New Zealand Media and Entertainment is claiming success in the latest radio ratings survey, despite its rival MediaWorks scoring the most listeners in the Auckland market for the first time.

NZME. bosses says new initiatives are not yet fully established in this radio ratings survey for Auckland and nationally.

The company -- formerly The Radio Network -- says it is pleased with early results for new brand The Hits (formerly Classic Hits).

Auckland daytime station Mix98.2 FM, changes to the line up for ZM and a shake-up of Auckland frequencies that led to a ratings fall for Radio Sport in Auckland.


MediaWorks Radio chief executive Wendy Palmer said the shift in the overall landscape was driven by uniform success across the company's radio brands, including "the biggest ever audiences" recorded for RadioLIVE, The Sound, The Breeze, George and Kiwi FM, she said.

"The standout success again this survey was The Edge, which has now been the number one radio network in New Zealand for five consecutive years, and launched a TV channel in July. The Edge grew its number of listeners to 465,300, well ahead of the next music station which dropped to 344,600 listeners, she said.

For NZME. once again the survey shows that NZME.'s Newstalk ZB - with breakfast host Mike Hosking -- maintaining its dominant position both in Auckland, and nationally.

Hosking's breakfast show lost 1.4 per cent of its Auckland audience to 18.4 per cent but was still 11 points ahead of its nearest rival for most popular station. Mediaworks' younger oriented The Edge had a 7.8 per cent share of the market.

Figures do not include National Radio with shows such as Morning report or Concert FM.

NewstalkZB remains far and away the most listened-to radio station, drawing 12.2 per cent of the total New Zealand audience aged over 10.

NZME.'s Radio Hauraki -- which was one of the early initiatives under a shake-up by new CEO Jane Hastings -- was up across most demographics and day parts in the latest survey.

NZME. Managing Director Dean Buchanan said that the company was pleased by the debut at 1.2 per cent market share for The Mix - the Auckland only daytime station that took over the Auckland FM frequency previously held by Radio Sport.


Dean Buchanan said that the results were "better than we thought we would they would be at this stage" and it was a strong result.

Several of the new initiatives were bedding in, he said.

"Radio Sport in Auckland lost 11,000 listeners when the frequency changed to the Mix 98.2 which gained 29000 listeners."

"Commercially the move has produced a greater audience to monetise and the growth in iHeartRadio RadioSport listening (33,837 in September), means that overall Radio Sport audience has actually grown so it's a good news story all round."

In particular the NZME. digital initiative iHeart Radio was also having a impact, he said.

He believed the impact of iHeart Radio was illustrated by the significant fall in the number of Auckland teenagers listening to radio. NZME. listeners aged 10-17 years old were down by 5 per cent and Mediaworks was down 6.6 per cent,

The commercial radio market is a duopoly divided between NZME., and Mediaworks who, who have typically around 50:50 shares with. NZME., has traditionally been bigger in Auckland.

MediaWorks pointed to figures showing hat for the first time it drew a bigger share of Auckland listeners than NZME. -- 42.9 per cent compared to 41.6 per cent.

Despite the figures, NZME. was able to smile, producing a mock video of Mike Hosking explaining how to retain the Number One Breakfast spot.

NZME., (formerly APN) is the owner of the New Zealand Herald.