6 things you might have missed in this week’s radio ratings

Former Editor & Content Director

Photo by Austris Augusts on Unsplash

All the insights, information and intrigue that you may have missed in the flurry of numbers yesterday – including the mysterious silence from SCA HQ.

2DayFM is now behind 2UE

Much of the focus yesterday was on 2DayFM’s Breakfast program, The Morning Crew with Hughesy, Ed & Erin, falling to the equal record low of a 2.4% share. It last hit 2.4% in Survey 5 two years ago, just as the station was giving up on talent-focused programs for the timeslot.

Overall, the station suffered a blow of 0.7, taking its share down to 2.6%.

This puts it even behind Nine Radio’s 2UE, which fell 0.3 to 2.7%.

2DayFM was also down across all day parts, and 2UE is ahead on Weekends (3.0% for the Nine Radio station compared to 2.6% for 2Day), and in Weekday Afternoons (3.9% compared to 3.2%).

2Day also suffered blows in most demos, the exception being 10 to 17 where it was up 0.2 to 4.9%, and 40 to 54s where it was up 0.3 to 3.9%.

Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) – had they fronted up for interviews this survey – would likely be pointing to the actual demographic breakdown when comparing 2Day and 2UE though.

2Day was most popular in the 10 to 17 bracket, with a 4.9% share. In this super-young demo, 2UE didn’t register a share. In the 18 to 24s, 2UE also didn’t register a share, while 2Day had 3.9%. In 25 to 39s – one of 2Day’s core demos – 2Day had 4.5% compared to 2UE’s 0.4%, and in the other core 40 to 54, 2Day had 3.9% to 2UE’s 1.2%.

2UE takes the lead in the 55 to 65s with 2.1% compared to 1.4%, and the over 65s – 7.0% to 0.3%, something 2Day likely would have pointed out in post-survey interviews, but….

SCA goes quiet

SCA did not grant post-survey interviews yesterday.

Radio Today did admittedly drop the ball and approach publicity very late in the day on Monday requesting an interview with chief content officer, Dave Cameron. Very much our bad.

By this stage, we were told Cameron would be in back-to-back meetings, so chances of our regular chat were slim.

Radio Today understands, however, that Cameron also did not speak to other trade outlets in the wake of survey 5, regardless of when they requested it.

It’s also worth noting that all other networks approached Radio Today directly to lock in the post-survey chats, as is the way when Radio Today forgets what day it is and the comms teams have to do all the heavy lifting.

SCA did put out an infographic yesterday afternoon, some of which is captured below, pointing out that overall, including Triple M, it has the #1 network for people aged 25 to 54, and over 4.7 million listeners each week.

The spin from SCA

The Hit Network, meanwhile – which includes Sydney’s 2DayFM, Melbourne’s Fox FM, Adelaide’s SAFM, Brisbane’s B105 and its most recent addition of Perth’s Mix 94.5 – was said to have the largest audience of women aged 30 to 54.

In previous interviews, Cameron has repeatedly denied that it’s time to “blow up” 2DayFM and start again, insisting the station needs to stick with its talent for the long term, particularly as chopping and changing in the past has proved unsuccessful.

Read more: 

Dave Cameron backs Hit management team & strategy despite ratings struggles

‘I think more about 2Day than any other station’: Dave Cameron on the Hit Network’s struggles in Sydney

Dave Cameron doubles down on 2Day Breakfast changes, says ‘actual listening’ is increasing

Dave Cameron on why The Morning Crew on 2DayFM will reset the station’s fortunes

Triple M down across the board

Radio Today commenters were quick to note that the focus on 2DayFM and the Hit Network perhaps obscured the story of Triple M’s decline.

SCA’s other network was down in all five metropolitan markets.

