Is Mix 101.1 about to be KIIS’d?

Staff Writer

There has speculation for months that ARN will move Mix 101.1 Melbourne to the KIIS FM brand, and today the Australian newspaper is reporting (here) that the move is definitely on.

The Australian has quoted Duncan Campbell as saying "Our goal in 2015 is to ensure Mix 101.1 performs significantly better and we will do whatever it takes to ensure that happens".

The article went onto to suggest the message was clear (to them) and that a move to KIIS would occur.

It would not be unexpected. 

Mix 101.1 has under-performed for some time, and is presently the lowest ranked commercial FM station in Melbourne although, in fairness, the margins are tight and the station is only 1.8% behind the leading FM station (Fox). 

Nevertheless, with both Nova and Fox having new Breakfast shows this year, if there was ever an opportunity for the station to grow to a more robust position, 2014 was it.

With the listener churn, the Breakfast Show has improved this year, and briefly claimed the leading FM position, before slipping behind Fox and Triple M in recent surveys.

Whilst Mix Breakfast has not performed as well as ARN would have hoped given the market opportunity, it does outperform station average, which is impacted by soft workday figures.

In the most recent survey Mix were the lowest ranked commercial FM station in Mornings, Afternoons and Drive.

With the success of KIIS in Sydney, albeit driven significantly from a particularly unique set of Breakfast circumstances, the option of a Sydney/Melbourne KIIS brand would clearly have been considered; and if the Australian is correct, it has not only been considered, but is confirmed.

If it is to happen, there would presumably be lineup changes, rather than simply a name change and format tweak.

With the ratings success of Kyle & Jackie O in Sydney, there is the possibility of that show being networked into Melbourne Breakfast, a prospect flagged on Radio Today some months ago (here). 

This would displace the 'Chrissie & Jane' Breakfast show.

They could, together or in part, be moved to a different daypart on 101.1. They may find a new home on Gold given the soft Breakfast ratings on that station. Or they could exit ARN.

If 'Chrissie & Jane' are to be required to vacate 101.1 Breakfast, the next couple of survey results are likely to influence which option is taken.

Either way it looks like the reshaping of the market in Sydney courtesy of the ARN changes may now move to Melbourne.

However it will be tough. A potentially relaunched KIIS Melbourne is likely to find it tougher at the 'Hit Music' end of the market in Melbourne than it has in Sydney, given the comparative strength of both the Fox and Nova 100 Breakfast shows compared to their Sydney counterparts.

Interesting times to come.

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