Each radio network has a brekkie show all vying for the ears of Melbourne listeners, and yet there hasn’t been a dominant heritage show that has really stolen the audience. At least, that’s the view of Louise Higgins, chief operating officer at entertainment media company NOVA Entertainment.
“The wonderful thing about Melbourne is it has become the most competitive radio market in Australia because all the networks are investing in very good quality shows,” she told B&T. “But the great thing it is still all to play for. There’s no real heritage dominant number one.”
But, Higgins reckons they’ve got a winning show in Chrissie, Sam & Browny – the new NOVA100 breakfast show who cheekily started on air last Friday, a day early than scheduled. The new show is made up of Chrissie Swan, Sam Pang and Jonathan Brown.
Higgins pinpoints that although The Hot Breakfast with media personality Eddie McGuire – operated by rival entertainment network Southern Cross Austereo – is winning at the moment, “a large amount of their audience they’re picking up really are there in the absence of a really strong alternative”.
“You’ve seen the success we’ve had with Fitzy & Wippa in Sydney, you’ve seen that it’s not just about being number one now,” she continued. “Although, don’t get me wrong, we have absolute ambition to be number one – but you can see that it’s not just about the numbers, it’s about having really strong, commercial viable talent that brands and advertisers really want to be associated with.”
The last radio survey of the year in 2015 saw Macquarie Radio Network’s 3AW with Ross & John take the top spot, followed by ABC774. Fifi & Dave for FOXFM HIT1019 took out third. Read more about the radio markets here.
The Melbourne market is often overlooked by advertisers, Higgins continued, despite it being able to generate a comparable revenue to the Sydney market.
“What gets even more surprising when you’re in a role like mine and you’re running a national operation is that Sydney and Melbourne together make up over 70 per cent of the revenue pool,” she said. “So how you do in Sydney and Melbourne with your brand with advertisers really does define the success of your company.
“That’s why Sydney and Melbourne matter.”
Sitting in a national role and being able to observe all markets, Higgins said it’s really worth investing in a show you actually think would win.
“And it’s worth investing in a team that matters to Melbourne,” she added.
What is important to Melbourne is AFL, and Jonathan “Browny” Brown is well-known down in Melbourne in the footy realm, being an ex-player himself. So you start there, she said.
“You then add Chrissie Swan, who is without a doubt, one of the best female talent this country’s got. Her numbers and the way she interacts and her strength with brands, makes her as powerful as Jonathan Brown.”
And yet, NOVA didn’t want just another male and female combination like many of the other shows.
“And that’s when you bring in someone like Sam Pang. And Sam Pang has such heritage and pedigree.”
And when it comes to who’s name goes first – it’s all about what rolls off the tongue easiest.
‘Chrissie, Sam & Browny’ won.
A previous version of this article did not include data from the radio ratings.