Alan Jones gained listeners amid Gillard controversy

Radio host Alan Jones of 2GB was at the centre of a storm over comments about the prime minister last month but the controversy doesn't appear to have done his ratings any harm.

In the seventh and penultimate Nielsen radio survey for the year, Jones, who came under fire for repeating a remark that Prime Minister Julia Gillard's father had "died of shame", at a gathering of Liberal Party members in September, still convincingly won his timeslot, even gaining 0.5 per cent.

Jones had 17.3 per cent of the audience for 2GB from 5.30am to 9am, well ahead of second-placed ABC702 (13.1 per cent), with 2DAYFM in third place (12.1 per cent).

This ratings period, from Sunday July 29 to Saturday September 1 and Sunday September 16 to Saturday October 20, includes three weeks of the fallout from Jones's "died of shame" comments.

Despite calls for his sacking, a desertion (for a while at least) by advertisers and at one stage a suspension of advertising by Macquarie Radio Network in damage control, Jones recorded the biggest ratings gain in his timeslot.

Overall, the survey showed few surprises, with 2GB the comprehensive winner with 15.5 per cent of the audience (5.30am to midnight), followed by ABC702 on 11 per cent, 2DAYFM on 9.5 per cent, Nova 96.9 on 7.3 per cent and WSFM on 7.2 per cent.

Almost everyone found something to be positive about however, with 2DayFM  quick to celebrate 50 consecutive surveys as the  number one FM station in Sydney (despite a drop of 0.3 per cent this time) and  DMG Radio enthusiastic that Nova climbed by 0.7 per cent to beat rivals WSFM, which dropped 0.4 per cent, while another of its stations, SmoothFM, made its third consecutive rise since launching on May 21.

"We love it!" said group program director for DMG Radio Australia Paul Jackson, saying the rise showed SmoothFM was finally gaining momentum.

"For a station (SmoothFM) that's only been around for five months to beat heritage brands like Mix and TripleM is outstanding.

"We're playing music nobody else is playing in a format nobody else is doing ... and people are responding."

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