Is it time to ‘blow up’ 2DayFM?

Dave Cameron gives an insight into how he’s approaching ongoing low ratings for Sydney’s 2DayFM and rejects the suggestion it’s reached the point the station needs a complete overhaul and reset. If that’s the case, what on Earth is next?

Southern Cross Austereo’s (SCA) chief content officer Dave Cameron knows he has a lot of agenda items when it comes to the network’s ratings – whether it’s SAFM’s inability to properly crack the Adelaide market, Marty Sheargold’s new Breakfast show on Triple M Melbourne or its newly-rebranded Perth stations.

But he’s honest and realistic when it comes to which challenge gets priority and becomes agenda item #1.

“Growth in Sydney,” he says. “Growth in Sydney is the absolute priority for us.”

Cameron makes the admission after its Sydney Hit Network station 2DayFM slipped 0.4 points in the most recent survey, taking it to a 3.5% share overall. FM market leader KIIS, part of the Australian Radio Network (ARN), is on 9.6%.

2Day was also down 0.6 points in the key 25 to 39 demographic to a 5.5% share, and down 1.3 points to 4.5% for the 40 to 54s.

Its Breakfast show, The Morning Crew with Hughesy, Ed & Erin, appeared to be in even more trouble, with a 3.3% share, down 0.5 points from last survey’s 3.8%.

Cameron says 2Day’s headline talent has what it takes to break through 

With numbers this low, some have gone so far as to suggest it’s time to give up on 2DayFM. Blow the whole thing up (metaphorically) and start again. Perhaps a rebrand? A total rethink? A station to take on NOVA Entertainment’s music-based smoothfm? Anything, really, that gets above a 3.5.

Cameron, however, says the time for an explosive reset has been and gone. The best option – indeed the only option in his eyes – is to stick to his guns.

“Whenever you think about what’s next, you’ve got to think about alternatives – and the alternative is a path that is well-trodden by us over many years, which is chopping and changing and not being able to build an audience around a brand,” he says. “So that’s the alternative [to what we’re doing], and I don’t like that, because we’ve seen how that plays out over many years.”

This chopping and changing, including with talent lineups, branding, music strategy and marketing messages, has taken its toll on what was once a very loyal 2Day audience, and the brand can’t afford to alienate or confuse its audience, or potential audience, anymore.

Despite the damage of years gone by, Cameron believes there is still some affection, currency and strength behind the 2Day brand.

“Yes, I do. I do,” he says.

“But I think we have potentially lost a little bit of the trust over previous years by changing product, and we live with that.”

So, he must stick with the current approach, he says.

Is this a man defeated and out of options? No, he says, it’s a man committed to a good show which just needs time.

Dave Cameron says 2DayFM has no other option but to stick to its guns 

“The only option and our best option and our strongest option is to commit, and commit for the long-term, and crack the market over the next few years, and increase our marketing, continue to finesse the show,” he explains.

“We have headline talent there. I’m really committed to the show. I’m confident it will grow over the next couple of years… The alternative to committing and backing in what I think is a really good show that’s still continuing to grow is to change again – and that’s not an option. It’s not an option for me.”

He adds: “I don’t look at 2Day as an opportunity to have any other thought apart from committing with 100% of our confidence and backing to be able to keep trying to crack the market.”

2Day’s problems are compounded not only by its own inconsistent history, but also by its competitors which have stuck to their guns and had long-term talent, long-term shows and long-term loyalty.

“The brand will grow once we start to deliver some stronger loyal listening. And there’s so much loyalty around those heritage show brands in Sydney, probably more than any other market to be honest, because nothing’s changed there in 10 years – apart from us,” he says.

“So the only way forward is to build a show for the long term, because that’s what all our competitors have done, and that’s our only path.”

Despite the sense of being trapped with no other options, and the doom and gloom of yesterday’s numbers, Cameron says overall share in People 10+ is just an ego number, and the Hit Network itself is actually performing well in terms of having something to sell to brands and advertisers.

“Like any survey I guess there’s some head scratchers, and there’s also some good wins in pockets as well,” he says.

“Overall, when we have a look at the national result for us today, the Hit Network is #1 in 25 to 54 females nationally, and Triple M is #1 for men 25 to 54 nationally.

“So when we have a look at aggregate numbers, which is what we sell on, verus the ego numbers – which is those share 10+ results – and demographics are really strong right across the country, and that’s where we trade. That’s where we do business. So when we are strong in our target, then that’s a good result for us.”

