ARN’s future radio talent to come from podcasting

Former Editor & Content Director

The radio stars of tomorrow at the Australian Radio Network (ARN) will be sourced from its expanding podcasting network, according to the company’s chief content officer, Duncan Campbell.

His revelation about the company’s shifting talent strategy comes on the back of various shakeups and an ongoing strategic shift at its iHeartRadio platform and the iHeartPodcast Network.

And despite insisting he wants a stable year across his on-air talent network, Campbell did say he would be looking at its podcast lineup as soon as this year.

‘There’s obviously a lot going on in radio and obviously as we move towards a digital future, podcasting and streaming – they have their own challenges – but they are in many ways exciting, because we’ll be looking this year at our podcast repertoire and looking at talent, podcasting talent, and seeing whether we can place any of those on the network,” he told Radio Today. “I think the future talent for radio will come from podcasting, so we have to have some plans in place for that this year.”

Where these podcasters may go in terms of radio, however, remains unclear, as Campbell said he’s hoping for a consistent year, following a shakeup in Perth and a dip in Brisbane in Survey 8 of last year, which appears to have corrected in the most recent ratings.

“I think we’re in for a consistent year… We’ve got some of the best talent in Australian radio, obviously, and consistency is what we aim for. And the talent has signed medium to long-term, which is great, so I’d like a consistent year,” he said.

“We will have our challenges, obviously. I think you can’t rest on your laurels in this business, and you’re only as good as your last survey, as they say, but we’re very happy to be kicking off 2021 as the #1 FM network in the country, so I’d like a consistent year. That would be pretty good.”

In addition to the challenges the network will face in Brisbane and Perth, ARN will be keeping a close eye on the performance of Jase & PJ in the Breakfast slot on KIIS Melbourne.

Campbell has previously flagged his disappointment that the show has been unable to deliver consistent ratings, but has continued to back the program.

In Survey 1, the show was up 0.8 points to 6.2%, which Campbell said “we’ll take” in light of its previous, lower, results.

“Look, we’ll take 6.2, thank you – certainly given the last 12 to 24 months,” he said. “But that’s a good result, really, but they can do better than that… So [I’m] very happy for them and we’ve all been listening to that show, and no one’s criticised it terribly much. The content’s strong and I’ve always said we’d wait and give that show the chance it needed, as long as it needed, until the audience got to know them, and that seems to be happening slowly.

“We need a trend though, I’m always big on that. One book doesn’t make a trend, but certainly it’s a positive start to the year, which is great.”

He also once again flagged there were exciting plans in the works for iHeartRadio Australia, without being drawn on what they may be.

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No talent pipeline there either
16 Mar 2021 - 10:10 pm

Spoken like someone who only knows how to buy what someone else has created instead of developing it themselves. R.I.P. Radio.

17 Mar 2021 - 12:59 pm

Duncan you hired them, now back your talent in.

17 Mar 2021 - 1:04 pm

Old man Duncan is sounding like Craig Bruce sprucing the Talent Pipeline.
We know how that ended.

17 Mar 2021 - 1:43 pm

Half the ARN talent BBQ Bob, Amanda, Kyle, Fred are ready for the pension, so they will need some new talent from somewhere.

17 Mar 2021 - 4:17 pm

This is interesting. ARN are looking for new talent via podcasting and yet don’t stand behind their current lineup Jase and PJ.

17 Mar 2021 - 4:21 pm

How’s Hubble going Duncan?

17 Mar 2021 - 9:11 pm

Sounds like the old sports coaches trick. Nothing like talking about the future, featuring young new players, to keep the current playing group on their toes!

18 Mar 2021 - 6:14 am

‘ Stable ‘ and ‘ Consistent’ are not the words of a winner.

Tony Nelson
18 Mar 2021 - 3:56 pm

To Paul at 1.43pm.
Is there a use by date on announcers Paul? You seemed to have stamped it on their heads. Should they should be pensioned off because of their age? These guys have worked their way up the ladder to where they are today, and they’re there because they’re exceptionally good at what they do. They did their time, and droves of people still listen to them. Go and practice the craft instead of trying to jump in just because of your age, not your ability. By the way, 50’s is not old.


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