Damon Reilly on the importance of localism and why SCA isn’t about to rebrand GOLD FM
“We understand what the natural DNA of radio is. Radio gets ingrained in the community and is part of the community, and that includes creating local content and obviously doing local initiatives that really engage with the community,” says Southern Cross Austereo GM for Queensland Damon Reilly.
Speaking with Radio Today following the announcement that The Rush Hour with Luke, Dobbo & Margaux Parker will wrap up at the end of the year, Reilly explains that the decision to move to one Drive show was business one.
“We’ve been running two shows, so, the national show with Kennedy Molloy, and the local show with Rush Hour, and, at the end of the day, running two drive shows, it was probably not the right outcome for the business moving forward.
“At the end of the day, we’re a commercial radio station, we need to make decisions based on what’s the best commercial outcome for the business.”
Reilly also admits that the decision was made easier by the strength of Kennedy Molloy’s offering, which has been broadcast as well as The Rush Hour this year on Triple M Brisbane and 92.5 GOLD FM.
“Kennedy Molloy nationally… has been a really strong proposition and not just from a ratings perspective, but also for the revenue that it’s driving as well.
“More and more advertisers are looking for national solutions where they can put their brand within one unique brand, which they can do with Kennedy Molloy, and in a program that’s rating very well.”
Losing The Rush Hour is not a sign that SCA is moving away from local content, Reilly says. In fact, that suggestion couldn’t be “further from the truth.
“One of the things that we very much pride ourselves on at Southern Cross Austereo is what we call our localism.
“That means that we understand what the natural DNA of radio is. Radio gets ingrained in the community and is part of the community, and that includes creating local content and obviously doing local initiatives that really engage with the community.
“So we’re very much focused on that. SCA have 60 different offices around Australia, and if anything, we’re investing more in localism and in local markets,” Reilly continues.
“If I’ve talked specifically about Gold Coast, right now, we are upping our investment into the Gold Coast market to ensure that we are more and more local and connecting with people in the Gold Coast.
SCA recently announced the rebranding of Newcastle’s KOFM and Townsville’s 4TOFM to Triple M, leaving 92.5 GOLD FM one of the last heritage brands in the Triple M Network.
Reilly says there are no immediate plans for the Gold Coast-based station to follow suit, and points to the strength of GOLD as a heritage brand as well as a distinct characteristic of the radio signal in the area.
“The unique thing about Brisbane and the Gold Coast is the signals blend, and what we don’t wanna have is confusion between a Triple M in Brisbane and a Gold on the Gold Coast,” explains Reilly.
“So, there’s no plans by the company, at this point in time, to rebrand GOLD at all. GOLD FM is very strong heritage brand and will remain so.”