Its lowest share was in Melbourne, where it had 4.5%, down 0.2 from last survey. Sydney was next on 4.7%, down 0.3. Perth’s decline of 0.8 took it to a 6.3% share, while Adelaide fell the same amount to 8.4%. The network rated best in Brisbane, but its 9.3% share was still a decline of 0.6 from last book.

It’s likely Triple M in Melbourne would have been the focus of any interviews with Cameron (in addition, of course, to 2Day), as its recently installed Breakfast show, The Marty Sheargold Show, fell 0.8 to a 3.8% share.

The Triple M ratings snapshot 

Cameron has previously acknowledged the show is starkly different from its predecessor and will take time to find its feet and its audience.

Mike Fitzpatrick, head of the Triple M Network, meanwhile, has previously conceded there will be a lot of churn, which they expected and were prepared for, he said.

“We need to give time for the audience to find the show,” he said. “There are very few shows in radio that can do what Alan Jones or Kyle & Jackie [did], which is take the audience with them.

“Marty’s a new show. It’s not the show he did at Nova, it’s not the show he did previously at Triple M. It’s a brand new show. It’s called The Marty Sheargold Show. It has a new cast around him, it has a new team around him, and it’s finding its audience again that haven’t experienced him for a while.”

Smooth only music station to make gains in Melbourne

Still in Melbourne, and the only music station to get increased share this time around was NOVA Entertainment’s smoothfm, which creeped up just 0.1 to a 7.9% share.

Nine Radio’s Magic and Ace Radio’s 3MP were both steady (on 1.3% and 1.0% respectively), as was Nova 100 (6.7%).

The most dramatic decline was KIIS, which fell 1 point to 4.5%. KIIS also suffered the loss of its Breakfast co-host Polly ‘PJ’ Harding, with the show going on a two-week break before kicking off again with Lauren Phillips.

Lauren Phillips is KIIS Melbourne’s new recruit 

Both the ABC’s triple j and ARN’s GOLD were down 0.4 to 4.9% and 10.0% respectively.

SCA’s stations, meanwhile, suffered smaller blows overall. Triple M was down 0.2 to 4.5% and Fox was down just 0.1 to 6.9%.

It’s not all bad news for the Hit Network: Mix goes #1

And now, for some good news.

The Hit Network may be down in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, but it was on top in Perth.

Mix 94.5 jumped 1.7 points overall to a market-leading 13.4%. This put it ahead of Nova 93.7, which climbed 0.4 points to 13.1%.

Its Breakfast show of Pete, Matt & Kymba also climbed 0.9 points to 13.6%, but this wasn’t quite enough to topple Nova’s Nathan, Nat & Shaun who boasted 14.3%.

Pete, Matt & Kymba are making gains in Perth

Mix made gains in all day parts, the most significant of which was Mornings, where it was up 3.1 points to a winning 14.9% share.

Over in Brisbane, B105 was up 0.5 points to 9.7%, which was another bright spot for Hit.

Unfortunately, however, this was still behind ARN’s 4KQ and 97.3FM, which alongside Nova, all boasted a 10.2% share.

Is Brisbane now a four-horse race?

6iX ahead of Triple M in Perth

Speaking of SCA’s Perth performance, it was a less rosy picture for the now nine month old Triple M.

The station was down 0.8 points to a 6.3% share and its Breakfast show suffered a blow of 1.5 points, taking it down to 5.4%.

This puts the station and the Breakfast show behind both Nine Radio’s 6PR, but also Capital Radio Network/ Grant Broadcasters’ 6iX.

6iX jumped 0.5 points to 6.6% overall (ahead of Triple M’s 6.3%), and in Breakfast it was up 0.3 to 5.7%, to Triple M’s 5.4%.

Triple M Breakfast host, Basil Zempilas, who came across from 6PR, has previously proclaimed his desire for his show to be #1 in the Perth market within five years.

For more information, insights and intrigue from this week’s survey, tune into the Radio Today Tonight podcast later this week.

