Mike Fitzpatrick: “One is incredibly strong and one is rebuilding and they will both continue to be a focus”

We’ve been talking to the Group Content Directors about Survey #4. Earlier it was ARN’s Duncan Campbell and NOVA Entertainments Paul Jackson. Up next it’s Mike Fitzpatrick, who is covering for Group CD Craig Bruce who is on holidays. Mike is the Triple M Group CD for Southern Cross Austereo.

Survey #4 will go down as the first book in a while that has seen every single SCA brand up in a survey. Has the corner finally turned for the hit brand?

Blair: Gotta be happy to see an increase finally for 2Day?

Mike Fitzpatrick: Yes, very excited to see an increase with 2Day FM.  It is still early days for that station but we are also entering phase two with Hamish & Andy on air this week and Irene’s music adjustment of Hits and Old School. Fairly confident it is a great place to grow from.

Blair: By which survey this year would you expect to see 2Days FM’s result impacted by the return of Hamish & Andy?

Fitzy: Survey six, survey seven I would think. We would start to see results around survey six.

Blair: The stand out for Sydney for you guys has to be Triple M?

Fitzy: Lovely result for Triple M to beat KIIS. That’s six years of hard work for those guys and consistent content programming. I think it has all come together nicely. With State of Origin and the Grill Team having a really great start to the year. The music is in a great place. Really we are just incredibly humbled that the rock, sport and comedy position; our niche Male position is able to pull a share figure like that in the two biggest markets in the country.

Blair: What about KIIS this round?

Fitzy: Thoughts on Kiis Sydney. I am glad to see that Triple M has beaten them. Kyle is a great adversary, he certainly won’t take the result lying down. They’re smart programmers at ARN. The reality is though, Kyle and Jackie were a declining brand when they were on 2Day FM. You know you go to a new station, you have a fresh coat of paint and people come in and look at it and go “Wow this is fantastic”. A new station, fresh coat of paint, same show and after 18 months the paint starts to peel.

Blair: Melbourne – For Triple M, you were equal number 1 with Gold last round.. now just .1 behind. But the killer for you has to be the Hot Breakfast…

Fitzy: Hot Breakfast goes from a 9.2 to a 9.6 and continues to grow. I don’t know if there is a ceiling for this show. It constantly surprises me that breakfast show. It constantly surprises me with the quality of its content, the way the guys work on it and their chemistry. Really my role now is to support them in what they do and get out of their way.

The Rush Hour in Melbourne doesn’t get counted in the GfK drive figure as they are on-air 3 to 5 but they are number 1 as well.

Blair: And for Fox, a big lift across all dayparts, nights even number 1.

Fitzy: There has been a pretty focussed approach with the Shazam and the YouTube show on Fox, which would reinforce they are playing in the right areas there. A lot of resources and a lot of talented people on those shows.

The fact is that the Fox is still beating KIIS and Nova in Melbourne, and is the most listened to station in Australia. Everyone else might try and claim that but they are the most listened to station in Australia, and with Hamish & Andy back in their home market, it’s only going to go up.

Blair: Brisbane, another good result for Triple M

Fitzy: Same deal mate, incredible. You know we had that change where Michelle came out of the show at the start of survey. It sounded right to our ears that the two boys together was a much stronger show in terms of chemistry.

It’s origin up there, the decider is tonight; it makes sense that those guys have a rise in the middle of the football season. And again it is a consistent approach to programming content and the rock, sport and comedy pillars.

Blair: hit107 Adelaide… an increase.  All shifts up – Is it finally starting to turn a corner?

Fitzy: You’d like to think so wouldn’t you? If they were down everywhere else and only growing in drive I would be concerned but there is growth across the board. Growth in breakfast, growth in workday, growth in drive, growth in nights. As well as 25 to 39’s. So it’s better to start phase two with Hamish & Andy back on-air from that foundation.

Blair: Perth some strong results again with Mix94.5 improving nearly a point.

Ftizy: One thing you can always be assured of on survey day is that Mix (in Perth) is going to be number one.

Blair: And 92.9…. nabbed 18 to 24’s for commercial radio and a nice increase in breakfast.

Fitzy: It’s great. 929 is really back in the game. Heidi, Will and Woody have a really nice chemistry and they have been working hard on that product.

Heidi is very active on social as well and she has got a much higher profile than she had even six months ago in terms of doing stuff on the Project and her writing columns online. So it only makes sense, the higher her profile and the more time they spend together, the more listeners that show is going to connect with that show.

Blair: The focus for SCA – is it all about the hit network?

Fitzy: It’s about creating great ratings and writing great revenue off those ratings on both of our networks.

One is incredibly strong and one is rebuilding and they will both continue to be a focus for the company.

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