Theakston drafted in to give Heart a lift

Heart, the flagship Chrysalis radio station in London, is to jettison the long-standing host of its breakfast show in favour of Jamie Theakston, in an attempt to revive its audience figures.

The company will spend up to £1m promoting Mr Theakston, 34, a former children's TV presenter and ex-Radio 1 DJ. Heart 106.2FM, which launched nearly 10 years ago and is aimed at women in their thirties, will take the fight for breakfast-time audiences to Capital Radio's 95.8FM - which installed a new morning host, Johnny Vaughan, last year. Heart also has Emap's Magic and SMG's Virgin Radio in its sights in the lucrative London market.

The retirement last year of Chris Tarrant, who hosted the market-leading breakfast show on Capital 95.8 for 20 years, kicked off a radio war in London, as rivals sensed the opportunity to steal listeners who had been loyal to Mr Tarrant. It is estimated that Capital spent £3m to £4m promoting Mr Vaughan last year.

Jono Coleman, the 46-year-old Australian who had hosted the all-important morning show on Heart for the past six years, will not have his contract renewed, Chrysalis said yesterday. He is to vacate the slot in the next few weeks.

Analysts at Numis Securities yesterday cut their 2005 profit forecast for Chrysalis from £8.5m to £7.5m. In a research note, Numis said: "Following three disappointing quarters' audience numbers in 2004, Chrysalis has taken decisive action to improve audiences.... The change in breakfast show presenter is a risk as well as an opportunity in our view."

Late in 2003, Heart briefly overtook Capital 95.8's market share overall - though not at breakfast - but it has been in retreat ever since. Last week, Heart was beaten into third place in London by Magic, in the overall figures for the last quarter of 2004. For the breakfast show, Heart recorded an audience of 748,000 for the last quarter of 2004, compared with more than 1 million at Capital 95.8.

Steve Parkinson, the managing director of Heart 106.2, said: "We're moving the station on to mirror our thirty-something market. Having a 34-year-old presenter can only be a good thing. Jamie is a good media all-rounder."

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Citifocus Ltd: Newly Qualified Accountants - Risk Mgmt

£Attractive Package: Citifocus Ltd: Prestigious financial institution seeks to...

Citifocus Ltd: Operational Risk Analyst

£Negotiable: Citifocus Ltd: Experienced operational risk professional with ban...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development - Telecommunications - £50,000 OTE

£25000 per annum + £50,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: London, Reading , Southend, Al...

Recruitment Genius: Call Centre Agent - £22,000 OTE

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a Call Centre Agent you will...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital