‘You couldn’t have written the script any better’

Staff Writer

If you haven't yet seen the results and analysis from Survey 1, see it all here.

You can also see the press releases and the ups and downs.

During the day I caught up with Duncan Campbell, National Content Director for ARN (KIIS / Mix / Classic Hits).

Mark: You are often very composed in these post survey chats but I bet you weren't so composed when you first saw the result?

Duncan: Yeah look I gave Ciaran (ARN's CEO) a big hug to be honest and we were both very, very happy. It's an extraordinary day really.

It just shows you the power of these big breakfast shows which is why SCA letting these guys go just didn't make any sense to us but let's put it this way, I'm very glad they did.

I think we've seen the true power of these sorts of shows today. We've always talked about it and that's why you don't want to let this sort of show go. As personality becomes more and more important, and it has always been very important, but with so much else going on in the radio space, personality is critical. For the audience to move across just shows you how loyal they are and how strong the emotional attachment is to a show like Kyle and Jackie O.

Mark: Did you go into today thinking this could be the outcome?

Duncan: No I didn't have this scenario play out in my mind. We knew the audience was moving, we had some information on that in terms of tracking. It was a case of whether the diary methodology would pick it up quickly. To be fair, to the team here at ARN and the marketing guys, we executed the strategy pretty well. We spent a lot of money on ensuring that the audience knew they moved, the 'Change Now' campaign I think was very effective and we knew that we had to ensure conversion of that cume from 2Day FM to KIIS and there's no ambiguity about it today, we definitely achieved that.

Mark: And the icing on the cake would be that both your Sydney stations are at the top of the FM battle?

Duncan: It's pretty much a dream scenario, KIIS #1FM, WSFM #2FM and equal number 1 FM breakfast shows. You couldn't have written the script any better I don't think.

It reinforces that the strategic approach ARN has had over the last few years continues to pay dividends. We are a very proactive company in terms of delivering on our strategy and what we saw in Sydney was some of those Mix listeners that didn't find the KIIS format palatable drift off to smoothfm. But we also saw them drift off to WSFM. We have evolved the format to ensure that we capture those people. I believe WS has never sounded better.

Mark: Everyone is fascinated about the Sydney result but let's look at some of the other markets. Firstly to Brisbane where 97.3FM are back to number 1.

Duncan: There's obviously a resurgence going on at Triple M with new players on and off the air so I think that's impacting males, which has given 97.3 a bit of clear air. To be #1 10+ and #1 breakfast is a great result.

4KQ has also benefitted from the repositioning of Magic fall flat. You've got 4KQ on 8.1 and Triple M on 9.4, which is extraordinary for an AM/FM scenario. Really positive up there for the duopoly.

Mark: Mix 102.3 in Adelaide is back a bit but still #1 FM.

Duncan: We didn't have our full breakfast show in place so the appointment of Mark Soderstrom is going to be positive for us, he has strong female appeal and will allow us to keep in touch with the contemporary end of the market. It's a strong station, it does ebb and flow but they'll have another strong year.

Mark: Back to Sydney as that's the big focus of this survey. We've seen a video of Kyle and Jackie O's reaction to the survey result but what's the rest of the ARN Sydney vibe like and how are you going to celebrate?

Duncan: A lot of people have put a lot of work into this. It's been a huge team effort. ARN is not a big company so a lot of people have invested time and effort into the result today and they deserve as much credit as anybody else.

We're heading off for a celebration so there won't be too many people in the office later on today at ARN.

Mark: Just let NexGen play the songs and get outta there hey?

Duncan: (laughs)

Mark: But it is important to stop and enjoy the wins when they come isn't it.

Duncan: Yeah but unfortunately you can't stop for too long because it rolls on and we're very ambitious and want to ensure that the network becomes even more successful. But we will certainly be celebrating today.

My apologies for not covering Melbourne in this chat. It was an oversight on my part.

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