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Nothing sets the blood of radio bosses pounding more than the imminent release of the quarterly listening figures. Who's up, who's down and whose jobs may be on the line.

Audience measurement of UK radio is presently based on a diary system, where a sample of the population notes down its listening over a given survey period. It is administered by RAJAR, Radio Joint Audience Research, and covers BBClocal radio, network radio, and commercial radio, both local and national.

Each of the UK's 300-plus stations has a defined geographical Total Survey Area (TSA) in which there is a population aged 15 or over. A station's reach is the number of people in that area who listen to a particular station for more than five minutes in a ...

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