Fairfax Media’s AM talk stations in Sydney (2UE) and Brisbane (4BC) suffered big losses that could not be offset by another gain for Melbourne market leader 3AW in the fifth radio ratings survey of 2012. The poor performance of the two Fairfax stations, and an ABC local radio station in Adelaide, took some of the gloss off what was a strong survey for talk, especially 2GB in Sydney and the ABC local radio stations in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.
2UE’s share of just 4.5 is now at a level where the station’s future is very much problematic. It is all but unsaleable, except to an opportunistic buyer such as John Singleton and his Macquarie Radio group. 4BC in Brisbane saw its share dip 0.8 to 6.9, almost as bad as 2UE’s 0.9 loss. 3AW had a gain of 0.6 to 15.4, so the news wasn’t all bad for the Fairfax board. 4BH in Brisbane lost 0.7 to 6.8. But 6PR in Perth added 1.1 to 10.0.
In fact, if you are looking for positives from the ratings, the ABC has a few. Both 702 in Sydney and 774 in Melbourne saw recoveries of gains lost in the past couple of surveys and are now strong No.2s in each market. In Brisbane, ABC 612 also saw recent losses halted and a solid gain and has moved up to fourth from fifth. ABC Classic FM added listeners in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane, but not Adelaide. The Triple J network also saw gains in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, but not Adelaide
Sydney: 2GB is still top with a 0.1 gain to a share of 15.8, with market leader Alan Jones flat on 18.5% in breakfast, screamer Ray Hadley up 1.1 to 18.1 in mornings and Chris Smith up 0.5 to 13.5 in afternoons. ABC 702 was second with a rise of 0.5 to 11.0, with Adam Spencer up 0.1 to 12.1 (still second behind Jones), Linda Mottram in mornings saw a gain of 1.4 to 11.4 (second after Hadley. It is believed to be close to if not an all-time high for the ABC in mornings). James Valentine in afternoons saw a rise of 1.5 to 10.4 (second after Smith) but Richard Glover dipped 0.3 in drive to 10.8, which still left him ahead of 2GB’s Ben Fordham in AM talk. 2DayFM leads the slot with 11.5, down 0.2.
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2UE now rates below music station 2CH (which is also owned by Macquarie Radio, which also owns 2GB). 2JJ, the youth music station of the ABC also rates better, 5.5 on the latest survey, up 0.7. MIX106.5 (Australian Radio Network), saw a big loss of 0.6 to 4.7.
2DayFM (Southern Cross Austereo), home of Australia’s most notorious broadcaster Kyle Sandilands, saw its share also dip 0.6. But Kyle haters can continue to hate: his share edged up 0.1 to 10.6, third in breakfast in Sydney behind 2GB and 702. The Lachlan Murdoch-controlled Nova 96.9 lost share, down 0.2 to 5.7. The other Murdoch station (in DMG Australia), smoothfm 95.3 added 0.6 to 4.7. 2MMM, also owned by Southern cross Austereo added 0.4 to 5.3.
Melbourne: 3AW topped the market with a share of 15.4, up 0.6. 774 was second with 11.5, up 0.7, while Fox FM lost 0.2 to 10.4. Neil Mitchell in mornings for 3AW ended with 18.1, off 0.5. 3AW breakfast, led by Ross Stephenson and John Burns, lifted its share by a solid 2.0 to 19.1. 3AW lost ground in afternoons and drive. ABC 774 saw gains in breakfast with Red Symons up 0.5 to 15.1 (second behind 3AW), mornings with Jon Faine rebounding from previous losses to a solid 13.5, up a huge 2.4. 774 also saw gains in afternoons and drive, but a loss in evenings. Triple M lost 1.7 (a big loss) to 6.2, thanks in part to a 1.8 loss for Eddie McGuire in breakfast to 6.2. He’s dropped to sixth in the slot from fourth in the last survey.
Brisbane: DMG’s Nova106.9, the market leader, saw a nasty loss of 1.8, to 12.4. But that still saw it on top of the rankings. Triple M (Southern Cross Austereo) enjoyed a gain of 1.5 to 12.1 and second overall (from third). 97.3FM lost 0.6 to 11.5, and ABC 612 added 1.0 to 10.4, with gains in breakfast (1.9 to 14.4 and the leader in the timeslot). 612 also saw gains in mornings, afternoon drive and evenings.
Adelaide: The ABC’s local 891 had a bad survey, losing 1.4 overall to 10.4, with losses in breakfast, morning, afternoon and drive. Top of the survey again was 5AA, with a gain of 0.4 to 15.5.
Second was Mix102.3 with a solid 2.0 rise to a share of 14.0. Nova 91.9 remained third with 11.4, despite the loss of 0.4 in share. Nova and ABC891 had been joint third second in survey 4. Triple M added 0.8 to 9.7.
Perth. ABC local’s 720, added 0.2 to 11.5, with gains across the board. MIX won the market with a gain of 1.7 to 15.1.