Why Hughesy and Kate will do well on Drive


The Australian Radio Network’s latest masterstroke, Hughsey and Kate on national drive will do well.

In my view they will rate extremely well across all markets.

Whilst there will be strong competition from the formidable Kate, Tim and Marty on the Nova network, Hughsey and Kate will benefit from being a new offering in the market.

And in Melbourne, Nova listeners who have missed them can now hear them on drive, and this will definitely draw some cume from Nova.

It’s always much quicker to build a drive audience than to build an audience in breakfast. And the nature of drive listeners is that they tend to switch around and therefore should ‘ find ‘ the show quickly.

Generally listeners will respond well to quality new product.

And Hughesy and Kate are already a tried, tested and successful show, they have exceptional chemistry and they know how to deliver great radio.

Some have said their style may be even better suited as a drive format than it was on Nova breakfast.

They were rating in the 8’s when they stepped down from Nova 100 breakfast, very strong ratings for a metro breakfast show. They did a ‘ Seinfeld ‘ and left whilst on top, which is rare for breakfast shows.

A further reason why they should do well is that in the two key markets of Sydney and Melbourne, they are on fresh new stations / brands.

KIIS has strong momentum in it’s respective markets, and both stations have strong breakfast shows, giving each KIIS the bookend effect of powerful breakfast and drive shows.

Momentum is a great thing and ARN have it.

In the other markets, Hughesy and Kate will benefit from strong breakfast shows like Robyn Baileys Brisbane show on 97.3 and Mix Adelaide’s market leading show. Strong breakfast will lead ratings ahead of a strong drive show and Hughesy and Kate will benefit from the lead-in from the respective, strong Breakfast shows.

It would be a brave person to suggest Hughesy and Kate will only do well in Melbourne. They will be successful nationally; both are bonafide national superstars. Hughesy has a massive stand up and television profile, Kate has a strong profile through her television work on shows like The Project and Have You Been Paying Attention. They are ‘ known ‘ and ‘ liked ‘ already in these markets.

The very first national successful drive show Martin Molloy was successful across 52 stations in part because of Tony Martin and Mick Molloys strong television history and also their huge live stand up following that had been built up prior to the launch of their drive show.

Hughesy and Kates style and content should also suit the ‘other’ markets like Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth.

But what about Hamish & Andy? Arguably the biggest drive show ever.

Well, when Hamish and Andy start mid year, the drive audience will be split amongst three very strong comedy-based chat shows.

Whilst their signing was a coup for SCA, Hamish and Andy won’t be factored into the ratings until August 25, very late in the year, so the other stations have a significant head-start.

Of course Hamish and Andy already have a huge drive fan base and have a big television profile also, easily the biggest of the three shows. However, a 6-month head start is certainly a big advantage for both Hughesy and Kate, and Kate Tim and Marty.

In their first few breaks on Tuesday Hughesy and Kate sounded familiar, they were funny, energised and topical. They didn’t miss a beat. Being on drive now gives them all day to develop content and deliver their unique views on the news of the day.

They covered topics like Robert Allenby, Nick Kyrgios, interviewed Nicks mum, Prince Phillips knighthood and with local market traffic & weather seamlessly incorporated. All well planned, well executed on the air, and a sign of both the quality of Hughesy and Kate, and their production team led by their former Nova EP Sacha French.

ARN’s National Content Director Duncan Campbell said “From the first break you could  hear why these guys were so successful for so long in Melbourne. The strategy for KIIS 101.1 is now complete with the station bookended with high calibre talent who will attract their passionate fan bases to Melbourne’s newest radio station. We are ahead of where we thought we would be at this early stage and we will continue to build on that as we move into what will be the most competitive year in Melbourne radio for as long as I can remember”

I expect Hughesy and Kate to emerge the initial winners partly because of the momentum ARN have already created with their breakfast shows and re brands.

And, of course, because Hughesy and Kate are brilliant talents who deliver great content. They will do well.

Brad March is a Director of Radio Today, is a former CEO of Austereo and has been named Media Executive of the Year. He’s Director of Marchmedia and Pacific Retail Management.

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