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BBC Radio's Today show loses 800,000 listeners in just a year

By Laura Harding

BBC Radio 4's Today programme has shed more than 800,000 listeners in the last year, new figures show.

The flagship news programme, hosted by John Humphrys, Justin Webb, Nick Robinson, Mishal Husain and Martha Kearney, pulled in 6.82 million listeners a week in the second quarter of 2018, according to the latest figures.

This a significant decrease from the 7.66 million who were tuning in during the second three months of 2017, and a slight dip on the 7.07 million who were listening every week in the first three months of 2018.

The last time the Today programme's listenership was lower was in the first quarter of 2016, when its weekly reach was 6.76 million.

The fall in Today's figures mirror those of Radio 4 as a whole, which has shed a million listeners in the past year, pulling in 10.60 million in the second quarter of 2018, compared to 11.55 million in 2017 and 10.92 million last quarter.

A spokeswoman for the BBC said: "BBC Radio 4 Today is compulsory morning listening for seven million people who tune in each week for in depth reporting and agenda-setting interviews.

"There were record figures last year as the nation turned to Today during significant news events such as the general election, terror attacks in Manchester and London, and the Grenfell Tower fire.

"Audience figures fluctuate for news programmes across TV and radio in line with news events and the latest Today figures show a sustained loyal listenership and an overall increase since 2014."

The figures comes shortly after it was revealed the salaries of the Today programme presenters have undergone a shake-up over the past year, according to the BBC's new annual report.

Humphrys has taken a notable pay cut, along with a number of BBC men, in response to the corporation's gender pay gap dispute.

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