Paul Jackson ‘steady as she goes for us’
Following yesterdays survey, we chatted with the three Group Programmers; you can read our catchup with Craig Bruce here.
We will publish our chat with Duncan Campbell later this morning; but now we talk with Nova's Paul Jackson about how he sees the results.
Mark Hales: Nobody judges a network or station on any one book, that would be unfair, however this survey is probably a softer collective result that you would like. Fair point?
Paul Jackson: It’s a ‘steady as she goes’ book for Nova across the country. We have the national #1 network in cume at 3.163 million, the national #1 drive show, the national #1 night show and national network #1 breakfast show so for us there has been no substantial change in this survey.
MH: Okay, let's talk Sydney. Overall Nova is off a little, but leads 18-39, however Fitzy & Wippa have slipped by 1%. Are you happy with the result, or are there issues?
PJ: Very happy with 96.9 but there’s always work to do with any station at any given time. As a #1 station, with 886,000 cume, and a dominant force in under 40, and very close winning under 50 is very pleasing for us. So the shape of the business is fantastic.
We’re taking a closer look at Fitzy & Wippa and are pleased with their performance but would obviously love it to go up in the next few books.
MH: Great result for WS FM, who lead by a significant margin, perhaps in part due to the CHR/Hot AC battle between KIIS/Nova/2Day. With that, as the #2 FM station, KIIS has now declined 2 books in a row. Why?
PJ: There was a lot of hype for a new show and interest in a new brand at the start of the year. There was always going to be a tidal wave of excitement that will recede and we feel like that is now starting to happen. The numbers that Kyle and Jackie O were doing at 2Day this time last year was in the 8s or low 9s, that is what I anticipate going forward.
WS have done a lot of marketing in recent times so full respect to that and the performance they have put in.
MH: smooth has done well.
PJ: We’re ecstatic with smooth’s performance. I don’t think we’ve had a bad book and smooth proves to have steady incremental growth. Bogart (Torelli) and Glenn (Daniel) doing a 5.4% share in breakfast proves that there is room in the market for a more music breakfast show that is engaging and really offers something different out there.
MH: Putting aside Breakfast, smooth is obviously a workday/TSL play, but weekends are particularly healthy.
PJ: At the launch of smooth we always said the workday would come in first followed by nights and weekends, we have almost built it from the back. They are hugely impressive numbers, the station also transcends the age of listeners and we’re happy that they’re connecting to the tone and feel of the station. It’s a great listen.
MH: Let's go to Brisy, traditionally 97.3 and Nova tussle for #1 overall. 97.3 now lead Nova by over 3%, and B105 aren't far behind you. Are you comfortable with Nova Brisbane's performance?
PJ: This is par for the course. We’ve seen last year Nova be ahead of the market so back then you could have almost asked the same question in reverse. But when we break down all the demos and look across the landscape we see that it’s either 97.3 or Nova that are dominating. Overall nothing has changed.
MH: Melbourne is tight, we all know that, in fact 0.9% between #1 and #6 FM. How are you feeling about that market?
PJ: We see right across all the demos and the older we go, the closer it is. It really is because of two heritage breakfast shows changing at the start of the year; people stuck with those stations for a while, moved around and I think still deciding where their loyalty lies.
MH: Of those two new shows, Fox is ahead of Nova at the halfway mark of the year. How's Meshel and Tommy to your ears?
PJ: Meshel & Tommy is a great show. Tommy is a fixture on the Melbourne comedy circuit and his rapport with Meshel is excellent.
MH: Drive is doing well, particularly in Melbourne and Sydney.
PJ: Drive is #1 in every one of our markets across the country. It’s a very special show and we’re very lucky to have it. Kate Ritchie along with Tim and Marty are exceptional talents, they have fantastic chemistry together and we’re very proud of them and the show.
MH: Just on Smooth, it's trending up on a mid-term basis. Reckon it can go #1 overall?
PJ: smooth 91.5 has just recorded its ever highest cume at 671, 000. It’s the number one FM station for females 25+. It’s some achievement. Yes, the sky’s the limit for smooth. We will continue to do what we’ve been doing and consequently see more growth moving forward.
MH: Perth is consistent, Nova's done well.
PJ: Our performance in Perth is consistent and Nathan, Nat and Shaun never fail to deliver. Nova Perth is #1 up to age 50 and wins every demographic below that. To record their second highest cume of 514,000 in a city of 2 million people; that is astonishing.
MH: And finally Adelaide. You've got the #2 and #3 stations overall, that said, both declined in share, what's with that?
PJ: We had the anomaly of going down to a 7 share for Nova, but still one of our best scores with Lewis & Lowe with over a 10 share. It’s way ahead of its competition. We made changes to FIVEaa at the start of the year that we’re happy with and are embedded now. We’re pleased with where that’s going.
MH: But presumably in the middle of footy season, you would have expected FIVEaa to do better?
PJ: We’re still scoring a very strong 10.7 in drive, Rowie and Bone are a great sounding football show. In comparison our main competing sport show has dropped 2 share points so all things considered we’re very happy with our performance.
MH: Thanks for your time, all the best for next survey.