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Bruce
2 Jun 2021 - 2:16 pm

Cant afford to alienate or confuse its audience, or potential audience, anymore.
Ha it barely has any listeners left.

Rob
2 Jun 2021 - 2:36 pm

There once was a station called Vega……….

Mickey
2 Jun 2021 - 2:39 pm

Has Dave actually been to Sydney this year ?

Chris Marshall Organs
2 Jun 2021 - 2:41 pm

Use Sydney-based talent. A Franco Cozzo presentation doesn’t sit well with a John Cootes crowd.

Use talent that have chemistry.

Michael
2 Jun 2021 - 2:43 pm

But DC said he was there to win 10+ in a previous interview, so which is it ? Do SCA know how to win anymore ? Dave is being outplayed by Paul and Duncan and now even triple J. SCA rely too heavily on scale, being the biggest and that awful Listener App which doesn’t work properly.

JustPressPlay
2 Jun 2021 - 2:52 pm

Clearly there is still indecision at the station.
I mean they went from a high 90’s content, to include 80’s then dropped the 80’s and 90’s? to reintroduce 90’s and now, on Wednesday’s, the 80’s are back. Then of course there’s RnB Friday’s!
They really need to decide what/who they are, not “commit and commit for the long term” because that is going to bring more confusion and alienation to their listeners.
Jamie Angel was great for breakfast, but needed a commitment from Dave Cameron on their direction.

JASON ANDREW TOPPIN
2 Jun 2021 - 2:56 pm

Two 2day Networ metro stations are doing well B 105 Brisbane and & Mix 94.5 Perth Fox FM Melbourne is doin OK, SAFM are doing medioca and 2Dayfm are the weakest rating station in the whole Network.
2DayFm has gone through so many brealfast shows since Kyle and Jackie O’ lefr for ASRN none of te have succeeded. time ti cut your losses Dave Cameron and meet with SEN a fellow lopw ratings network and sell all yiur 2day network stations too sen track ASAP

The Music Man
2 Jun 2021 - 2:59 pm

The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result.

Instead of having yet another bloody breakfast duo/trio and drive-time duo/trio, it’s time to blow up the breakfast and drive-time mould and totally re-think it?

With more and more people turning to Spotify for their music fix in the morning/afternoon drive, maybe make the shifts all-request (with plenty of caller interaction), or go full-on jock free? I’m not saying any of those two ideas are right, but it’s about time a complete rethink of the stale breakfast/drive-time formats was done.

nick bartlett
2 Jun 2021 - 3:02 pm

2DayFM: Sydney’s first boutique commercial FM radio station.

Interesting
2 Jun 2021 - 3:03 pm

Hilarious that Dave does not care about 10+. “Ego numbers”.

When he first sat in that chair, he told all the heads and CD’s to ditch the goal of being #1 in demographics. The goal was to be #1 in 10+. Losing a few surveys and he’s changed his tune?

Ashley
2 Jun 2021 - 3:18 pm

SAFM Adelaide breakfast show done end of the year. Changes coming. Got a good source. You heard it here first

Ratings a disaster for 3 years. No chemistry. No fixing this mess

Lot of potential with SAFM and rating 7s consistently is unacceptable.

Journo
2 Jun 2021 - 3:40 pm

Just how many layers of management does SCA have?

Why?

I do agree, they’ve ‘blown it up’ too many times already.

If I was the board of SCA I would go cap in hand to Paul Thompson, ask him, very nicely, to please come back as a consultant and tell us what to do.
This group is in an awful mess.
It’s obvious, that the management are, respectfully, clueless.
It’s 5 minutes to midnight SCA, serious decisions are needed at a board level now.
Time to go back to the beginning of the heritage seeking inspiration.

Mack
2 Jun 2021 - 4:42 pm

They should go for a 100% Dance & Urban format from the 90s to now.
Dance & Urban would get a huge chunk of listeners.
Ditch the Rock & Pop. That is all being covered by every other music station in Sydney full time.
The problem is the 2dayfm station managers and programmers are too old to recognize what the new generation want to listen to. They are stuck in the 80s.

Country Kid
2 Jun 2021 - 5:34 pm

It’s time for Sydneys first commercial country music station.
Country music is horribly under-represented in metro radio around Oz.
Bring in a niche format, stop caring about KIIS and Nova, and just play in your own lane. There are plenty of country-centric clients, gigs, festivals and artists who would swoon over a Sydney metro opportunity.

a Bodge Fan
2 Jun 2021 - 6:19 pm

Give Bodge a run on the show. Saw on his socials that he’s writing for some app that nobody has even heard of. Waste of talent.

