Paul Jackson: “I feel we are in a good place”

We’ve hooked up with a couple of the Group Content Directors and chat in depth, with each of them giving their insights into what went well, what went wrong, where they are focused and their thoughts on the competitive landscape.

Earlier it was ARN’s Duncan Campbell. Up next it’s NOVA Entertainments Paul Jackson.

Blair Sullivan: Slow and steady for Smooth in Melbourne… but are you concerned about Nova100 – now in last place on FM?

Paul Jackson:(Laughs)  Good way to start, I am well aware of that – thanks very much! It’s a 2.4 share from the top, I appreciate that it is a long way to the top. It is still very tight down there overall.

We had a disappointing performance in breakfast, that kicked on through much of the day but having said that we did very well at Drive time, we did very well at night with Smallzy.

So I wouldn’t call it a trend yet, I would call it an average result.  We didn’t go anywhere overall.

Blair: What do you need to do to get Nova100 back in the race?

Paul Jackson: The numbers move around book by book. I don’t feel we are very far off the pace at all. We continue to work with the breakfast team of Meshel & Tommy. Beyond that I don’t have any concerns.

Blair: On the positive side, smooth… terrific results in Melbourne.

Paul: Yes the best cume the station has ever had, the best share. Breakfast share, we have done very well.  Across the day for smooth, a very good performance indeed, Simon Diaz’s 9 share in the afternoon is commendable. So there has been no real down side for smooth’s performance in Melbourne.

Blair: In Sydney you’ve reclaimed number 1 in Drive with Kate Tim and Marty. What’s your thoughts on where Nova 969 is sitting right now?

Paul:I think overall in a very good place. A 6.9 is a good share number at this stage and we are number one in cume with the most listeners.  Broadly speaking as you can see, it was flat.  But a decent performance by Fitzy & Wippa and an exceptional performance by Kate, Tim & Marty, Smallzy and so on.

A number one station under 40, a number one in cume, I’m happy with that as well.

Blair:  smooth is doing very well, even with a small drop.

Paul: I will use my steady as she goes phrase. It’s down a little bit ten plus share, the cume is very strong and appears to have been lost in 10-17 year old’s. I didn’t know we had them listening anyway, I’m not really worried about that.

Getting inside the smooth numbers, it’s number 1 25 plus females – I won’t bore you with tonnes of numbers, but all the demos are on track in relation to where we were in the previous book.  

Blair: You would have to be pretty happy with the ground Nova106.9 has gained, a 0.8 gap between you and leader 97.3.

Paul: It probably means I can’t rule out my old gag about it being a two horse race but it’s not far off from that again.

Nova in Brisbane has now had the number 1 under 40 result now 80 surveys in a row. That is some achievement, not many stations in a CHR format can win 80 times in a row. It will be a big celebration there today and god knows what they will do when they get to a hundred. But I’m sure it will be something special.

As you say, that station is on fire.  Number 1 drive, number 1 nights and continues to have an exceptional breakfast show.

Blair: A great day for the Nova team at Subiaco, with Nova 93.7 seeing a big jump of 12.5% overall. Nova dominates 18-39’s.

Paul: We’re number 1 to age 60 overall as well, so from the very young to older, we do absolutely brilliantly.

We’re the number 1 breakfast show with Nathan, Nat and Shaun, and it is no mean feat to beat Mix94.5 at breakfast time. With the heritage of Mix, for us to beat them is outstanding – for Nathan, Nat and Shaun congratulations.

Number 1 in cume as well 542,000. So again, it’s sparkling excitement and hopefully for the team lots of champagne – an outstanding result.

Blair: With Nathan, Nat and Shaun, what makes them successful?  What is their point of difference in the Perth market?

Paul:They are all doing the same thing in essence, that is really relating to the market. But what we have in that breakfast show is real chemistry, wonderful chemistry that is laugh out loud funny. You can tune in to any 15 minute period and you will laugh at something.

They are highly engaging, they are in the marketplace engaging with people – it is a fantastic show.  

Blair: Adelaide, Lewis & Lowe… how did they go?

Paul:I would say for Lewis & Lowe, they have all the same attributes that Nathan, Nat and Shaun have. Now they are down a bit, but it depends how you interpret this. I will put a positive spin on it and say longer term over the last 12 months an 11.4 would be a very strong number for us. Getting over a 12, exceptionally difficult, batting off a very high average.

We are satisfied with that performance. We’re number 1 under 50, number 1 and record cume with 349,000 and 12.5 share – is fantastic.

And Lewis & Lowe are covering breakfast from Adelaide into Sydney and Melbourne and they sound wonderful.

Blair: Are you going to give them some time off or work the guys continuously?

Paul:(Laughs) We are going to work them continuously unfortunately. That’s the deal, if you want to be on nationally that’s what happens.

Blair: Talking national shows – thoughts on Hamish & Andy’s return thiweek.

Paul: I haven’t heard it, but I think we are going from two very good drive shows, to three very good drive shows. Our one here at Nova with Kate, Tim and Marty will be the strongest one and will win.  

Blair: In the last few weeks there have been discussions about how Nova Entertainment positions combined cume results – is that something your clients look for?

Paul: Yes. It is.

Most of the Direct and Agency business is done based on cume. A lot of agencies are equally interested in cume as they are in share. Because they are interested in creative and different things and therefore they want to know how many people they are talking too.

I emphasise cume all the time, that is because no one else seems to look at it.

I’m not negating share at all, I think they are equally important and both must be taken into consideration.

I do think as well, when you are looking at a younger based radio station through to one like smooth at the older end, the share is going to vary because the people have different lifestyles, and different amounts of time they can give to your radio station at different points across the week. It doesn’t mean they don’t love you any more or any less. The reason that cume has been talked about is because in other markets around the world, it seems to be a more steady reflection of the real numbers in the market place.

We have these chats, you say “Last time you were down 2 shares points and now you’re up 2 points”, and so on  – I always say let’s not worry about that until we have got a trend for three or four surveys over share. We can look at cumes, trend them over a period of time and you will find them to be more consistent. That’s my sort of argument on how my emphasis goes. But I totally appreciate share and don’t denigrate that at all, it is very very important too. I just think they both need to be looked at together.

Blair: What is Nova Entertainments focus moving forward?

Paul: I would hate to say more of the same. We are very well established with what we are doing. We have to keep relating to the audience with the most exciting entertainment that we can provide like the Global Red Room right now, the next tactic. And the content we do in our breakfast shows.

We must never rest on our laurels. I always say “we never ever get there” because just as we say we have got the right numbers and success, someone comes up behind you and blows you away. We must be at our very best at all times.

So right across the board I could probably talk all day about our priorities and everything you could imagine and consider. We go over everything with a fine tooth comb to make sure it is the best it can be. We have to understand where we fit in all marketplaces versus where our competition is and exactly where our audiences we are trying to dig out every survey are.

I feel we are in are in a good place and I would think we will have some very good surveys to come in the not too distant future.

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