U.K. national AC network BBC Radio 2 has achieved a strong quarterly result according to data released by official research body RAJAR (Radio Joint Audience Research Ltd).

The station, which has just appointed Bob Shennan as its new controller, remains the most popular national radio network in the U.K. According to RAJAR, it has a weekly reach of 13.47 million listeners for the quarter ending in December, up from 13.06 million the previous quarter.

The Radio 2 figure compares to a weekly reach of 12.82 million for the same quarter last year. Its audience share was 15.8%, up slightly on the year (15.7%) and down slightly from 16% for the previous quarter.

The network's "Wake Up To Wogan" show has 7.96 million listeners tuning in each week, up from 7.74 million last quarter and 7.73 million in the same quarter last year.

National top 40 station BBC Radio 1 got 10.58 million listeners per week in the quarter, down from 10.69 million last year and 10.87 million last quarter. Its share stands at 10.1% - up on last quarter (9.8%) but slightly down on last year (10.3%).

Meanwhile, commercial modern rock network Absolute Radio has posted an "expected drop" in the RAJAR figures, according to a statement. It rebranded on Sept. 29 following the purchase of the Virgin station by the Mumbai-based Times Infotainment Media Ltd. (TIML) - a division of media giant Times of India Group - from U.K. media group SMG in June.

The station's reach is down quarter on quarter with a drop of 17.1% in London and 19.6% nationally. The national reach for Absolute Radio is now 1.89 million, down from 2.35 million the previous quarter, according to RAJAR.

However, Absolute says average listening hours are the highest since June 2006 at 6.6 hours per week.

"Absolute Radio has had just 15 weeks to sink into the nation's ears, Virgin Radio had had 15 years," said Clive Dickens, COO of Absolute Radio, in a statement. "Our independent research has shown that our marketing campaign is working and awareness has doubled and a quarter of the population are already aware of the brand. This multi-million investment in marketing will continue, building on this foundation."

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