He’s Got The Future of Talk Radio in His Hands!


Ben Fordham has had the unenviable task of doing a breakfast show and a drive show at the same time.

One of the hardest working guys in media, 38 year old Ben is leaving Nine’s Today show to concentrate on 2GB’s drive show and is very much the future of talk radio

Ben’s a bit of a media pedigree, his father John Fordham started one of Australia’s most successful management companies, The Fordham Company in the 80’s, which manages elite media , sport and entertainment personalities.

Ben is considerably more contemporary than his breakfast and morning counterparts, Alan Jones and Ray Hadley on GB. His ratings on drive usually average around 10% compared to Jones and Hadley’s ratings of somewhere around 16%. This delivers GB’s ratings overall of around 13%*.

( * note to SCA, ARN and other radio companies pinning their hopes on drive shows to drive a stations ratings. It’s breakfast that drives overall ratings, as is the case with 2GB ! )

Jones and Hadley of course can be famously fairly right wing, and known for their frequent aggressive outbursts, but both are top rating, highly successful and are true radio “showmen”. They are what radio needs more of. They have great impact and major cut through. The difference between them and Fordham is not just generational, it’s attitudinal.

Ben sounds very natural, has great flow, and is contemporary.

His drive show competes with 2UE’s Justin Smith who’s ratings recently reached over 4% .

Smith doesn’t have the massive breakfast ratings as a lead in.

He sounds ‘nicer‘, more ‘folksy’ than Fordham.

In my view (and I’m from Melbourne originally), Ben sounds more ‘Sydney’ and Justin more ‘Melbourne’. Ben has more swagger, is more intense and more forthright with his opinions and views.

Fordham also competes with ABC702’s popular Richard Glover who usually averages around 10%, and he competes with music/talk format hybrids like Triple M’s Matt Tilley & Joe Hildebrand, who last survey rated a respectable 6.3%, Marty Tim and Kate who rate around the 8% mark and music formats like WS on about 8% and Smooth rating in the 6’s.

Ben is a radio star  and definitely a superstar of the future.

He has a very bright future ahead of him in radio.

You could easily hear him in a key breakfast role in a few years.

Ben leaving Nine’s Today is a loss for television but a big win for radio. Fordham is one of the stars who will drive talk radio into the future.

Whilst Ben doesn’t have the showbiz ‘flair‘ of Alan Jones or the melodramatics of Ray Hadley, he makes up for it with his contemporary, modern view of the world, his ease and natural conversations with listeners on the phone and mostly his relatablity, Ben’s an everyday ‘bloke’ listeners can relate to.

Brad March is a Director of Radio Today, is a former CEO of Austereo and has been named Media Executive of the Year. He’s Director of Marchmedia and Pacific Retail Management.

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