Radio Ratings: Kyle & Jackie O surge closer to Ben Fordham in Survey 3

Staff Writer

Welcome to Radio Today’s coverage of the third metro radio survey of 2021.

The results from GfK’s Survey 3 will be published below at 9:30am AEST.

Hit the refresh button throughout the day for all the key takeaways from each metro market, and early next week, we’ll bring you insights from content bosses across the major networks.

Editor Vivienne Kelly and publisher Jake Challenor will also bring you all the highlights from today’s results on the Radio Today Tonight podcast before the week is out.

Meantime, you can circle back to Survey 2 here and past radio ratings analysis here.


#1 FM Overall: smoothfm
#1 AM Overall: 2GB
#1 FM Breakfast: KIIS’s Kyle & Jackie O
#1 AM Breakfast: 2GB’s Ben Fordham
#1 FM Drive: smoothfm’s Byron Webb*
#1 AM Drive: ABC’s Richard Glover

Biggest Mover Up: triple j (+1.6)
Biggest Mover Down: 2GB & ABC (-1.7)

Sydney’s leading radio station 2GB has narrowly hung onto its crown this survey.

The Nine Radio-owned operation slipped 1.7 points from the last survey, taking its overall share down to 11.7%.

Its AM rival ABC also fell 1.7 points, taking it back to a 10.1% share.

The Australian Radio Network’s (ARN) KIIS FM, however, climbed 0.7 points, putting it at a 9.6% share, while NOVA Entertainment’s smoothfm climbed 1.5 points to 10.8%, putting it ahead of the ABC and within spitting distance of 2GB.

The results were even more extreme in Breakfast, with 2BG’s Ben Fordham falling back to 13.5%.

This is Fordham’s lowest result since he took over the coveted Breakfast slot from Alan Jones.

His first survey after the COVID-19 induced pause last year, he kicked off with a 17.3% share. This slipped to 17.1% before recovering to 18.1% in survey 1 of 2021.

Last survey, he was back to 15.5%, however Nine Radio’s head of content, Greg Byrnes, said he was confident Fordham could recover from the slump.

“He’s a competitor, absolutely. Will they just go out and do the same thing when he’s back on air next week? Absolutely. Work harder. But that really had no bearing on what today’s result was. They’re committed. The show’s sounding great. He’s a strong #1. It’s the next generation of talk. And we’re very well placed heading into what is now Survey 3,” he said.

KIIS’ Kyle & Jackie O, meanwhile, jumped 2.0 points, taking the show to 12.9%. The show is now looking increasingly like it has a shot at dethroning 2GB in the slot.

ARN stablemate WSFM was also up 0.4 points, taking the Jonesy & Amanda show to 8.1%.

Southern Cross Austereo’s (SCA) stations also struggled in Sydney this book, with 2DayFM down 0.4 points to a 3.5% share and Triple M down 1.0 points to 4.9%.

This was mirrored in Breakfast, with The Morning Crew with Hughesy, Ed & Erin down 0.5 points to 3.3% and Triple M’s Moonman in the Morning down 1.0 points to 5.7%.

NOVA Entertainment’s smoothfm was up 1.5 points overall to an FM-leading 10.8% share, while Nova was on 6.5% (up 0.3).

In Drive, smooth took the lead, up 1.3 points to 11.1%. This put Byron Webb ahead of KIIS’ Will & Woody who were up 0.2 points to 10.2%.


#1 FM Overall: Gold FM
#1 AM Overall: 3AW
#1 FM Breakfast: Gold’s Christian O’Connell / Nova’s Chrissie, Sam & Browny*
#1 AM Breakfast: 3AW’s Ross & Russel
#1 FM Drive: Gold’s Gavin Miller
#1 AM Drive: 3AW’s Tom Elliott

Biggest Mover Up: KIIS (+0.9)
Biggest Mover Down: 3AW (-1.3) 

The FM Breakfast battle in Melbourne is even tighter this survey, with GOLD, KIIS, Fox and Nova all within one share point of each other.

Nine Radio’s 3AW with Ross & Russel remains on top in the slot, with a 20.1% share, down 1.4 points from last survey.

Ongoing FM leader, Christian O’Connell on GOLD, slipped back 0.3 points in Breakfast, taking him to an 8.0% share. With Chrissie, Sam & Browny’s 0.1 point share climb to 8.0%, Nova is now tied for the #1 FM spot.

Fox’s Fifi, Fev & Nick also had an increase, taking the show to 7.9%, just 0.1 points behind the leaders.

And ARN’s KIIS FM with Jase & PJ, which hasn’t been a real contender in the Breakfast battle for some time, climbed 1.8 points, taking it to 7.4%. The show’s co-host Polly ‘PJ’ Harding is leaving this month, and ARN is yet to announce her replacement.

