Nine Radio & Ben Fordham to chase even bigger market share

Former Editor & Content Director

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.

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18 Mar 2021 - 12:09 pm

Another typically Sydney-centric look at the radio landscape.

Mick C
18 Mar 2021 - 12:20 pm

Ratings are only numbers.

I ve nevereber had a ” ratings ” book or what ever you get.

My guess only a small number get to ” rate” their favorite shows then stations make ahuge deal out of the ratings

Peter Johnson
18 Mar 2021 - 12:32 pm

Can you imagine if the radio ratings had actually been running last year when Alan Jones was doing his final shows on 2GB and we were at the height of Covid?

Jones’s ratings would have been over 20%.

Sadly we will never know the official figures because of the stupid decision to stop the ratings because it wasn’t considered “safe” for people to fill out diaries.

@mick C
18 Mar 2021 - 12:45 pm

Over 50k a year get their say, then math takes over.

18 Mar 2021 - 1:13 pm

Yes, how do these ratings exactly work? How accurate are they? How many people are surveyed?

2SM is not even included in the ratings but it could be the case that lots of people are listening to this station.


18 Mar 2021 - 1:56 pm

Have they been spiking the drinks over at 2GB ? These guys are deluded, seriously deluded. Barely a listener under 65 and they are going to
” take on the FM’ers ” Next joke please.

18 Mar 2021 - 2:06 pm

Being able to spin like that, this Greg Byrnes bloke could get a job at SCA.

Mick C
19 Mar 2021 - 12:15 pm


People do listen to 2SM i did read ages ago that the owner of 2SM chooses not to pay the ratings co for what ever reason he has.

Plusthey have been having a few tech problems of late and the announcer have no idea there was a issue with 2 adds playing at the same time


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