Radio Ratings: They did it! KIIS FM’s Kyle & Jackie O now Sydney’s #1 Breakfast radio show in Survey 4

Staff Writer

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

The results from GfK’s Survey 4 are published below at 9:30am AEST, along with the #1 AM and FM stations and breakfast and drive shows in each market.

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.

Also Read: Content directors reveal what they’ll be looking out for in Survey 4

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, take a listen to last week’s episode of Radio Today Tonight where Jake and Viv share their predictions for Survey 4 including the battle brewing for the #1 spot in Sydney between talk station 2GB and its FM rivals KIIS and smoothfm.

You can also circle back to Survey 3 results here and past radio ratings analysis here.


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

Biggest Mover Up: KIIS (+1.0)
Biggest Mover Down: Triple j & smoothfm (-.08)

Sydney has a new #1 Breakfast show, with FM leaders The Kyle & Jackie O Show on the Australian Radio Network’s (ARN) KIIS taking over long-time leaders 2GB. 

Ben Fordham inherited the #1 overall Breakfast show from radio stalwart Alan Jones last year.

He had a few months grace to find his feet, with the official ratings on hiatus due to COVID-19.

When the ratings returned, he had a 17.3% share, ahead of AM rivals the ABC’s Wendy Harmer and Robbie Buck (12.5%), as well as FM leaders Kyle Sandilands and Jackie ‘O’ Henderson (then on 10.2%).

In today’s survey, however, Fordham in 2GB Breakfast slumped to 13.3% (down 0.2 points from last survey), while Sandilands and Henderson surged 2.6 points to 15.5%. 

While the two stations and programs appeal to vastly different demographics, the ranking places The Kyle & Jackie O Show in unprecedented territory. 

2GB did, however, manage to hold on to its overall lead across Monday to Sunday’s ratings, with an 11.8% share in total people, up 0.1 points. 

KIIS had the #1 FM position, up 1.0 points to 10.6%, taking away any hope – for now – that NOVA Entertainment’s smoothfm could unseat 2GB as the overall #1 station.

Last survey, 2GB had 11.7%, with smooth on an FM-leading 10.8%, leading to speculation it could overtake its AM rival.

This survey, however, smooth fell back 0.8 points to 10.0%. 

Smooth’s sister station, Nova, had 6.7% overall (up 0.2), and 6.4% in Breakfast with Fitzy & Wippa (down 0.3). 

It was another flat book as well for Southern Cross Austereo (SCA).

Its Hit Network station 2DayFM was down 0.2 points to 3.3%, while its Breakfast show The Morning Crew with Hughesy, Ed & Erin was steady on 3.3%.

Over on Triple M, the share was up 0.1 points overall to 5.0%, while Moonman in the Morning in Breakfast fell 1.1 points to just a 4.6% share. 

Later in the day, in Drive, KIIS had another victory, with Will & Woody jumping 1.2 points to an 11.4% share.

Previous leader, Byron Webb on smooth, fell from 11.1% to 9.5%. 


#1 FM Overall: GOLD FM
#1 AM Overall: 3AW
#1 FM Breakfast: GOLD’s Christian O’Connell*
#1 AM Breakfast: 3AW’s Ross & Russel
#1 FM Drive: GOLD’s Gavin Miller
#1 AM Drive: 3AW’s Tom Elliott

Biggest Mover Up: ABC Radio (+2.3)
Biggest Mover Down: Nova (-1.1)

Nine Radio’s fortunes in Breakfast were vastly better in Melbourne than in Sydney, with the Ross & Russel program easily hanging onto its overall #1 position.

The 3AW program, fronted by Ross Stevenson and Russel Howcroft, remained steady on 20.1%. Even with a 2.7 point jump from the ABC’s Sammy J, taking it to 13.8%, it was untouchable.

On FM, Christian O’Connell was up 0.6 points to an 8.6% share, and slips across the board meant the GOLD Breakfast show held onto its lead.

Last survey, Nova 100’s Chrissie, Sam & Browny had been on par with O’Connell’s 8.0% share. This survey, however, the show fell 1.1 points to 6.9%.

Fox FM was also down 1.1 points, from last survey’s 7.9% to 6.8% this survey, putting the Fifi, Fev & Nick show in third in the FM Breakfast battle.

Taking a similar hit was KIIS’ Jase & PJ, which fell 1.2 points to 6.2%.

