If yesterday's pre-Rajar announcement that Absolute was expecting a ten-to-fifteen per cent drop in audience was supposed to manage expectations down, they perhaps didn't go far enough. Audiences are twenty per cent down on what they were before.
Brave faces all round, people:
The Absolute chief operating officer Clive Dickens, who blamed the drop on listener confusion over the station's new name, said: "Absolute Radio has had just 15 weeks to sink into the nation's ears.
"When Oasis were 15 weeks old they told everyone they were going to be one of the biggest bands in the world. Fifteen years on, now look at them. We have the same aspirations."
Hmm. When Bagsy The Magic Spanner were 15 weeks old, they told everyone they were going to be one of the biggest bands in the world. So did Combine Thresher. And Explore The Big Teapot. And the thing is, Absolute isn't fifteen weeks old. It's an old, old radio station that just happens to have a different name. And if the rebrand has cost you one out of five of your audience, then it's a rebrand you've failed to carry off successfully. Making empty Gallagher-like noises about how you're going to be the Oasis of the Radio Industry can't really disguise the terrible sink the network is in.
Also interesting from the latest batch of audience numbers: Chris Moyles audience is more-or-less the same as it was this time last year, raising the intriguing possibility that he's at the natural limits of his attraction.