WSFM goes #1FM – how Charlie got his revenge

2Day FM have held the #1FM spot in Sydney since 2006. 7 years on and WSFM have today overtaken them to be the #1FM station in Sydney, but only by a whisker.

This win for WSFM is the result of much time and effort, as their Content Director Charlie Fox explains to Radio Today.

Mark: Charlie, a big day mate !!

Charlie: Yes a big day indeed.

Mark: What do you put this #1 FM result down to ?

Charlie: It’s really been about consistency of product, as simple as that. The guys on the air, the music, the imaging, the contesting. They’re the 4 legs of the table. We’ve got a brilliant breakfast team with Jonesy & Amanda, very very very experienced, pro lineup across the music shifts and I think we came up with some innovative and interesting promotions. We try and do stuff people haven’t done before that keeps the interest up which keeps the time spent listening up. I’ve been here for 8 years now (laughs) working away slowly at it. It’s nice to be 10+ #1FM.

It’s hard for a classic hits station to be #1 in a city because it’s that 40-54 demographic is a real tough one and the under 40 stations (10-17’s, 18-24’s etc) is a way different battle. It’s nice to be #1FM 10+ but the reality is it’s all about the demographics.

WSFM has been #1 in its target demographic 40-54 for years, so have Jonesy & Amanda, so the station has already been very successful in what it does, the 10+ is just an ego boosting bonus I guess.

Mark: How did the team take the result ?

Charlie: They’re really stoked today, it’s a nice tribute to those guys. We have a very small team here so it’s a tribute to the dedication of everyone on-air, off-air, weekends, it’s just a great team. It’s great for them to go and celebrate the success which we all need to do.

It’s one thing celebrating success in your demographic and what we’re supposed to do but it’s a nice gong to get. It’s like you’re going for the best cinematography award at the Oscars but you end up winning Best Movie.

Mark: That’s a good analogy, I like that one. So what’s next for WSFM moving forward, still about consistency ?

Charlie: Always has been, always will be. We’re not changing a thing. We’ll just continue to try and inch that little bit more out of the radio station, tighten things up, improve things. We think we’ve got a pretty good formula and really what we’ll do is try and come up with more innovative and exciting promotions to keep the listeners interested. We constantly analyse our music to make sure it’s the best for the demographic we’re after and the guys on-air all work very hard to make sure they’re doing the best content as well so it’s just a continuation of what we do really.

Mark: With a press release entering my inbox within 10 minutes of getting the results, you guys obviously had fingers crossed this result could happen ?

Charlie: We knew we had our best chance yet of being number 1. We came very close last year. There were about 3 surveys in a row that we were battling with that #1 FM figure. It came close then it fell off for a while and then survey 1 of this year it all came straight back again so we thought okay, this is going to be good.

Ratings are really hard to predict, it could have easily gone either way and it’s still a very small amount.

Mark: You gotta take the wins when they come even if it is by 0.1

Charlie: Yeah, that’s the thing. If it goes back down to #2 FM again next survey then so be it because our job is really to make good radio and win in our demographic and we do that, this is just a bonus really.

We think we’ve got a very good radio station and it now appears most of Sydney think we have the best FM radio station so that’s a good thing to know.

The story for me personally today was about 18 years ago I was Program Director of Triple M and we came off the back of a massive amount of number 1’s in Sydney and finally got beaten by 2Day FM so it’s taken me 18 years to get my revenge (laughs).

Mark: Congrats to you and the WSFM team and enjoy the celebrations today.

Charlie: Thanks Mark, appreciate it.

See all the numbers and analysis from Survey 2 here.

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