Craig Bruce: ‘2Day result worse than expected’

Staff Writer

If you haven't yet seen the results and analysis from Survey 1, see it all here.

You can also see the press releases and the ups and downs.

Yesterday I spoke with Craig Bruce, Head of Content at Southern Cross Austereo (Today / Triple M).

Mark: In the lead up to Survey 1 you said you weren't expecting a lot from the 2Day FM result, is it what you expected or worse?

Craig: Worse than we expected. We knew we'd lost an audience but we didn't know how big it was. Today has given us that clear indication, it's at the higher end of what we were expecting and that's obviously disappointing but we knew it was coming.

Mark: I know it's hard to crystal ball the year ahead but any thoughts on what's to come in 2014?

Craig: I don't want to make too many predictions but my general sense is that having worked with Kyle and Jackie O for a number of years, their range is about where it sits now – mid 9's to mid 10's and it depends a bit on marketing and other elements that go through the show.

With a brand like Kyle and Jackie O, the audience either love it or hate it and clearly the audience that love it have gone and found it and good luck to them. Their audience has probably settled and now it's up to us to see if we can grow ours over time.

My view on this result is that the 3.8% is not a reflection of Jules, Merrick and Sophie as a show, I think it's a reflection of Kyle and Jackie O as a show. They are a fantastic radio show. They were brilliant for us and clearly they are going to have success with ARN. Well done to them, well done to the ARN team – today's their day.

They had ten years in the making with a really loyal fan base, but we're in a completely different phase, we're building something from the ground up.

Fitzy & Wippa (left) are a great example of where we're at right now. They've had almost 3 years of consistent programming and marketing, they launched at a 6.8 and they're a 7.8 today. That's growth of a point and that point has come in the last 3 or 4 months. These things take time, and we're dealing with a completely different product. It's brand new, 3 people that have barely worked together, Jules who has never anchored a breakfast show before and Sophie's first fulltime FM breakfast experience.

From where they launched on day 1 when it was scratchy as all hell, it's a really good, solid product. It has come a long way in 8 weeks and if we continue to see it grow then it will find an audience over time.

We're just focused on tomorrow being really good and when that show has finished we'll see if we can make the next day really good. It's one foot in front of the next really.

Mark: How did the breakfast guys at 2Day handle news of the result?

Craig: Jules and Sophie are very philosophical about it. Jules in particular just wants to make good content for the audience that have chosen to stay listening to us and there are 300 odd thousand of those. Merrick was devastated but his view is ‘tell us what we need to do to continue to improve the show’. Just to put your hand up to replace Kyle and Jackie O takes a fair bit of courage and the three of them have that in spades. They have been fantastic to work with over the past 8 weeks.

It's a great case study – breakfast vs brand and where do the two meet, how important is the brand and how important is the breakfast show. For us, the 2Day FM brand is extricibly linked to the success of the new breakfast show.

Eddie McGuire has a saying : "you don't lose competence, you lose confidence". For us that's the one thing, we'll keep everyone as positive as we can about continuing to improve the station.

Mark: A lot of the focus is obviously on 2Day FM's result but let's run through some of the other SCA results.

Craig: Good result in Melbourne for both stations. Fifi & Dave on Fox will only get better as I'm sure Meshel and Tommy will too considering they are brand new as well. Eddie and the Hot Breakfast on Triple M continue to deliver outstanding numbers.

Brisbane is in pretty good shape. We still think we're going to see some growth for B105. The Triple M result was excellent with listeners telling us the Ed Kavalee change at breakfast has made a genuine improvement to that show.

The Mix Perth result at breakfast was terrific. Heidi, Will & Woody (breakfast on 92.9)  are in the same boat as Sydney to a degree, up against a very strong heritage breakfast show at Nova Perth but that's a long, slow process and we're confident we're building a strong show for the future.


My apologies for not covering Adelaide in this chat. It was an oversight on my part.

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