What now for SCA?
Just days ago, Southern Cross Austereo flicked the switch on SAFM. After 34 years on the Adelaide radio dial, it was simply ‘gone’.
The move generated a lot of talk and a fair bit of rumour-mongering among the purists, who bemoaned the demise of the ‘old girl’.
What was next for the ‘old girl’ of the Today network? What was SCA planning? What were they thinking?
They’ve been clever. Rather than just re-positioning or announcing something less than exciting like a new appointment, SCA has ‘blown up the station’ and starting fresh.
SCA Head of Content Craig Bruce says it needed to happen.
“I think we’d got to a moment in time, where we had some great things to talk about: a new breakfast show, the Shazam top 20 starting Monday, a new building, new street activation and a new week day line-up. Some really big ticket items”.
“We looked at the SA FM brand and we just didn’t think we could do all of those things as successfully and with as much impact as we needed to. We had a station in a top 40 battle that was seen as daggy, conservative and a little too safe”.
A poor ratings position was at the heart of it, along with an audience perception of being ‘your parents station’. Initially, they’d considered losing SAFM and using ‘new 107’, but the decision was made to spell out the position clearly with Hit107.
With SCA going all out for Monday morning’s launch of Hit 107, it begs the question whether the new brand will be rolled out across the country.
“That’s a great question” says Bruce “and the honest answer is that Adelaide is NOT a test market. We’re just doing the right thing for this market and for this moment in time”.
“We’ve answered a problem in Adelaide and yes, we could consider it sometime down the track, but it’s really not on our radar. All of our collective thoughts have been all about getting the execution right for next week. That’s the honest truth. People can speculate, but that’s where it’s at.
A national roll-out may not be on the radar. For the moment.
But you can guarantee, a successful launch with two survey books left in the year, could well make SCA consider a summer of change.
Hit107 is launched Monday, October 20th with Amos and Dani behind the microphone.
Nikole Gunn travelled to Adelaide for Radio Today for the SCA launch of Hit107 and to speak with Craig Bruce about the change.