Sydney vs Melbourne Breakfast. Is there a difference?


The FM breakfast landscape in Melbourne has never been more competitive.

On Friday we looked at the rise of Chrissy, Sam and Browny on Nova100, and today we hear more from programming experts on just how competitive the Melbourne breakfast market is….and in particular the differences between the Sydney and Melbourne breakfast markets.

SCA’s Head of National Content and Development Dave Cameron comments:

“Sydney and Melbourne markets in my opinion are ‘a tale of 2 cities’ from a radio content approach. It’s a broad sweeping statement, but having worked and witnessed successful shows over long periods of time in both cities I’d generalise Melbourne as having more of a comedic community centre of content, Sydney more of a strongly opinionated, sometimes outrageous, often noisy approach that can create controversy to cut through “

“I’m aware it’s generalising and ironically I can think of plenty of exceptions to my own suggestion, however the long term success of Sydney’s Kyle, Ray Hadley, Alan Jones, John Laws versus Melbourne’s Matt Tilley, Hamish and Andy, Martin Molloy, Ross and John, Hughsey and Kate would suggest some sort of correlation with what each city’s audience’s entertainment wants“

Duncan Campbell ARN’s National Content Director believes Melbourne right now is far from settled:

“The Melbourne CHR market and indeed the FM market in general is still volatile based on audience movement survey to survey. There is still no clear consistent winner in the CHR space”

Irene Hulme SCA’s Head of Music and Entertainment Partnerships and a former Content Director said;

“Melbourne has an extraordinary amount of high quality breakfast performers, both male and female and so on any given morning you find yourself flicking between 3 to 4 strong options.

Whilst comedy and football are common themes across all of them, the nuances between the shows means that all of Melbourne is catered for. The Melbourne Breakfast market is extremely competitive, most of the time, the vast majority of the shows are very good, it comes down to which performer’s resonate with the majority of the audience”.

ARN’s Melbourne Content Director for GOLD104.3 and KIIS 101.1 Sam Thompson said:

“The winner in Melbourne is the audience with a tremendous diversity of new and established shows. The established/heritage shows should prevail in the short term and the new shows will be better able to be assessed next year “

Former Head of Content at SCA Craig Bruce says:

“Melbourne has historically been a market that has embraced smart, observational humour. Sydney presenters need to be able to break through the noise of a truly global city, whereas Melbourne is more typically considered and clever with the type of radio it creates “

SCA’s Dave Cameron added:

“The biggest and most succesful breakfast shows in my time in Melbourne are the ones that have had that gooey goodness of comedy right smack bang in the centre. Matt Tilley, Jo Stanley, Hughsey, Mick Molloy, D-Gen, Dave Thornton, Meshel Laurie, Tommy Little, Tony Martin, Sam Pang spring to mind with either historical success, or who are on the rise “

We’ll give the final word to Paul Jackson, Nova Entertainment’s Group Content Director:

“Both the Sydney and Melbourne breakfast markets are full of very experienced top class broadcasters. There’s no hiding place in either market“

There are nuances between the markets but the differences are quite subtle.

At the end of the day great content is great content and great talent is great talent whichever market it’s in

Brad March is Director of Marchmedia. He is a former Managing Director and Group Program Director at Austereo and ARN.

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