Paul Jackson: “Whichever way we break down the national picture we are in an outstanding position”

Staff Writer

We’ve hooked up with a couple of the Group Content Directors, we 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.

While things for NE are looking pretty rosey for the smooth brand, have they hit a few speed bumps with Nova in Sydney and Melbourne? “Clearly in Sydney not a brilliant start to the day at breakfast time” in Paul’s words.

Blair Sullivan: Let’s talk the smooth network, first up Sydney – it is a consistent, solid result

Paul Jackson:  It’s a fabulous result for Sydney, and across both markets. We have some number one slots with some of our shows. Number 1 on weekends, number 2 for women 25+ for I think the third book in a row now. It continues to grow and it’s in a great place.

smooth FM's Ty FrostBlair Sullivan: When will Smooth Melbourne take number 1?

Paul Jackson:  We’re half a point away. We’re 10+ female number one, number one on weekends and Ty Frost is number one in the daytime. As we see more of that emerging, we do feel like it is getting closer. I will certainly hope that it is this year.


Blair: What has been your marketing focus on and off air with the smooth brand in both markets?

Paul:  We’re certainly done some marketing for smooth in Melbourne, both through outdoor and the television ad, which starred Spandau Ballet and it was very good. In Sydney we have done less at this point, we did more last year. We tend to look at each market one at a time with less marketing in Sydney in the last couple of months.

Blair: The Nova Network…   what are some of the standout markets for you?

Lewis & LowePaul:  Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth all performed brilliantly. We had some record numbers. Nathan, Nat and Shaun on Nova breakfast in Perth, cume of 525,000 makes it number 1. And it has been for ten surveys in a row.

In Adelaide it’s pretty similar, highest ever cume, highest ever share. And wonderful performance from Lewis and Lowe – a great number a 12.1.

And it’s not dissimilar in Brisbane, we’ve now had 79 surveys in a row where we have been number 1 under 40. So Jay and the gang are going for a hundred clearly.

Every single show in Brisbane has gone up and the highest cume ever. And a really good performance from Ash, Kip and Luttsy as well.

So there’s no downside to those three stations and the guys have done outstanding work.

Ash BradnamBlair: How has Nova Entertainment been navigating the issue of Ash Bradnam?

Paul:  Well that’s been handled already with Jay and the team in Brisbane very well. We are giving Ash the full support we can and ultimately we look forward to welcoming him back.

It’s really an unfortunate thing to have happen and a very difficult time but he is very much part of the family. We wish him well, to get well as soon as he can and we want to get him back on the radio.


Blair: Sydney and Melbourne for Nova are both down, any concerns for either market at the moment?

Paul:  Overall I wouldn’t say concerns, most of our conversations about Nova Sydney and Melbourne have been very good ones and about growing momentum.

Clearly in Sydney not a brilliant start to the day at breakfast time. That has probably fed through the entire day, and a poor drive result in relative terms for us as well. But in other areas, whether it’s Smallzy at nights or weekends we did exceptional well.

So of course we will be looking closely at that.

We do have some good things happening in Melbourne. The cume is terrific – number one, 926,000. We’re number one for females 25 to 39 and for females 25 to 54. So key areas growing well but beyond that a very tight marketplace across the board.

Blair: Kate, Tim and Marty have taken a hit in a couple of markets with Hughesy and Kate doing well. Thoughts?

Paul: Well it’s (Hughesy & Kate) a one off at this stage. It’s always done extremely well, everybody been laying on heaps of praise on them in these conversations but we are yet to see if this is emerging as a trend. It certainly isn’t yet.

I think we have got some of our own private thoughts here on what we would like to look at, which we will do.


Blair: Will it become even tougher as Hamish and Andy move into play in July?

Paul:  I think so yes. Having them back on drive time, also having Hughesy and Kate and our drive show along with some others in the marketplace with different propositions; means drive has never been better or more vibrant or more challenging.

Blair: What’s next?

Paul:  Well the cumulative position across the country is extremely strong. We have network shows that are in number one network positions. We have a 305,000 cume position lead over our nearest competition – so 3.28 million listeners. And whichever way we break down the national picture we are in an outstanding position.

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