If you’re reading this Bodgie, no offense on the new job. Just think you should get a crack on the big stage.

Cheers!

Mix94.5 Perth
2 Jun 2021 - 6:20 pm

The Hit Network should use Mix94.5 Perth as the format for all Hit Network stations. The station has always been highly successful and is still the best in the Hit Network. Engaging content and a great local music format.

Here is what I would do.
2 Jun 2021 - 7:03 pm

Its very hard to say what the right move is with 2Day, I do believe the horse has bolted and it is in infact beyond repair. I don’t think music format is the fix either. Heres what I would do.. in my opinion (which doesn’t hold much weight but whatevs have a read)

Get the broom and sweep it right through top end management, everyone at a senior level in all departments are gone. like a magna doodle, wipe it clean. I’d then pay Hamish and Andy whatever it takes to get them on breaky, even if the station runs at a loss. They are the only trusted radio brand in Australia. Andy would have to move to Sydney to do it or no deal. ISDN does not work for a local show in a building phase and shouldn’t be allowed. Anyone who signs off on that can see themselves out. H&A have the listener buy in already, they are already heritage enough to make a dent in the market. these days no one gives a hoot about giving a new show a chance or radio as a medium and with so many other ways to get audio (podcasts, Spotify, YouTube) a listeners attention span and care factor is long gone.

Music wise, id go top 40 and back to 2000 for recurrents. Match Kiis and Nova music wise. The songs chart because people like them, so give them what they like. low risk. keep that 9-4

4-6 local drive, Hughsey in drive with a rotating cast of friends. like hughsey we have a problem is.

Promotions, id give up on thinking that anyone cares about money winning comps. use that money to employ good people and rebuild the station from the ground up. Ive heard them say its like 3% of listeners that would call a radio station for prizes. save your cash, no one cares and it clearly hasn’t worked.

Set the station up like that and roll with he punches from there.

Just my opinion.

Jono
2 Jun 2021 - 7:30 pm

I agree with Dave – they need to build a show for the long term….starting with a show that’s not competing for audience with the number 1 radio show in the world and a Nova breakfast show that has been together for 10 years. Inertia favours the leader with breakfast radio – you have to really make a mess of things for a heritage listener to change their morning ritual. 2day has the 3rd best Hot AC breakfast show in Sydney right now and no amount of patience or “sticking to our plan” will make a difference to the ratings if the plan is wrong.

Neil
2 Jun 2021 - 7:50 pm

Agree with The Music Man. All-request radio is the best option. Access to a hard drive for instant songs is easy. Not like the old days of searching the record library. Some USA stations have been doing it for years. No need for second rate comedians just happy DJs. But country music is a no-no. DAB already has one. Tried before with dismal ratings.

Damien
2 Jun 2021 - 7:53 pm

How annoyed would you be as an SCA shareholder right now? Not only a largely underwhelming performance from the radio network but TV affiliation about to swap back to 10.

What SCA needs to do is strip out the layers and layers of management and bring back their regional shows, to develop solid talent that can deliver results, instead of throwing together random comedians and so-called ‘personalities’.

Finally, give up the delusion that there is any nostalgic loyalty to the brand. The loyalists went with K&J to KIIS. 2Day was left with people who can’t stand K&J, the people who can’t stand Fitzy & Wippa, and people too young to listen to WS or Smooth.

Now they’re left with a tricky situation. They can’t blow up 2day without affecting the entire network. But the legacy connection to the network may just be strangling them.

Disappointed
2 Jun 2021 - 9:09 pm

Couldn’t agree more with most of these comments.

I hear 14 journos in 4 months walked out.
Head of news now the ops manager.

Whole lot of management should be fired and walked out. They’ve ruined lives, ruined radio and are continuing to screw those who turn up to work everyday and give 110%

Sad times ahead if someone doesn’t go in, clean the shit out and make some drastic changes.

To the staff still there thinking it’ll get better- get out now.
Can’t polish a turd and call it a diamond.

Peter Matheson
2 Jun 2021 - 9:10 pm

With the amount of indecisive positioning of their music, the “road to the top” hasn’t even begun for 2Day. It’s far, far from it.

It would be gross negligence on behalf of the board to allow this to happen for an extended period of time. This sort of stuff does not happen at a board level in this day and age.

