Post-footy, 3AW keeps scoring

Nanjing Night Net

MELBOURNE talk radio giant 3AW has landed another emphatic victory in the latest radio ratings survey.

The station, owned by Fairfax Media, scored a 15.9 per cent market share overall, which was down slightly from last month’s 16.2 per cent.

Meanwhile, arch rival 774 ABC Melbourne was able to gain some of the ground it lost in the last survey, inching up to 11.4 per cent from 10.8 per cent.

The giant-killing breakfast team at 3AW, Ross Stevenson and John Burns, came down slightly from the extraordinary heights of its last result when the duo enjoyed a colossal 21.6 per cent market share, to come in at 20.5 per cent.

Their closest competition was Red Symons on ABC 774, who was able to make some gain on his market share, moving from 13 per cent to 14.6 per cent.

Shane Healy, the station boss at 3AW, says SEN and Triple M tend to ”die off a bit” after the AFL.

It has been a very strong year for the veteran broadcaster Neil Mitchell and he was able to remain steady again in the battle for the mornings slot against his chief adversary at the ABC, Jon Faine. Mitchell earned an 18.6 per cent share. For his part, Faine was up slightly – from 13.1 per cent to 13.3 per cent.

Healy says that Mitchell, who began the year in second place, has had the best ratings year of his career.

3AW was also strong in the afternoon, winning the noon-4pm slot with a 12.8 per cent market share, up from 11.9 per cent.

However, the ultra-competitive drive slot was a slight blemish for the AM station. It had a 13.6 per cent share, which was actually up from last month’s 12.8 per cent. Yet with 14.2 per cent, Fox FM’s combination of Fifi and Jules (Monday to Thursday) and Hamish and Andy (Fridays) proved too big a lure for listeners.

The next best in the slot was 774’s Rafael Epstein, who had a 9 per cent share.

”It’s still a great result for Derryn [Hinch],” Healy says. ”Although there was all the hoo-ha about him leaving, Derryn has been a consummate professional and he is going to finish up on a good high.” Hinch will finish his time at 3AW on November 30 and Tom Elliott will begin January 14. Nick McCallum will be in the chair over summer.

On the FM dial, pop station NovaFM had a mixed survey, with an average market share of 7 per cent that was down from last month’s 7.9 per cent. Hughesy and Kate’s breakfast show was also down, moving to 7.2 per cent from 7.7 per cent.

”There was not a huge amount of movement in the market,” Helen Davies, general manager of DMG Radio, says. ”Nova was very steady for us again – 18-39 is the focus for us there. Nova is also number one [in the] 25-39 [age group] overall.”

At Triple M, ratings were steady again at Eddie McGuire’s Hot Breakfast. It sits at 6.8 per cent for the third consecutive survey. However, the station’s overall share was in the red slightly, going from 6.5 per cent to 6.3 per cent.

Guy Dobson, chief content officer for Southern Cross Austereo, says Triple M will adjust its playlist slightly by playing more music now that the football season has concluded.

As for Fox FM, Dobson says that in his opinion the station continues to punch above its weight.

”Fox is probably the most consistent brand for [our company] right around the country,” he says. He was, of course, particularly chuffed with the network’s drive slot win. However, another drop for the Matt and Jo breakfast show (from 9.8 per cent to 9.5 per cent) means it’s another survey with less than 10 per cent for the top-rating duo, which is rare.

Gold 104.3’s Brig and Lehmo show gained marginally, for a share of 6.2 per cent (up from 6.1 per cent). The station was a solid 7.9 per cent overall – the same figure it achieved last month. At sister station Mix 101.1, Chrissie Swan and Jane Hall’s breakfast show was also able to get a minor bump in ratings, going from 5.6 per cent to 5.7 per cent.

Elsewhere, Triple J lost a tiny bit of ground, its share dropping from 5.1 per cent to 4.9 per cent. The station’s drive and evening shows were bright spots, both increasing their audiences.

At SEN, the end of the football season does not bode well, with the audience share shifting from 4.5 per cent to 4.2 per cent.

Meantime, oldies station Magic, the sister station of 3AW, had a very solid result. It was up from 5.1 per cent to 5.8 per cent. This was despite some huge cash giveaways from its rivals. Smoothfm was also solid, remaining steady at 4.4 per cent share.

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