Paul Jackson: instinct, imagination … and cake

Staff Writer

If you haven't yet seen the results and analysis from survey 6, see it all here.

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

Here's what Paul Jackson, dmg Radio's Group Program Director, had to say about survey 6.


Mark: Sounds like some celebrating going on in the background there today ?

Paul: A fantastic day. I’m looking outside my window here and all the staff are outside eating cakes. I see the fruit’s not being eaten but all the cakes are doing rather well.

Mark: Let’s get into this survey wrap so you don't miss out on some cake. Let's start with Sydney…

Paul: Our planning has been long term. Not to over analyse either product and to run our business on instinct and imagination. We’ve been super focussed on our listeners and as a business internally on our people, getting our systems right and our focus and attention to detail.

So when I look at our smooth number today, it has been potentially quicker that we’ve hit those sorts of numbers but it’s an outstanding product, brilliantly executed everyday with a fantastic team – our news people, the integration team, the digital team, the on-air broadcasters are outstanding, Kate doing the music behind the scenes and Rohan running it overall. I can go through everybody and I couldn’t compliment them high enough. It’s only 18 months in so it’s quite sensational.

Mark: Do you think smoothfm 95.3 is capable of being the #1 FM station in Sydney ?

Paul: It’s a lifestyle brand and it appeals to everybody and we see that with the consistent numbers at the younger end which some people said ‘you’ll never keep those’, well we have and we do well in every demo whichever way you carve it. It’s a station for all the family and, actually, all the family seem to be enjoying it. Over time this has the potential to be the top rating radio station and we’ll be striving to make it that everyday.

Mark: With Nova 96.9, you had a good lift there as well with strong results BMAD.

Paul: Nova has been consistently incrementally lifting all year. I’m delighted to see Fitzy & Wippa (left) score their highest breakfast number at a 7.3%. I do think they have been outstanding, they have really found their groove this year, they sound really confident on-air, the content they’re delivering is brilliant and now have a really strong understanding of Sydney and what the audience wants. An unbeatable show in terms of its creativity and work rate.

At the other end of the day our drive team Meshel, Tim & Marty (right) are #1 FM in Sydney. Again, it’s a great show, 3 extremely bright people, all very funny, very creative. Hearing them every night is a joy, it’s a top-class show. As is Smallzy at night because he’s #1 FM. It’s great to see Smallzy at #1 and Cameron Daddo (smooth) at #2. Smallzy works so hard and is relentless in his determination to succeed and he’s really grown up a lot this year and we’re all very proud of him in the company.

From a network perspective, for Nova now to be ahead of SCA hasn’t happened before. We’re a 9.1% and they’re an 8.7%. I think that’s got a lot of people here celebrating today.

Mark: With smooth in Melbourne, it's not as strong as the Sydney result today, what do you put that difference down to ?

Paul: I think the numbers for smooth Melbourne are good overall but there are different dynamics happening in different marketplaces at different times. Also with Hughesy & Kate from Nova 100 announcing their departure at the end of year, and they’re in turn the number 1 breakfast show. So I think there has been a real focus on Nova, certainly in Melbourne. But the smooth numbers are highly respectable and showing the same trend as Sydney.

Mark: And good growth for smoothfm 91.5 with 40-54, up 0.7.

Paul: Yes and it’s just great to see us connecting with that audience. We work very hard at targeting the music, and for a relatively new product, we’re seeing more and more people actually start to try the radio station.

Mark: Up to Brisbane and Nova 106.9 is down slightly (0.5) and still #2 in the market.

Paul: The team have produced a fantastic output, great content, and done what they always do, delivered a fantastic number. A 12 share and holding those kind of breakfast numbers (11.6), we’re very proud of.

Mark: Nova Adelaide continues to grow, mainly through drive (up 1.8) and nights (up 3.3) this survey.

Paul: Sensational number. Over an 11 share is outstanding. Some of the demographics and cume are fantastic, there’s nothing really for me to complain about here, Dave Shearer (left) is doing a brilliant job. Lewis & Lowe on breakfast sound fantastic. We’re in great shape but we’re not complacent in any of these markets as we know it doesn’t get any easier, we’ve got to keep using both our instinct and our imagination but we have very good plans for the rest of the year across the whole company so I feel very confident.

Mark: Finally, Nova 93.7 in Perth had a strong result across the majority of the station.

Paul: We have 494,000 cume, it’s absolutely astonishing. Stations like Mix on 413,000 is what you might expect to see, but to be on 494,000, I think we’re all blown away by that. It’s a reflection of the team that work tirelessly and relentlessly with an outstanding breakfast show in Nathan, Nat & Shaun. They have performed at the absolute top of its game all year, consistently. Dan Underhill (PD) should take immense pride in the Perth numbers.

Mark: Thanks for your time Paul and hopefully you haven't missed out on some of that yummy cake ….

Paul: There’s about 3 or 4 left and two people hovering over it and I missed the whole lot (laugh)

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