“It’s been a massive turnaround in quite a short period of time”
It has been the year of ARN and Survey #8 capped off a great year for them.
We caught up with Group Content Director, Duncan Campbell for a wrap of the latest book. What’s ahead in 2015 with the arrival of KIIS 101.1, including Hughesy and Kate and Matt Tilley and Jane Hall. And we will find out Duncan’s Shittiest Moment of 2014.
Blair Sullivan: So survey 8 wraps up the year – but has the year ended or just started for you as well?
Duncan Campbell: Well, you know we’ve had a lot of planning to do for KIIS in Melbourne, so because we had a bit more time obviously this time round than we did last time with KIIS 106.5, we’re ready to go. There’s still a lot of work to do, but planning’s on track, and no major hurdles to overcome really, so we’re looking forward to it.
Blair Sullivan: A good end to a turbulent year in Melbourne for ARN. Gold has jumped nicely to 8.0% and is #2 FM behind Fox FM, nice result.
Duncan Campbell: Gold has had another good year. It’s a very consistent station, once the football season ends it comes back into its own, which we’re seeing today. So yeah, it’s a good result for those guys, we’re very happy.
BS: Just quickly back to KIIS 101.1…. Laneway Gigs.. I heard that MIX is promoting these On-Air.. something that Hit107 Adelaide started… nice blocking move?
DC: Well Melbourne’s famous for its Laneways and what better way to introduce a new station into the market than by some good promotional activity, and the Laneway Gigs are just one part of our promotional strategy down there, so they’ll be quite exciting next year.
BS: In Sydney you have ended the year in #1 and #2 FM position with WSFM #1 FM overall on 8.9%. KIIS improved to 8.4.
How are the demos looking for each station?
DC: Well the demos for Sydney are really quite interesting, I mean you’ve got 25-54, WS is #1 versus KIIS at #2 in the market, so you know, very strong stations, and really have been the highlight of the year really in terms of the way they have both dominated in Sydney and really can’t see any reason why that won’t continue in the next year.
So our goal is just to deliver on our strategy consistently again next year for both those stations and focus on what we’re doing and just continuing to do it really well. So an impressive end of year for those guys, for both stations.
BS: And kicking off the year, particularly with KIIS with Hughesy and Kate. You must be looking forward to that as well on Drive.
DC: Yeah, it’s going to be an interesting entry into the market. I mean they’re a great show, I spent some time with them in Melbourne just recently and you can just sense the chemistry really quickly. How relaxed they are with each other. I find them both incredibly funny, very entertaining and very genuine as well. I mean I think that’s going to be really good for Sydney, and a good introduction to KIIS as well for next year.
BS: As a competitor would you prefer SCA leave 2day as is or rebrand to Hit?
DC: Look, it doesn’t really worry me what they do really. They will do what they do is my philosophy, I can’t control that. You know, I think we’ve got great strength in both the stations, particularly in KIIS with Kyle and Jackie O on Breakfast and the introduction of Hughesy and Kate into drive. I’m very confident about us next year and we’ll watch with interest what they do with 2DAY FM.
BS: 97.3 in Brisbane, they’ve won 7 out of 8 surveys! How’s Barry going? He didn’t quite make it this year with #8.
DC: Yeah, Barry’s obviously disappointed today. But it’s 97.3’s best year ever, so there’s a few best year evers across the ARN network this year, which is great. That team has done an amazing job, it’s not hugely resourced up there and they punch well above their weight, so to get 7 out of 8 surveys is tremendous. Nova have always been the challenger this year for us and they’ve had a great end of year, so congratulations to Jason and the team. Next year’s another year as they say.
BS: Robin, Terry & Bob have won six of the eight surveys in 2014 making them the #1FM Breakfast show in Brisbane this year.
DC: Yeah, I mean the whole station’s done very well. Great strength in the key demos we needed to have strength in and you know, I mean Nova’s very strong up there, so to hold them off all year has been a great effort. So Barry and the team have done a tremendous job.
DC: They’ve had a good year as well, it’s an AM station, but it’s been very consistent all year, it’s ebb and flowed a little bit, but you know they’ve done a great job up there. It’s a very strong station with a very passionate audience base.
BS: The other market that’s been of interest in recent months has been Adelaide, but MIX 102.3 comes to the fore again.
DC: Yeah, look I mean just very strong down there, and again we don’t sit back on our laurels down there. We knew that they were going to have to move to hit107 and we sort of did as much as we could to ensure that if they did spill any top end off their target that they would land on us and I think there has been a bit of movement there in terms of some of the older demographics. So very, very happy with the results down there for MIX.
BS: It’s the first 12 months since we have moved to GfK for handling the surveys? How has it been?
DC: I think very consistent to be honest, there’s been no difference between this year and last year really. No-one’s seen any huge anomalies and I’d say it’s been a huge success.
BS: Best Moment of 2014?
DC: I think probably two of them. One of them obviously is the duopoly in Sydney which I talked a fair bit about this year. But the other one is I think looking back over the last four years, and the network share in 2010 was 13.9 versus SCA’s 18.4, and we find ourselves in 2014 with ARN having a network share of 10+’s, 17.5 versus SCA’s 13.6, so it’s been a massive turnaround in quite a short period of time.
For the network, and for the teams of people that work at our radio stations, it’s a great end of the year. It’s our best ever and I know that the people who work for us will be heading off and having a very enjoyable Christmas and looking very much forward to 2015.
BS: Now, I’ve described this as the Shittiest Moment of 2014. You can call it the Worst Moment of 2014. Is there one you can pick out?
DC: Ah, good question. Look I think one of the shittiest moments would be losing Brisbane. We had 7 out of 8 and we really wanted 8 out of 8. Barry and I talked a lot about it.
He was very passionate about getting 8 out of 8 obviously, and I think when small teams of people, which we have at 973, work so hard and are so focussed on getting the results for us, to be pipped at the post at the last survey was…..that was a shitty moment really.
But you know, if that was the shittiest, we didn’t have such a bad year.
BS: There you go. Nice answer. What are you looking forward to in 2015?
DC: Look I can’t wait for Melbourne to be honest, I think it’s going to be really exciting. You know the launch of a new station, the calibre of talent that we’ve hired in has been extraordinary.
Really looking forward to hearing Matt and Jane on Breakfast, you know again, I spent some time with those guys recently in Melbourne as well. Very pumped in terms of what they’re going to deliver and we’re seeing the early signs of some really great chemistry between the two of them.
And of course you know, the return of Hughesy and Kate to radio full-time and in Drive. They’re both very excited about the change of daypart.
When we overlay a whole new station with a whole new marketing campaign on top of all that I think it is going to be really exciting. It’s going to be challenging, there’s no doubt about that, but we’re really ready for the battle in Melbourne and looking forward to it.