In the last six months Nick Grimshaw has lost nearly one million listeners from the Radio 1 Breakfast show. Should they panic? Does it matter?
If you consider the figures haven’t been this low since Sara Cox was in charges a decade ago it must be worrying, even if they are not admitting so publicly. Chris Moyles was a very divisive presenter with as many who hated him as loved him so whoever claimed the morning shift was going to take time to settle in. The idea with Grimmy was to bring in a younger audience to the station and try to shed the over 25s – the problem for them is that the average age of Radio 1 listeners was 32 during the Moyles era and to remove him and expect figures to stay the same was never going to happen.
I was one of those who left the station when Moyles left as I knew I’d be guaranteed a laugh in the morning and I was also more than aware of his OTT faux rants not being real and just enjoying them. The big difference for me was the music – what the Radio 1 playlist is full of is a bizarre mix of rap and dance which rarely bothers the charts for more than a week. Moving away from the pop lead playlist will bring in new listeners but there’s 1xtra which effectively does that with that playlist already. Most people moved either to Chris Evans on Radio 2 or to 6 music’s breakfast show with Shaun Keaveny from Radio 1 and Grimmy didn’t even get a nomination for this week’s Sony Radio awards. It would be churlish to point out that Moyles won to gold, one silver and two bronze awards between 2006 and 2011 – the only year he didn’t win (2007) he was still nominated.
Churlish because he’d been presenting the show for two years before there was any recognition so Grimmy still has time. I’m not a fan but it’s not made for me, either in style or music. Music is changing with the way we buy it and the huge variety of styles out there Radio 2 is the most listened to station in the UK because it represents nearly every type of music, maybe radio 1 have just narrowed their playlist too far and need to recognise that good pop music is worth playing too.