Radio Ratings: SCA lands Brisbane duopoly as M’s go #1

Staff Writer

Welcome to Radio Today‘s comprehensive coverage of the first GfK metro radio survey of 2020.

We’ll bring you all the #1s and major talking points today, from 9:30am AEDT.

Check back throughout the day for the top takeaways from each metro market; Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.

Later in the week, we’ll dive deeper into the numbers and chat with content directors from the major networks.

Due to their change of format mid-survey, Nine Radio’s 2UE, Magic and 4BH do not appear in these ratings, but will return from next survey.

Survey 1, 2020 was conducted by GfK for Commercial Radio Australia between Sunday, January 19 to Saturday, February 29.


#1 FM Overall – WSFM*
#1 AM Overall – 2GB
#1 FM Breakfast – KIIS: Kyle & Jackie O
#1 AM Breakfast –   2GB: Alan Jones
#1 FM Drive – Nova: Kate, Tim & Marty*
#1 AM Drive – 2GB: Ben Fordham*

  • There’s a new FM market leader in Sydney, with WSFM streaking ahead of smoothfm and stablemates KIIS to finish with an 8.4% share of listening (+0.9).
  • Kyle & Jackie O remain the benchmark on Breakfast, despite dipping to 9.9% (-1.5). Jonesy & Amanda (9.1%) are their closest competitors in the FM bracket.
  • Smoothfm will expect to bounce back after a fall to 8.1% overall (-1.2) while SCA will be pleased to see 2DayFM rising to 5.3% (+1.2) despite Breakfast still under 4%.
  • Meanwhile, Kate, Tim & Marty return to #1 on FM Drive, a position they hold in every metro market this survey.
  • Alan Jones retains the #1 Breakfast show in the market for 2GB on 14.8% (+0.1), ahead of #2 Breakfast show Wendy & Robbie on ABC with 11.8% (+1.3).


#1 FM Overall – Gold FM
#1 AM Overall – 3AW
#1 FM Breakfast – Gold: Christian O’Connell*
#1 AM Breakfast – 3AW: Ross & John
#1 FM Drive – Nova: Kate, Tim & Marty*
#1 AM Drive – 3AW: Tom Elliott

  • Christian O’Connell returns to the top of the roost for FM Breakfast in Melbourne, with a solid gain to 9.2% (+1.4) this book but remains just below the station average. There’s now no doubt the risk ARN took importing the Brit was well worth the effort.
  • O’Connell overtakes Chrissie, Sam & Browny on Nova 100 (+0.1), who are now in equal second place on FM with Fox FM’s Fifi, Fev & Byron on 8.3% (+1.6).
  • A rise for Jase & PJ will also be pleasing for ARN, with the pair now on 7.1% (+0.7).
  • Of more concern will be Triple M, with dips to 5.5% overall (-1.3) and on The Hot Breakfast to 5.8% (-1.2).
  • 3AW’s Ross & John continue to enjoy top billing overall, despite falling to 15.9% (-4.3) on Breakfast, as John Burns closes in on retirement.


#1 FM Overall –  Triple M*
#1 AM Overall – 4KQ
#1 FM Breakfast – Triple M: Marto, Margaux & Nick Cody and Hit105: Stav, Abby & Matt*
#1 AM Breakfast – ABC: Craig Zonca and Loretta Ryan
#1 FM Drive – Nova: Kate, Tim & Marty
#1 AM Drive – 4KQ: Nick Michaels

  • There’s a new market leader in Brisbane, with Triple M going #1 both overall and in Breakfast.
  • Triple M rises to an 11.3% share of listening (+0.4), taking advantage of a dip for 97.3FM which falls to 10.9% (-1.6).
  • The return of Robin Bailey hasn’t helped the 97.3 Brekky show yet either, which fell to 10.1% (-1.1) and is now in 4th spot after ending 2019 top of the pile.
  • Stav Davidson may claim not to be concerned about ratings, but he’ll be stoked to see Hit105 Breakfast go equal top with Triple M in today’s “archaic” ratings, a great result for SCA.
  • Kate, Tim & Marty remain untouchable on Drive with a whopping 14.6% share (+0.5).