Last survey, the show had its highest-ever ratings, with a 7.4% share. The show is set to lose its co-host Polly ‘PJ’ Harding shortly, however ARN is yet to reveal her replacement.

Triple M’s Marty Sheargold also suffered a 1.2 point blow, down from 5.8% to just 4.6% in Breakfast.

In Drive, 3AW’s Tom Elliott remained top of the pops on 12.7%, and GOLD’s Gavin Miller held onto the FM crown with 10.8%.

Nova’s Kate, Tim & Joel last survey had been close to pinching the #1 FM spot, on 10.4% behind Miller’s 10.6%. This survey, however, the show dropped two whole points to 8.4%.


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

Biggest Mover Up: 97.3FM & 4RN (+0.4)
Biggest Mover Down: 4KQ (-1.0)

The Brisbane market’s shuffle and squabble for the #2 position continues as the city’s stations shift in the ratings again.

Nova 106.9 remained on top with an overall 10.8% share.

ARN’s 97.3, however, took the #2 spot, climbing 0.4 points to a 10.2% share.

This pushed SCA’s Triple M back to third (down 0.3 points to 9.9%), and previous leaders B105 down to fourth in FM.

B105 lead the charge in survey 2 on an 11.1% share. Last survey, the station had 9.9%, which fell further to 9.2% this time around.

ARN’s AM station, 4KQ, had a 9.3% share.

In Breakfast, Nova’s Ash, Kip & Luttsy with Susie O’Neill stayed on top with 11.8%, down 0.2 points from last survey.

Triple M’s Marto & Margaux jumped 0.8 points in Breakfast to an 11.0% share, putting it in second.

97.3’s Robin, Terry & Bob also had a climb, up 0.7 points to 10.0%, while B105’s Stav, Abby & Matt fell 0.3 points to 9.3%.

4KQ’s Laurel, Gary & Mark, meanwhile, had a 9.1% share.

In Drive, there was no touching Nova. Kate, Tim & Joel suffered a slight 0.8 point decline to 14.5%, but it was still streets ahead of the competition.

The closest rival was 97.3’s Will & Woody, up 0.1 to 10.9%.

Not far behind was Triple M’s Molloy, up 0.9 points to 10.7%, while SCA stablemates the Hit Network took a hit for Carrie & Tommy, down 0.6 points to 10.2%.


#1 FM Overall: Mix
#1 AM Overall: FIVEaa*
#1 FM Breakfast: Mix’s Erin Phillips & Soda
#1 AM Breakfast: FIVEaa’s David Penberthy & Will Goodings*
#1 FM Drive: Nova’s Kate, Tim & Joel
#1 AM Drive: FIVEaa’s Rowey’s Sports Show*

Biggest Mover Up: FIVAaa (+1.5)
Biggest Mover Down: Nova (-1.1)

Adelaide’s Mix 102.3 remains top of the pack, with a 13.2% share, while NOVA Entertainment’s FIVEaa is the #1 AM station, jumping 1.5 points to a 12.3% share.

Its sister station, Nova, ahead last survey on 11.5%, fell 1.1 points to 10.4%.

FIVEaa’s Breakfast program with David Penberthy and Will Goodings also remained on top, soaring to a 15.5% share.

FM leaders Mix 102.3’s Erin Phillips & Soda had an 11.8% share, down 0.5 points from last survey.

It was a tight race for second in the FM Breakfast battle, however Triple M’s Roo & Ditts program held on, despite a 0.7 point fall. It boasted 10.5% in Breakfast, just ahead of Nova’s Ben & Liam, which climbed 0.1 points to 10.3%.

Nova was the clear leader in Drive, however, with Kate, Tim & Joel on 14.8% (down 1.0 points from last survey).

Its closest competitor was KIIS’ Will & Woody on 13.8%.

Outside of the race for #1, Southern Cross Austereo’s (SCA) SAFM had some improvements. The station was up 0.8 points to a 7.9% share. Its Breakfast program of Bec, Cosi & Lehmo was also up 0.8 to 8.6%.

SCA’s chief content officer Dave Cameron has previously flagged the station’s troubles, noting it is still struggling to recover from the bungled rebrand when it dropped the heritage SAFM name in favour of becoming Hit.