On Triple M, The Marty Sheargold Show fell 0.4 points to 5.8%.

Head of the Triple M network, Mike Fitzpatrick, has previously conceded the show will experience a lot of churn before it finds its solid, regular audience.

“If you’re an audience that’s tuning into Triple M to experience news and football, as you were with Hot Breakfast, you’re not going to get that with Marty, so there will be a lot of churn, and we’re fully prepared fo that, and we expect that,” Fitzpatrick said.

In Drive, 3AW’s Tom Elliott fell 1.2 points, but held onto #1 with a 13.5% share.

On FM, GOLD’s Gavin Miller was narrowly #1, on 10.6%, down 0.1 points from last survey.

Nova’s Kate, Tim & Joel, meanwhile, were up 1.2 points to 10.4%.


#1 FM Overall: Nova*
#1 AM Overall: 4KQ
#1 FM Breakfast: Nova’s Ash, Kip, Luttsy & Susie*
#1 AM Breakfast: 4KQ’s Laurel, Gary & Mark / ABC’s Craig Zonca & Loretta Ryan*
#1 FM Drive: Nova’s Kate, Tim & Joel
#1 AM Drive: 4KQ’s Nick Michaels*

Biggest Mover Up: ABC Classic (+0.6)
Biggest Mover Down: B105 (-1.2)

Nova’s 106.9 is back on top of the Brisbane radio market.

Last survey, SCA’s B105, including its Breakfast show Stav, Abby & Matt, edged ahead, however the station was down 1.2 points this survey, taking it to a 9.9% share.

Nova’s climb of 0.5 share points thus put it back on top with 11.1%.

Meanwhile ARN’s 4KQ lead the AM charge on 10.3%, despite a 0.7 point drop.

In Breakfast, Nova’s Ash, Kip & Luttsy with Susie O’Neill climbed 0.8 points, putting it back on top with a 12.0% share.

Triple M’s The Big Breakfast with Marto & Margaux remained steady on 10.2%, putting it in second in the FM battle, while B105 was in third after a 1.7 point slip to 9.6%.

ARN’s 97.3 lineup of the reunited Robin, Tery & Bob was on 9.3%, down 0.4 points.

On AM, ARN stablemate 4KQ’s lineup of Laurel, Gary & Mark had 10.3%, on par with the ABC’s Craig Zonca and Loretta Ryan.

Nova also lead Drive on 15.3%, up 2.0 points. This put Kate, Tim & Joel well ahead of B105 (Carrie & Tommy) and 97.3 (Will & Woody), which both sat on 10.8%.


#1 FM Overall: Mix
#1 AM Overall: Cruise
#1 FM Breakfast: Mix’s Erin Phillips & Soda
#1 AM Breakfast: ABC Radio’s Ali Clarke
#1 FM Drive: Nova’s Kate, Tim & Joel
#1 AM Drive: Cruise’s Mark Elliston

Biggest Mover Up: FIVEaa (+1.1)
Biggest Mover Down: SAFM (-1.5)

ARN’s Mix 102.3 is still Adelaide’s #1 radio station, with a 13.0% share (down 0.5 points from last survey) keeping it ahead of the competition.

Its nearest competitor was Nova, which climbed 0.6 points to 11.5%.

Mix’s Breakfast show, Erin Phillips & Soda, also remained on top, up 0.3 points to a 12.3% share.

The survey period included a mysterious on-air absence from the duo, which was accompanied by conflicting messages about when they would return.

This off-air conflict, however, doesn’t seem to have translated negatively in the ratings.

The show’s closest FM competitor was Triple M’s Roo & Ditts, up 2.1 points to 11.2%.

Nova’s Ben & Liam climbed 0.4 points to 10.2%, while SAFM’s Bec, Cosi & Lehmo fell 0.8 to 7.8%.

SAFM overall was down 1.5 points to a 7.1% share.

The station also suffered in Drive, down 1.9 points to 7.7%.

Nova’s Kate, Tim & Joel lead the Drive slot with 15.8%, up 1.4 points. KISS’ Will & Woody placed second, up 0.9 to 13.9%.


#1 FM Overall: Nova
#1 AM Overal: 6PR
#1 FM Breakfast: Nova’s Nathan, Nat & Shaun
#1 AM Breakfast:  6PR’s Gareth Parker
#1 FM Drive: Nova’s Kate, Tim & Joel
#1 AM Drive: 6PR’s Oliver Peterson

Biggest Mover Up: ABC (+1.1)
Biggest Mover Down: Mix (-0.7)

Nova 93.7 remains Perth radio’s market leader, up 0.2 points overall to a 13.5% share.

Its Breakfast show, Nathan, Nat & Shaun, too climbed slightly, up 0.1 points to 15.0%.

The stability of Nova in the market is in contrast to other stations which have experienced major shakeups in recent months.

