The
first radio ratings for 2006 were out yesterday and one striking
feature was the strong performance of 774 ABC Melbourne compared with
Aunty’s other local radio stations across the country.

ABC 702 Sydney
was the weakest performer with a fall from 3rd place with 9.3 points to
eighth place with just 6.9. Virginia Trioli has a challenge ahead of
her in the Morning slot after dipping from 6.9 to 5.6 which is below
Sally Loane’s 2005 low point of 6.5 in survey 7 last year.

In Brisbane, Aunty fell from 8.3 to 6.9 and is now also in lowly eighth place and mornings led the decline with a drop from 8.5 to 5.3.

In Adelaide,
ratings fell from 12 to 10.7 as Aunty slipped from 4th to 5th overall
and the declines were most pronounced in the morning and evening shifts.

ABC Perth
is traditionally the strongest local radio performer but it dropped
from 12.6 to 11.6 while retaining second place behind Mix 94.5 but it
is only 0.4% ahead of 5th placed and once again, the biggest losses were
in mornings and evenings.

Compare all of those slumps with the powerhouse performance by ABC 774 Melbourne
which lifted its ratings from 11.7 to second place with 12.4 and is now within range of
market leader 3AW which slipped from 13.7 to 12.9. The strength came
from entrenched regulars Red Symons, Jon Faine and Derek Guille while
newcomers Richard Stubbs and Lindy Burns only suffered marginal
declines.

In fact, ABC Melbourne has just achieved close to its biggest
cumulative audience ever and the cricket is said to have helped. But then
why didn’t the cricket help in other cities? Maybe Melbourne really is
the most sport-addicted city in the world.

Peter Fray

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