Radio Ratings: Q&A with Triple M’s Mike Fitzpatrick

Former Assistant Editor

The third GfK radio ratings survey for the year is done and dusted.

Now its time for the networks to attempt to make sense of it all, and Radio Today caught up with Triple M group content director Mike Fitzpatrick.

Radio Today: A really good result for Lawrence and the team in Sydney. Do you think it’s been enough time that we’re starting to see the team and Lawrence resonate well with Sydney listeners?

Mike Fitzpatrick: No, I don’t think two surveys is enough, but it’s a great early indicator. Our ears tell us that show is very funny, and very strong, and has all the hallmarks of being a great Triple M Breakfast show. It’s really encouraging to see it grow three surveys in a row. Actually, two surveys in a row, because they start survey one at zero, so their first result is the first result.

RT: What are the biggest challenges that show will have to overcome? 

MF: The only challenge they have to overcome is winning new listeners away from the other stations. As you know, it’s very hard getting listeners to change Breakfast shows. It’s like driving to work with your best friend. Your best friend has to do something really bad for you to leave them, or there needs to be a really, really good better friend on the other side, and that’s what our goal is.

RT: The numbers for the first survey with Footy being in place have come in. Are you happy with what you’re seeing there?

MF: Triple M AFL is #1 10+, which is awesome. It’s nice to look at 10+ figures. Obviously, our goal is to win male footy lovers in Melbourne, that’s pretty much anyone with a heartbeat, and in Adelaide [where] team there works hard. Ewan Giles is our new head of football, taking over from Lee Simon, so he obviously has very big shoes to fill, but I’m most proud of the show we’re building Friday night that Luke Darcy heads up with Chris Judd, Mark Howard, and Nathan Brown.

In terms of NRL, [we are] #1 under 70 and that’s great, because I think anyone over 70 probably doesn’t know FM’s there. There’s only one game in Sydney, and it’s NRL and we’re very happy to win under 70.

RT: One of the other key metrics obviously for you guys is Male 25-54 which you won. Do you find that Triple M Footy coming in at this time of year has much of an impact on that?

MF: Football permeates not just on the weekends… it carries through the whole station. You open the newspaper in Melbourne or the Adelaide Advertiser from March to October and football is generally on the front page and the back page.

So any day there’s a big footy story, it works through most of our shows. [It] works through the day, works through the whole Breakfast, it works through the Rush Hours in both markets, so yeah, carries through the rest of the station. It has some impact. It’s better to be talking about football than not talking about football.

RT: We did see Triple M Brisbane lose a little bit of share overall, but four FM stations fell. Do you have any insight into why you think that might be?

MF: The election was won and lost in Queensland and I think that’s the same with the radio survey. You saw one and a half point rises for 4BC, you saw one and a half point rises for triple j. Obviously, there’s a lot of audience under 40 going with the election information, and a lot of audience over 55 going to 4BC. That’s great. For all intents and purposes, they’re information and news stations and you would expect to see that. I would expect that to correct for all FMs in the next survey.

Catch up on all the #1s, ratings cards and key talking points from Survey #3 of 2019 here.

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Tim Williams
7 Jun 2019 - 10:24 am

Really, Mike Fitzpatrick?
Anyone over 70 probably doesn’t know that FM’s there?
Let’s see. FM launched in Australia in 1980. That’s 39 years ago. So anyone who’s 70 now was 31 then, right smack in the target audience when FM was first introduced. Anyone who was 40 then (still in the initial target audience range) is almost 80.
Just a hint. Rather than being dismissive, or thinking that anyone over 70 will by now will have deserted MMM and tuned in to either 2GB, the ABC, or 2CH (or similar stations in cities other than Sydney), how about giving us credit for still being able to find decent radio, including sports coverage.
Oh, and for the record, decent radio doesn’t include Kennedy Molloy.

7 Jun 2019 - 11:11 am

Tim – well said.
How many people over 70 wouldn’t know that FM is there? VERY few.
Really dismissive from Mike Fitzpatrick. I hope he was joking.

8 Jun 2019 - 10:19 am

Or course he was joking. Anyone can tell it’s tongue-in-cheek.

Sensitive much?

8 Jun 2019 - 6:17 pm

Fitzy sounds like he’s joking. Funny guy.

16 Jul 2019 - 5:58 pm

This guy has killed triple m. Take the footy guys away it folds. Same repetitive music, DJ’s cutting songs short to tell you how great the station is , breakfast show died. ( Will Anderson???) Mick and Jane’s show is just rubbish talking about women’s weekly article’s and the royals all show( not really what male’s 25 – 54 want to hear) . JB and Billy are the only thing worth tuning into. Less DJ’s browning there Chin’s and a bigger play list please.


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