The latest Sydney and Melbourne radio ratings show clearly that the market is now a three horse race, with the ABC featuring prominently in both markets, while a surprise big mover in both markets was ABC FM, which broadcasts classical music.

It out-rated such modern music icons as Austereo’s 2MMM in Sydney (which has fallen on hard times of late) and equalled DMG’s Vega 91.5 in Melbourne.

The biggest winner from the latest figures is 2GB morning’s host, Ray Hadley, who lifted his share to a very high 19.1%, up 1.6 on the last survey. That put him out in front of 2GB mornings (where Chris Smith n was filling in for Alan Jones who returned from sick leave last week). Smith averaged 17.7%, up 0.4 on the last survey.

That result makes Hadley the clear leader to replace the sick Jones, should he decide to pull the plug. Some in Sydney radio are touting Morrison, but Hadley has the ratings on the board.

The success of both shifts saw 2GB win the survey clearly in Sydney with a rise of 0.6 to a share of 15.7%.

ABC local radio’s 702 in Sydney remained in second with 11.4% (11.3%) and 2Day FM was third with 10.8% (10.7%). ABC 70’s breakfast announcer in Sydney, Adam Spencer is a clear second behind 2GB, with 13.7% — up 0.3. Deb Cameron in mornings for 702 rose, but James Valentine and Richard Glover both eased in the afternoon and drive shifts. However, Glover was still second in drive behind 2Day FM and was therefore the most listened to AM host in the slot and well ahead of 2GB.

Fairfax Radio’s 2UE suffered a worrying fall, down 0.8 to 6.2% 2UE breakfast where Mike Carlton and Sandy Aloisi are hosting, eased to 6.6% from 6.8%.

DMG’s Vega 95.3 in Sydney fell 0.3 to 4.4%.

The biggest surprise in Sydney though was the huge jump for ABC FM classical radio up 1.1 to 4.1%, close to its highest share for years. It means the classical music now out rates the more modern stuff played on the former market leader, 2MMM, which lifted its share 0.6 to 3.8%.

2JJJ lifted to 4.1% (up 0.9%, to also out rate 2MMM and equal ABC FM, which had been behind in the previous survey).

In Melbourne Fairfax Radio’s 3AW on 13.5% (down 0.2) remained second behind Fox FM on 15.5%, up 2.1 share points overall.

ABC Local radio’s 774 averaged 13% down a sharp 2.5 share points in the last survey. It lost ground in all shifts during the day, with mornings down 2.5 to 13%.

ABC Classic radio, ABC FM lifted 1 to 4%, also quite high for the station in market, just behind 2JJJ which fell 0.8 to 4%. ABC FM was as popular as DMG’s Vega 91.5 in Melbourne, which registered 4%, up 0.4.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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