There's a very fine line here.
Magic has been criticised on this forum a lot for allowing a bit more talk and more deviation on its playlist. I don't have the figures to hand but I'll guess they're down a bit, if not dramatically.
It's not easy to make slight changes to a very rigid format these days. People like what they like, and if you piss about with it they'll go elsewhere for it. It's like trying to take a good picture when you're hugely zoomed in - one wee move and you're buggered. (worst analogy ever)
On Black Label's valid points:
* The public didn't care about Virgin losing its franchise. That was a very well orchestrated PR campaign - and fair play to them for doing it. Most punters wouldn't care.
* Bauer is going to win the mass audience - it has the heritage, the funding and the push to do so (hence the football phone-ins). Presumably the logic is that Capital and Heart sweep in and take a decent proportion of mums aged 25-45 who are valuable to advertisers for relatively little cost. Thus, everyone's a winner.
* I accept that listeners will not engage as much with Capital's output and are more likely to tune out during the ads. The key is whether they can convince advertisers that is not the case. I suspect they can. I suspect it will have to evolve into something else in the long term, and I suspect that's where Capital's heading with the signings of both JK & Joel, albeit in different timeslots. One big personality presenter - dare I say Chris Moyles or Scott MIlls? - for drivetime - and you'd see a big change in direction. Whether they'd suit the station? Not a clue.