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 pounds 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 pounds 3m to pounds 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 pounds 8.5m to pounds 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 over 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 30-something market. Having a 34-year-old presenter can only be a good thing. Jamie is a good media all-rounder."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
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

Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Equity | New York

Not specified: Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Global Equity | New Yor...

Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation

Not specified: Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation This top tiered investment...

Selby Jennings: Oil Operations

Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?