Duncan Campbell – ARN’s next moves

Staff Writer

After each survey we chat to Group Content Directors on how their brands and stations performed. With Survey #7 we will talk with Duncan Campbell and Craig Bruce.  

Some would say it has been the Year of ARN and Duncan Campbell has lead the programming team through a tremendous period of change for the group. In our wrap of Survey #7 with Duncan we will talk about how big  that survey bonus cheque will be for Kyle and Jackie O. What is happening with Melbourne breakfast and Chrissie Swan?

How will ARN network Hughesy & Kate, when 973 and Mix Adelaide are so different to the Kiis format?

For ARN we will start in Sydney.

Blair Sullivan: Sydney is obviously very good again, you've got #1 and #2. But it's not all smooth sailing, WSFM is down a bit, and driven by daytimes.  Any music issues at play or just one of those books?

Duncan Campbell: No, I think it has been quite consistent for the whole year for WS. Particularly across the workday.  It’s a bit of an anomaly really.

The music strategy is bang on the money as far as that is concerned, I think it's an anomaly this book to be honest.

BS: On KIIS Kyle & Jackie have broken the 10-share. How big a bonus cheque will you be writing for that?

DC: (laughs) I can’t comment on that.

BS: But you’ve got to be happy with the results for the guys overall.

DC: Yeah, very happy. I mean they have had a good survey.  To be fair both stations have. It’s a big show, the expectations are high, so we are very happy with what they have delivered this round.

So the battle has been back and forth all year, so I suspect they will finish the year quite strongly.

BS:  There is so much talk over the future of the Chrissie & Jane breakfast show for 2015, anything you can enlighten us on?  What may or may not happen?

DC: I can’t comment on either at the moment. But suffice to say, our strategy there has been to bookend the day with a strong drive offering and also a strong breakfast offering, which we will announce very soon.

Our plans are coming together, we are just focusing on building Kiis 101.1 now and launching that in January next year.

BS: Okay, so let's touch on Melbourne breakfast more, but not Mix. Gold is a 7.2 share, with breaky on mid-6's. It has been under station average for some time, any issues there?

DC: They haven’t performed as well as we would like, I won’t shy away from that. They are not far off the pace – their about a point off the pace really. That will be a focus as well next year.  

Our goal is to have a strong duopoly in Melbourne.  Now Gold, to be fair has been a consistent performer. It had a good year last year, it’s having a good year this year. I was expecting it to perform better with this round, but that hasn’t happened.

So the strategy very much remains solid, and if we can lift that breakfast share a little that will certainly help us next year, ensuring we do have a strong duopoly in Melbourne.

BS: With KIIS Melbourne announced, are you considering rebranding Brisbane and Adelaide, or is that not on the radar at the moment?

DC: No, those stations are just too strong. There is no reason commercially or formatically to do that. So at this stage that is not an option we are considering.

BS:  Let’s look at Brisbane, it was a tight one with 973.

DC: Yeah it was. Nova you know is a great competitor up there, so they have done really well. They have really benefitted from females off b105. The weak Today stations are not really good news for us in Adelaide and Brisbane. So we will watch that.

Our goal is for 973 to be number one 8 in a row. Barry’s got his job cut out for him for the final survey.

But look Nova is a strong station, always has been.  And they have come back quite strong in quarter four this year and it's always been a good battle between us and them. So we just have to make sure they don’t pip us on that final survey.

BS:  Nova is also breathing down your neck in breakfast as well..

DC: Yeah they have been, they traditionally do. We normally have sort of trailed them in breakfast, but this time round to be number 1 in breakfast is good as well.

To be fair, both strong stations Nova and 973.  It’s a real tussle up there for those two.

BS:  For Brissy with Hughesy & Kate coming on drive next year, what is happening with Campo, who is on Drive now?

DC: Campo will do afternoons. He stays with the radio station. He is really part of the fabric of 973. Very happy keeping him on-board and he will still be On-Air in 2015.

BS:  The music of Brisbane and for that matter Adelaide is different to Sydney, and I am guessing what Melbourne will serve… how will you deal with that on a network level with Hughesy & Kate?

DC: The music won’t change on 973 and Mix1023, so it will be local music and national content. That is the strategy going forward.

BS:  And across to Adelaide for Mix down there.

DC: The trend is not great there. I think they will bounce back in survey 8. They remain very strong and to be number 1 in breakfast is also great.

I just want to reverse the trend right now, but there are no complaints done there at all from us.

I think the market is going to be interesting next year.  We haven’t seen the impact of hit107 yet, too early to tell. And Nova’s got a strong breakfast show down there.

We have got to make sure we are as strong as we can possibly be.

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