The Washup: Survey 6

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 Guy Dobson (Chief Content Officer for SCA), Paul Jackson (Group Program Director of dmg) and Duncan Campbell (Group Content Director of ARN) to discuss today's results.

Guy Dobson (SCA)

A bittersweet day but all in all more sweet than bitter today for Craig (Bruce) and myself and the company.

We're really happy with Kyle and Jack in Sydney. That's their best result ever doing breakfast, 12.7. You gotta have a look at that and say we're doing a lot of things right, certainly on 2Day. Best result in breakfast on 2Day FM since 2002, so that's over 10 years. We're very happy with that.

On the other side of the Sydney business ?

Part of our historical issue is when 2Day is up, Triple M's down, certainly in breakfast and that's been happening a lot over the last couple of years. There is some historical ebb and flow there so once we saw the 12.7 for Kyle and Jack it was an insurmountable mountain to climb for Triple M.

But you know Triple M's bounce around. If you look at Melbourne's result last book and you look at it now, we're back up in Melbourne. If you look at Sydney we had a bad shot this book, we'll get it back in the next couple there's no two ways about that.

We have 3 guides for how our shows and stations are sounding. One of them is Nielsen, one of them is research and one of them is our ears. And 2 out of 3 ain't bad.

So we'll put this down to a bad book, a Triple M book and we'll move forward.

Fox breakfast dipped below 10% to 9.8%, still very strong, but something going on there ?

There's further improvement with ratings on that, you watch the next couple of surveys.

In Brisbane, a very close race, especially at breakfast with Triple M.

Yeah, Triple M, 4 surveys at breakfast up which directly goes against what I told you about the Triple M brand in Sydney and Melbourne. That's phenomenal, seriously. Triple M Brisbane's been very consistent, it's a very good show for Brissy. Very well put together, very well cast and connects to the town so we're very happy with that.

Triple M Drive is also strong there.

Yeah Merrick and the Highway Patrol. Our research always showed that he was a star in Brisbane. He's been up there a few times and I think Brisbane has taken him to heart.

To Adelaide with the recent changes to SAFM breakfast there….

It's an irrelevant result now really. Triple M is a work in progress, they're battling away there. As I said last survey there's a few things in place there that haven't probably come to fruition yet but watch this space.

And in Perth, number 1 once again with Mix 94.5.

All in all we're very happy we're kicking the goals in the right area's.

Paul Jackson (dmg)

A very good day. I'm delighted, everybody here is delighted, across the board a very good set of numbers.

Smooth in Sydney put on over 100,000 cume so 107,000 more listeners, 476,000 which is huge. I guess a lot of new people still trialling the station and I appreciate they're coming from other stations, therefore, they're probably flicking backwards and forwards still making their mind up in the long run. So I think a very very good card for Smooth and well ahead of our expectations at this stage as well.

How about Smooth in Melbourne ?

It's exactly the same thing, well ahead of our expectations. I think 0.1 up or down either way, you would call that broadly the same, the cumes are very high and exactly the same thing happening. These are massively developed marketplaces, huge amount of advertising for every station. So we're talking about something here that's a couple of months old and right from the start I did dampen down our expectations to let the thing get some traction over a year or so. I think the Smooth team have done a splendid job so far and we feel greatly about it.

A good day for Nova Sydney and Melbourne. Sydney up 0.9 and up in all dayparts and a similar story in Melbourne.

We felt that coming in Sydney for a while, so again delighted. The small, tight team we have work extremely hard and deserve all the credit for this success. Fitzy & Wippa have been sounding terrific and I'm delighted to see them get the rub of the green, and all dayparts going up, the whole station feels like it's got some momentum so I'm delighted for everybody there.

In Adelaide, Nova 919 was equal number 2 FM. Do you see an opportunity with the change of breakfast at SAFM ?

Yes. Our breakfast show did very well there. We're 10.3 versus their 9.6 but it's extremely tight overall. I'm delighted with our numbers and performance there. A very good card for us.

How's Nova drive performing ?

Across the board, very well. On par with the station in Adelaide, up half a point or so in Melbourne. Going really well. Of course in Brisbane they have huge numbers coz they are much loved and established up there so 15 odd shares. In Sydney it was up nearly a point. So an extremely good performance from them.

Across the country, any other Nova news ?

In Sydney the demo's are going up which sounds like a station that has got some compelling content on it. In Brisbane we just nudged a victory there as well so a lot of credit to the guys there for keeping the momentum going. In Melbourne it was a terrific card for us again, nudging nearly an 8 share. I know Hughesy and Kate are in very good form. Dan Anstey has made a big difference to that show and the station has done some great content and sounds very confident and a very listenable product.

And Perth ?

Our breakfast show did a 13 share, up by 2.1 so we are beyond delighted with that. The main opposition of 92.9 were down 1.2 to 10.6.

Across the surveys of recent times we felt the breakfast show was probably performing to a higher standard so that feels to me like exactly where we are in Perth and the station's been on fire. Both Dan Underhill PD and Gary Roberts (GM) are all over every detail of it and genuinely doing an outstanding job.

So a good news day for dmg….if it's still called dmg ?

(laughs) I believe it still is yes and a very good news day indeed….


Duncan Campbell (ARN)

Today for us is a very consistent day. We continue to implement our strategy in a very focused and consistent way.

I think the disappointments for us are obviously Mix 101.1 in Melbourne which I really can't explain that so I'm not going to even try really.

We're well ahead on last year but we've just taken a hit today. Confidence is there in the format, in the breakfast show and we've got a big major house and land promotion about to unravel which I think will benefit us as we head into the next couple of books.

For us that's the main disappointment, the other one was probably WS in Sydney which didn't perform as well as we would have liked but I suspect there's a bit of impact from the Olympics, particularly with breakfast listening. 2GB took a big hit as well and that's driven by those adult demo's I suspect.

Also the impact of Smooth in Sydney, we're yet to see the full extent of that but they've had some good growth particularly with women 30+ and that seems to have impacted a little bit on WS.

The rest of the network is pretty solid. Clear number 1 in Adelaide, Brisbane just number 2 but number 1 25-54 so where we want it to be.

Gold is equal number 2 in Melbourne with Nova so very positive growth there, particularly in football season in Melbourne and the poor performance this year of Triple M Melbourne so we're delighted with the Gold performance and the fact that the Brig and Lehmo breakfast show is now starting to show some good signs of growth there. And Mix in Sydney has performed okay on the back of the $100,000 Mystery Voices and particularly strong in demo's, some good 25-54 growth for us in Sydney.

But really until we get that breakfast show performing to the level we need it to in Sydney, Mix is never going to really perform to expectations but a lot of work going on behind the scenes as far as that goes.

The Mix result in Adelaide is a strong one, especially considering it's footy finals time with the Crows in there. This would normally be where a traditional footy station like Fiveaa would do well.

I think there's something going on with football and radio. You've got Triple M in Melbourne not performing to levels that they would expect and SEN hardly doing anything either. AW's done well but certainly on the FM band, Triple M would normally do much better at this time of year and Fiveaa you could argue would do the same in Adelaide.

The reality for us is we've put a lot of work into that station (Mix 102.3), we've spent a lot of money repositioning the music, the new breakfast show was bedded in and we've been very promotionally active, we've done some very strong contesting across the workday and I think that reflects in the numbers. Those daytime numbers are quite extraordinary actually.

It's traditionally been a strong station so it's back to where we expect it to be.

See all the results and analysis here


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