Big changes are weeks away I hear.

Thinking It
2 Jun 2021 - 9:24 pm

SCA = The Mediocre Network.

Grant
3 Jun 2021 - 6:20 am

At this stage I’d be thinking about just how much cash I could get my hands on to lure K&J back…..everyone has their price, the audience have no station loyalty and it’s been proven that they will follow the show wherever it goes.

Ron
3 Jun 2021 - 6:45 am

Perhaps the only thing “not” changed in the past few years is what the problem could be.
It’s the talk behind closed doors. Less champagne lunches and more grind behind the scenes could be helpful.

Sam
3 Jun 2021 - 7:26 am

This will be a sad legacy… no matter success in a career – this is a terrible failure.

These failures sit squally at the top.
Lack of vision, repeating the same mistakes and thinking media landscape remains the same as 20 years ago…

No fresh vision, a lackluster approach and very small innovation… Not just in programming but especially in marketing

Ed
3 Jun 2021 - 9:16 am

Sack dave hinges and the crew his voice is everywhere that high pitch annoying please enough is enough, the masked sing he does nothing for that show except ruin it. His own little tv show great works well for him. Erin Milan sorts reporter footy show etc now morning presenter well again please, Ed well Ed is just Ed. There are actually more people in this country but yet we seem to be giving certain people all the work it’s just ludicrous give other people a go who just want to be radio personalities. Don’t you see dave, why Kyle and Jackie o, do so well? If you can’t I think your time could be up to

James
3 Jun 2021 - 11:32 am

The audience 2DayFM thinks is there has proven over several years to not be there, SCA needs to ditch the hit network format in Sydney, it’s a market that is greatly oversaturated with similar formats however their competitors deliver it with a feeling of integrity instead of just the same “howdy fellow kids” approach SCA always takes.

More listeners are gravitating over to AM radio, if 2DayFM just offered what AM radio (e.g 2GB & ABC RN/Sydney) offers in terms of programming by just broadcasting the flagship podcast programming already available on LiSTNR (like Australia Today, The Briefing, Matt & Alex ADB, etc), and tweaking their playlist depending on which listnr production is playing alongside it. It could dramatically save costs on talent led programming which allows for more revenue and would offer a significant point of difference in the cutthroat Sydney FM market.

Ben Pawlow
3 Jun 2021 - 3:33 pm

What is it now 11 breakfast shows over 7 years? If it was a restaurant it would’ve closed its doors years ago. You cant keep changing the menu asking for loyal listeners – do it twice, 3 times at a stretch if there’s goodwill in the station (which their was) but 7 times with a new menu and change of name give me a break!

Its over guys you’ve lost the right to ask listeners to try again with the 2 guys and a girl comedy combination. Think of something different, very different or wade in the 3’s forever promising clients that the reincarnation is the one that will lift the station. The current show is a mess and D Hughes should be embarrassed to put his name to it.

Another fan of Bodge
3 Jun 2021 - 4:24 pm

Another vote for Bodge here. Creative, engaging, available. Go get em Bodger.

Chuck Tuna
3 Jun 2021 - 4:41 pm

Once on par with the great Triple M, now ? a nothing …sad

David
3 Jun 2021 - 6:31 pm

Hughesy is embarrassing on this show and SCA programmers should be ashamed of themselves.

NOT MY JOB
3 Jun 2021 - 9:43 pm

Interesting sitting back reading the comments, everyone has a great idea, and unfortunately none of the people who commented actually do DC’s job.
Let him do his job and the commentators please go back to doing your job, you know the one your employed to do……

Carla
3 Jun 2021 - 9:43 pm

I wonder if CB regrets sending that memo to the board about Kyle and Jackie getting stale…

Dave
3 Jun 2021 - 11:03 pm

You can’t compare any station to KIIS morning show as they know sex sells , that is the only reason they are at the top. They are allowed to ask any sexual questions to their co host or any guests , if any other station hosts acted in the same way they would been banned !! If you asked any woman co workers these same questions you would be fired !!!

OhhhNova
4 Jun 2021 - 1:25 am

Hamish and Andy or Kyle and Jackie aren’t putting their hands up to fix this shit show and there isn’t enough money to make either of them happen. For those suggesting to run at a loss to make these shows happen, please promise you’ll never run a business, and if you do let us all know so we can make sure we’re not working there before it goes under.

Bodge. You’re kidding yourself, stop spamming.

