UPDATE: Kyle Sandilands has been suspended from his 2Day FM show for four weeks without pay. He is due back on air October 7.

Media reports this week based on the share figures for the latest Sydney radio ratings were wide of the mark in suggesting that Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O had lost 20% of their audience.

Reporters this morning continued that  line as Sandilands returned to Australia after 10 days in the US where he is said to want to pursue his career.

He was confident of returning to air next Monday for the start of the 7th ratings survey, a point the Sydney Daily Telegraph seemed to find hard to accept.

“Sandilands’ position was further clouded by this week’s Nielsen figures, which revealed that The Kyle & Jackie O Show has lost almost 20 per cent of its audience in the wake of last month’s radio rape scandal.

“The ratings took a toll across 2Day FM’s schedule, bumping the station back to third and hitting its other star pairing of Hamish & Andy, who shed 28,000 listeners in their drive timeslot.”

But the detailed demographics and audience figures for Sydney for survey five show a different picture.

Yes, the daily audience fell 21,000 to 94,000 from 115,000, but for radio advertisers, they are not the key figures.

The weekly cumulative figures are the big ones and there was a 35,000 fall to 572,000 (from 607,000) for Kyle and Jackie O. That’s higher than the cumulative figure for survey four of 565,000. Kyle and Jackie O added 42,000 listeners across the week in survey five, but lost only 35,000, so there’s a net 7000 extra listeners across the week, despite his lie-detector atrocity.

Those 572,000 listeners across the week in the survey period was the highest audience in the lucrative Sydney breakfast shift, which is the most competitive timeslot in the country and the one where there are more ad dollars on offer than any other slot in the country.

It was the third highest audience in Sydney after 2Day’s weekend and drive audiences. They fell in the latest survey, but were still far ahead of the competition.

A 20% fall in the cumulative audience would have been 120,000 listeners. That clearly didn’t happen. The daily fall was weaker across Monday to Friday.

That’s why Austero and 2Day FM management have a very difficult situation to handle (which is of their own making).

If his latest stupidity hurts audiences, especially the cumulative total to the point where advertisers start pressing for cuts to rates, then that’s when Kyle and Ms O will be in line for harsher treatment.

The radio star is due to meet management by the end of this week to clear the way for a return on Monday. Kyle’s cocksure return yesterday was in the same vein as his decision not to use the dump button to kill the stupid comment about Magda Szubanski. It all seems like a calculated campaign by him to get fired, so he can go and do something else.