Mike Fitzpatrick – Triple M part ii

We have been talking with Triple M Group Content Director Mike Fitzpatrick about the network.

In part i, we covered Merrick Watts coming back for drive  and how different  the new offering will be. Today we talk about what is happening with  Joe Hildebrand. We'll cover Triple M Melbourne's performace versus Sydney. Touch on Eddie, Mick and Darc. Even cricket and where it fits in, and we will see if Mike will turn up at the next Foo Fighters gig.


Blair Sullivan: In part i, we cleared up that Matt Tilley has pulled the pin, what are your plans with Joe Hildebrand now that the one percenters will come to a close?

Fitzy: Joe did a lot of firsts this year, he’s got a great reputation as a print journalist. He did his first fulltime television show, he did his first ever fulltime drive show and he did his first ever full time child. And he did all three at once.

Life for Joe has been up at 4 o’clock in the morning, breakfast television, over to Triple M to a drive show, home at night to see his child. Up all night writing a column and then back again the next day.

He is exhausted.

For someone to grow on radio like the way he has over the last 12 months, without burning out is testament   to him and his skillset. He is a great journalist, he will be a great broadcaster, he is going to take some time next year to focus on TV and print and I am sure you will see him back on Triple M very soon as either a fulltime performer or at least a contributor.

BS: So he is still tied to SCA?

Fitzy: Yeah, we have a big soft spot for Joe and we would love to have him back when he is ready.

BS: Let’s have a look at the difference between Triple M Sydney and Triple M Melbourne. One is doing bloody well and one's not as strong. Why is that?

Fitzy: What are you judging that on? What are you basing that on? What sort of figures? What’s your measurement?

BS: That’s a good question Fitzy, throwing one back at me.

Fitzy: I don’t judge the Triple M network 10 plus. I judge the Triple M network on males.

That’s our focus, that’s been our  focus when I became Content Director here 5 years ago, and since I became the Network Content Director 2 years ago.

Our focus is men. We curate content for men who like rock, sport and comedy. It doesn’t mean woman can’t listen to us. It doesn’t mean we are misogynistic – in fact we love women – we all have wives, daughters, sisters, mothers, aunts, and girlfriends.

We are respectful of women, we’re big supporters of white ribbon.

We obviously resonate with women and lets be honest,  in the same way say Mamamia creates content for females, we create content for men.

So all our measurements are based on how well we do with a male audience. And we dominate the male audience.

The only place we get beaten for a male audience is breakfast in Brisbane and that’s only a matter of time now. Ed, Marto and Michelle are growing a new audience there and it’s only a matter of time when we will win that in breakfast as well.

We dominate males across the day up there and what we will be doing in drive compliments that.

So when you say, you are not doing as well in Sydney as you are in Melbourne, if you look at a 10 plus number.. yeah you are right – Eddie, Mick and Darc are number one FM 10 plus and good on them.

The Grill Team is number one for blokes hands down.

And also we base it on revenue and we create great content lead solutions for our clients and our commercial partners and we offer what no one else offer on FM, which is a unique content environment for advertisers.


BS: Eddie recently turned 50, how’s he going?

Fitzy: Typical Eddie, sleeps 3 hours a night (laughs).

Goes at a hundred miles an hour.

Eddie did a week from New York about 3 weeks ago, it wasn’t an extended holiday. He was able to take his family with him to New York and he did the show.

The first couple of weeks of the year, the guys do the show from down the beach.

We always give them those opportunities, you know if the guys are happy and the show is in a good spot, then they create better content.

And every one of those blokes looks forward to getting up and coming to work every day.

I couldn’t ask for a breakfast show that’s easier to work with and more passionate about the station and the content and our advertisers than I have with those three.

BS: Sport is part of Triple M brand DNA – with talk radio's foray into cricket, could you ever see Triple M having a go at cricket and livening up the coverage?

Fitzy: Well not really. If you listen to cricket on radio,  you listen to ABC because you love the ABC’s cricket coverage. Up until last year you loved Kerry O'Keeffe, you loved the way they called it.

It’s a very different beast to football which is a real weekend sport. Switch it on at 6 o’clock Friday night, turn it off Sunday at 6 o’clock.

I certainly wouldn’t be comfortable calling tests across the workday. I think 20/20 is a great television sport. Big Bash.. PBL is a great television sport. I don’t see what radio could bring to that.

I think the opportunity for us is in or around the talent, and much like football in pre-game shows. Rather than a traditional ball by ball call.

I think it is brave of the AM’s to be broadcasting cricket, but you know what, they have got an ageing audience so maybe they are happy to listen to cricket on radio. With ads in it… lots of ads.


BS: One last question for you personally… are you going to Foo Fighters?

Fitzy: Are you kidding me, I just came back from a trip. I went to LA a couple of weeks ago to hear the album. I went to Dave’s studio 606. I sat with the band, they played me the album, they talked me through it. I spent 3 or 4 hours with them. I got all the photo’s necessary and then I flew home again.

So I will absolutely be going to that gig.



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