Craig Bruce: “our most aggressive marketing in years in 2014”

With today's announcement of the new 2Day Breakfast show, I caught up with Craig Bruce for a bit of a chat about the show, here's what he had to say;

Mark: Congrats on what looks like a strong lineup, with the four members now revealed, can I ask how hard was the decision in the end between the various options you had?

Craig: It wasn’t all that difficult, it became pretty obvious through the process that we had some great chemistry and a strong connection happening with the eventual line-up.

Mark: WIth Mel providing the 'hollywood', Sophie as a 'glamourous socialite', and Guys comments about K&J being 1995, there appears a strategy to reposition them as old, and you as fresh. Fair comment?

Craig: We’re not specifically trying to reposition Kyle and Jackie, but obviously with a new show in Sydney and a bunch of fresh faces and voices right around the country for the Today network there is an opportunity for us to reset ourselves with a new generation of shows and a new level of originality and creativity that we’ll bring to everything we do next year.

Mark: Let's talk Merrick for a moment. When you ended the Highway Patrol, did you know this was likely at that time, or did he genuinely leave, and then get a call back?

Craig: I had always wanted Merrick to stay with us and he and I had had discussions about a couple of different options following the Highway Patrol announcement but then as it became apparent that the Kyle and Jackie deal was going to fall over he came into contention for 2Day breakfast.

Mark: He's been gone from Nova for a while, but was very successful there, do you anticipate attracting some Nova listeners due to him being on 2Day?

Craig: Hope so, although that wasn’t the only reason I was interested in him. He and Jules have formed a strong bond already, Jules needed a comedic wingman for his next project and Mez is going to a great job of bringing funny to our new show.

Mark: So will Jules be moving from Melbourne for the project, or doing the show from there?

Craig: Yes. He’s Sydney bound.

Mark: ARN has already flagged their intent to market KIIS heavily in the new year, what do you anticipate doing with 2Day?

Craig: We’ll be throwing the kitchen sink at it….along with Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth. There won’t be any free kicks for dmg in the smaller markets anymore.

Mark: The expectation has been that KIIS will be a CHR, but the lineup, certainly post-3pm would not seem to support that; Chrissie & Jane, Rosso, and Ryan Seacrest doesn't seem to indicate 'Sydney CHR'. Any thoughts?

Craig: It’s not really for me to comment.

Mark: Okay then, so let's assume for one moment that KIIS is a CHR. Do you think there is room for 3 (2day, kiis, nova) and if not, who will the loser be.

Craig: Nice question Mark (laughs)! I guess that’s the $64 million question. We are a Top40 /CHR brand and have been for years,  we have no intentions of giving up this spot. I’m sure Paul and Cathy have the same view at Nova. It will be fun to watch from the cheap seats!

Mark: Nationally you have new Breakfast shows in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, and in Brisbane and Adelaide both SCA stations are having a tough time. The Marketing pool is not inifinite, presumably something has to give, so what are the marketing priorities?

Craig: We will have the most aggressive marketing spends that I have seen in many years in every market next year. I’m over losing in Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane.  They will get everything they need to win and then some.

Mark: Any clues on drive?

Craig: It’s not Sami and Yumi.

Mark: In a completely unrelated question, how are Dan & Maz going on Summer Breakfast to your ears?

Craig: That sounds like a leading question Mark? Would you like to sit down and aircheck them with me next week? I’ve heard your feedback sessions at Nova Adelaide were often brutal.

Mark: (laughs) Okay final question, a busy end to the year, probably the busiest you've ever had, have you got some reasonable time off coming up?

Craig: Everyone works hard in radio and we do it because we love the business and the buzz we get from connecting with our fans. As much as the negativity and sniping in the comments section of this site annoys the shit out of me, it’s still an amazing industry to work in. Yes, I’ll take a break, but I’ll miss being around it after a couple of days. Don’t send this to my wife!

Mark: Your secret is safe with me. Congrats on the reveal, it's certainly game on in Sydney next year!


See the announcement of the reveal here.

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