Brad March
Contributor

Could Nova’s Chrissie, Sam and Browny be the best new breakfast show of the decade ?

There have been quite a few breakfast lineup changes in FM metro radio since 2010.

Rove and Sam to 2Day, Ed Kavalee to Triple M Brisbane, Brendon Fevola joining FOX, Matt Dyktynski to Mix94.5 Perth, Osher on Hit105, Jo Stanley to Gold, Matt & Meshel on KIIS, Lewis and Lowe at Nova Adelaide, Bogart & Glenn, and Mike Perso on Smooth.

However the best new breakfast has to be Nova Melbourne’s Chrissie Sam and Browny; it’s a stand out.

Only 9 months old and in the most competitive breakfast market in Australia, Melbourne; they are reminiscent of the successful Cage which ran on Triple M from 2002 to 2007 featuring Pete Berner, Brigitte Duclos, James Brayshaw, Matt Parkinson and Mike Fitzpatrick, and The Morning Crew with Wendy Harmer, Peter Moon and Paul Holmes which was number 1 on 2dayfm Sydney from 1993 to 2004.

Dave Cameron SCA’s Head of National Content and Development said:

“Chrissie and Sam Pang’s show is good. As with any show trying to cross over from good to great, work ethic and ideas will determine where their ceiling is“.

The casting of Nova100 breakfast of Chrissie, Browny and Sam is clever.

Chrissie Swan is one of the strongest females on Australian radio. Interestingly, Swan was at ARN and losing her may prove to be a costly mistake. Jonathon Brown, ex Nova Brisbane and former AFL star, is your everyday bloke, relatable and authentic – he is quite possibly the next ‘ Scott Cam ‘ one of Australia’s most enduring, likeable and highly marketable personalities. And in Sam Pang the Nova show has arguably the funniest guy on Melbourne radio (aside from Mick Molloy).

The casting makes sense. Strong female, strong male and a funny guy! A good mix for breakfast radio, a show that, importantly, can deliver a broad audience and therefore should deliver strong ratings.

Former SCA Head of Content Craig Bruce said “One of the reasons that Chrissie, Sam and Browny have so much upside is they fit perfectly with the nature of the Melbourne market-from Stubbs and the D-Gen to Tilley and Ross Stevenson, Melbourne has historically been a market that has embraced smart, observational humour “

So can the Nova show get to number 1?

If Nova executives give it enough time, direction, promotion and marketing yes it can. It could be number 1 FM breakfast by the end of 2017, perhaps sooner. As always hard work, strong daily direction and execution will be critical to its success.

Nova has momentum, all three of its breakfast stars are on TV regularly which makes for good cross promotion and it’s the only ‘new’ FM show to be nominated for an ACRA this year.

However, there are some high quality breakfast shows in Melbourne; Nova breakfast has to compete with market leading shows like Eddie, Mick and Luke on Triple M, and FiFi Dave and Fev on FOX. Triple M in particular will be hard to beat given their high profile presenters and stranglehold on all things “ football “ in a sense they are playing in ‘ a field of their own ‘

Given Nova has strong format competition from FOX and KIIS, Nova (or any of the CHR’s) need a superior broad breakfast show with star power as a differentiator. And now Nova has one.

Duncan Campbell ARN’s National Content Director said “You can’t deny Nova has some early traction based, not necessarily on content that stands out above the rest, but on having more fun and audiences respond to that “

The challenge for Nova execs will be to keep this lineup intact and the accomplished programming team at SCA Dave, Fitzy, Adrian, Gemma and Dobbo and will be doing everything they can to ensure the Nova show doesn’t improve its position and get to number 1.

Head of Content for SCA’s Triple M Network Mike Fitzpatrick said:

“Any new player at breakfast in any market should be considered an effective opposition. The listener loyalty always lies with the incumbent, unless there’s been a content deficit in the market, in which case a new show can rate faster.

A new competitor offers the chance for any established show to look objectively at itself, identify strengths, weaknesses and straighten up where and if required New shows can take years to establish. You need chemistry, great content and time”.

ARN’s Duncan, Sam and DB will be hoping to improve their Melbourne breakfast show ratings for Gold and KIIS with both stations rating 5’s currently.

Duncan Campbell ARN’s National Content Director added:

“The CHR market and indeed the FM market in general is still volatile in Melbourne based on audience movement survey to survey and while KIIS is not where we want it to be it remains a work in progress and there is still no clear consistent winner in the CHR space ”

ARN’s Melbourne Content Director for GOLD104.3 and KIIS 101.1 Sam Thompson commented:

“The winner in Melbourne is the audience with a tremendous diversity of new and established shows. The established, heritage shows should prevail in the short term and the new shows will be better able to be assessed next year“.

On Monday we hear more from programming experts SCA’s Dave Cameron and Irene Hulme, Nova Entertainments Paul Jackson, ARN’s Duncan Campbell and Sam Thompson and former SCA Head of Content Craig Bruce on the Melbourne breakfast market and in particular the differences between that market, and Sydney.

Brad March is Director of Marchmedia. He is a former Managing Director and Group Program Director at Austereo and ARN.

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