#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: ABC Radio’s Geoff Hutchison*

Biggest Mover Up: 6iX (+1.9)
Biggest Mover Down: Triple M, Nova & ABC Classic (-0.8)

Triple M’s new Perth Breakfast show Basil, Xav & Jenna has suffered a blow this survey, falling 1.7 points to a 6.9% share.

Overall, the station also took a hit of 0.8 points, taking it to a share of 7.1%.

This puts the SCA station a long way from its rivals, including ARN’s 96FM (11.5%), SCA stablemate Mix 94.5 (11.7%), and market leaders Nova (12.7%).

It’s also behind the ABC’s youth station triple j (8.8%), Nine Radio’s 6PR (9.1%) and ABC Perth (8.2%).

The Breakfast leader is still Nova, with Nathan, Nat & Shaun falling 0.5 points to a 14.5% share.

Mix’s Pete, Matt & Kymba climbed 0.6 points to 12.7%, enabling the show to hold onto the #2 position.

Nova was also untouchable in drive with a staggering 17.5% for Kate, Tim & Joel. Carrie & Tommy on Mix had 11.8%, and 96FM’s Will & Woody had 11.7%, on par with triple j’s Hobba & Hing.

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

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Recent comments (38)
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6 Jul 2021 - 9:30 am

radioinfo dropped the results 3 mins early haha

6 Jul 2021 - 9:45 am

From another network to K&J, the K&J team and ARN, well done! What an accomplishment. Genuinely a huge moment in Australian Radio.

SCA should bow their head in shame for letting them go.

Perth Radio
6 Jul 2021 - 10:22 am

Great to see 96FM Perth and 6iX have such great results. Very hard working teams with a focus on the Perth market. The hard work is now showing!!

SCA, you’ve lost your way.

6 Jul 2021 - 10:36 am

How is 3.3 in breakfast sustaining those wages for Erin, someone and someone?

6 Jul 2021 - 11:10 am

Can I play devils advocate on Ben Fordham ? While Jones was rating well, he was costing 2GB millions in legal costs and lost revenue due to constant advertiser boycotts. Not to mention his huge salary. Is nine radio still ahead even if Ben is not rating number one ? Discuss

6 Jul 2021 - 11:15 am

“Cruise’s Rowey and Bicks”??!!

    6 Jul 2021 - 12:08 pm

    Hi Bronny,

    To be honest, I’ve no idea what went wrong there. The mad rush of the morning is likely the only excuse we have to lean on.

    Apologies for the error and thanks for flagging. It has been corrected!

    Vivienne – Radio Today

6 Jul 2021 - 11:39 am

SCA – Wow, didnt know it was possible to set the bar even lower.
Just the worst.
And again Missing in action, talentless and repeating the failed mistakes – leadership. Shameful. Everything you don’t do as a leader.

SCA – no longer losing the battle – now just irrelevant

Everyone in SCA who were involved in letting K&J show go – will be remembered for making the worst decision ever in Australian radio history. Nothing you have done or do in your career will ever make up for that poor decision.

Just Smiling
6 Jul 2021 - 11:47 am

I wonder if the ex-GM of 2Day can finally see sometimes the ego of your top performers is worth it. Probs not though hey.

Peter Johnson
6 Jul 2021 - 11:55 am

I wonder if Guy Dobson is feeling very small today – the programmer who said in 2013 that Kyle and Jackie were “past their peak”

6 Jul 2021 - 11:59 am

@Perth Radio

Did you stop reading after looking at the Triple M result, you peanut. Keep it in the Radio Green Room.

6 Jul 2021 - 12:11 pm

What is going on at SCA? Hughesy, Erin experiment how long do they persist with that?

SAFM Adelaide adding Lehmo to Bec and Cosi is like putting a bandaid on a fish. The show has no content and zero chemistry

Starting to wonder if it’s SCAs strategy to put together the worst breakfast shows in each market

6 Jul 2021 - 12:43 pm

I can’t wait to hear Grant Blackley say he finds the figures for the 2DAY FM Morning Crew very encouraging because they did not go down any further

6 Jul 2021 - 12:53 pm

Kyle & Jackie O are the best breakfast duo in Australia. Saying that, the the competition at breakfast on Triple J, Nova & ABC Sydney is so boring. So it probably helps their ratings more.

