Craig Bruce – We have shown we are capable of building great shows

Staff Writer

Following yesterday’s survey, we chatted with Four Group Programmers. Earlier today we chatted to Paul Jackson.

Next it’s SCA’s Craig Bruce.

Blair Sullivan: Well it’s another great day in Melbourne for you guys?

Craig Bruce: Fantastic result in Melbourne, pretty well the clean sweep wherever you look – 1 and 2,  25 to 39 (and) 1 and 2, 10+.


That’s a good story for us. It’s obviously with Fox and Nova launching new breakfast shows, unlike Sydney where we have been against our old show. It’s good for the confidence for all our programmers that we can put together a new show like Fifi and Dave like we have, and as quickly as we have – with the sort of numbers we’ve seen today. With growth still to come, I think. They are a great combination.

Fi naturally works strongly with comedians – they get on well. It’s set up nicely for a really strong phase for the Fox.

On 3MMM Eddie, Luke and Mick continue to go from strength to strength. It’s everyone’s favourite, 2nd favourite – if they are not already on it as a breaky show.

We just love hearing them – they just smash it. A 3 share to a 9 share in 4 years is a great story – who knows what it could be – one for the ages.


BS: If we look at Adelaide, it's been through a few changes recently for both SAFM and MMM.  SA not too bad this time?

CB: SA was a good positive result from a share perspective and I think there were good numbers from 25 to 39 overall, which we were happy with as well.

The 5MMM number from the momentum we were taking into this survey – momentum meaning waves –  that 9.2 is much much better than we were expecting. We are excited about (what) might be to come. And the breakfast show, the first book essentially for Roo and Ditts – up a point – that’s a pretty good start for them.

Yeah, it's well set-up in that market.  The hope is we can genuinely dominate 40 to 54’s and win 25 to 54’s. We will try and make it as difficult as we can for MIX in Adelaide I think.

I think Nova is beatable in Adelaide well and truly, and I think we have made some real positive steps in the right direction.

BS: With Michael and Hayley on SA FM, you made the change to focus on just them –

CB:  It’s easier to listen to – they're more focussed on each other , we cleaned out the show a little – the song count is higher. Topic choices have improved – there have been a few adjustments there that suggest we have had a good result.

BS: Alright, let’s swing across to the West now.

CB:  Yeah, Mix is in a good battle with Nova at the moment. I mean look – that Nova breakfast has been good for a long period of time –  you know it’s a 13 year old show – it’s always been a good competitor, it hasn’t always won, but it's always been  a good competitor – you know the Nathan and Nat combination is a strong one.

Mix is a really strong brand, and it’s a strong format in the same way Duncan has 97.3, and Mix Adelaide doing as well as they are those markets – Mix Perth is strong because of it's format – it’s a variety format that works for all people – we think that we have enough to hold out Nova with a really strong local breakfast show there and local drive offering. Whilst it's close, we are happy with Mix’s position.

929 – Hey look, it’s a long game for Heidi, Will and Woody. They are a brand new show , they are babies still learning,  and that’s ok, we are happy to take the journey with them.  

5 surveys in, they have had a bit of a reality check – in terms of their share number, but in the long term they will be successful.

BS: Let’s look now to Brisbane… Labby, Stav and Abby on b105.

Breakfast has been off for a while for us I think. It just hasn’t found that spark this year – and we are doing everything we can to re-ignite it. That’s the best I can say. The number is disappointing, there is no other way to look at it and we would like it to be better. We will do everything we can to turn it around.

For 4MMM, I heard the show this morning, a couple of hours of it today. I reckon it’s a little unlucky today to be honest, but it's a good long term prospect for us.

We will see some numbers, somewhere between, you know high 8’s and high 9 early 10’s for that breakfast show over the next 12 months.

BS: And the market that’s the big one, Sydney….

CB: We’ve got 50,000 new listeners into the breakfast show and 55,000 new listeners into the brand – so the cume is up 10 plus and is up, I would say dramatically in breakfast. . . given where we are at with our product cycle and understanding the  unique situation we are in –  we handed a ten year number one show to the opposition –  so we are really starting from scratch – all you want to see in the early stages is to see some sampling and cume come and that’s what has happened today for us.

The thing for us is, for Sydney  we are not focussed on Kiis for the moment – we are focused on Nova and that’s not really a big hill to climb at the moment. They would have their own issues – clearly with Fitzy and Wippa and as much as everyone loves Fitzy and Wippa – they are ripper blokes, and I personally like both of them – the show's not working.

Our show doesn’t have a number yet – because we are five books in – they're 3 years in, and with the backing of News Limited and a hell of a marking campaign in the last 5 to 6 weeks – they have gone backwards.

We don’t think we are far off the pace in Sydney – in terms of our immediate goal, which is to beat Nova – they are absolutely gettable in this market.

You know, when you look at it from a workday perspective, they have a 4 share in mornings.

We are not afraid of Nova in any way, shape or form in Sydney – that's our current position for 2day, we are going after them first.

From a 2MMM perspective, as we always do – you can always look at share number – sometimes we are up, sometimes we are down.

You’ve got to drill into what the network is about, which is to win men… which is what we do in Sydney. Number one 25-54 men in Sydney  and number 18 to 54 men in breakfast – and those are the critical numbers for us.

 BS: If we have a look at your network shows –  in terms of Drive – Dan and Maz?

CB: Dan and Maz are doing well, where they are getting a  breakfast lead-in – the Fox example is probably the one where sit shows the possibilities for Dan and Maz.

I think that if anyone has heard the show, knows it’s a show that going to  – an important part of our future. We continue to be excited and encouraged with what they are doing on the On-Air.

BS: And what about the One Percenters?

CB: Yeah, a bit unlucky in Sydney – it's brilliant – I think it’s a great show.  Still finding an audience in Sydney – done ok in Brisbane, and off the back of some really good numbers in Melbourne, it's holding up really strongly there.

It’s a funny show – it’s clever – it’s unique in terms of the content offering, and we are certainly happy with what’s coming out of the speakers – or though be it a little disappointed with the Sydney numbers today.

BS: If there is one thing you can pick out across the group – what’s the best story for you.

Fox – it would be the best story for us I would think. Melbourne is the story, the Sydney situation is unique to us  – it's unique to Australian radio. I would think, where an FM radio station loses a show it has had for ten years – and whatever is happening for breakfast, we have a unique set of circumstances and some  head winds we are working against –  But in Melbourne – we launched a new show and so did Nova at the same time. We have shown we are capable of building great shows. It’s built into our DNA and we think Fifi and Dave is going to be a great show.

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