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Radio Times Magazine Case Study

Rob Miller | Wednesday January 30, 2013

Categories: GCSE, Eduqas (WJEC) GCSE, WJEC GCSE Media Studies, Key Concepts, Audience, Genre, Ideology, Institutions, Media Language, Narrative, Representation & Stereotyping, Hot Entries, Magazines, Image Analysis, Intro to Magazines, Listings Magazines, More on Magazines, New Media, Convergence, Digital Media, Internet, Synergy

Institutional Factors and Marketing

Radio Times is a weekly Listings Magazine in terms of genre that has been published by the BBC from 1923 until 2011. It is now published by the Immediate Media Company after the merger of BBC Magazines (BBC Magazines used to be owned by the BBC’s commercial arm, BBC Worldwide) while the Immediate Media Company is established as a combined publishing house.

Radio Times is still a branded BBC publication however and its key focus is BBC television and radio programmes but since 1991 has carried listings, and other covers relating to non BBC programmes – commercial television and radio. Many critics find it surprising that up until 1991 (which is recent history) that Radio Times carried exclusively BBC listings.

Radio Times, as of January 2013 publishes at £1-60 which is a premium price for a weekly magazine but compared to other magazines of the same genre it has higher production values reflecting the funding of the BBC – along with advertising revenue, cover sales and additional funding from BBC Worldwide the magazine boasts a glossy, super calendared cover, 150 pages and sophisticated graphic design and layout conventions. The UK television licence fee is the primary source of funding of all BBC products and a simple calculation evidences the company’s ability to challenge in terms of production costs. Approximately 20 million TV licences x £145 each were sold in 2012 which equates to £2.9bn revenue which rivals any commercial organisation. With this in mind you would expect Radio Times to be the market leader but it is in fact third in its genre category according to ABC figures; TV Choice is the market leader with 1.3 million circulation, What’s on TV follows with 1.2 million while Radio Times has a weekly circulation of 1 million. This figure is skewed however by the readership figures which always are higher as they are calculated using market research and not based on raw data –...

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