ARN disappointed Jase & PJ still not delivering ratings

Former Editor & Content Director

The content boss of Australian Radio Network (ARN) Duncan Campbell has admitted his frustration that its Melbourne station KIIS 101.1 can’t seem to meaningfully break into the market.

In the most recent ratings survey, the station had an overall 4.4% share, down from 5.0% last survey.

Its Breakfast program, Jase & PJ, had 4.7%, its second-worst result since it kicked off at the beginning of 2018. Its worst result came last survey, when most music-based FM stations in Melbourne took a hit, and it fell to 4.4% from 6.8% prior to the COVID-19 ratings pause.

Since its inception, the show has averaged a 5.6% share.

Discussing ARN’s highlights and lowlights from Survey 7, Campbell flagged KIIS 101.1 as the station causing him the most concern moving into Survey 8.

“I think it’s still KIIS 101.1. I think it’s a station which, very few people criticise Jase & PJ and the content they do. And yet it just can’t seem to get the traction we want. And every time we think we’re getting signs that ‘Yes, we’re going to get some traction here and some momentum’, then it doesn’t deliver.”

He gave the show somewhat of a free pass this survey, given the drift away from contemporary hit stations towards the likes of 3AW as Melbourne grappled with ongoing COVID-19 lockdowns.

“Melbourne has been an extraordinary market because of COVID down there and you can see AW’s impact there on the landscape, the radio landscape, even with this Survey and that will carry on into next survey,” he said.

“Given the fact that NSW has come out of it and you’ve seen 2GB settle back into the norms there in Sydney, but Melbourne’s still very much COVID country so to speak, so AW’s still very very prominent there. But once COVID passes in Melbourne and things start to return, AW’s, these figures won’t be sustained.”

Jase & PJ’s best result came in Survey 5 last year, when it jumped to a 7.2% share in Breakfast.

The duo’s contracts were up for renewal at the end of 2020, however they were extended at the beginning of the year.

ARN stablemate GOLD 104.3 topped the FM pile in Breakfast this survey, with a 7.3% share, up slightly from 7.2% in Survey 6.

Nine Radio’s 3AW had 28.4% in Breakfast, up 2.3 points.

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9 Nov 2020 - 11:33 am

these guys will pass the fox show. trends don’t lie. nova and kiis will be the shows in the future.

9 Nov 2020 - 1:38 pm

Disagree Rick… when the Melbourne audience come back they’ll return to what they know and who they trust. Fifi and Fev are Melbourne…. Carrie, Tommy, Hughesy etc… NOVA have bigger names also.

Melbourne is a hard nut to crack… it’s not like anywhere else, people in Melbourne love Melbourne people. Jase & PJ need to stick at for at least another few years until they get their true foot in the door.

9 Nov 2020 - 1:38 pm

What does ARN expect when it’s well known they stole their name from an iconic grass roots station that’s been part of Melbourne since the mid 1990s, hasnt done them any favours

9 Nov 2020 - 1:58 pm

This show would work in Brisbane.
Huge NZ community and Jase is a local

9 Nov 2020 - 3:42 pm

Not good enough for Melbourne. As soon as the marketing is switched off that rate 4’s. Won’t work, SCA and NE are laughing all the way to GFK. ARN will have to serve up something better than a Kiwi show to rate here.

9 Nov 2020 - 3:44 pm

Brisbane or Perth standard at best. Or Canberra.

9 Nov 2020 - 5:13 pm

Get Gary Robert’s over here to fix it.
Wrong format, wrong breakfast, wrong drive, wrong music, apart from that it’s fine.

nick bartlett
9 Nov 2020 - 5:18 pm

To be completely honest, ARN would have the same problem in Sydney if Kyle and Jackie O left KIIS.

They should take 101.1 and create a station for Melbourne. It’s been done several times before – including with EON and 3KZ.

Murray Korff
9 Nov 2020 - 5:40 pm

If it’s a vanilla program where nobody criticizes them then there’s the problem. They’re not generating any “water cooler” talk. It’ll take years before there’s any cut through – if ever.

9 Nov 2020 - 7:40 pm

WHY did ARN extend Jase and PJ’s contract is they were ‘ disappointed’ in their ratings ?

9 Nov 2020 - 8:02 pm

Fabulous show, get them on the tele and spend some money. I hope they don’t try and mum it up… but some stuff for families…. jase is great. Honestly – get them on the tele… carols, are you paying attention, working dog shows. whatever bull shit stuff works on making people family names down there… do that. Ring in to the ABC… whatever it takes. Get him playing AFL… massive stunt for kids. Be Neil Mitchells buddy. I dont know what the hell they love down there… expensive jackets? Wear those… COvid aftermath. Rather than floating on a river playing tennis. you can do stupid shit, but with a bigger impact! hospital. 6 oclock news stuff. For the person who said Perth show at best, the rock 40 countdown is done how offensive. These guys are supreme.. back em in ! BUT push them too!!!!

Irene Hulme
9 Nov 2020 - 8:36 pm

I work at Nova but I’m a radio fan first and foremost and what I hear when I listen to these guys is hard work, passion, creativity, a relentless enthusiasm and enormous warmth.

Jase and PJ, you will get there, you’re too good and too committed not to.

10 Nov 2020 - 12:32 am

From what i’ve read here and elsewhere, it sounds like their digital metrics are good, just that Jase & PJ don’t translate into the desired ratings.

Be fair – Kylie and Jackie O only had to jump ship and transfer long-standing ratings momentum from one station to another. They’ve also created a brand KIIS that “means” Kyle and Jackie O before it means anything else (such as the implied Top 40 pop format).

It’s especially difficult to materialise similar ratings in Melbourne when all Under 40s music radio stations are trending downward.

This is possibly the best and most interactive breakfast team the station has had in two decades, besides that they have great chemistry and they are really likeable.

Yet none of that addresses the long-term problem of a station that long ago threw away any meaningful brand it had.

The station in the 90s was 101.1 TT-FM and it developed into a parochial Melbourne brand that 3KZ was a decade earlier and only really 3AW excels at today.

One fogettable day in 2001, on the other side of a news bulletin it just suddenly stopped being that and ratings took an almost immediate hit before Nova jumped on board and made any possible rebuild all the harder. It has argaubly never recovered from that decision.

It has since spent two decades addressing every aspect of programming it can think of beside that one decision, however subtle they may have deemed the change.

I doubt identifying the elephant in this particular room will be helped using the modern rhetoric of “talent” and “content”.

Not that I suggest it’s easy to recreate such a parochial brand. 2Day is having a similar problem trying to redefine itself and even Nova has got a bit lost. All of these stations are past their peak.

Yet given TT-FM once did 25 to 39 demo so well, and not having been the first station to do so, how difficult can it be?

10 Nov 2020 - 9:51 am

Problem is too many chatty nothing based breakfast formats, all doing the same thing, talking about showbiz and footy gossip and assorted meaningless pap. You can sometimes be better off with a good single presenter show than an average duo.

10 Nov 2020 - 11:23 am

I was just going to go “what about Christian O’Connell? He had a much bigger hurdle to jump” — but Tony upthread seems to have answered my question, at least partially.

11 Nov 2020 - 9:41 am

It’s true Melbourne loves Melbourne so it could be that Jase and Pj really don’t love the city they work in. Both moved there for the job and PJ is currently back in NZ but what about Christian O’Connell – he is doing exceptionally well and from the UK. Industry people can say how good the show is but if it’s not rating then maybe people just don’t like it. Sounds like a night show at best


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