Radio Ratings: KIIS & smooth battle it out for Sydney’s #1 FM in Survey 6

Staff Writer

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

The results from GfK’s Survey 6 are published below at 9:30am AEDT, 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: Radio ratings delayed until October

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.

You can also circle back to Survey 5 results here and past radio ratings analysis here.


#1 FM Overall: KIIS + 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: 2GB (+1.2)
Biggest Mover Down: Nova (-1.2)

Nine Radio’s 2GB has increased its lead in the Sydney market, climbing 1.2 points from last survey to 16.4%.  Nine Radio said it was a record result for 2GB.

The ABC remains 2GB’s closest contender, climbing 1.1 points to a 13.0% share.

The FM battle, however, has tightened, with last survey’s leader ARN’s KIIS 106.5 falling 0.7 points to 8.0%. This puts it on par with NOVA Entertainment’s smoothfm, which slipped 0.4 points to also sit on 8.0% overall.

The picture was less rosy for smoothfm stablemate Nova, which slipped 1.2 points to just 4.7% overall, putting it on par with Southern Cross Austereo’s (SCA) Triple M, which remained steady on the same figure.

These trends were replicated in Breakfast – in some cases with more extreme results.

Ben Fordham’s 2GB Breakfast show climbed even more than the station, going up 2.0 points to an 18.8% share, while the ABC’s Wendy Harmer and Robbie Buck also outdid their station average, climbing 1.7 points to 15.7%.

Harmer and Buck will finish up on the station in December and their replacements have not yet been announced.

KIIS’ Kyle & Jackie O Show, meanwhile, slipped more than their overall station – falling 1.3 points compared to KIIS’ slip of 0.7 – but had a 10.8% share. This means the show remained ahead of the station’s overall share and held onto the title of #1FM Breakfast show.

NOVA Entertainment had a rough survey in the Breakfast slot, despite smooth’s overall successes.

Bogart Torelli & Glenn Daniel on smooth slipped 1.7 points to just a 4.5% share, well behind the station’s 8.0%, meaning other day parts are propping up the station.

Fitzy & Wippa on Nova also fell – down 2.1 points to just 4.0%. The duo recently celebrated 10 years at the station.

WSFM’s Jonesy & Amanda, meanwhile, remained steady on an 8.8% share, slightly ahead of the station’s overall 7.6% share.

SCA’s stations had a less tumultuous result than some of their FM counterparts, albeit from a lower base.

2DayFM overall was up 0.8 points to 3.4%. Its Breakfast show The Morning Crew with Hughesy, Ed & Erin also climbed, up 0.5 points to 2.9%.

Triple M remained steady overall on 4.7%, while Breakfast’s Moonman in the Morning slipped 0.1 points to 4.6%.

In Drive, the ABC easily maintained its lead, with Richard Glover climbing 0.3 points to 12.8%.


#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: 3AW (+3.1)
Biggest Mover Down: smoothfm (-1.1) 

There’s no touching Nine Radio’s 3AW in Melbourne.

The station jumped a massive 3.1 points to an overall share of 18.2%.

Its Breakfast show with with Ross Stevenson and Russel Howcroft also jumped – up 3.0 points to 23.8%.

The trend towards talk in the Victorian capital did not carry over to the ABC, with the national broadcaster down 0.4 points to a 12.0% share.

Sammy J’s Breakfast show suffered a 1.4 point fall to 14.6%.

Despite the slips both overall and in Breakfast, the ABC was easily the city’s #2 station.

In the FM battle, ARN’s GOLD 104.3 managed to climb 0.9 points to a 10.9% share, while its Christian O’Connell-fronted Breakfast show also increased – up 0.5 to 9.4%.

Melbourne’s newest Breakfast show, Jase & Lauren, featuring carry-over host Jase Hawkins and new recruit Lauren Phillips, edged forward 0.2 points to  a 4.8% share.

The show kicked off on August 9, while this survey takes into account the period of July 11 to September 18.

The next survey, Survey 7, takes into account August 15 to September 18, as well as September 26 to October 30, so will give a more complete picture of the show’s debut performance.


#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
#1 FM Drive: Nova’s Kate, Tim & Joel
#1 AM Drive: ABC’s Steve Austin

Biggest Mover Up: Nova (+1.5)
Biggest Mover Down: 97.3FM (-0.9)

Nova is back on top in Brisbane after an incredibly tight race last survey.

In Survey 5, it was a three-horse race in Brisbane, with ARN’s 4KQ and 97.3FM sitting on 10.2% alongside Nova.

This survey, however, has seen Nova climb 1.2 points to a winning 11.7% share. 4KQ’s increase of 0.7 to 10.9% wasn’t enough to catch Nova, but was sufficient for it to maintain its position as the #1 AM station. 97.3FM slipped 0.9 to 9.3%.