The #2 station overall, despite a 0.7 point drop, is SCA’s Mix 94.5. The station now sits on an 11.9% share.

Last year, Mix joined the Hit Network, undergoing a rebrand and a change in Breakfast show.

Dean ‘Clairsy’ Clairs left, with Pete Curulli taking his place, forming the Pete, Matt & Kymba show.

This survey, Pete, Matt & Kymba had a 12.1% share, relatively stable with last survey’s 12.2%, enabling it to hang onto the #2 spot.

Clairs, meanwhile, popped up at ARN’s 96FM, replacing radio stalwart Fred Botica and transforming its Breakfast show Botica’s Bunch into The Bunch, alongside co-host Lisa Shaw.

The show fell 0.4 points to 10.0%, while the station was up 0.4 points to 11.1%, holding onto third spot.

While all this was happening, former Hit Network station 92.9 rebranded as Triple M. This survey it had a 7.9% share, down 0.3 points.

Its Breakfast show Basil, Xav & Jenna was up 0.2 points to 8.6%.

Co-host and Perth’s mayor Basil Zempilas has said he wants the show to be #1 within five years.

Nine Radio’s 6PR has also had significant lineup changes, and climbed 0.2 points to 9.5%.

In Drive, Nova’s Kate, Tim & Joel had an incredible 17.1% share, up 1.9 points. Its closest competitor was Mix’s Carrie & Tommy on 12.7%.

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

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Recent comments (29)
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1 Jun 2021 - 9:46 am

96FM Perth getting closer to Mix. Great job by the very hard working team at 96FM, keeping it local pays off!!

Peter Johnson
1 Jun 2021 - 10:15 am

Dave Hughes should be embarrassed at his ratings of 3.3%

But he gets still gets paid millions for this, so why would he care?

1 Jun 2021 - 10:34 am

Can Peter Johnson please regale us with his on-air radio CV?

1 Jun 2021 - 10:37 am

No #1 stations for SCA. When will heads roll from the top?

Nova Staff Member
1 Jun 2021 - 11:07 am

Wonder when we will start seeing our performance suffer from the unresolved scandal that is plaguing them at the moment.
Our staff morale is at an all time low and these results aren’t a priority to us anymore as we wait to see what responsibility our leader(s) take on the matter.
This is the only thing we care about in our business right now

1 Jun 2021 - 11:16 am

Just here for the experts in the comments. Drawing from their time at community radio in Lithgow.

1 Jun 2021 - 11:17 am

96FM will take out Mix by the end of the year.

1 Jun 2021 - 11:18 am

973 Breakfast games have failed.

1 Jun 2021 - 11:22 am

SAFM breakfast is not working. SCA need to stop putting random people together.

1 Jun 2021 - 11:22 am

Sydney listeners continue to be brainwashed by Kyle and Jackie ….

The Wolf
1 Jun 2021 - 12:05 pm

Jesus even Sydney 2 JJJ beat 2GB Afternoon and Drive…….

Peter Johnson
1 Jun 2021 - 12:51 pm

I can’t wait for Gemma Fordham to say she is not worried about the ratings for the 2Day Fm breakfast show because they are behind it 100% and they are in it for the long haul

1 Jun 2021 - 1:38 pm

Josh – ‘keeping it local pays off’?

96fm have less local shows and less local hours than Mix and MMM.

1 Jun 2021 - 2:34 pm

You think SCA results are bad today.. To get these numbers and drop so much – The waves must be so bad… it could hurt even more next survey.

How can the SCA Board continue to let this leadership group continue to bury a once innovative, exciting and dynamic company? SCA was once leaders of the industry are no longer even challengers… they are barely in the game.

1 Jun 2021 - 3:00 pm

How is nova drive and night number 1

1 Jun 2021 - 3:06 pm

Mick Molloy on Triple M recorded 4.9 in his hometown of Melbourne.

1 Jun 2021 - 3:07 pm

@Josh, whoever you are. Please explain how? 96FM is only networked shows between 5 and 8pm and these are still heavily modified shows with music compared to the other Kiis network stations. Mix and MMM from 3pm till 5am are networked.

Evan Parsons
1 Jun 2021 - 7:03 pm

Well done to Smooth FM in Sydney and Kyle/Jackie O.
When will 2DAYFM management work it out that Dave Hughes isn’t funny and their various attempts over the years to imitate Kyle and Jackie O never work? All that blanket TV advertising for the “all new 2DAYFM morning crew” obviously hasn’t worked yet LOL.

Brett D
1 Jun 2021 - 7:21 pm

How’s that code going for you SCA?

Anthony The Koala
1 Jun 2021 - 9:33 pm

I was a regular listener to the Alan Jones program. I never agreed with everything he said or commented on. The delivery was well-researched and consistent. He was also backed by a fine team of producers/researchers. Always provocative and informative.