Tony Poplett
6 Jul 2021 - 1:05 pm

Tragedy Nine was allowed to buy 2UE as well as 2GB, thev’e killed the only alternative talkback station. As a consequence the dumbed down current 2GB format still rates but is constant repetition and little debate.

6 Jul 2021 - 1:14 pm

LOL! SCA is garbage. Poor results all round, look at Perth. Triple M trash like it always was in the west. Mix going down too.

6 Jul 2021 - 1:33 pm

Wow. Just as much as this is a win for K&J, it’s the loss of audience from 2GB that’s given them this win.
Clearly Ben Fordham isn’t the right fit for that audience. I wonder if the powers that be at GB have heard the offering of Steve Price & Natarsha Belling over on SCA. That would be a great AM breakfast show.

6 Jul 2021 - 2:24 pm

@ Tony
I get where you are coming from. In the short term yes … in pure profit 2GB would have a healthier bottom line atm. However that benefit will quickly erode if Ben continues to drift lower in breakfast because the rest of the station will tend to follow that pattern longer term. Witness Hadley in mornings … used to pull 18s-20+ with daylight 2nd and 3rd following AJ for years … Hadley had always ridden on AJ’s coat tails. Now Ray’s competition is less than 2pts away. Alan Jones was the ultimate tent pole for 2GB and his absence will cost big $$ unless the slide is turned around.

Lol at SCA
6 Jul 2021 - 3:48 pm

Had a flick through the cume numbers for 2Day… wow.. another 93,000 (10+) deciding to take a long walk off a short plank. I actually feel bad for the shows and the people there, they do work hard. It’s the execs who think they are all high and mighty radio royalty, and have done for years. Once one domino falls it will go right through that whole exec team and I for one would love to see that.

6 Jul 2021 - 4:35 pm

Memo: Dave Cameron do you have the right off air heads under you? Results would indicate – no. The Hit Network as an example is falling apart and staff on and off are not happy. Once a great network now last. You only have to look at Fox breakfast cume to see the once great Fox is heading in the same direction.

6 Jul 2021 - 5:31 pm

Well done k&j well deserved . Please SCA {G D} you always thought he was bigger than the talent and what followed was many many mistakes and look were the company is now ! Disgraceful

Let’s be Kind Here
6 Jul 2021 - 5:32 pm

Yo Geri! Do you live under a rock? Melbourne clearly has been impacted by yet another lockdown and harsh restrictions…still, for a fourth time. There’s no commute, different listening patterns, people turning to news in a lockdown… clear as mud looking at FM numbers. FOX is still the most listened to station in the country 2 books in a row, Fifi Fev and Nick the most listened to breakfast show last book, #2 this time, in a lockdown book, and it’s a bloody great show six months in. The show and station has momentum, unfortunately lockdown struck all the CHRs. Let’s be fair to all the hard working teams and talent in the melbourne market who just can’t win right now in a Covid world. It’s tough but they continue to be passionate about their stations, their shows and teams even when it feels they take one step forward, then two back.

I reckon everyone can be a little more kinder to each other here, bigger things going on in the world. Let’s enjoy what we do as a gig, it’s a great one, and we’re lucky, a lot of small businesses gone, people struggling! If a down book is all that is wrong in our worlds, I reckon we are doing ok.

6 Jul 2021 - 8:09 pm

The car crash that is 2day has created a diversion for 2mmm.
What on earth has happened to the once mighty m’s?

Let’s hope the incoming MD from the GC can turn things around
from mmm

John Print
6 Jul 2021 - 8:50 pm

Nice to hear from our regular panel of experts haha. Perhaps more entertaining than some of the on air shows 😉 Honestly, the most alarming thing in this survey is the huge drop in cume across many stations. Competition is tight and the pool is shrinking !

Take it easy
6 Jul 2021 - 9:47 pm

Everyone here is potting SCA but Nova’s results are not much better.

A heritage b’fast show in Sydney the rates a 6.4 (9 points behind its main competitor)

Workdays in major markets that continually pull embarrassing numbers and have so for years

Nova Melbourne and Adelaide had the biggest decreases in there respective markets.

Drive show starting to show weaknesses in Sydney and Melbourne.

A night show that now only wins Adelaide

And this is all off the biggest marketing push and money drop I’ve seen and heard for sometime.

Pot calling the kettle black much?

7 Jul 2021 - 9:09 am

Hold up everyone on SCA. Maybe we are trying really, really hard to fix what previous group content leaders did to this network. We want everyone to be happy and smile. Smiles get ratings.