SCA’s two stations also suffered slips, with previous market leader from Survey 2 B105 down 0.7 points to 9.0% and Triple M down the same amount, from 9.3% to 8.6%.

Nine Radio’s 4BC, meanwhile, which has been ramping up its local focus, climbed 0.4 points to a 7.6% share.

Tomorrow, the station will swap frequencies with stablemate 4BH, which was on 3.2%.

Nova was also the Breakfast leader, with Ash, Kip, Luttsy & Susie O’Neill climbing 1.8 to 13.1%. 4KQ’s Laurel, Gary & Mark  jumped 0.9 points to 12.0%.

The other commercial FM stations suffered varying falls in Breakfast, the most dramatic of which was Triple M’s 2.0 point slip to 7.9%.

In Drive, Brisbane’s love affair with Nova’s Kate, Tim & Joel continued, with the show up 2.2 points to a 15.2% share.

No station was even close to this share. The city’s #2 Drive show, B105’s Carrie & Tommy, had 9.6% in the slot, down 1.2 points. 97.3FM’s Will & Woody were also down in the slot to 8.3% (down 1.7) as was Triple M’s Molloy (down 1.9 to 8.7%).


#1 FM Overall: Mix
#1 AM Overall: ABC Radio
#1 FM Breakfast: Mix’s Erin Phillips & Soda
#1 AM Breakfast: ABC Radio’s Ali Clarke
#1 FM Drive: Mix’s Will & Woody
#1 AM Drive: ABC Radio’s Jules Schiller

Biggest Mover Up: triple j (+0.7)
Biggest Mover Down: FIVEaa (-2.0)

The radio rankings in Adelaide have remained relatively stable this survey.

Market leader ARN’s Mix 102.3 slipped just 0.1 point to a 13.8% share, while ABC Adelaide climbed 0.1 point to 12.8%.

The biggest slip in terms of share was NOVA Entertainment’s FIVEaa, which was back 2.0 points, from 10.3% to 8.3%.

The biggest overall climb was the ABC’s triple j, up 0.7 points to 5.3%.

Nova 91.9 slipped just 0.1 points to 9.7%, while all other stations had minimal increases.

In Breakfast, the ABC’s Ali Clarke jumped a further 1.7 points, taking her to an untouchable 17.9% share.

FM leaders Mix 102.3’s Erin Phillips & Soda for Breakfast, meanwhile, remained basically steady on 10.7% – a slip of 0.1 from last survey.

SCA’s stations nudged ahead in Breakfast, with Triple M’s Roo & Ditts up 0.1 to a 9.5% share and SAFM’s Bec, Cosi & Lehmo up 0.4 to 9.6%.

Aside from Erin & Soda’s slip, the only stations to suffer falls in Breakfast in Adelaide were the NOVA Entertainment stations. FIVEaa’s David & Will declined 2.4 points, taking the show to an 11.2% share. Nova’s Ben & Liam fell 1.3 to 8.8%.

Later in the day in Drive, Mix outstripped the competition. Will & Woody dominate the timeslot with 13.6% (down 0.6), ahead of Nova’s Kate, Tim & Joel on 12.2% (down 1.0).


#1 FM Overall: Nova*
#1 AM Overal: ABC Radio
#1 FM Breakfast: Nova’s Nathan, Nat & Shaun
#1 AM Breakfast: ABC Radio’s Russell Woolf
#1 FM Drive: Nova’s Kate, Tim & Joel
#1 AM Drive: ABC Radio’s Geoff Hutchison

Biggest Mover Up: ABC Classic (+0.8)
Biggest Mover Down: 6iiX (-1.5)

Nova is back on top in Perth, remaining steady from last survey’s result.

The station had a 13.1% share, placing it in front of last survey’s leader Mix 94.5, which slipped 0.8 points to 12.6%.

There were mixed results for other commercial stations in the largely COVID and lockdown-free city, with 96FM climbing 0.4 points to 12.2%.

The others suffered slight falls.

Triple M was down a further 0.4 points to 5.9%, Nine Radio’s 6PR was down 0.5 to 7.5% and 6iX was down the most – declining 1.5 points to 5.1%.

Nova’s dominance continued in Breakfast as Nathan, Nat & Shaun collected 14.6%, an increase of 0.3.

96FM’s The Bunch with Lisa Shaw and Dean ‘Clairsy’ Clairs also climbed slightly, up 0.2 points to 11.7%.

SCA’s stations suffered in Perth’s Breakfast market, as Pete, Matt & Kymba on Mix fell 1.7 to 11.9%. Despite the fall, the show remains #2 behind Nova.

Triple M’s Basil, Xav & Jenna, meanwhile, was down 0.3 to 5.1%.

