Radio ratings: ABC Sydney in big trouble. No election chat, and blather-and-talk stations all took a hit. Nowhere was the hit hardest than with ABC702 in Sydney. The seventh radio ratings survey of 2013 ran from September 22 to October 26, so also covered the end of the NRL and AFL seasons.

The damage was done across the day. In contrast the FM music mob did well, especially Lachie Murdoch’s DMG Australia Smooth and Nova stations. But the big improver was 2DayFM and its about-to-depart breakfast stars Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O. ABC702 fell to third, while 2Day moved into second (behind 2GB), up 1.4% overall to 9.9% with Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O rising 1.3% to 11.2%. Sandilands and Ms O are also second in breakfast behind 2GB Alan Jones.

John Singleton’s 2GB lost ground — down 0.8% to 13.2% as screamer Alan Jones fell back in breakfast, shedding 0.7% to a still-market-leading 16.2%. In mornings, the ultra-loud Ray Hadley fell 0.5% to 15.7% and in afternoons, Chris Smith saw a massive 1.7% loss to 10.2%. Singleton’s ultra-cheap easy music 2CH lost a rather nasty 0.9% to wash up at 3.9%. No wonder he’s looking to merge with the larger Fairfax Radio — even though its 2UE station in Sydney lost 0.2%. Fairfax Radio’s Brisbane stations 4BC and 4BH lost ground.

But the big loser in Sydney was 702 where there were huge falls across the day, much larger than at 2GB; 702 lost a large 1.9% to finish up at 9.0% share overall. The departing Adam Spencer lost 0.9% to 10.9% in Breakfast; Linda Mottram had the biggest loss — down 2.2% to 8.1% in Mornings, James Valentine in Afternoons fell 2.3% to 8.6. Richard Glover in Drive fell 2.2% to 8.2, while 702 Evenings fell 2.8% to 7.2. Glover is now third in Drive in Sydney after leading the timeslot a couple of surveys ago.

It was a similar story in Melbourne at ABC774 with the station losing 0.9% to 11.6; Breakfast was down 0.6% to 14.2, Jon Faine in Mornings fell 1.1% to 13.1. But 774 remained second in market overall, behind 3AW. Fairfax Radio’s market leader 3AW fell 0.3% to 13.2 with Breakfast down, but host Neil Mitchell went against the general trend in talk, registering a gain of 0.7% to 14.4 top remain on top.

DMG Australia had another very solid survey for owner Lachlan Murdoch (unlike his experience in the Ten Network). DMG’s Nova stations lifted share in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. Smooth FM lifted share in Sydney and Melbourne. In Sydney, Nova and Smooth both outrate Austereo’s MMM, while in Melbourne, Nova outrates Triple M. — Glenn Dyer 

Stevie Nicks’ dog’s body. Notice anything strange about Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks on the front cover of Qweekend this week? Try covering the dog’s face with your hand; notice anything now? Brisbane readers were choking on their weekend cornflakes with this rather confronting image of a dog sitting on Nicks’ lap.

Stevie Nicks Qweekend

As if that weren’t enough embarrassment for the Courier-Mail‘s weekend magazine, the cover story is an interview with Nicks ahead of the band’s Australian tour — which has been cancelled. Fleetwood Mac was supposed to play in Brisbane on November 14, but the group announced on its Facebook page on Sunday, October 27 that it was cancelling its Australian tour because of bassist John McVie’s ill health. The band’s announcement came almost a full week before Qweekend hit the streets, but a Qweekend spokesperson says the issue was printed on Friday, October 25, too late to amend the article (the spokesperson also points out the Stevie Nicks film In Your Dreams will still be playing at the Brisbane International Film Festival). What a dog’s breakfast. — Cassidy Knowlton

News Corp awards its own. Who needs the Walkleys? News Corp gave out its own gongs on Friday night to journos working in its stable (and yes, Rupert Murdoch was in attendance). Broadsheet The Australian and Melbourne tabloid the Herald Sun were the leaders of the pack with five awards each, but the Hun has more to crow about, as it was named Newspaper of the Year. A full list of winners is here. No one seemed as rapt as The Daily Telegraph editor Paul Whittaker, though, who put his CEO award on page three of his paper the next day …

Daily Telegraph

Video of the day. Radio France Internationale journalists Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon were found murdered in Mali. Their colleagues remember them in this video …

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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