It’s the last rating survey of the year and in a surprise move the ABC is closing in on its commercial rivals in both Sydney and Melbourne.


Sydney:

Even before the release of today’s ratings Austereo was on the front foot with the announcement that Drive team of Kyle & Jackie O will move to breakfast in 2005. It’s an interesting move and it was a timely announcement given the once again pathetic ratings result for the Judith Lucy Breakfast Show. Lucy scored just 5.8 leaving 2CH as the only commercial station with a lower breakfast rating.

Throughout 2004 the reporting of Lucy’s hatchet job on the 2Day-FM breakfast program has been peculiar to say the least. SMH radio writer Sue Javes has barely written a word about the performance of Melburnian Lucy in the Sydney breakfast market.

The Jones/Laws spat aside, Lucy’s performance has been the year’s biggest ongoing story in Sydney radio and why Javes has chosen to ignore it all remains a mystery. She certainly offered Steve Price no such luxury in 2002.

Speaking of Toxic Midget he’ll go to the summer break quietly content. His Drive program is up 0.2 to 9.5 but is still nearly a point behind the ABC’s Richard Glover who rose 1.0 to be 10.4.

The performance of Price and Glover will once again raise the pressure on 2GB’s Phillip Clarke. GB’s performance after midday continues to give Singo & Co. a migraine. When Ray Hadley signs off at midday they’re sitting pretty at 12.6 and a point ahead of UE. By the time Phillip Clarke signs off they’re rating a 6.7 and are nearly three points behind their arch rival. Who will replace Clarke in 2005?

The Parrot continued to hold sway a breakfast with a 14.0 rating and the ABC would be well pleased with Angela Catterns and Sally Loane both enjoying healthy gains.

Nova continued to hold sway on the FM band with Merrick & Rosso pulling double digits in breakfast and allowing the station to maintain a healthy lead over both of Austero’s struggling stations.

Melbourne:

More joy for the ABC in Melbourne where 774 narrowed the gap to 3AW. Only 1.1 points separates the two with ABC enjoying gains right across the day. AW was down in every shift with Ernie Sigley providing the biggest concern. Sigley is the only AW presenter to not win his timeslot and he now languishes in fifth spot.

The folk at SEN finished the year well with gains at Breakfast and Mornings. But it has to be noted that the all-sport station probably has not performed to expectations this year and the end figure of 3.9 is well down on the 5s that management had targeted. With Garry Lyon already signaling his intentions to quit the station it remains to be seen how many of his colleagues follow suit.

Triple M would be well pleased with the Cage and Shebang programs enjoying gains. However the performance of Mick Molloy would indicate that the experiment of FM hi-jinx in the morning slot is not proving to be a winner.

In other FM news Fox narrowed the gap to Nova and Gold was down a point.

In Brisbane there were more woes for Austereo with B105 dropping two and half points and Triple M dropping nearly one and half. Two still remain at the top of the heap narrowly ahead of 97.3FM. In talk the ABC maintained its one point lead over 4BC whose numbers continue to fall away badly after midday.

In Adelaide Nova entered the fray and quickly picked up nearly 8.0% of the audience. 5AA was Adelaide’s big loser in this survey with significant falls across the day.

In Perth 94.5 remained the city’s Number 1 station and 6PR continued to flounder against the ABC with the 720’s breakfast program rating 10 points higher than its commercial rival.

Peter Fray

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