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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 July, 2003, 12:48 GMT 13:48 UK
Row brews over radio audiences
Radio dial
Rajar measures audiences with diaries
Radio boss Kelvin MacKenzie is threatening legal action against the body that tracks radio audiences after it rejected his idea for a new measuring system.

Radio Joint Audience Research (Rajar) has opted to stick with its tracking method, in which listeners keep a diary of what they have heard, rather than move to an electronic meter.

But MacKenzie, head of radio station Talksport, says the current system ignores millions of people who listen to his radio station.

Under his proposed system, run by German media company GfK, users wear a wristwatch-style meter which records everything he or she hears.

MacKenzie says Talksport's audience would be eight million under this measuring system, while the current method gives the station a listenership of just over two million.

MacKenzie, former editor of the Sun newspaper, said on Tuesday he would consider suing Rajar after it rejected his idea.

Kelvin MacKenzie
Kelvin MacKenzie says Talksport is missing out on advertising revenue
Rajar has trialled the meters over a period of 15 months but decided there were doubts over the accuracy.

It also felt the meters could not distinguish well enough between different sources such as FM radio, digital radio and radio heard via digital TV.

The new system would also need to involve six times more listeners.

The decision did not mean electronic measurement will never be used, said Jane O'Hara, managing director of Rajar.

"The time frame is just 'not yet'," she added.

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