The Washup: Survey 7

Staff Writer

If you haven't yet seen the results from Survey 7, see them here along with analysis.

We spoke to Paul Jackson (Group Program Director of dmg), Jay Walkerden (PD of Nova 106.9), Duncan Campbell (Group Content Director of ARN) and Craig Bruce (Head of Content at SCA) to discuss some of today's results.

Paul Jackson and Jay Walkerden (dmg)

Radio Today: The stand out for you Paul would have to be Nova Brisbane ?

Paul: Sensational isn’t it. The last few months have just been amazing. Jay and I were talking the other day about could we possibly score a number like this, but this is everything coming into alignment for that station. It’s beyond outstanding across every daypart. Jay Walkerden and Dee Curtis and the team doing a brilliant job.

Jay: The big one for us was the Musical (see our story here). It was top of mind and made a bit of noise in the market and that’s gone alright for us.

It was a whole station approach. Everyone was involved in it from the cleaner through to the General Manager, everyone played a role in some way.

I think for this market, you see it all the time with 97.3, it’s about consistency. Just making sure your brekky show’s consistent.

Radio Today: The 10.2 increase with 18-24’s is probably a bit inflated ?

Paul: We always take it when we do well don’t we. The truth is probably somewhere in between. I think when you’re doing the level of activity that these guys are doing you can catch the moment and I think that’s what the guys have done there. If you’re in Brisbane the activity is non-stop, they’re on the streets, they never sat back. When you do that you’ve got every chance of turning in a ground swell of numbers like that. It’s now just about continuing the momentum.

Jay: 33% is probably an all-time high but at the same time, take out the last result of 22.8%, before that we’ve had 27’s and 26’s so it will average out over the year.

But even under 54 you look at the station and there’s a bit of fat everywhere to be honest. Even if that 18-24 number pops back then we’re probably still going to be okay.

Radio Today: How are you celebrating Jay ?

Jay: Pub at 1 o’clock apparently. But we’re already one week into survey 8. We’ve got the boys (Ash, Kip & Luttsy) off to New York at the end of this week. They’re heading over to run the marathon which seems a bit dangerous at the moment. But we have a strong plan for the last 4 weeks of the year and with Survey 8 rolling into 1 hopefully we can tee it up well for next year.

Radio Today: Paul, 2 different stories for you in Sydney and Melbourne.

Paul: Sydney’s absolutely fantastic. Fitzy & Wippa have been doing breakfast now for a year and they’re performing exceptionally well in a difficult market like Sydney. The station’s going brilliantly, that’s the 3rd very good book on the bounce so great momentum and for Smallzy to dominate nights, that guy is outstanding ! One of the most pleasurable people I’ve worked with. Words fail me as to how good Smallzy is in that show and on the weekends Nova’s the outright winner on an 8.1 share. So we’re doing the Fresh 40 with Smallzy and playing the tunes, we get the best traction.

Same for smooth as well. To be so far ahead of Mix and Triple M, heritage stations, for a book or so it's beyond outstanding.

For us as a group, for dmg and where we were a year ago versus today versus all the opposition as a group it is utterly sensational. The dual strategy between Nova and smooth and having minimal overlap between the two is clearly working very well for us.

Melbourne smooth is exactly where we expect it to be, that’s a good number for us and going forward I’m sure it will get even stronger and is a book or 2 away from being comparable to the strength of Sydney.

The rest of the card, everyone is flat really. Looks like a weird one for us against the trend across the group for 18-24’s, we lost a lot. So I suppose you gain it all in Brisbane and you lose it all in Melbourne, there ya go. That’s solid overall when you look at the demo’s, everything is where it should be.

What we do have, not just with the guys in Brisbane but across the group, is sheer passion and love for the product and lots of good plans in place.