Come in Spinner
7 Jul 2021 - 10:12 am

SCA’s strength is it’s ability to tell themselves how great they are.
“Fox is the biggest in the country” yet somehow not in the top 3 in Melbourne.

Peter Johnson
7 Jul 2021 - 11:09 am

It seems like everyone gets a paid a lot at SCA to acheive very little

7 Jul 2021 - 11:34 am

Let’s talk Nova Adelaide

They through the kitchen sink at that survey both marketing and activations with Ben and Liam

Surely they can’t be thrilled with result.
Station goes backwards, the breakfast show still #5 in the market. Anyone else surprised how little traction they are getting?

The Audience
7 Jul 2021 - 12:41 pm

SCA results….maybe it’s time to employ someone outside of radio with common sense to redirect this ship, intelligent people don’t necessarily have common sense.

Reg Quamby
7 Jul 2021 - 1:59 pm

I blame covid for this whole murky sordid affair and the carbon tax ! and Julia Gilliard

7 Jul 2021 - 5:15 pm

Hey @sca
I noticed your earlier post re Nova Adelaide and must correct your comment re Ben & Liam having ‘little traction.’ Ben & Liam have actually increased their share in each of the last 3 surveys. And continue to be the most-listened to breakfast show in Adelaide. Please don’t interpret this as a boast – but we are very proud of how this show is tracking in Adelaide, especially in a tight field, against other classy competitors. Cheers

Classy? Nah
7 Jul 2021 - 8:27 pm

Hey BL if you think Adelaide in a ‘Classy’ market then we are listening to different breakfast shows.

Fact is Ben and Liam are rating worse on average than the show it replaced and that’s with huge marketing behind it, which is unsustainable in a market this size, especially when Nova has shows in Melbourne and Sydney that desperately need the dollars.

The boys are pretty hit and miss at times and reckon they are crying out for solid direction and focus.

Its been one and a half years now, should be doing better. Lets hope, they seem nice.

8 Jul 2021 - 11:24 am

How old is that photo of K&J???!!! Congrats to the team behind K&J, they did a great job. It says a lot about Sydney listeners, they’ve been brainwashed by K&J successfully…

Check Your Facts
13 Jul 2021 - 10:59 pm

Hey SCA and Classy Nah,

You seem to have a bit to say about the Adelaide radio market, Ben and Liam and an over zealous interest in Nova’s management of their marketing budget.

Re the Adelaide market you are entitled to your opinions on whether it is classy or not, however when you are quoting facts check your figures.

If you match the survey ratings periods for 2018/2019 with the Covid interrupted periods of 2020 and the surveys to date for 2021 you’ll find in fact Ben and Liam Nova 91.9 are rating better on average than the show it replaced. FACT.

That fact, along with rating #1 FM Breakfast show in Adelaide Sept 2020, something the previous show never achieved. They also have the highest number of listeners, which in other countries and survey methods would make them #1.

Since arriving they and their team have hit the ground running, have a great chemistry, a very strong focus, solid direction, super energised work ethic and high quality, consistent content on radio and all the socials.

Just my opinion I think they are doing fine, and by the way they are nice, another fact and don’t worry they will get even better…..

18 Jul 2021 - 8:21 am

It’s interesting that ARN get all the credit for one station that’s winning – K&JFM. Looks like SCA get criticised the most and it’s warranted but had anyone noticed NOVA are Number 5 in Melbourne and Sydney.
Those lineups have been in place for a long time and the Hit / Fox / 2Day network are not setting the world on fire, so how can the Lachlan Murdoch network rate so low.
Fifth is not a great position to be in.
Imagine if they had some competition.

20 Jul 2021 - 7:21 am

Nova are now 3rd or 4th in drive in Melbourne. The new show isn’t resonating with Melbourne listeners. KIIS drive is only 2 points behind. Nova should stick with hiring radio people instead of comics and soapie actresses. Tim is good but can’t stand the other two.

20 Jul 2021 - 7:26 am

Nothing outstanding on breakfast radio in Melbourne. Just look at Fox, KIIS and Nova on 6.9 / 6.8 / 6.2. They all sound similar except for Jase and PJ. Fox and Nova under performing as usual. If anyone in the market dared to try something different but won’t happen.


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