Duncan Campbell ‘we’re pretty happy’

Staff Writer

Following yesterdays survey results we spoke to the three Group Programmers of the FM groups; see our chat with Craig Bruce here, and with Paul Jackson here.

Now, time to chat to the guy who unquestionably had the best survey day of the three.

ARN had a big day with some very strong results, and we spoke to Duncan Campbell about how his views.

Mark Hales: Not a bad round of surveys, you're making a habit of this.

Duncan Campbell: I said at the end of last year that this would be the year of ARN and that’s proving to be correct. The strategy is playing out perfectly and we find ourselves not having to react to results but being able to proactively execute the strategy.

The numbers speak for themselves and we don’t need to spin those in any way and when you look at what the ARN team have achieved with the resources we have it’s extraordinary and says a lot about focus, execution and the type of people we have working for us. But to answer your question, yes I’m happy (laughs). 

MH: So let's look at Sydney, in particular WSFM. In 2015 you've made some signficant changes to the brand, and it has clearly paid off. 

DC: WSFM has performed extremely well this year and I’m really happy with how both our stations are positioned and you can see by the results that we really are maximising our duopoly in Sydney.

Great result for Jason Staveley, who is outright #1 in Afternoons. Across the board they are strong numbers and to be #2 25-54 behind KIIS is perfect for us commercially. The reality now is that ARN with KIIS and WSFM dominate the FM market in Sydney.

MH: Tell us about Jonesy & Amanda, they are the leading FM Brekky show by a big margin, what does this mean to them?

DC: For Jonesy and Amanda it means a lot. Amanda is in Europe but was waiting up at 1am her time until she got the call from Charlie Fox, which shows you how passionate she is, and Jonesy is the same.

They love radio and put a lot of work into the show each day. It’s a great team at WS. A small but very effective team.

MH: Any problems with KIIS? 2 down books in a row.

DC: No problems with KIIS at all. #1 25-39, #1 25-54 and #2 40-54, and of course #2 FM with the station and breakfast. Look, we don’t like losing share and despite a couple of soft books that station will bounce back.

I don’t often make bold predictions but in this case I will. KIIS is very solid in all our key perceptual indicators, in fact more than solid. We’re only half way through the year and to be where we are now is ahead of our original projections.

MH: Kyle isn't used to being #2, how's he dealing with it. 

DC: Well he’s a very astute and passionate radio guy so he does not like being #2. He’ll come back ready for the challenge. If anything he’s more hungry now so expect some great shows from both of them in survey 5.

MH: A week off sick after survey 3, will he be there next week? (laughs)

DC: Yes he’ll be back on air next week.

MH: Gold has come off a bit in Melbourne, but is equal #1 with Triple M. Daytimes are good, but Brekky is well under station average, is that a focus?

DC: Melbourne is an interesting market with only 0.9 between first and last FM. Yes for us the focus for Gold is breakfast. They are a great team but we need to look at why they aren’t getting the traction we need.

Melbourne will be a focus for me for the rest of the year as we prepare for 2015.

MH: Still in Melbourne, Mix 101.1 flat, and Chrissie & Jane back to #2 behind Triple M, with Fox snapping at their heels. Concerned about Fox?

DC: No not concerned about Fox. They are still settling with no consistent growth in any demo really.

To be fair, it’s still early days (for Fox) but we focus on what we do and Mix has had a great year. Best ever cume this survey with 950,000 listeners so our job is now conversion. Chrissie and Jane have really found their feet this year as well and to be #2 FM again is a real achievement.

I’m very happy for them as I know how much they love that show and what they do.

MH: Adelaide is great, Mix is a strong result, and it's super consistent isn't it.

DC: It really is a great strategy well executed by the team in Adelaide. Chris Cotton (pictured) is very focussed and the breakfast team is creating some strong content this year. The addition is Mark Soderstrom has worked well. He’s a real talent and the chemistry with Jody Oddy evident on the air.

MH: And Cruise, for an AM music station to be rating in the 8's is impressive.

DC: I know. Amazing. Who would of thought an AM music station sitting 1.7 points ahead of SAFM.

MH: Not a bad effort really. Okay let's talk about Brisbane, firstly 4KQ, a nice jump, and in the 7's is probably where you need it to sit, would that be fair?

DC: 4KQ has done well this year. The breakfast show as well up a full point in the survey. Again, not a lot of resources thrown at that station but a team of very passionate people.

MH: The 97.3 result, did you see that coming?

DC: Well not to that degree but Barry Drinkwater (left) and the team have been putting in place some strong content tactics which have lifted the engagement levels of the audience and we’re seeing that translate to greater share which is great.

Breakfast up 1.7 off the back of an full point increase last survey tells me there is real movement going on with that show and the station overall. 97.3 dominate 25-54 in Brisbane, which for us is where the money is.

MH: And with Nova and B105 within 1.5 of each other overall, you're probably pretty happy for them to scrap it out and leave 97.3 to sit on your own yeah?

DC: We don’t underestimate any of our competitors and we know how strong a competitor Nova is in Brisbane. There are still 4 more surveys this year so the battle continues.

MH: Well done on the results today, ARN has certainly done well. Congrats.

DC: Thanks Mark appreciate it.


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