Duncan Campbell (ARN)

ARN’s a very consistent story despite a couple of hiccups but the big ones for me are Melbourne and Adelaide. We’ve got a dominant station in Adelaide (Mix 102.3) which we’ve put a lot of work into this year and we’ve got a strong couple of stations in Melbourne.

Gold’s done very well this year, in fact it’s been the surprise performer. Remains very strong against the traditional football season it’s maintained a solid position. I think the decisions we took at the end of last year have just proven to be the right decisions, moving Brig and Lehmo across to Gold and introducing Chrissie and Jane.

Mix for us is still a work in progress but we’re still very happy with the performance. We’re changing entrenched perceptions which take a lot of time but we firmly believe we’ve got the right breakfast show to do that and the right format on the air and we’re enhancing that with very consistent levels of marketing and strong contesting, which will continue.

Radio Today: ….and WSFM being overtaken by Nova

Duncan: The Sydney result for us was disappointing, I’m not going to hide behind that. We know that Mix 106.5 has issues and we’re working behind the scenes so we’re in much better shape for 2013.

WS has been impacted slightly over the last couple of books by Smooth, particularly with those older WS women. Nova’s had a good book in Sydney, not reflected right around the country, but certainly in Sydney they’ve done quite well on the back of what is a fairly good breakfast show for their target.

But WS historically still remains a very consistent radio station. This gives us a chance to go back and look at the detail again, analyse the music format and make sure it’s 100% right. Jonesy & Amanda remain very consistent so we’re not talking about wholesale changes there at all.

Radio Today: In Adelaide Cruise went up and Mix 102.3 remain dominant.

Duncan: Adelaide’s done very well. We changed the breakfast show at the beginning of the year and, again, some strong contesting and we strategically refocussed the music to make sure we’re in the best position we can be in and it’s performed very well this year.


Craig Bruce (SCA)

There’s some wins and losses as there always are when you have 10 radio stations but a reasonably solid day.

Radio Today: what are the stand-outs for you ?

The consistency out of 2Day breakfast is a big factor for us. 2MMM, 3MMM holding up reasonably strongly. Certainly 3MMM with a 6.8 in breakfast and a 6.3 overall is right where we want it to be.

We tend to take for granted the #1 books out of Fox and 2Day because we’ve had them for so long. When you have those consistent numbers over a number of years you assume they’re going to happen every book but being number 1 (FM) in Sydney and Melbourne is an achievement everytime we do it. I know internally we tend to forget that on occasions so being number 1 in Sydney and Melbourne is a great day.

B105 some good signs, obviously being a long way off the pace with Nova Brisbane really getting their groove back again with the local breakfast and drive combination working well for them. For us, getting some good signs out of B105 finally, it’s been a long year but it’s starting to move in the right direction. 4MMM have had one of their classic clangers. It happens virtually every year. I can’t remember a year in the past 5 where we haven’t had a book like this. It comes out of the blue, we haven’t done anything differently over the last 6 weeks, in fact the breakfast show sounded fantastic.

Adelaide was excellent for different reasons. 5MMM had a really bad wave going in so to hold onto a 9 and a bit is an outstanding result, it could have been much, much worse. Anywhere in the 9’s and if we’re number 1 25-54 men, which we will be again, then they are doing exactly what we would like it to do, strategically.

SAFM off a point and a half off the back of a new breakfast show which we could have told you yesterday that was going to happen. Nova struggling in Adelaide as well so it’s not like we’ve got a Brisbane situation where we’ve got 2 or 3 points to make up, both stations (SAFM and Nova 919) are struggling a little and they have to change their show at the end of the year as well. So we go into the new year with an even playing field.

Radio Today: you see SAFM drive in Adelaide being impacted by the new breakfast show starting recently ?

Yeah more than I would have hoped, Fifi & Jules have had a really good result in Melbourne, up in Brisbane. I guess like most drive shows you’re dependant on what you get out of breakfast and in the markets where we’ve done well in breakfast, we’ve had a strong drive result.

See all the results and analysis here


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