Duncan Campbell: “We are in this market to win”
Following survey, we hooked up with a couple of the Group Content Directors, chatting in depth with each as they gave their insights into what went well, what went wrong.
For ARN, it all went pretty well – Survey 3 saw Hughesy and Kate become the number one network drive show, but will Hamish & Andy shake that up or is SCA “slightly misguided” in Duncan Campbell’s words?
How is KIIS Melbourne breakfast panning out and was there a win for them in the psychological battle? And how does Duncan deal with Kyle and Jackie O when they “push the envelope”?
Blair: Let’s start with the KIIS Network Brands, in Sydney KIIS 1065, solid as rock as again
Duncan Campbell: The Sydney duopoly has played out to perfection for us. Two very strong radio stations. KIIS1065 just continues to perform better. I think the highlight is the strength of Kyle and Jac, which remains in double figures, and Hughesy & Kate now the number 1 drive show in Sydney with a very impressive result today.
You know after three surveys introducing a brand new show into Sydney like that, it is a pretty extraordinary performance and real testament to the talent of Dave Hughes and Kate Langbroek. It’s an amazing show, it’s sounded fantastic from day one and the ratings have followed suit.
Blair: And on a national level as well.
Duncan Campbell: To have the number one network drive show around the country 4 to 6, and 4 to 7, is just a real testament to the team behind the scenes, and obviously the talent on the air. That is probably one of the big highlights for us today.
Blair: So will it become tougher as Hamish and Andy are re-introduced into the market in July?
Duncan Campbell: Well I think it is going to become more challenging, yeah absolutely. But the reality is that as I keep on saying, the landscape is very different now. They are entering into the Sydney market with a radio station that rates 2.7 and that is going to be hugely challenging for them.
The reality is there are two other very strong drive shows on FM. There is Hughesy & Kate on KIIS and there’s Tim, Kate and Marty, the guys on Nova.
I suspect that the expectations within SCA are slightly misguided, particularly when it comes to Sydney. It’s just a different landscape and you do need a strong breakfast show to help drive listening and they simply don’t have that on hit104 at the moment.
Blair: How do you navigate the wash of some of Kyle and Jackie O’s on-air content, I am thinking the bendy boy and the recent Barnaby Joyce rant – does it just come with the territory?
Duncan I think it comes with the territory. That is the show, and I don’t believe there has been any breach of any code. We just deal with that as it comes up. It’s part of the show, and it doesn’t dominate the show, but every now and then the envelope is pushed and that is the nature of the Kyle and Jackie O show.
Blair: And a nice little free publicity push that comes with it?
Duncan: Well it obviously generates strong PR as well and there is no harm in that.
Blair: How is KIIS Melbourne – Are you happy with way breakfast is performing?
Duncan: I would say Melbourne again it is still too close to call for anybody really. In terms of, I guess we will call it the CHR battle between KIIS and Nova and hit101.9, the cumes are all very tight, the shares are very tight.
We had an encouraging lift today, fairly small but to be positioned ahead of FOX is a fairly strong psychological boost for us today. And to have Hughesy & Kate performing strongly down here as well is also encouraging.
For breakfast to be ahead of FOX is encouraging and drive just 0.1 off means it’s still very much game on in Melbourne.
We are in this market to win and it was always going to be a much longer term play for us than Sydney. Today is encouraging but there is still more work to do.
Blair: What has been your marketing focus in Melbourne both on and off air with the KIIS brand?
Duncan: I think just to make sure it is out there and people are aware of it. We have had a continued marketing presence here pretty much the whole year. And that will continue forward with peaks, particularly around Hamish and Andy’s launch.
The purpose of that marketing is to make sure that the KIIS brand starts to get embedded in people’s minds. Certainly on-air the content in breakfast is the focus. It is getting better week after week, the show has always been a good show and it has some very strong talent hosting it and that will continue to be a big focus for us moving forward.
Blair: Any concerns in the Brisbane market?
Duncan: No. I don’t think anyone has used the two horse race line this year, but I will use it again. I think Nova should always have been stronger than they were and they are now coming back. Triple M has had some disastrous books this year, for them to bounce back puts them where they probably should be.
They (SCA) will be making a big deal out of the rise of Triple M this book. Melbourne is a very strong Triple M for them, but elsewhere there are inconsistencies for them. Let’s just wait and see the trend on that. So for me Brisbane is very much 97.3, and Nova is still the challenger. A very strong result up there for us.
Blair: Adelaide, you can’t really do a thing wrong there with both brands.
Duncan: Strong down there. MIX is just a well programmed and well positioned station. You know Cruise is doing well, again beating Triple M which is interesting.
There’s no movement at all on hit107. I was quite bullish in predicting that the format had failed a couple of books ago, and I sort of maintain that really. There are no signs really that that format is going anywhere around the country. Those challenges remain with SCA but Adelaide is a great result for MIX and also for Cruise.
Blair: Let’s touch on the Pure Gold Network. Gold 104, what changes have you made down there.
Duncan: We made the change as you know with Content Directors, Sam Thompson is on board. The energy she has brought to the station is refreshing and there is a really tight focus on breakfast.
We now find ourselves in Melbourne equal with Nova on breakfast with a 6.3. The daytime numbers on Gold are back where they should be. It’s always been a station that has some good at work listening, so the focus for Sam and the product team has been very much breakfast and workdays. It has certainly paid dividends today.
And Gold really started the year softer than we expected and I think it has returned to where I think it should be.
But credit to Triple M, it’s a strong year for those guys and Eddie and the breakfast show continues to soar down there. It’s quite an interesting market with the sort of older adult formats doing well on FM. And the CHR battle still playing out with KIIS, Nova and the old Fox.
Blair: So what’s next?
Duncan: We have still got to do some work on Perth. We haven’t done anything there yet. We are just getting all our ducks in a row, so to speak. Any changes we are planning for Perth will happen in the second half of this year.
And the focus is very much still on Melbourne. That is where we see the growth for the network. If we can continue to move KIIS forward and consolidate the Gold result that will gives us a very strong position in Melbourne, which has always been our aim in 2015.
I talked about 2015 being about Melbourne, in the middle to later stages of 2014, and it still is very much about that for us.