#1 FM Overall – Mix
#1 AM Overall – Cruise
#1 FM Breakfast – Mix: Jodie & Soda
#1 AM Breakfast – ABC: Ali Clarke*
#1 FM Drive – Nova: Kate, Tim & Marty
#1 AM Drive –  ABC: Jules Schiller*

  • The status quo was retained in Adelaide, with Mix 102.3 still comfortably top of the tree overall despite slipping to a 12.6% (-1.0) share of listening.
  • While new shows traditionally lose share in their first survey, Ben & Liam’s strong debut on Nova 91.9 saw Breakfast remain steady on 9.9% (-0.2).
  • The boys remain behind FM Brekky leaders Jodie & Soda with 11.6% (-0.5).
  • However, ABC’s Ali Clarke is easily the #1 Breakfast show in the market, with a massive 15.5% share of listening among People 10+ (+2.8).
  • ABC Radio is also the top station on the AM band, going ahead of FIVEaa this book.


#1 FM Overall – Nova*
#1 AM Overall – ABC*
#1 FM Breakfast – Nova: Nathan, Nat & Shaun
#1 AM Breakfast – ABC: Nadia Mitsopoulos & Russell Woolf*
#1 FM Drive – Nova: Kate, Tim & Marty
#1 AM Drive – 6PR: Oliver Peterson

  • Nova 93.7 regains its top billing in the west, with a jump to an impressive 14% share (+1.4) in the first ratings of the year.
  • The Nathan, Nat & Shaun juggernaut continues to pick up share, rising further to 15.5% (+1.4).
  • By contrast, Mix94.5 takes a heavy dive, falling to 10.1% (-3.5), as well as copping a hit on Brekky leaving Clairsy, Matt & Kymba with 8.7% (-3.9).
  • That leaves 96FM, led by Botica’s Bunch on Breakfast, to take second place both overall (+1.6) and on Brekky (+2.7).
  • Perth was another market where ABC Radio excelled, picking up top spot on AM from 6PR, while Nadia & Russell reclaimed Breakfast, up to 9.9% (+1.2).

Stations and shows marked with an Asterix [*] denotes a change from the last survey. 

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Recent comments (29)
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10 Mar 2020 - 10:00 am

What’s happened to 2UE and the Magic/sports……. whatever they are called theses days??

Scott Thomson
10 Mar 2020 - 10:05 am

Why is there no result for 2UE?

10 Mar 2020 - 10:07 am

Where’s 2UE? Did Nine Radio opt out this survey due to the format and name change?

10 Mar 2020 - 10:19 am

973 have been Robbed.

10 Mar 2020 - 10:26 am

Trevor, Scott and Michael – READ the article! LOL

10 Mar 2020 - 11:51 am

It looks like Cruise is number 1 on AM in Adelaide, not ABC

10 Mar 2020 - 11:56 am

So it looks like MMM Brisbane did the right thing by not renewing Robin Bailey’s contract for 2020. I just wish I knew why 97.3 replaced Bianca Dye for her, what a mistake!!!

10 Mar 2020 - 12:05 pm

Triple M is a disaster except for Brisbane. Something needs a major change.

97.3 in Brisbane also needs a complete re-think. It could be doing so much better.

10 Mar 2020 - 12:24 pm

Smooth need to stop with the newer boring stuff like Hey Soul Sister etc, and go back to the heritage acts and hits that made them successful. This is what happens when you tamper with formats.

10 Mar 2020 - 12:37 pm

Triple M Melbourne and Triple M Sydney going nowhere fast. Drive is not and has not done well since day one. Both breakfast shows pathetically lagging behind. They miss Will in Melbourne and Moonman isn’t Sydney, too scripted, not natural and not that funny, sorry.

Oh no-ova
10 Mar 2020 - 12:49 pm

Jackson strikes again!
Got rid of the music director in Brisbane to network Sydney music.
Now the Brisbane daytime share is the same as Sydney.

10 Mar 2020 - 2:30 pm

97.3 have made a massive mistake. The new old breakfast show sounds tired, and bereft of ideas. They are repeating content they did years ago and they seem to have become the home of dad jokes. Sad for the presenters they replaced who of course went out winners, but I don’t think have found new jobs yet.

10 Mar 2020 - 3:23 pm

Debby, I agree. Smooth have tampered too much with their winning formula. I think they will slide unless they reintroduce the older and rarer tracks they used to play. Smooth Relax on DAB is what Smooth FM used to be. Smooth FM is sounding boring and repetitive.

10 Mar 2020 - 3:27 pm

I agree Felix. Nothing personal but Robyn is overrated in my opinion. The same old victim stories over and over. 97.3 could be so much better. It has a split personality. Is it KIIS or is it Mix? Either way the playlist is so boring, repetitive and safe it’s unlistenable. It’s like they are deliberately trying to pick only the lamest of songs.

10 Mar 2020 - 4:46 pm

Has anyone done a welfare check on 94.5 in Perth? Down 3.5 10+ and 3.9 in breakfast. The resurrection of 96fm has resulted in an absolute bloodbath at Roberts Rd. Thoughts and prayers.

