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Wireless Group PLC (TWG)

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Thursday 29 July, 2004

Wireless Group PLC

London Radio Audience Survey

Wireless Group PLC
29 July 2004

                             CAPITAL BEATS HEART IN
                            RADIO BATTLE FOR LONDON
                    -- according to technology-based research
                                        
                  Today's GfK media survey results reveal that
                    Johnny Vaughan station leads by 159,000
                                        
Capital FM is winning the radio ratings battle for London, with the Johnny
Vaughan-led station posting an impressive 159,000-listener lead over its closest
rival, Heart 106.2.

These are today's real results from the GfK broadcast survey or radio and TV
audiences -- the first of its kind to use an electronic audience measurement
system in the UK. The technology is based upon an electronic wrist watch which
picks up radio listening and records it minute by minute.

Using this technology, Capital is seen to be holding steady at 2.6 million,
whereas Heart -- led by Johnny's breakfast rival Jono Coleman -- is in
free-fall, having lost a massive 200,000 listeners.

In contrast, RAJAR -- the official radio ratings body that relies on people
filling out diaries that depend on their remembering what they listen to --
reports the complete opposite with their results today. According to the
memory-based diary system, Johnny Vaughan's Capital is the big loser, with his
station suffering a 10% crash in weekly reach (-234,000 adults) -- whereas
rival Heart is up 8%.

RAJAR's shocking result for local London station LBC -- showing it losing more
than 100,000 listeners (-14%) -- is in stark contrast to GfK, which shows the
newly-revamped speech station increasing its reach by 12% or 160,000.

The national radio ratings, according to RAJAR, show several inexplicable wild
swings over the previous quarter. BBC Five Live suffers a punishing loss of
390,000 listeners. Lack of football in the quarter cannot be the explanation, as
talkSPORT's audience is stable, actually increasing under RAJAR by 0.7% (from
2.141m to 2.155m). Five Live's collapse is even harder to explain when RAJAR
also reports in the same breath that its digital sister station, Five Live
Sports Extra, actually increased audience by an impressive 12.5%!

Kelvin MacKenzie, Chairman and Chief Executive of The Wireless Group which owns
talkSPORT, said: ' Watching hapless -- and in most cases, hopeless -- radio
executives trying to make diaries work would be a constant source of amusement
for me if it weren't such a serious matter for my business and for the radio
industry.

'This is too important to be a laughing matter, as hundreds of millions of
pounds are being mis-spent year in year out. Fortunes and company's futures are
determined by these ludicrous figures. Just look at the battle between Capital
and Heart if you need any more proof of how a redundant diary system is cheating
not just broadcasters but all those who invest in the radio industry out of
millions of pounds day in day out.

'I am puzzled that major advertisers such as the COI, Unilever and the Carphone
Warehouse do not follow the lead of Transport for London and use the GfK results
to determine their advertising spend.

'After all, it's quite clear that RAJAR's diary days are numbered. I cannot
believe that RAJAR can announce these results and expect anyone to believe them
any more. They are quite obviously all over the place; they follow no logic; and
yet they determine how a £600 million industry is measured.'

WHICH DO YOU BELIEVE?

RAJAR DIARIES*                            GfK METERS*

Heart UP                                  Heart DOWN
Weekly reach UP 8%(+140,000)              Weekly reach DOWN 8%(-198,000)

Capital CRASHES                           Capital STEADY
DOWN 10%(-234,000)                        DOWN 1%(-38,000)

LBC NOSE DIVES                            LBC UP
DOWN 14%(-101,000)                        UP 12%(+160,000)

For further information, please contact:

Press Office                                   020 7959 7821

Bell Pottinger Corporate & Financial           020 7861 3232
David Rydell/Dan de Belder/Robin Tozer



                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange
                                                                                     

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