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Recent comments (12)
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Biggus Dickus
1 Sep 2021 - 1:54 pm

Great article VK. You are 100% correct about the situation in Sydney.

The combined share for 2Day and Triple M is lower than the single station share for KIIS, WSFM and Smooth.

For anyone at SCA to say that this is acceptable would be a blatant lie.

2Day converts a cume of 582,000 into a share of 2.6%.
2UE converts a cume of just 169,000 into a share of 2.7%.

Only a third of 2Day’s cume listens to the Mourning (pun intended) Crew.

So…what is the SCA Brains Trust going to do?

David Wicks
1 Sep 2021 - 2:03 pm

“…stick with its talent for the long term, particularly as chopping and changing in the past has proved unsuccessful.”
I recall a Brennan (Peter, I think – not John) saying the same thing about 2UE when it was trying to break into 2GB’s talk-back turf several years ago…

1 Sep 2021 - 2:31 pm


SCA had a major win in Perth with Mix returning to Number 1 station in the market – yet you chose to focus your entire Perth section (above) on Triple M being beaten by a bunch of AM stations when it has only been on the air for 6 months?

What is the agenda?

    1 Sep 2021 - 2:36 pm


    There’s an entire section dedicated to Mix becoming #1 in Perth. Did you not see it (above)?

    It has the subheading ‘It’s not all bad news for the Hit Network: Mix goes #1’

    And kicks off with the agenda-setting line “And now, for some good news”.

    Mix going #1 in Perth was also the focus of our Perth coverage yesterday and made it into the overall ratings headline, alongside the woes of 2DayFM, when we sent out our breaking news alert.

    So, based on that, I’d say my agenda is: doing my job, offering deeper insights and covering as many angles / stories as time allows, both good and bad.

    What’s yours?

Free credits all round
1 Sep 2021 - 2:37 pm

At risk of bashing SCA in the comments, what’s Listnr up to?

1 Sep 2021 - 3:28 pm

For 2Day l feel their choice of presenters was all wrong. Dave Hughes is not that funny and having Ed never worked in any market. Erin was the unknown factor. Not sure she is the right fit neither. Breakfast shows are just a talk fest to me particularly with 3 hosts. Trim it back to 2, find a funny host and u may have a hope.

1 Sep 2021 - 4:29 pm

Hey Viv, did you also see the press release from SEN ?

According the press release, they were thrilled with their ratings growth in Sydney (even though every show rated less than 1%)

    1 Sep 2021 - 4:57 pm

    Hey Sutto,

    It wouldn’t be a day in radio without a press release from SEN now would it?

    So, yes, I did see it. Unfortunately they didn’t make the cut for my hot take on the 6 most important things – but there’s always next time!

1 Sep 2021 - 5:04 pm

SCA is a mess.

It has no spirit – its killed creativity and is reaping the benefits of cost savings and generic bland programming. So disappointing. It could have been so much more, but dropped the ball. The inane networked mush its delivering to regional Australia is an embarrassment.

Triple M rating behind 6IX in Perth is hilarious, but a real credit to the small, local and dedicated team at Grant/Capital in WA.

The cleaning needs to start at the SCA corporate culture. Bring back the soul of this once proud company.

2 Sep 2021 - 3:17 pm

Great article Viv. I’d also add that 4KQ tied for 1st in Brisbane. How long has it been since an AM music station won the ratings? I recall 4KQ won one survey during the early/mid 90s but that was probably the last time.

As for Triple M Brisbane it might be the shining light in the Triple M stable, but it was beaten by 4KQ… which is quite telling.

3 Sep 2021 - 11:11 am

Congrats to Barry Drinkwater in his last survey as Content Director for 97.3 and 4KQ to have his 2 stations tie for 1st place in Brisbane!

4 Sep 2021 - 5:38 pm

@LG agree, not to mention 973 and 4KQ #1 Mornings, and 973 #2 Arvo’s… maybe that was the seventh thing that was missed.


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