Following yesterday’s survey, we chatted with Four Group Programmers. Earlier was Duncan Campbell on ARN.
Later we will have SCA's Craig Bruce join us but now we talk with Nova Entertainment’s Paul Jackson.
Blair Sullivan: Fitzy & Wippa went up today by nearly a point, which followed 3 down surveys. Which is correct?
The trend through the year, or the increase today?
Paul Jackson: Take your pick. I am obviously a fan of the show, I think they have been both funny and entertaining in recent weeks across this particular book. I mean the 3 surveys you are referring too, if we go back to the four previous they were all well over 7 shares. They came very close to 8 – which one would we pick at any given day?
I think this is starting to reflect the sort of number the show should be on and I would expect to be seeing it get into the sevens pretty soon.
BS: We have three brands gunning in the same space – What is NOVA’s point of difference compared to the other stations?
PJ: That Nova plays the hit music for people under 40 and win that battle quite comfortably. We have the number 1 cume in the market, more people coming through the door for our offering.
Really I think Kiis is a HOTAC hybrid, playing some hits and we are the hit music station.
BS: 2Day are clearly having a terrible year. Will they change format?
PJ: I’ve got no idea. I don’t know what to say, good question though but jeez yeah.. (laughs) I’m trying to sort my own problems out. (laughs).. Not that I’ve got many today.
BS: If we have a look at Smooth Sydney, it holds #3FM position with 6.7% share this time round… what’s next for the brand to grow its footprint? Is it Marketing? Where are you going to position Smooth moving forward?
PJ: No… It’s steady as she goes. It was a 7.2, a 6.7 is also one of its highest numbers. The breakfast show is drawing a 5 share. We’ve got 8’s in Sydney and Melbourne in the workday. Cameron Daddo’s number 1 at night. I think it is very well defined for the audience. So really it’s about consistency and doing what we do.
BS: Of the two new Breakfast shows in Melbourne, Fox have out-gunned Nova so far. Tight margins, but the listeners would appear to be choosing Fifi & Dave over Meshel & Tommy.
PJ: You can surmise that this book but let’s see what the next book offers and the one after that. I think Melbourne is still up for grabs in a very tight market.
Meshel & Tommy is a very funny show and they have gone up half a share point. So from our position, we are growing, we’re moving forward. We are looking into our own product and making it the best we can.
BS: What makes Meshel & Tommy stand out from the rest of the market?
PJ: To be honest and to be fair, Meshel & Tommy could be a slow burn for people. But when you get it, you really get it. And I do think that’s reflective of the numbers and as time goes on and with the standard of output now that we are – then I would expect to see us going forward the rest of this year and into next year.
BS: Nova 106.9 again is the number one station for all people under 40 in the Brisbane market – pretty sure 74 in a row for you now?
PJ: Is it? I’ve kind of lost count. Jay hadn’t pointed that out to me.
It’s what you would call a robust station, it never really lets you down. It’s always very strong.
BS: Still a strong result for Nova Brisbane… but you took a hit in 18-24s but gained in 25-39’s – any thoughts on that?
PJ: My honest answer, not trying to spin it… I don’t really know… we could probably really see it going the other way next time around. I have noticed in recent times we are seeing a bit more of that.
BS: For Nova Brisbane it’s just consistent?
PJ: We have got a great breakfast show that is always consistent in Ash, Kips and Luttsy. But at the other end of the day some of our national programming with Kate, Tim & Marty and Smallzy are equally settled.
We have strong breakfast shows everywhere and at the other end of the day rock solid shows.
BS: If we have a look in Adelaide, how did FIVEaa fair with the peak of the footy season wrapping up?
PJ: Well it was a flat card.. You can see the numbers. It’s going about the same as the last book but we are happy with the position in terms of the output of the station.
BS: FIVEaa’s new breakfast team started at the beginning of the year, are you happy with the way those guys are progressing?
PJ: Yes we are, I think we have got a good team working on that show. Good quality presenters. At the older of the market, fair to say people are set in their habits and changing a breakfast show at a station like FIVEaa where the previous presenter had been there for over 20 years – a decent number like that is pretty good.
BS: Nova 919
PJ: You can’t fail to be happy with those guys. The breakfast show has gone great – the station overall has some huge numbers, a share of 11.8, way ahead of our nearest competitor – it’s a great day for the team in Adelaide.
BS: For Perth as well.. bit of a blinder for them?
PJ: Do you know what – that is our best number ever, 13.6. I don’t think anyone has beaten Mix over there before. I know Cath O’Connor is in Perth today celebrating with Gary and the team… so she has chosen a good day to be there. I think that we still have ascendancy there and it could well happen in the next couple of books. But to be equal number one there – a number one cume and nearly a 14 share breakfast – it does not get much better than that.
BS: For your networked programming… the shows going across the whole group, we are talking Kate, Tim & Marty and Smallzy – happy with the way they are performing in certain markets?
PJ: Yeah, they are number 1 FM outright across Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth and Melbourne – as you saw, we slipped a little bit in Sydney. Smallzy is also number 1 10+ in Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth and Melbourne – those shows are doing brilliantly but he did slip a little in Sydney.
For us as a business – the network number 1 10+, is important which we are. Number 1 25-45 that would be a key area for us too. As as I just said with drive, nights and our breakfast shows. So we really have a clean sweep as a network in what we want to be in the lead for.
Also this s one of our biggest cumes ever, 3,256,000 – that’s 310,000 ahead of our nearest competitor.
So you don’t get that many people coming through the door for your product if it’s not on fire.
BS: What is the number one challenge facing you as Group PD for the network right now?
PJ: To really keep it going to this high standard, I’ve got a lot of good people around to help me do that. A really strong team of Pd’s and producers alongside that.
But really, we are not to be complacent. We have got to keep Kate, Tim and Marty at the level they are and keep it fresh. We’ve got to keep Smallzy fresh in terms of what he is doing. Actually every market place.. it’s about owning the town, owning their city that we are in. With our breakfast teams – on one hand performing to a very high level and then going out there and connecting with their audience.
There are so many things, there are so many layers and so many levels – we just can never be complacent or take success for granted. And certainly it’s my job to lead the team with that and hopefully get them inspired so they can be even better next time around.