Time for change at 2Day FM now!



SCA programmers have done a good job with 2Day, and under extraordinary circumstances.
But 2Day's problem is strategy – not execution.
"Whomever is calling the shots strategically at SCA needs a re-think"



2Day FM's further decline in ratings to 4.2% overall, and Breakfast to 3%, is a strong sign that Southern Cross Austereo will make further changes at 2Day FM sooner rather than later.

SCA programmers have been in the process of rebuilding 2DayFM since the start of the year.

These turnarounds can reasonably be expected to take up to 2 years but the SCA board is unlikely to give senior content and programming execs that long.

2Day FM's performance is critical to SCA, financially and perceptually.

As predicted, there is now a CHR-battle in Sydney, with Kiis and Nova the strong players and 2Day FM a very distant third. 

This leaves WSFM on its own as the clear FM leader.  The latest ratings show it is a number 1 in the competitive FM market with over 10% market share.  WS is now virtually the ‘CHR’ for over 40s.

It may play ‘classic’ hits but it is CHR in attitude, mechanics, positioning, production/imaging and it has a superstar breakfast show. 


The opportunity for 2Dayfm is younger females. Does the current breakfast show appeal to that demographic?  No!  

Sophie Monk possibly does but not the rest of the team. Merrick and Jules sound good but again, this is a strategic problem, not an execution issue.

If there is a breakfast change at 2Day Sophie would make the ideal, much needed, third player for Nova’s Fitzy and Wippa breakfast show, and would take that show to the next level.

The saying ‘you can’t be better, you have to be different’ applies to 2Day right now. Programmers and management have to make 2Day different. And currently it’s not.

It is critical for 2Day to carve out a new, unique position in the Sydney market and stand for something because currently it stands for nothing in the listeners minds, just a poor version of Kiis and Nova.

So where to now for 2dayfm?  Breakfast possibilities include Dan and Maz, or Wil and Woody, and they could be a good fit. Or perhaps Dan and Maz for breakfast and Wil and Woody on drive.

“ There must be plenty of other great talent who have been developed in the SCA talent  pipeline “


Within the CHR-battle, focusing on the music propositions.

Hit music is now a three-way contest in Sydney between Nova, KIIS and 2Day. Although 2Day has made up some lost ground, it's a huge challenge to be the number 3 in a CHR music battle.

A station in 2day's current situation has to  'overcompensate' to have any significant impact. 

2DayFM needs to have a much stronger point of difference (flanking strategy rule # 1) with not only its music but, importantly, also its breakfast show. SCA programmers, producers and talent have done a good job in a short amount of time.

But given the strength of Kyle and Jackie who rated a very healthy 9% this survey, 2Day's new breakfast show doesn't fit the strategic opportunity in the Sydney market.

2Dayfm have made significant changes to the music, but haven’t gone far enough.

KIIS and Nova will maintain, defend and want to build on the key 25-39 demographic, the most important to advertisers. 

Defending against any future younger female 2Day relaunch, assuming it includes music, breakfast and drive/night shows, by its key competitors wont be easy given the aging breakfast shows on Nova and Kiis and their desire to maintain and defend 25-39’s.



Can 2Day be young, even cool, again?

Maybe they could re brand as Beat 104.1, Fox, Hot104.1, Virgin, X104.1, SeaFM?  

Personally, I wouldn't change the 2Day brand. It's music, imaging, breakfast, drive and marketing will recreate the brand over time. 

Recently I wrote that a lot will depend on the ratings results mid year. Keeping in mind survey 4 in Sydney often tends to not be great for 2Day and Nova, usually delivering a dip – often as not it’s the anti-CHR survey! But however you look at it Survey 4 results aren't encouraging for 2Day.

Full credit to SCA's Group Content Director Craig Bruce who has shown strong, unwavering leadership throughout this difficult time for the company and 2Dayfm.


Brad March is a Director of Radio Today, is a former CEO and Group Program Director of Austereo and has been named Media Executive of the Year


Thanks to Scott Muller at MBOS for his input.

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