Thursday, November 26, 2009

Latest review of CBC Radio 2 market share

Well, it’s that time of year again, the end of a quarter and time for us to review how CBC Radio 2’s market share has changed since the CBC management embarked upon the disastrous restructuring program that was initiated in March 2007. As you may recall from previous analyses featured here, we are comparing CBC Radio 2’s market share from S1 2007, the last quarter before the CBC began to restructure CBC Radio 2’s programming and the latest quarter’s market share (S3 2009, as measured by the Bureau of Broadcast Measurement).

You may also recall that the CBC management initiated the program changes to broaden the appeal of CBC Radio 2 in an attempt to make CBC Radio 2 ‘more relevant to Canadians’ and, presumably, to gain more listeners. We now have a full ten quarters of market share data with which we can assess the success of Phase I of the restructuring and four quarters of data to use in assessing the success, or lack thereof of the final phase of the restructuring, Phase III.

So, how has the restructuring program fared? Not so well, as it turns out. While total radio listenership has increased 3.4% (or by 695,800 listeners) in the cities surveyed by the BBM, the total market share for CBC Radio 2 in these same cities has declined by 13.1%, or by 92,800 listeners. Obviously, this is not good if your intention when initiating these changes was to increase listenership.

What can we say about this? That CBC management was misguided in initiating these changes? That they should have consulted the listeners of CBC Radio 2 before launching this new programming? That, once begun, CBC management should have listened to the storm of protests that resulted from the announced changes? That CBC should recognize their errors and try to correct them? That those responsible within the CBC for making these changes should be held accountable for the havoc they have wreaked? All of the above, and much more.

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