Duncan Campbell: Talking points from Survey #5
We’re past the midway point in 2019, with the fifth GfK metro ratings survey throwing up plenty of talking points.
As the dust was settling on another survey, Radio Today spoke with several network content directors including ARN national CD Duncan Campbell.
Overall it was a largely successful book for ARN, so here are five key points that were thrown up during our chat:
1. The revival of 96FM
“Look, it’s incredibly satisfying to be honest. I think everyone’s done an amazing job over there refocusing the team. We did a lot of research into the music format, and we took time to get that right.
“I think we’ve got the right music format now, which is obviously driving a wedge in that market and affecting 94.5, which has always been the goal. And Gary managed to entice Fred Botica out of retirement, which is great
“I’ve worked in Perth twice in my career and I think Fred is such a unique talent. There’s no breakfast show like that in the country. It’s very Perth. And he was successful for so long that I think in coming back on the air has ignited the interest in people.
“Perth also one of the markets where I’d say that there is still , to some degree, a herd mentality, that people like to migrate to where there is action and something’s happening.”
2. Will & Woody
“We’re now the #2 Drive show nationally, which is a great result for them.
“We took the bold step in 2017 in putting on three new shows. Christian O’Connell, Jase & PJ, and the National Drive Show. All those shows were unknown and I think it takes times for listeners to get to know them.
“We’ve worked very closely with Will & Woody and they’re very passionate about what they do. I think this show has never sounded better at the moment and that’s beginning to resonate, and they’ve had a great result this survey.”
3. Trending upwards in Brisbane
“Well we’ve been very consistent with and persistent with the strategy up there, and I think there’ve been some comments about what we’ve done with that show which some have been tongue in cheek, some haven’t been.
“We work off strategies that drive these stations to success, and we stick to those strategies and we are very consistent with how we execute it. I think what we’re seeing over the last couple of books is that consistency paying off, and it’s great to see 97.3 back at the #2 station.
“The team have put a lot of hard work into making sure the dynamic between Mike and Bianca is working well, and I think we’re just seeing the fruits of all our work at the at the mic coming to play.
“Full cred to Barry and the team for the way they’ve executed it all.”
4. Jase & PJ
I think there’s been some extraordinary comments made about regional shows that work in metro markets, and the fact is… a good show is a good show.
“It’s taken 18 months. I think that’s a lesson for everyone in terms of sometimes these shows just take time, particularly in such a competitive market like Melbourne.
“You’ve got four stations in Melbourne over a million cume. It’s highly competitive. It hadn’t settled yet. Jase & PJ have jumped two points in two books and so I was very happy for those guys today.
“It’s a great consolidation, that last survey’s increase, and I think we can finally say we’ve got some momentum behind that show, which is fantastic.”
5. The Gold vs smooth battle
“You’ve got two very strong stations in Melbourne, Smooth and Gold. You’ve got two very strong stations in Sydney, Smooth and WS.
“smooth has been very consistent. They’ve been very clever in the way they’ve evolved the format, so it’s great tussle, if you like.
“I think this year in particularly, we’ve seen smooth being more resilient than they have been historically. They normally sort of do fall a little bit at the back end of the year but I think Paul’s been very clever with how he’s evolved the format.
“But we’re enjoying the tussle and we’re in it to win it, so to speak. So, watch this space.”