I too listened to Ben Fordham’s afternoon program. It was entertaining. The only time I listen to Ben’s breakfast show is a rundown of the news between 0530 and 0600.

A few weeks ago (as 01-06-2021 as the base date) during his rundown, Ben put a teaser on duing the rundown that one of his co-presenters was to reveal what singer Rod Stewart put on his hair to make it set in the 1970s. I did a “google” search to find out that Rod Stewart used mayonnaise to set his hair. I couldn’t be bothered to wait for his co-presenter, whoever it was to tell me this. It was a waste of time waiting.

As a result of Alan’s departure from 2GB, I have changed permanently to RN and 2BL (ABC 702). There is a variety of intellectually-stimulating programs such as “This Working Life”, “The Health Report”, “The Religion and Ethics Program” to name a few. Then Fran’s breakfast program has the kind of guests that would be on Alan’s show including ministers of parliament and journalists.

The rest of the afternoon is spent on 2BL (ABC 702) until 2000. I switch to 2GB only for the evenings with John Stanley and Michael McLaren or Luke Grant or Clinton Maynard (0000-0530).

In regards to listening to 2BL (ABC 702) there is only so much quiz quiz hours. Similarly on 2GB there is so much “Blind Factory”, “Palmer’s Glass” (to the tune of “Baby Shark”), “Spinal Eze” and “all-on-four/dental implant” ads one can take.

No I don’t listen to radio 24 hours a day. It’s only when I am awake.

The beginnings of the decrease in audience share of 2GB/2UE started around 2017 with 2UE becoming “Talking Lifestyle” then “Talking Sport” to an automated music box. With 2GB, it was the departures of Chris Smith (Mon-Fri 1200-1500), Steve Price, George Moore, Ross Greenwood, Andrew Bolt and Susie Elelman and of course Alan Jones.

And no, I did not agree with everything they said.

Without commenting on Deborah Knight, Jim Wilson and Brooke Corte, the programs on other stations got me hooked so why bother reverting to 2GB no matter how good these 2GB presenters are.

By the way, I have followed the total percentage of radio stations participating in the ratings system. In the 1970s, 98.5% listened to the participants in the ratings system.

From about 2018, the share of radio stations participating in the ratings went down to about 87%.

Only in the last two surveys, it was 84% down to 83% this survey.

That is the share has dropped by nearly 4% in the last two surveys from 87%.

What are the other 27% listening to? 2SM, community radio, podcasts?

Thank you,

Anthony of exciting Belfield

Observant Observer
2 Jun 2021 - 12:22 am

SCA will say that their audience has moved across to that constantly crashing app they are pushing. Fairly confident this is not the case and am thinking it might be time to short some stock options, then sit back and watch them crumble.

Matt Ranson
2 Jun 2021 - 6:01 am

Why does this get reported as though AM is different to FM? The ratings don’t differentiate but it’s continuously broken down – why do you do that?

2 Jun 2021 - 1:07 pm

Time to just play music on 2DayFM.
Embarrassing or just plain sad that this station is irrelevant to 97 percent of Sydney every morning?

2 Jun 2021 - 1:56 pm

Why aren’t you interviewing the heads of programming for the networks anymore? It would be good to hear what they say about these results.

Please let your readers know.

2 Jun 2021 - 4:25 pm

2Day FM keeps getting all these Melbourne radio types for their breakfast show. They are never going to resonate or compete against shows like Kyle & Jackie-O do in Sydney.
Sydney likes shock jocks. People like Alan Jones, Kyle Sandilands, Ray Hadley, Stan Zemanek are the types we want to listen to.
These guys all dominated the airways for years with top ratings.

3 Jun 2021 - 8:58 am

Cruise1323 is such a great station. Well done to the little team in Adelaide that keep it cruising along. I hope they get the recognition they deserve from their network.

Mick C
3 Jun 2021 - 12:13 pm

One question.

How are thse ” survey’s ” conducted?
Ive never ever received a ” survey” book or anything to fill out

3 Jun 2021 - 10:50 pm

How about 2day fm pay an exorbitant amount to lure Ray Hadley into breakfast (didn’t he want breakfast originally when Alan left?) – then put Steve Prices Australia Today on mid morning, then Chris Smith in the afternoon? Throw a few songs in for good measure. Then continue the networked national schedule for drive.

A great way to shock jock their way onto FM and have a decent crack at K&J with someone who knows exactly how to. Also a good opportunity to gain Ben Fordham and Deb Knight listeners who are typically 2gb loyal but don’t like what’s being served up. Strike while there is blood in the water.

It’s a big shift in format but what’s there now is rubbish. In 10 years I’ve probably listed to 2dayfm for about 4 hours. Total…

Just my 2c


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