Offloading the “antiquated” Kyle and Jackie O show is set to deliver a revenue boost to the Today Network with the new 2DayFM breakfast model set to make other network’s “look redundant”.
Guy Dobson, chief content officer at Southern Cross Austereo, described the changes occurring at the Today Network, which includes new drive and breakfast shows in Melbourne and Sydney, as “generational”.
“It’s going to be a much more youthful network moving forward,” Dobson told B&T, adding that the decision to let go of Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O was a revenue play.
“We had an old antiquated breakfast model with 2DayFM we had a breakfast program which wouldn’t do anything else but play commercials,” he said.
“It is really important that whatever show we put together for next year is a show for the time. It is one that will integrate, one that will do not just branded content, but brand in content.
“Is a show that knows it’s not just about spots and dots these days, that you have to do something more in terms of integration.”
Advertisers on Breakfast with the Stars “loved” Kyle & Jackie O and they delivered results. The update is about keeping up with a new revenue model he said.
“We will put together a great show for the future will make a few others look redundant in the marketplace,” he added.
However he is under no illusions that next year will be “tough” from a ratings perspective for Today but said he liked the fact that there is no pressure on the network because the competition and the media: “are writing us off”.
The Australian Radio Network (ARN) congratulated Kyle and Jackie O on their 52nd consecutive survey win today in the final radio ratings book for the year.
Ciaran Davis, ARN’s chief executive, said everyone at ARN is excited to be working with the breakfast rating stars on KIIS 1065 next year.
“We’ve had a great year, and as we turn out attention to 2014 we couldn’t be happier for Sydney’s #1FM Breakfast team Kyle & Jackie O.”
SCA’s Dobson said he is confident Fifi Box and Dave Thornton will make a “very very good” breakfast show in Melbourne on Fox.
DGM Radio Australia’s group programme director Paul Jackson is however equally confident Nova 100 will remain ahead of Fox.
He pointed to the fact that Nova 100’s new breakfast co-host Meshel Laurie has been up against Box in drive, where Laurie won 10.8% compared to Fox’s 10.2%. “We go into it feeling quite good about next year and we have our best laid plans very well organised,” he told B&T.
Fox FM’s decade-long breakfast program, Matt & Jo, couldn’t regain the lead they had held for so long in their final book.
Instead they came third to winner Triple M and runner-up Nova 100 with Dobson admitting that SCA “probably should have had a look at the Melbourne breakfast show four-to-five surveys ago”.
SCA is yet to release details about Today’s new drive program and Dobson would not say whether Jules Lund would be returning. But he did say it would be the “youngest sounding drive show on radio around Australia”.
DMG’s Jackson described the current talent updates as “the biggest change in radio in any major city anywhere in the world maybe ever”. “I have never seen the likes of it,” he added.
“In a city with a population with not much over five million and three stations potentially chasing the under 40 audience – there can’t be three winners here.”