Radio ratings: cheers and tears

Radio ratings: cheers and tears

Posted February 25th, 2010 by debritz

While the champagne corks have been popping at B105 and 612ABC, they'll be scratching their heads at 4BC and Nova 106.9 today. One Twitterer has already called 612's Spencer Howson (pictured) and B105's Stav Davidson the kings of Brisbane radio. Certainly, their shows tied for No. 1 in the important breakfast shift, pushing Nova 106.9 to third place. It's probably not entirely fair to single out Stav from his on-air colleagues, Labby and Camilla, but he has played a bigger role in the station's recent promotional and advertising activities. B105 has also reclaimed its crown as the No. 1 Brisbane station overall. In my view, this is the culmination of smart programming by the Austereo team and a few unfortunate incidents at Nova, including the decision by breakfast anchor Kip Wightman to quit and travel to the US in the middle of last year and the drink-driving arrest that tarnished the image of his colleague Ash Bradnam. But Nova is still in a strong position and has a good product and, barring any rash moves, should remain competitive. Commercial FM listeners will be the winners, as Triple M and 97.3FM are also performing strongly, the latter especially so among its preferred 25-plus female audience and with the all-important-to-advertisers grocery buyers. Meanwhile, at 4BC, they will be wondering why Brisbane's only commercial talk station has failed to replicate the runaway success of similar formats in Sydney and Melbourne. At BC stablemate 3AW, breakfast stars Ross Stevenson and John Burns scored 19 per cent of the breakfast audience, and the station was heard by 14.1% of the overall audience, rising to 27.4% in the 55-plus demographic. In Sydney, 2GB's Alan Jones was heard by 20% of breakfast-radio listeners, and the station had an overall share of 16.6% (people 10-plus). And 2GB has competition from 2UE which scooped up a further 6.7% of the breakfast audience and 5.8% overall. If one in four radio listeners are listening to commercial talk radio in Sydney, and one in five in Melbourne, why is 4BC rating just 6.7% with no commercial competition? It simply cannot be that Brisbane audiences are different. And it's certainly not because the breakfast team of Jamie Dunn and Ian Calder lack talent. It can only be that the former B105 stars are not appealing to the potential, and station-prefered, audience - listeners over 55. In fact, 612ABC is drawing away in the category, as well as leading 4BC overall. Perhaps it's that Dunn, the undisputed leader of the pack in Brisbane radio in the late 1980s and all of the 1990s, is better suited to a music station with well-timed and relevant comedy spots. He once said he should have moved from B105 to Triple M - but that decision was not his to make, and the B105 announcer who did make the jump, Ian Skippen, has had well-deserved success in appealing to the over-25 male audience with his Cage team of Emily-Jade O'Keeffe, Greg Martin and Greg Sullivan. Dunn is still a great talent, but he's a square peg in a round hole right now - and it seems unlikely he will stay on at BC in the long term if he can't dramatically reverse today's trend. And it's no secret in radio circles that at least one of his colleagues is eagerly waiting in the wings.
Disclosure: Brett Debritz is heard on the 612ABC Breakfast with Spencer Howson program, which was equal No. 1 in today's ratings.

Personally I love 4BC but

Personally I love 4BC but even after 12mths I can't warm to Jamie Dunn. I have tried many times but I quickly get annoyed by his constant "Ummmms" and "aaaaahhhhs", as well as the continual "the man sitting next to me has been my friend for 25yrs". If he hasn't said that once, he has said it 100 times! WE KNOW IAN HAS BEEN YOUR FRIEND JAMIE!!! And he seems to talk in a slower than average speed compared to the Greg Cary's and Chris Adams' style. And I am no where near the age of 55 either. I'm 40, I feel too old for the FM Breakky shows and too young for the ABC. Unfortunately Jamie is bringing down the rest of the station with is low ratings. Greg Cary's figures weren't crash hot either.

Is it Michael Smith wanting the breakky gig?? We know its not Peter Dick as he keeps reminding us, inbetween his constant cruise adverts, that he loathed doing the early morning shifts!

Well written article Brett!

Posted by BundyNelle (not verified) on February 25, 2010 - 14:14
My lips are sealed ...
My lips are sealed ... but thanks for the comment.
Posted by debritz on February 25, 2010 - 14:18
My tip for the 4BC Dunn

My tip for the 4BC Dunn replacement, if it even happens: It's a Smith, but it may be a knockout.

Could "breakfast" and "Billy J Smith" succeed for 4BC? After all, Billy is currently a fill-in, after the Sports Today axing, any regular work would be a improvement.

Posted by Kuttsywood (not verified) on February 28, 2010 - 17:00
There's little doubt that

There's little doubt that broken down ex copper Smith wants the gig for breakfast. I'm sure his massive ego sees himself as the next Alan Jones.

One question though for "Smithy"...why does 4BC keep getting it's arse kicked by the "Leftist" ABC??

Posted by Anonymous (not verified) on April 1, 2010 - 14:39
How B105 wins any slot

How B105 wins any slot outside the drive time is beyond me. They play almost the same music as Nova but with about double-triple the ads. Their breakfast announcers are so painful - Stav's gotchya calls are about as funny as terminal cancer and the other two stooges are also as unfunny and uninteresting. Nova's daytime announcers are on the painful side also - but that there is more music played wins me every time. I also find it hard to tune into B105 as they think the word 'leabian' is so offensive that they bleep it from songs. I hope Nova reclaim the top of the FM mountain as I think their 2 ads model is superior to the 'more ads than music' mindset of Austereo.

All that said - well done to all concerned at ABC612 - love to see Aunty pummeling the tabloid ad-filled noise of 4BC!

Posted by Grover (not verified) on February 25, 2010 - 16:56
Jamie Dunn

Go to any golf club and everybody will tell you its Chris Adams , he wants to be a Wayne Roberts, start work at 4 am finish at 11am and then lunch at golf club before teeing off for a round every afternoon

No business man around the golf clubs has any time or respect for Jamie or that ex clown on his left , no longer a clown just a prized goose . all my car radios and the house radio are completely off 4BC thanks to Jamie

Even I could manage 4BC better than present manager whos neck must also be on the block for employing this idiot

Posted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 27, 2010 - 17:59
4BC and Jamie

Personally I love listening to Jamie and Ian of a morning. It's the only place where you can have a real laugh in the mornings.

Posted by Susan (not verified) on March 1, 2010 - 19:24
Jamie Dunn

All my friends and associates were followers of 4BC but at a reunion last week everybody without exception has switched off 4BC all blaming idiot Dunn and as someone before said "the Goose " Calder who should be in the queue at centrelink

Posted by Anonymous (not verified) on April 13, 2010 - 21:37

I personally find 4bc appears to be an arm of the Liberal Party.
The drive program is merely a three hour rant against anything Labor.
Is this a management decision?

Posted by anthonygraham (not verified) on July 11, 2010 - 13:09
I think it's an attempt to
I think it's an attempt to turn Michael Smith into Brisbane's answer to Alan Jones. If you want to be a "shock jock", you've got to be right wing. Why? Because most of the lefties are listening to the ABC, and it's the best way to make people who already feel disempowered angry. Confirming the view of a sizeable paranoid minority that the world really is out to get them is a proven way to win ratings.

Posted by debritz on July 12, 2010 - 08:45