Paul Jackson: ‘smooth is a #1 station in waiting’

Staff Writer


If you haven't yet seen the results and analysis from Survey 7, see it all here.

You can also see the press releases and the ups and downs.

Here's what Paul Jackson, dmg Radio's Group Program Director, had to say about the result :-


Mark: On survey day, Paul gave his thoughts on the potential move to Mix 106.5 for Kyle & Jackie O (read here) but what about the results for dmg across the country ?

Paul: All 5 Nova’s are up, both smooth’s are up, this is a magnificent day. We’ve done our record cume in the history of the business as a network, 3,048,000 and beaten SCA for the first time and number 1 network 10+, winning every single demo inside that. A pretty fantastic day for everyone in the company.

Mark: The big individual station story would have to be the Nova 100 #1FM and Hughesy & Kate #1FM result.

Paul: My goodness. Nova 100 has performed brilliantly. To be #1FM is an unbelievable credit to Mike (Cass, PD) and that team. Our breakfast show with Hughesy & Kate has been sounding terrific in celebratory mode. At the other end of the day Meshel, Tim & Marty scored a fantastic number and to be the #1FM show at drive time and to beat the Fox offering so handsomely is fantastic.

Mark: smooth91.5 in Melbourne is up 1.5 with 40-54’s, equal number 2 music offering for that age bracket. Is that the demo you want to see grow with the smooth brand ?

Paul: I want smooth to grow across the board. In the last couple of surveys we’re starting to see a breakthrough both in Melbourne and especially in Sydney of 40+ listening. As smooth is a family listen I expect it to do well in every demo but ultimately be dominant in the 40+ area.

Mark: Nova 106.9 in Brisbane is up across all shifts and have closed the gap to 97.3FM.

Paul: I think Brisbane is a fantastic result. Ash, Kip & Luttsy is #1 and they’ve been brilliant. Overall numbers are terrific, especially on the backdrop of where our main competition is.

Mark: In Adelaide, Nova keep increasing share mainly in drive and nights this survey.

Paul: And the breakfast show again performed brilliantly and the boys (Lewis & Lowe) are on great form and against direct competition there’s a couple of share points space between them. Overall number brilliant. In Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth the Nova’s have been firing at their optimum for quite a while and continue to do so. We don’t see that changing, we have a real stranglehold on those markets and have done for the past 12 months or more.

Mark: With Fiveaa there are changes happening at breakfast for 2014 (Keith Conlon – left) but that daypart was the stations strongest performer in survey 7.

Paul: There ya go. As so often happens (laughs). We have some changes that you know about already in terms of the management structure and we’re going to follow through with some more announcements in the coming weeks. We feel comfortable and in a good place going forward for Fiveaa.

Mark: To Perth and another strong result for Nova 937. Drive are now a clear #1, weekends remain #1 with good lifts in the workday.

Paul: Nathan, Nat & Shaun have had a brilliant year. Just to surmise that, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth it’s the same conversation all year. These guys engage with the marketplace, they own their areas and they do a brilliant job in executing what is really an aspirational product and I’m delighted with it.

Mark: Looking into 2014 and lots of changes are happening throughout the country. Are you quietly confident for next year, especially looking at Sydney ?

Paul: Yes I’m extremely confident in Sydney and I think it’s fascinating to watch how it’s going to play out. Over at SCA they have to bed in a Sydney breakfast show that they may not have been expecting to do so, a Melbourne breakfast show and a national drive show, that’s a lot of work to undertake at once. Contrary to that we feel in a very strong place. We’ve got more of the same with shows that have all been in place for a year or two, all with real momentum and a brand with real momentum. I feel very comfortable.

I appreciate that 2Day FM have had a good number but it’s largely driven from speculation about whether Kyle & Jackie O were staying or not. There have been many newspaper stories through the survey 7 period that undoubtedly drove their breakfast show on which gave their station a lift because we don’t see the equivalent of that happening anywhere else on their network. I look at that and see the only thing they’ve got really performing is that breakfast show and it’s about to go.

When I see the other end of the day and our 9.3 at drive (Nova 96.9) and a 9.2 on smooth (95.3). I think ‘wow’ this is the future. The second and third placed (FM) stations in Sydney right now are Nova and smooth (drive). With the increase of Kyle & Jackie O it hasn’t actually impacted Fitzy & Wippa who still hold over a 7 and have brilliant momentum.

I do think we have it all to play for and internally here I’m just teasing our teams, ‘who wants to come out on top?’ is it going to be Nova first or smooth first in Sydney.

I think the great beneficiary in the next year or two is going to be smooth. We’re still building it, it’s only 18 months old. My view to the staff here is that at the end of this year we take a view on how far we’ve come. It’s going to be a hell of a long way. Then we have the next 18 months and the full saturation when we feel like we’re on a level playing field with everyone else, it doesn’t happen until we’re three years old. In that time I would honestly believe that smooth is a number 1 station in waiting.

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