Paul Jackson’s Top 5 takeaways from Survey #4

Former Assistant Editor

Survey #4 turned in an impressive book for NOVA Entertainment, with standout performances in Perth and Brisbane, coupled with solid-to-good- efforts across the other three metro markets.

Radio Today caught up with group program director Paul Jackson to get his take on the halfway point of the year.

Here are Jackson’s top five takeaways:

Chrissie, Sam & Browny’s share is finally reflecting Nova 100’s strong cume

Nova 100 is one of Melbourne’s highest-cuming stations, and as of Survey #4 it has 1,087 listeners (+69,000), making it the second most-listened-to station in the city.

Chrissie, Sam & Browny on Breakfast have the second-highest cume in that day-part (571,000), and that result seems to be translating into share results (now second on FM with 8.2%).

“Steady growth continues for them. Certainly, the demos were good, we think we’re sitting on the number one breakfast show,” Jackson says.

“We are very confident we have a big cushion for the back half of the year with that show.

Jackson notes that several of his competitors in Melbourne dipped this book, and expects the back end of the year to be tighter.

“I’m a little surprised at some of the numbers. So there were a few of those anomalies, there were a couple of stations that did seem to go against the grain.”

smooth’s results were affected by sport

The ever-impressive smoothfm fell in Melbourne to third-spot on FM with 8.8% (-1.5), but remained #1 in Sydney overall.

Jackson says that although he previously subscribed to the theory that smooth’s format meant a life of ups and downs, the consistency of the station means that has changed.

“It’s a landmark day in Sydney. In fact, it’s at an all-time high at smooth and it’s also the number one share for the sixth time in a row.

“So that’s a dominant radio station. I don’t think whatever anybody’s doing is likely to blow Smooth away.”

In saying that, Jackson explains that this time of year is always tougher for smooth going up against sports broadcasting, especially in Melbourne.

“I think we see maybe some lag effect in election movement, but I think also sport is playing into this one,” he says.

“What I do see with smooth, a couple of times a year, we find it a bit tougher to generate the points, when we’re well into the AFL season

“I think sport in general in Sydney doesn’t really affect the numbers. It’s obviously much more of a passionate point in Melbourne than it is in Sydney.”

Nova Adelaide has Mix firmly in its sights

Mix 102.3 has been a juggernaut in South Australia for years, but Nova 91.9 is now in second place, and continues to make incremental but meaningful gains in share.

Mix remains #1 overall with 12.1% (-0.1) ahead of Nova on 10.9% (+0.6), while Jodie & Soda fell to 10.8% and are now just +1.1 ahead of Dylan & Hayley.

“We’re focusing more on what we’re doing rather than this week’s performance,” he says.

“But we’re noticing that [Mix] has dropped two and a half share points since the start of the year. Jodie and Soda are down 3.1 points year on year, and we are not.

“So we think we’ve got the Dylan and Hayley Brand firing, and we’re looking for a big back half of the year.

“We’ve got the number one cume at breakfast, we’re way up in share points. I think that that’s a great challenge to throw down to the guys.”

Consistency is key for Fitzy & Wippa

While 2DayFM and KIIS both lost share overall and on Breakfast, Nova 96.9 bucked the trend with incremental gains in both metrics.

Jackson is pleased with how consistent the station and Brekky show Fitzy & Wippa has been, but reflects on the performance of his competitors.

“Smooth is clearly the number one choice for listeners. Our jobs are to try and get Nova right in there behind them at number two.

“Fitzy and Wippa, they’re at a seven and a half share, we’re happy with that.”

2DayFM fell to a 3.1% share in Breakfast while Kyle & Jackie O remain at #1 with 10.9%.

“[Kyle & Jackie O ] have pretty high numbers. So, it’s a dip, and I don’t think they’ll be too concerned about that.

“For 2Day, it’s probably a true reflection of their performance in the marketplace. And it’s a tough marketplace, there are a lot of fairly strong radio stations. “

Shakeup In Perth Will Only Serve To Help Nova’s Dominance

96FM has poached Nova 92.7 CD Dan Underhill, but Jackson isn’t worried about the ARN station in a survey when Nova went to #1 in Perth.

If anything, he believes that 96’s newly branded ‘Real Music’ classics music strategy will help Nova in its CHR/AC space.

“I think in life people will come and go, everyone has a cycle, and a lifespan of achieving something at a radio station,” he says of Underhill’s departure.

“This is actually a brilliant opportunity for somebody else to come in and lead one of the best radio shows that there’s ever been in this country (Nathan, Nat & Shaun), and one of the most successful radio stations.

“So, I genuinely wish him well going over to these new pastures.”

On 96FM’s shakeup, he reflects; “I guess they’re just aligning more with where WS and Gold are, doing sort of the real music thing, that takes straight away for.

“That sort of rock your edge sort of ’60s, ’70s, ’80s stuff that they’re playing.

“I think its a strong format, and they have an opportunity there, predominantly for more male listening. It could leave Nova in a clear number one position. So, bring it on.”

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