Mackay Ratings: Hit & Triple M lose lead to Star 101.9

Former Editor & Content Director

Queensland’s Mackay region has a new #1 radio station, with Grant Broadcasters’ Star 101.9 outpacing Southern Cross Austereo’s (SCA) offerings.

Last survey, back in September 2019, Hit Mackay & The Whitsundays was on top as 23.1% of the surveyed audience said it was the station they listened to the most. SCA stablemate Triple M was in second on 17.5%, while Star 101.9 was a close third on 16.5%.

This survey, however, the tables have turned, with Star 101.9 up 4.3 points to 20.8%.

Triple M also had a rise, increasing 1.9 points to 19.4% and maintaining its spot as the #2 station of choice.

Hit 100.3, however, fell 6.1 points to 17.0%.

Grant Broadcasters’ classic hits station on AM, 4MK, was down 2.5 points to 6.6%, behind the ABC’s 10.9%.

In the Breakfast slot, Hit’s fortunes were hit harder, with the syndicated Queensland regional offering Cliffo & Gabi falling 7.5 points to 16.4%. This took the show from first to third, as Star 101.9’s Sam & Rach jumoed 4.7 points to 21.3%.

Co-host Rachel Zonta has recently gone on maternity leave, with former Power FM 949 Nowra talent Kaley Baker taking her chair alongside Sam Blacker.

Blacker was overjoyed with today’s result

“We feel incredibly grateful to our wonderful listeners that have joined us at Star and we’re so pleased we could repay the faith placed in us by the management at Star with a #1 result today,” he said.

Triple M’s The Jay & Dave Breakfast Show maintained position #2 in Breakfast, up 3.3 points to 20.4%.

In Drive, however, Triple M surged ahead, up 2.7 points to 22.0%. Drive is measured as 4pm to 7pm, with Triple M playing Mick Molloy’s Molloy from 4pm to 6pm, followed by The Rush Hour Queenslander with Dobbo. 

Previous leaders Hit, which has Carrie & Tommy followed by a highlights package from Sydney’s The Morning Crew with Hughesy, Ed & Erin declined 4.3 points to 21.0%.

This was enough to keep Star 101.9 at bay though, with the station gaining 0.2 points to place third with 16.9%. Star plays Nova’s Fitzy & Wippa from 4pm, followed by Kate, Tim & Joel from 5pm.

Star’s content director, Scott Linden, said there had been a few tears at Star HQ today.

“I couldn’t he happier for the team. They all work extremely hard, so great to be rewarded with increased in all dayparts.”

General manager Paul O’Connor added: “I’m overjoyed with the result, the team have executed our leaders in local strategy flawlessly and now they can enjoy the rewards.”

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It was a good first step in 2015, what's next?
8 Jul 2021 - 11:52 am

Note to self, if you can’t build it, buy it.

It’s a great result, but when are we going to address the fact that regional ratings are a snapshot in time that networks plan for months for. It’s not a true reflection of the stations day to day activity for the 12 – 24 months between drinks. They literally prep for the exam… that they wrote.

Who would have thought
8 Jul 2021 - 12:23 pm

What a spectacular result for Star! Snatching up a stellar breakfast team who were discarded by SCA in a terrible decision by management. The results speak for themselves and the people of Mackay certainly have made it clear how fantastic Sam & Rach & Kaley are for their community.

Sam and Rach fan.
8 Jul 2021 - 12:24 pm

Great move from Star, snapping up Sam and Rach after they were made redundant. Not only are regions going to support the better talent, but they want local – not SCA’s generic swill they trot out each morning and hope for the best with.

At least spotify lets you pick the music and delete the ads
8 Jul 2021 - 12:36 pm

Good lord, 141,029 people in the market and the two networks who claim to be:

Proudly National, Fiercely Local (SCA)

Leaders In Local (Grant Broadcasters)

Dish up syndicated shows from cap cities into the second most important daypart Monday – Friday (Drive) in a market as large as this one, heaven help the markets with fewer people. Oh wait, they’ve already pulled this there as well.

8 Jul 2021 - 12:38 pm

The slow unraveling of the cutting of regional shows, staff and re-brands is really starting to show in regional markets survey results….

Rick Lenarcic is Grants COO and used to be Head of SCA’s regional media (25 years) until they gave him the boot in June 2018. Very smart operator and knows the power of localism.

8 Jul 2021 - 12:46 pm

@it was a first good step

But every station plays inside the same box though? Are you insinuating that the station sounds better when they’re not trying as hard?

I’m stoked for Star. A much deserved bump after some excellent content decisions around the network. Nice to see that local content is king.

Makes you wonder
8 Jul 2021 - 1:01 pm

How many years have j&d been on breakky and never been able to get 1? Hmmm

8 Jul 2021 - 1:16 pm

No, Josh, I am insinuating that promotional activity in the market and on-air is geared differently in the lead up to a survey i.e, survey tactics. Which doesn’t give you a true business as a usual result, if you aren’t surveying frequently.

Not to mention, you have had sales teams selling an audience that doesn’t exist in some instances and under-representing the audience that does exist in other instances for who knows how long, because we don’t survey frequently.

Yes, “it’s better than what we had”, I am insinuating that that line expired 6 years ago, and we should have evolved measurement at some point since.

Job Keeper
8 Jul 2021 - 3:10 pm

Didn’t SCA accept Job Keeper and regional media grants and still sack everyone?

8 Jul 2021 - 6:18 pm

@Makes you wonder

Yet, they’re pulling over a 20 share in the market…. Gains across the board in share and come in all dayparts too. Nothing to sneeze at there imo.


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