10 Mar 2020 - 6:15 pm

Totally agree with Debby & AJ on smooth fm. Mucked around way too much with the format and I suspect alienated many listeners along the way. Repetitive & to many recent songs at the expense of the really diverse & older music. Although to be fair we gave up listening to it some months ago. We did discover smooth relax back in September though, and It is pretty good. In some ways better than the original smooth as they even play more from the 60s, and have snuck in the lighter songs from acts like Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, The Doors and Procol Harum. Love the diversity as Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole get played …. they just need to get rid of some of the really recent stuff

10 Mar 2020 - 6:30 pm

Welldone 2DayFM. Over taking the M’s in Sydney. Breakfast hasn’t gone down since the change. Great job

The consultant
10 Mar 2020 - 6:36 pm

What the hell has happened to the triple m network. Is Mike fits still in charge of Perth as well ? Today is not the day to be mixing up the coffee order at mmm Melbs. Who ordered the flat white with almond milk !!!

Sue Foley
10 Mar 2020 - 6:45 pm

I was a constant listener to SMOOTH but switched off recently.
Too many country/rock songs and tracks that I don’t like. Go back to what you were doing and play the songs that made you successful in the first place.

10 Mar 2020 - 6:59 pm

91.9 in Adelaide up in under 25’s, down over 25’s. Significantly down 25+. Guess that’s what happens when you put 2 x 21 year olds in 6-9a.

10 Mar 2020 - 9:22 pm

When are they going to do something about Katie on Nova mornings in Brisbane

11 Mar 2020 - 5:23 am

Eddie McGuire’s Cold Breakfast…

11 Mar 2020 - 9:13 am

Dear SCA, it’s time to pull the pin on Mix 94.5 in Perth. Brand it Triple M and focus on what you need to do to turn it around. It could work, but you’ve just gotta commit, rather than the current half-baked Triple M-Lite. You’ve got a heap of Triple M stations coming to the regional areas. At least if people go to Perth, give them a uniform experience.

11 Mar 2020 - 1:21 pm

Worthy to note Melbourne no longer surveys a majority of its commercial AM stations.

The rationale for RSN 927 not being included has been argued long ago. While it could be argued 1377 AM is no longer a distinct enough entity to survey SEN+ alongside 1116 SEN (which is unfortunately going through it’s lowest ratings since it started in 2004).

More notable is the decision not to include Nine Radio (Magic/2UE/4BH) in the survey. It’s therefore mostly guesswork in determining what, if any, impact this station is having in each city it broadcasts to.

The lack of any breakfast or other personality is my main grievance with this station. As others have commented, there’s an opportunity to reassert this station at the older end of demographics with Smooth now engaging more than ever in the Under 55s.

Last I heard Over 55s still have a heartbeat and a bit of money in the bank. A friendly memo to any millennial that may be residing in the Nine C-suite: invest in your assets.

Only other really notable developments I can see is that there’s something to localizing the sound of stations otherwise trapped in nationwide generic branding. 2Day are doing about as well as you might expect in difficult circumstances so that raises questions of how to turnaround 94.5 in Perth (do you go more local or boldly go full Triple M – and what would that mean anyway given the broader branding malaise of Triple M?).

Triple M Brisbane is indeed an exception but hasn’t it always been the case? over the decades they’ve often marched to the beat of their own drum even within a network.

Again, Jase and PJ defy the odds at KIIS. Most notably on the up even as Fox rises too. ARN deserve credit for being patient.

11 Mar 2020 - 3:19 pm

Boom ! Nova in Adelaide look at those
10-24‘s go, a very good sign for a CHR.

11 Mar 2020 - 3:23 pm

Had to google it. Triple M – a general feeling of discomfort, illness, or unease whose exact cause is difficult to identify.
And that stupid giraffe ad, ridiculous.

11 Mar 2020 - 3:49 pm

Jase and PJ defy the odds at KIIS. Yes all contests, giveaways and heaps of marketing. Won’t last, check score end of this year. If Nova got their s***t together Kiis Jase and PJ would be back on 4-5 share.

11 Mar 2020 - 9:09 pm

@oh no-ova – Mornings at Nova Brisbane have been on a steady decline for a few surveys now. I don’t think the blame lies with the change of music Director in December

Peter G
11 Mar 2020 - 10:28 pm

Triple M Adelaide is Terrible. What happened to Dale Lewis? Will he be on throughout footy season. Does anyone know what show he is on now? That new show is rubbish, Not informative or funny.


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