Dave Hughes is to the Australian media what Ed Sheeran is to the music world.
When Ed is hot, he’s killing it. Same in some degree with Hughsey. But what Ed does that Hughsey doesn’t, is leaves the audience/fans for a while instead of constantly force feeding them. Ed drops an album of hits which at the time we love, then we get sick of, then we wish he drop dead and then racks off for a year or 2. Then when he pops back, we all are happy to hear from him again. Repeat the cycle. Hughsey has constantly oversaturated the media with radio gigs and countless tv shows and everyone is over it and turning on him. The turn started before 2day breakfast and we’re gonna watch it fully play out at 2days expense. 2day has nothing to lose but won’t get any real gains from this and the longer it goes the longer the turnaround will take.

I’d be trying to steal Kate and Tim from Nova who are Sydneysiders and maybe keep Ed if Joel wouldn’t commit to moving. Not sure if Ed has moved either, but the whole show MUST be in the city.

2day can’t win with a completely unknown show, they can only steal to turn this around.

Middle management must go, the clueless airheads who judge success by how much fun staff are having in the building and not looking at the numbers are out! Good luck DC and get that broom moving. Now!

Money talks
4 Jun 2021 - 1:27 am

This is becoming pathetic now.. How are the execs six, sometimes seven, figure salaries justified again?

Rove
4 Jun 2021 - 8:58 am

Ed Kavalee wasn’t funny with Grant Denyer and Em Rusciano on 2DayFM breakfast in Sydney so why have they gone with him again ? Puzzles me. SCA really must be out of options.

Craig
4 Jun 2021 - 9:03 am

If 2dayfm is an ‘ Adult ‘ station why do they have a new music show on at night with Ash London ( who sounds like she should be on ARN’s The Edge ) and that stupid weekend show with Angus and Dylan.
It astounds me how bad the decisions have been at this station. It’s being run by amateurs and it’s sad seeing the new CD Dave Cameron having to grovel and make excuses for all these poor errors of judgement. What a terrible way for him to end a once great career.

Bodge
4 Jun 2021 - 11:34 am

To the two nice people, who said they liked my work, I appreciate it. Thank you. It would be lovely to be back on the air again in some capacity.

To the one salty boi/girl, who clearly wasn’t loved as a child, I don’t have the time to anonymously spam a comment section with my name, nor would I ever post anonymously, and if I did, I wouldn’t bank on them to get me a spot on 2Day brekkie. Please sort your life out.

Side-note, I was listening to the best bits of 2Day the other evening and actually enjoyed it, so there.

I'm No Expert...
4 Jun 2021 - 11:35 am

But! 2Day could very well have been onto a good thing when they went through their brief “80’s To Now” phase. There is absolutely a market for this in Sydney for those who think WS is too old, and Smooth is too daggy.

But they got too out of their comfort zone and couldn’t decide on how to best position it between the above two stations. They also couldn’t fully commit to the format, and that was always going to limit it’s growth.

AC formats take YEARS to develop. Years and years. You wouldn’t plant a seed and then rip it out in a week because it hasn’t grown.

Now it seems anything that comes out of 2Day FM is very swing and miss.

Alex
4 Jun 2021 - 11:53 am

Bodge
The man the myth the legend.
BDB

BC
4 Jun 2021 - 11:57 am

At this point they should just flip it to Triple M Classic Rock.

Big up for Bodge
4 Jun 2021 - 12:08 pm

Bodge!

Also a big fan. Deserves to be back in radio. Could and would listen to him all day.

Jack Connor
4 Jun 2021 - 4:06 pm

Bodge is the king, let’s get some bodgey love in the comments

Kylie
5 Jun 2021 - 10:51 am

Bodge is the most kind hearted man you’ll meet. Not only does he engage with his community when doing shows he is incredibly down to earth and relate able.
I even listen to the archives of the shows, why? Because I am a huge fan.

I’ll be waiting for the day his back on the waves permanently, or whatever he does! Leave the guy alone. So in kind fashion..not your cup of tea? Fine, go elsewhere.
Guys got talent

Tish
7 Jun 2021 - 1:29 pm

2Day are a lost cause.
Their music is a mess, and it’s no good copying Nova and KIIS as an increasing number of younger listeners are deserting music radio for their own playlists.

The Wolfman
22 Jun 2021 - 4:23 pm

SCA Sydney is an embarrassment. The combined share of 2Day and Triple M is less than the individual shares of Smooth and KIIS.
Someone has to start making the tough decisions.

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