Radio Ratings: Christian O’Connell, the goose that laid the golden egg [survey 7]

Staff Writer

Welcome to Radio Today‘s comprehensive coverage of this year’s seventh meto radio survey.

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

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

Survey #7 for 2019 was conducted by GfK for Commercial Radio Australia between Sunday, August 18 and Saturday, September 21 and September 29 and November 2.


#1 FM Overall – smoothfm
#1 AM Overall – 2GB
#1 FM Breakfast – KIIS: Kyle & Jackie O
#1 AM Breakfast – 2GB: Alan Jones
#1 FM Drive – Will & Woody*
#1 AM Drive – 2GB: Ben Fordham*

  • The status quo is maintained in Sydney, with smoothfm and 2GB keeping up appearance at the top of FM and AM respectively.
  • KIIS FM is smooth’s closest competition with a 9% share of listening (-0.1) behind smooth, consistent on 9.3% (+0.1), as 2DayFM falls back below 4% again.
  • Kyle & Jackie O deliver another standout performance, above 11% once again. The biggest Breakfast movers are Ben & Liam, up to 5.5% (+1.3) in their final book before heading to Nova Adelaide.
  • Off the back of strong results across the board, Will & Woody claim the spot of #1 FM Drive show despite falling to 9.7% (-0.3).
  • Triple M Sydney Afternoons with Radio Chaser rose with a 1.1% lift, the biggest shift for the station, now on 8.1% for that daypart.
  • The 2GB juggernaut delivers market-leading AM positions in all key dayparts.


#1 FM Overall – Gold FM
#1 AM Overall – 3AW
#1 FM Breakfast – Gold FM: Christian O’Connell*
#1 AM Breakfast – 3AW: Ross & John
#1 FM Drive – Gavin Miller
#1 AM Drive – Tom Elliott

  • ARN’s Christian O’Connell gamble has officially paid off, with the UK jock now at the helm of the #1 FM Breakfast show in Melbourne.
  • O’Connell holds a 9.1% share of listening (-0.4), as closest rivals Fifi, Fev & Byron finish with 8.7% (-0.9).
  • It’s a clean sweep for Gold FM, which also leads the FM market overall (12.5%) and on Drive with Gavin Miller holding onto his position ahead of Carrie & Tommy, and Hughesy & Kate (and Ed…)
  • 3AW puts in another impressive result, up overall to 15.2% (+1.3). Ross & John break the 20-point barrier with 20.6% (+3.3) while Tom Elliot is comfortably top overall on Drive.


#1 FM Overall – Nova
#1 AM Overall – 4KQ
#1 FM Breakfast – Nova: Ash, Kip, Luttsy & Susie / Hit105: Stav, Abby & Matt*
#1 AM Breakfast – ABC: Craig Zonca and Loretta Ryan
#1 FM Drive – Nova: Kate, Tim & Marty
#1 AM Drive – ABC: Steve Austin / 4KQ: Nick Michaels*

  • Nova is undoubtedly the premier force in Brisbane, racking up another overall win despite a dip to 11.9% (-0.9).
  • Nova holds a slim breakaway on a peloton that includes Hit105 with 11.1%, as well as 97.3FM and Triple M, both on a clean 11%.
  • Ash, Kip, Luttsy & Susie retain top billing at Breakfast, but they now share the mantle with Hit105’s Stav, Abby & Matt. Both shows are rating an 11.1% share of listening.
  • Despite mixed results elsewhere, there’s no denying Kate, Tim & Marty in the sunshine capital, with the Drive trio holding a strong 16.7% (-0.3).
  • The battle between 4KQ and ABC Brisbane for the AM ratings hots up, with 4KQ top overall and ABC’s Craig Conca & Loretta Ryan retaining Breakfast. The two stations are equal #1 on Drive.


