Nine Radio & Ben Fordham to chase even bigger market share
Nine Radio may have topped the ratings in Sydney and Melbourne last week, but it has plans to take even more share away from its FM rivals.
Nine prefers to brand itself as ‘talk radio’, rather than the AM/ FM divide, but regardless of how you cut it, head of content Greg Byrnes is confident the audience is there for the taking.
“The heady high-20 results of late last year [in Melbourne] showed that the audience is there,” he said. “And for us year-on-year to be up about 6.7, 6.8 year-on-year, the audience is there, they like what they heard last year, and they’ve stuck around. Can we increase on [this survey]? Absolutely, and we’ve shown that we can.”
In Sydney too, Bynes said Breakfast host Ben Fordham, who had an 18.1% share this time around, wouldn’t be satisfied until he had more.
“He will be looking at 19[%] now. When they had 17.8, he said ‘Righto, well, our next target is 18′. They achieved that. Ben and the team are determined, and will not be taking it easy or taking the foot off the accelerator. He will aim to go to 19. He will be chasing down 3AW Breakfast [which had a 22.2% share]. There’s no doubt about that,” he said.
Byrnes also pointed out it was 2GB’s best Breakfast result in “about two years”, and a 3.3 point increase year-on-year.
“They’re working very hard. They work hard every day. He’s got a very loyal and solid team around him, Ben does, and he expects 120% from them,” he added.
Byrnes also said the solid results for Fordham only reinforced that it was the right decision to install him in the slot.
Byrnes’ comments were made before the FM content directors derided the ‘unusual’ results in Sydney, and predicted there would be a swing back to FM in coming surveys.
He did, however, concede there was more work to be done at Nine Radio.
“It does take time, and no way are we thinking that anything has been achieved as yet. The results are very encouraging and quite remarkable, but there is a lot of work to do, and it’s day after day. It’s a slog. Talk radio, live radio is a slog, but talk radio in particular is harder again because of the nature of the content.”
3AW Mornings host Neil Mitchell has also hit out at the supposed AM/ FM divide and the way in which radio ratings are reported, including by Nine’s own papers.