How Mix 102.3 went 20-in-a-row in Adelaide

Former Assistant Editor

Mix 102.3 in Adelaide is a unique beast. In a day and age where show lineups and music strategies seem to change like the tides, Mix provides a consistent and familiar sound for listeners.

In among ARN’s other high profile and top rating stations like KIIS FM in Sydney and Gold104.3 in Melbourne, the spotlight often misses Mix Adelaide, as it quietly and competently goes about its business.

Its consistency in GfK’s metro radio ratings is unmatched, not only in Adelaide but Australia-wide.

The results of Survey #7 saw Mix retain the #1 spot on FM among People 10+, and represents their 20th consecutive book in that position.

Not only that, long-time Breakfast duo Jodie and Soda have just hit 10-in-a-row on Breakfast at #1.

Mix 102.3 content director Tony Aldridge spoke with Radio Today on survey day, revealing that the station is “ecstatic” about reaching the big 20.

“Twenty is a phenomenal number to do be nonstop and when you have Jodie and Soda as well on breakfast with their ten in a row, for us it’s a big celebration.

“It’s a phenomenal result. So when you’ve got mix having a great book and then the AM service, Cruise 1323 having a great book, I think Tynte Street, Adelaide office was having a bit of a celebration at lunchtime.

So how have they achieved such a feat? Like any good leader, Tony refers to his team when pinpointing the keys to dominating the Adelaide market.

“I have an amazing team, everyone would probably say that but I’ve got some phenomenal hosts with Jodie and Soda in a breakfast show,” he says.

“Michelle delivers fantastic workday content and then you’ve got some networked shows that are fantastic as well.

“The off-air production team has a hell of a lot of experience. I think we’ll put a few fresh faces in there as well just to sort of keep the spark going with Breakfast, but for us it’s a great back end (of the year).”

While Adelaide is obviously categorised as a metro market, it’s a unique region for radio that certainly embodies a lot of characteristics of a regional area.

So understanding the city is crucial to forging that key connection between audience and listener.

“I think the main thing for us though with both Cruise and Mix is Adelaide. You’ve gotta know Adelaide, you’ve gotta be in Adelaide, you gotta understand it, and for characters like Soda, who, you walk down the street and have a coffee with him, everyone knows him.

“He’s a very high profile person. He’s on Channel Seven news every single night of the week. He’s got a black book that’s just worth pure gold, everyone’s in there. If there’s something we want to happen, it will happen.

“Jodie has been eleven years on the radio station, so, when you’ve got a couple like that driving the rating at breakfast, you know you’re in for a winner.

When it comes to the Mix 102.3 music strategy, it’s about familiarity, familiarity, familiarity.

“I think it’s we’re perfectly placed,” says Aldridge. “Smack in the centre I think you’ve gotten over a hit a bit in younger and we’ve got Cruise, our sister station, that’s slightly older and just to sit there and throw that dart at our target listener every time, that’s what wins it for us.

“We don’t change, we don’t jump on new music, we just sit there and go, if Adelaide loves it, we’ll play it. It’s a simple strategy, play the widest variety of music and play the music the listeners love.”

Aldridge admits that when it comes to strategy and content, its hugely helpful having the backing of one of the biggest networks in Australia.

National content director Duncan Campbell also plays a huge part in the success of the station and backs the ideas of the local team.

“The strategy is driven out of Sydney and then locally the executions are down to us,” says Aldridge.

“I’ll have weekly if not twice weekly chats with Duncan to go through what we talk about, what we’re going to do on the station. I don’t think there’s been one idea that Duncan’s ever thrown a black cloud over. Duncan is a very great programmer.

“He’s got so much knowledge and wisdom and the benefit is, is that because as well he is from afar, he’s over everything we do and he watches it and if there’s something… ‘how do you think about doing this or have you thought about doing that?’

“It just adds that little extra bit of light to us, so there great supports around the network.”

Aldridge explains that at the station they are given autonomy over what tactics they want to run.

“If we sit there and say we wanna do something, we’ll do it.

“This morning there was a story that came out yesterday where a five-year-old girl has unfortunately got cerebral palsy and the parents have been raising money for the child to get some research done in America.

“In a café there was a money tin that only had four hundred dollars in there from tips and some they’ve been collecting, and it was stolen.

“Jodie and Soda saw the story yesterday, dedicated fifteen minutes to it this morning on the Breakfast show and within ten minutes of doing it, three and a half thousand dollars was raised.

“No one in the network needed to know, it was just Jodie and Soda wanted to do it, let’s do it, it’s gonna make great radio, let’s go ahead.”

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