Nine Radio’s Greg Byrnes: “Would we like to have more female voices? Absolutely”


It’s been a baptism of fire, but Nine Radio is excited by what Jacqui Felgate brings to the table.

Head of Content Greg Byrnes is the first to acknowledge that putting a new, young female voice into the Drive shift on Melbourne’s 3AW was a big change, particularly for an audience which – traditionally – doesn’t particularly like change.

3AW Drive fell 2 percent to 8.2 in Survey 1 for 2024.

In an interview with our sister publication RadioInfo, Byrnes says what Felgate brings is fresh … and different.

“She’s doing a wonderful program. Breaking a lot of news. Utilising a social media background.”

“The amount of exclusives and news stories she’s breaking solely because she’s tapping into this social media audience has been immense in a very short time.”

“It’s tough. It’s different. It’s a new voice on a radio station that we know doesn’t like change, and putting a young female voice into Drive is a big change on 3AW.”

“She’s replaced Tom Elliott, who’s gone to Mornings. Tom has been on 3AW for 20 odd years in a variety of roles, so it becomes tough for someone like Jacqui.”

Addressing the balance of genders in talk radio, Byrnes says “I think traditionally there haven’t been many women on air on talk programs. I know when I started several decades ago, the line was that women don’t like listening to women.”

“I think that’s changed. And I think community attitudes have changed.”

“I also don’t think it’s fair to say women aren’t on air. Certainly (they are) within our network, and on prime shifts,” says Byrnes, citing the likes of Felgate, Sofie Formica, Laurel Edwards and Julie-anne Sprague.

“Would we like to have more female voices on the radio station? Absolutely. But our audience is pretty particular.”

“It’s not a gender issue for the audience. It’s the right person for the job.”

“For programming, that’s the trick in getting it right.”

Across the board, Survey 1 produced a mixed bag for 3AW.

Ross Stevenson and Russel Howcroft continued their dominance in Breakfast, up from 18.1 to a 19.6 per cent share.

Mornings with Tom Elliott held steady following Neil Mitchell’s recent departure, up 0.5 to 16.8. Afternoon host Tony Moclair held firm with a slight drop of0.3.

While Nights host Denis Walter enjoyed a whopping gain of 7.6.

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Jay Gee
14 Mar 2024 - 7:37 pm

Just grab Poppy Savvakis. She’s in the building. Track record. Brilliant broadcaster. Too easy

Ellen Handley
15 Mar 2024 - 2:53 am

Olympia Kwitowski has just ticked past a decade in talk radio. Producing, traffic reporting and now weekend breakfast since Bill McDonald began local mornings.

Weekends each daylight saving half year when Bill covered weekdays plus most weekday breakfast doing traffic. Very well known to the audience.

No promos, no fanfare, no marketing for weekend breakfast and yet she’s gradually building an audience.

Producers seem to changes more than the seasons, I know, I call in for gardening tips and speak with them.

Fantastic effort against the odds.

15 Mar 2024 - 6:35 am

Nine radio don’t have any women on breakfast in the prime markets Melbourne and Sydney. Shame on you Nine. And sorry but Jacqui the influencer sounds terrible and the ratings reflect that. Do better Nine.

15 Mar 2024 - 5:00 pm

Maybe a female voice like Dee Dee Dunleavy would work. Oh that’s right…. your really want more women, right?


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