The great radio shake-up


-By Florea Nuthall

The Melbourne and Sydney radio markets are set for major changes in 2014. The recent announcements that Hughesy & Kate, Matt & Jo, and Kyle & Jackie O are to leave their longstanding breakfast shows, will provide an interesting scenario for ratings in the new year.

Will listeners embrace the change in personalities? Because let’s face it, if you listen to breakfast radio, it is part of your morning routine. You wake up, have breakfast, get ready for work, jump in the car, and listen to the people who entertain you on your drive into work.

Hughesy & Kate’s partnership has lasted for 12 years, Matt & Jo’s 10 years, and Kyle & Jackie O’s 13 years – that’s a long time to build and maintain a relationship with an audience. As media planners and buyers, this is what you tap into when planning campaigns for clients. You utilise the relationship these personalities have with their listeners and leverage that to promote your client’s product/message.

So for 2014, Meshel Laurie & Tommy Little have been announced as the new breakfast presenters for Nova 100, and Fifi Box & Dave Thornton are the new breakfast presenters for Fox FM. Replacements for Kyle & Jackie O are yet to be announced.

In the case of Nova 100 and Fox FM, these presenters are not foreign to listeners so there will be some familiarity. Both Meshel Laurie & Fifi Box will give up their sleep-ins and positions on the drive show to don the early starts. This also means possible instability in audience for the drive session (4pm-7pm).

Currently, based on the latest survey (Nielsen survey #7, all people 10+) Nova has a 9% share of the breakfast audience and is ahead of Fox FM on 7.8% share. Nova is also ahead in the drive session with a 10.5% share compared with Fox on 8.9% share.

Will these be positive changes, which bring new audiences across to the stations or will it be detrimental? Only time will tell.

The implication for media planners and buyers is that when trading with the radio networks during this time you should seek to negotiate on a set CPM (cost per thousand) and ensure audience guarantees are in place to ensure clients don’t lose out on audience as a result of movements.

We can only wait and watch listen.

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