The Washup: Survey 5

Staff Writer

Like any survey day there are good and bad results, and many flat ones. The programmers are the people who wear the results, whatever they may be.

For the Group Programmers, they always have a mixed bag – some up and some down.

We spoke to Duncan Campbell (Group Content Director of ARN), Craig Bruce (Group Content Director of Southern Cross Austereo) and Paul Jackson (Group Program Director of dmg) to discuss today's results.


Firstly, congratulations on the Smooth FM result Paul. A lot of work goes into re-branding and re-launching a station, a good boost for the team I’m sure.

"It’s a magnificent day for Rohan, Kate and all the Smooth team. I think the stations have a clear and distinctive position in their marketplaces and have been executed on air extremely well. I’m delighted that we have gained the level of traction with cumes around 370,000 and 400,000 so quickly. The music clearly has very broad appeal and all of our presenters have done a magnificent job relating to the listeners. There’s a lot more to be achieved, but this certainly is a very good start."

I asked Duncan Campbell whether the Smooth result in Sydney was concerning, especially the 55-64 decrease of 1.9 for Mix 106.5 ?

"The concern for us in Sydney is not the performance of Smooth but the poor performance of Mix 1065. We’re aware of the issues with Mix and we plan to fix that and that plan will be rolled out in the near future. On the back of the Smooth launch and marketing we expected them to get a bounce but it’s too early to be talking success in my view. This is about trends at the end of the day and the Smooth format is only 8 weeks old. The next couple of books will be interesting."

While still with Duncan, the Melbourne result sees Mix 101.1 now #2 FM with Gold equal #3 and with lifts in all shifts.

"We focused a lot on Melbourne this year given the changes we made to breakfast on both stations late last year. In terms of Gold. Brig and Lehmo are much better suited to the Classic Hits format and we’ve worked hard with them on being topical and fun and you can hear that on the air. Mix 101.1 continues to be the success story of 2012 with its best 10+ in 8 years. Chrissie and Jane offer a great point of difference and as a combination are simply interesting and entertaining to listen to. Content Director Brendon Dangar drives that station day to day and is committed to the stations success."

While ARN are having a good day in Melbourne, SCA are dealing with Triple M falling way behind the pack with big drops in every shift. I wanted to know Craig's thoughts on what this means for the station.

"3MMM will bounce back very quickly. Surveys 6 and 7 with the AFL reaching the pointy end of the season will give us a chance to return to growth."

Of the Nova 100 result which saw the station go to equal 3rd from 5th, with increases under 40 and strong lifts after 9am, I asked Paul what they were doing to have a strong result like this ?

"Interestingly, we were running the same promotion, First Class and 50K across the Nova network during this period in daytimes. It may have gained more cut through in Melbourne though alongside that both Kelly and Dylan are top class relatable presenters. We felt last time was a little under where we really were. This book feels like a closer reflection of our true performance."

Moving onto Adelaide and Mix 102.3 achieved a great result, with the station up in most demo’s and in every shift. They are now just under 3 points clear of their nearest FM rival at breakfast. A pleasing result for Duncan and his team.

"When we had to make a change to the breakfast show in January we knew we would have a bumpy first half but we focused on building the new show, refocussed the music and the workday with strong promotional activity across the day and that level of intensity has produced the results we see today. The whole content team in Adelaide have done a tremendous job this year and are more determined than ever to ensure the station remain a clear #1FM."

Meanwhile at SCA in Adelaide they have had a good day at both SAFM and Triple M. Interestingly, this comes off the back of their announced changes to SAFM Breakfast (see here). Hayley, Craig and Rabbit had a 1.5 increase and are back to #2 FM Breakfast. Does Craig have any regrets on the decision to dump the boys and make a brand new show ?

"No regrets at all. The result was terrific for the team today, they have worked very hard to get those numbers, but the reality is the result has just put us back in the pack, I want us to be better than that and I think we can be."

Of the SAFM Breakfast change, dmg's Paul Jackson said..

"We’ll have to wait and see what they do at breakfast, maybe they’ll want to keep Rabbit and Craig now. We’ll just focus on our own plans and drink lots of Mazalicious today!"

Paul also added…

"On Nova we win comfortably under 40. In the previous book we had unrealistically high demos but still maintain a 6 point lead 18-24 and a 2.4 lead 25-39, in fact it’s only 40-54 that SAFM can get near us!"

Still with Paul, and to Brisbane. In Survey 4, Nova 106.9 was #1 in breakfast, mornings, arvos and nights but are now #2, #2, #3 and #2 respectively. A worrying sign ?

"Not at all. Nova Brisbane scored its record cume today – 507,000! We are absolutely delighted with the whole station. Ash, Kip and Luttsy are sounding the best they ever have and win handsomely bar the ABC score and we really aren’t competing for many listeners with them. Triple M certainly had a good book driven I imagine in part by State of Origin and other football."

Of the Triple M Brisbane result, Craig Bruce says…

'The Grill Team and Merrick and the Highway Patrol have combined really well for a terrific result. We feel as though we have a great bookend combination for 4MMM, and along with Rex Morris' legendary workday strategy which sees us back at number 1 across the day, the station is well set-up for a strong finish to the year."

Lastly to Perth.

In the Survey 4 washup, we asked Craig Bruce about Mix 94.5 being knocked off the #1 perch for the first time in 100 surveys. At the time he said…

"Congratulations to 96, it’s been a long time coming. I’m a huge fan of Adam Lang, he’s one of the great radio people and today is his day. Let’s see if we can take the title off him next book!!"

Mix 94.5 haven't only just taken the #1 spot back, SCA also have 92.9 at #2. What does Craig believe happened to 96FM for them to fall by 1.8 ?

"Nothing happened to 96. They are doing the same thing they were doing 2 months ago when they beat us. Mix is a big, broad all people station that is designed to dominate,(just like Mix in Adelaide). 96 is a rock station for men. They will be happy with their numbers as we are with ours. The real story for Perth is the emergence of Lisa, Paul and Baz. A breakfast cume of 300,000 which is a market record for a show that is only 7 months old is extraordinary. I heard the guys last week and it's one of our most exciting breakfast shows in the group."

For all the results from today, see here.

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