberra's biggest gains came from Chris Bath's Evenings program, which jumped 7.1 share points to 22.6 per cent.

The public broadcaster's Canberra programs were up across the board, with the only exception being the Breakfast show, anchored by Dan Bourchier, which remained the most popular program in its time slot despite losing 0.3 share points as 2RN jumped 4.9 per cent.

ABC Canberra editor Michelle Ainsworth said the survey showed how in touch its presenters and producers were with locals.

“ABC Radio Canberra is the only station in the market to provide day-long local news and information, and this survey shows there’s an increasing appetite for that," she said.

“The station is in a strong position leading into 2019.”

ABC Canberra topped the radio ratings this time last year, but dramatically fell to third in the survey released in April following an upheaval of on-air talent that included the loss of Genevieve Jacobs.

The broadcaster clawed back ground in the ratings released in July, but remained in third place and did not reclaim top spot until the latest survey.

While Hit 104.7 has lost top spot overall, it remains the station of choice among young Canberrans, topping the latest ratings in the 10-17 and 25-39 age categories. It fell just short of Triple J in the 18-24 age category.

Mix 106.3 is still comfortably the most popular station among those aged between 40 and 54, with its share in that category still nearly double that of its nearest rival despite a 4.5 per cent drop.

Blake Foden is a reporter at the Sunday Canberra Times. He has worked as a journalist in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.

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