Months
of confusion at the ABC local radio’s 702 in Sydney cost it listeners in the latest ratings
period, the seventh for 2005.

The
impact of the confusion caused by the botched replacement of Angela Catterns in breakfast and the forced departure of Sally
Loane in mornings, affected ratings for all shifts,
bar the weekend where the ABC had its only increase – up to 9.6 from 9.3.

Breakfast saw the ABC shed 1.9 to 10.1, which is still a healthy figure
and a good base from which to stabilise the audience if the fill-in
presenter, Sarah McDonald continues next year.

Mornings fell from 8.9 in the final
survey for Sally Loane to 6.5. 702 now
has Virginia Trioli in mornings, so she has a chance
to stabilise her share and build on it.
There will be few odious comparisons made with Loane and comments
in the ABC 702 guestbook have been overwhelmingly positive for Trioli.

Overall
the ABC’s share fell 1.3 (down to 8.2 from 9.5) the biggest move in the period, as listeners bolted for 2GB, 2UE and
WS-FM. 2GB’s
Alan Jones added 1.0 to 16.5 in breakfast, while 2GB
was the top station overall with a 12.5 share in the latest period, compared to
11.7 previously.

Nova’s Merrick and Ross were beaten by WS-FM in breakfast (their Ten Network TV
program on Wednesday nights is also sagging).

DMG’s Vega won’t appear in ratings
until the eighth and last survey due out on December 6. With Angela Catterns in breakfast and Wendy Harmer in Mornings, plus
Tony Squires and Rebecca Wilson in Drive, it should also have been boosted by
702’s problems. But
reports are coming in that times are a bit tense at Vega.