Triple M’s Mike Fitzpatrick: “We’re just playing our own game”
Hot off the heels of a rocking book for Triple M, Radio Today cornered the network’s head of content, Mike Fitzpatrick, for a quick post-survey chat.
Triple M Brisbane was the only commercial station to increase in brekkie and overall in that market. You’ve must be happy with that result?
Yeah, Brisbane’s an interesting one for us. Obviously, with the arrival of Robin [Bailey] at the start of the year, there was a lot of early sampling there, people trying that [show]. But we were doing late eights and nines this time last year so to have that breakfast show in tens is really good.
Not to mention the strength of the workday as well, you know, we’re really competitive now across the workday, number two, and to be able to be that workday choice for the blokes of Brisbane, that’s the goal mate. That’s the goal.
Six months into brekkie with Robin, how is she connecting with the station’s core audience at this point?
Really well. You know I know there was some conjecture around whether or not our listeners would even warm to her. I think they have. Certainly, our research shows that they love her, they can recall her. We haven’t marketed that show either at the moment. So it’s just going on word of mouth. And we may have picked up some of the blokes that were straggling around, hanging on 97.3 for whatever reason, but first and foremost it’s the guys that were on Triple M that are now giving us the extra TSL that’s giving us the share.
Let’s go to Melbourne, good results for breakfast again. Mick Molloy is moving to Drive, any timeline on an announcement on his replacement?
Yeah. Hopefully, in the next couple of weeks, we’ll be able to announce a replacement. We have one locked in and ready to go, we’re just sorting out some details.
Adelaide, great result, especially breakfast. What do you put that result down to?
I put that down to a lot of hard work from Matt O’Reilly, from the producer Alice James, and from Roo and Ditz on that show. And that’s also three years. Three years this week I think, or last week since that show began. What used to take two years in radio now takes three years, and that is a consistent product, delivering every day over three years to get to that point.
What’s been the biggest shift in that show over the last twelve to six months?
There hasn’t really been a shift in the show. It’s delivering the same content now that it was delivering two years ago. Except that now it doesn’t have Blakey. When John left to go back to the AMs, Matty had a great idea instead of replacing him in the show; for the one or two bits, he was doing a day, to use the money we had for John to find the great comedians in Australia and rotate them through the show.
So now we have Mick in the show, and now we have Mick Molloy in the show, we have Peter Helliar in the show, we have those regular rotating comics. And those when they’re on tour, like Lawrence Mooney and like Wil Andersin and those guys, they all drop in as well. So it’s got a rotating cast of comedians in there.
Regarding the music strategy for the Triple M metro network, have there been any significant changes there?
Yeah, for Sydney and Melbourne we ran a check-up campaign for want of a better term around eight weeks ago with our audience from both our music jury, our Triple M Club Music Jury and our broader listenership and they’ve responded with some pretty honest feedback. They wanted some classic rock back in there; they wanted some older music so a wider variety of guitar based songs from all eras. Any adjustments we’ve made to that, to the music in Sydney and Melbourne, have been a result of that feedback.
Someone asked me earlier if we’d shifted to block Gold and WS and the reality is there’s no more crossover with our music from those stations now than there was prior. Maybe in an era, but not in song for song. They’re playing their own game, ARN, and they’re defending Smooth, you know they’re chasing Jacko over at Smooth and we’re just playing our own game and making sure we super serve those male listeners in both those markets.
Thanks for the chat, Fitzy. Anything else you wanted to add?
I’d like to add that Mix in Perth is the unsung hero of the network today as well, returning to its number one position in People 10+.
And while they’re dealing now with Nathan, Nat and Shaun, which is a heritage show in that market being number one, for Mix to maintain number one ten plus, whole station, and number one everywhere else is just a credit to the fantastic team and the strength of the Mix brand in Perth.
It continues to deliver, survey after survey after survey.