Nova was behind the Hit Network’s Mix in the Mornings and Afternoons, however regained its lead in Drive.

Kate, Tim & Joel led the way for Nova with 15.6% (down 1.1 points), while Mix’s Carrie & Tommy had 13.3% in Drive, an increase of 0.9.

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

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Recent comments (15)
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7 Oct 2021 - 10:12 am

Wow, big drops for Nova breakfast and Nova drive!

This must be because the audience is looking for better radio content rather than just mindless giggling and screaming

Kimmy's Mum
7 Oct 2021 - 10:26 am

Will and Woody number 1 FM in Sydney? I think you will find that Smooth is number one drive, followed by WSFM at number 2. Shoulda gone to Specsavers.

    7 Oct 2021 - 11:39 am

    Hi there,

    If nothing else, it’s good to know Specsavers’ marketing is working so effectively – much more effectively, it seems, than our number crunching.

    Thank you for flagging the error. It appears to have been left over from last survey when Will & Woody and smooth were tied in the slot.

    It should be correct now.

    Vivienne – Radio Today

Rock Sport and Comedy
7 Oct 2021 - 10:58 am

When will media executives realize that people don’t like Basil Zempilas?

With AFL Finals on in Perth this was Triple M Perth’s time to shine.

7 Oct 2021 - 1:28 pm

It’s so sad seeing what has happened to Nova Sydney over the last 10 years.

They are like a footy player that was once great and then stayed on for too many seasons.

Settling for a breakfast show that’s just ok, because they are client friendly…
Day shifts with numbers like ABC Classic, 2Day and JJJ…Drive dramas…
Something there has got to give.

7 Oct 2021 - 1:39 pm

Not surprised about the bad ratings for NOVA in Sydney. Their breakfast show is stale and the two main hosts have not been funny in years. Considering the huge salaries Fitzy and Whippa command, a 4.0 share is a pretty mediocre return for all that wealth.
As for the current music format on NOVA, it is a mess, all over the place.
Entirely predictable that 2GB and the ABC are rating well in the current climate

7 Oct 2021 - 2:20 pm

John Stanley evenings on 2GB. Wow! Well done John. A true professional.

Bus pusher
7 Oct 2021 - 2:58 pm

After Kate, Tim and Joel were 2 surveys in and holding steady, Paul Jackson on RT was very quick to suggest that he went against the experts and nailed the decision to put Joel into drive.

Now that we have a bit more data on how that show is going, I’m assuming he will still take responsibility for the performance?

And no, I don't work for Nova
7 Oct 2021 - 5:14 pm

The numbers for Nova 96.9 and F&W are far from great, I get it. However no breaky show on a 6 share looses 2 points and gets a 4 (maybe if they are on a 11 or 12). Thats just a bad book, if next survey they don’t jump back to a 5.5 or better then maybe you can say the show is worth looking at. Its a big hit and regardless of what you think of the show, it still has recall and listeners are still tuning in even if the book doesn’t show that. I’d be waiting for survey 7&8 before you start slinging mud at them that’s for sure… it will be interesting.

Nova Listener
7 Oct 2021 - 7:24 pm

I think the problem with Nova 96.9 this survey is not Fitzy & Wippa but how bad the playlist on Nova 96.9 has become.

Obviously Nova Boy Jamz and repeats of Ben & Liam at 12 noon are not resonating with Sydney listeners, other states have faired better.

Problem is Nova continues to stick with the same safe, stale, repetitive playlist. They have been flogging the same throwbacks non stop for over 12 months now.

Nova 96.9 needs to skew younger and go back to its original sound of Sounding Different if it is going to have any chance of competing against KIIS in Sydney. The same old same old with a new positioning statement is not going to do anything to fix Nova 96.9.

7 Oct 2021 - 7:39 pm

There has been a lot of people piling on Dave Cameron recently.
It’s time that Jackson is held accountable for what must be the worst result Nova Sydney has had since it changed breakfast shows.
Time to be visible and build some confidence.

Matt Bone
8 Oct 2021 - 6:40 am

We’ll there’s goes 4bh again, just hitting 3% and they’re going to frequency swap.
So many false starts.

8 Oct 2021 - 7:42 am

A 4% for Nova Sydney breakfast? I actually can’t remember it ever being that low.

And they are marketing atm. I saw the ad last night and it made me cringe.

I’m sure the result will be explained away using COVID or a bad bounce or it’s marketing’s fault

8 Oct 2021 - 7:44 am

Nova Boy has been more visible that Paul Jackson lately

10 Oct 2021 - 9:51 pm

Kate Ritchie is holding up Nova and those blokes Tim and Joel are holding her back. She needs a better cohost or she should go solo.


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