#1 FM Overall – Nova*
#1 AM Overall – FIVEaa*
#1 FM Breakfast – Mix: Jodie & Soda
#1 AM Breakfast – ABC: Ali Clarke
#1 FM Drive – Nova: Kate, Tim & Marty
#1 AM Drive – FIVEaa: Rowey & Bicks

  • Mix 102.3 is no longer the #1 radio station in Adelaide, with Nova rising to the top of the pile for the first time in recent memory, now ahead by just 0.1 points on 12% (+0.7).
  • Jodie & Soda lose ground on Breakfast, but hold onto their lead with 11.4% (-0.5) as the outgoing Dylan & Hayley jump to 10.9% (+0.4).
  • ABC Adelaide’s Ali Clarke takes advantage of the FM battle to increase her lead overall, with an impressive 14.2% share of listening (+0.7).
  • There’s a big swing to Kate, Tim & Marty on Drive, rising to 16.4% (1.7) and streaking ahead of the competition.


#1 FM Overall – Nova
#1 AM Overall – 6PR
#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 Entertainment claims the #1 FM station in four out of five metro markets, holding a solid position in Perth for 93.7 with a 13.3% share of listening (-0.2).
  • Despite a slight dip, ARN’s re-invigorated 96FM is still the #2 station the west with 11.9% (-0.8).
  • The biggest mover is Hit92.9, with a jump of +1.4 to 10.7%, perhaps evidence of a stronger 2020 to come after a solid if unspectacular year.
  • Nathan, Nat & Shaun are uncontested for the #1 Breakfast position, with Mix94.5’s Big Breakfast the closest competition with a +0.7 upward swing.
  • Kate, Tim & Marty rise ever higher on Drive to 16.2% (+1.2), while there’s also a good result for Hughesy & Kate on Drive for Hit. 96FM cops a big downturn to 8.9% (-2.9).
  • 6PR is the market-leading AM station, but ABC Perth’s Nadia & Russell wrestle the title of top AM station away from Steve & Basil.

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

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Recent comments (9)
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Time will tell
12 Nov 2019 - 1:42 pm

Christian O is easily the worst performing daypart on gold fm, dont think he is driving the ratings there. More likely a very weak Triple M. What the hell is going on with the hot breakfast- how quickly they fall.

12 Nov 2019 - 2:23 pm

Gold is 16’s in Afternoons – it’s the format not breakfast. And with the crap breakfast and music served up by Triple M here in Melbourne no wonder Gold are going well. Duncan must be wetting himself over this, probably can’t believe his luck.

12 Nov 2019 - 2:58 pm

Hot breakfast fell as there’s no footy or sport for that matter atm

12 Nov 2019 - 3:20 pm

Breakfast with Jase and PJ has slid back close to what is was averaging last year.
What a shame for them.

Andrew F
12 Nov 2019 - 4:04 pm

Jo and Lehmo were axed because they were the weakest daypart on GOLD despite being #1 breakfast show….. Interesting.
Jase and PJ….. Two year in and the lowest rating breakfast show….

mr radio
12 Nov 2019 - 8:58 pm

This has to be the end of 2ch breakfast. surely it cannot go on like this.

13 Nov 2019 - 12:56 am

The big question who will finish the year ahead 2dayfm or 2CH. 3.6% v 3.9% Looking at the trend there’s a good chance CH will beat 2Day last Survey of the year. What a race ( to the bottom )

13 Nov 2019 - 12:58 am

What will ARN do now that it looks as if Jase and PJ and KISS hasn’t worked even with all that money, promotions, billboards and social media paid advertising. Back to the drawing board.

14 Nov 2019 - 2:47 pm

Do KIIS have any choice other than to develop new talent?

I mean, congrats to Kyle and Jackie O and to Alan (again and again) but these networks can’t count on them alone and forever.

Given the record of 101.1 in Melbourne (in its current and previous identities), giving a breakfast team a third year is actually a bold, innovative thing to do…given I only recall one show (Chrissie and Jane) making it beyond two years.

And as somebody else mentioned, music across the day is a big factor. Gold is doing so well because “hits and old skool” is now a standard, rather than distinguishing, feature of every other station.

I doubt listeners need three stations playing that one over-tested song from NSYNC (you know the one) yet that’s what we’ve got.


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