Southern Cross Austereo’s executive director Guy Dobson has conceded that its poor rating 2DayFM breakfast show – Dan and Maz (that was canned in early October) – didn’t work as it should. However, he believed it was more a case of demographics than the quality of the program.
Dobson, speaking to B&T following the release of yesterday’s Survey 7 results, agreed that Dan and Maz were a Gen Y show and its failure to attract ears had meant that its drive-time show with Hamish and Andy had also struggled for listeners in the Sydney marketplace.
“Hamish and Andy do well where our breakfast shows do well. Obviously listeners leapfrogging into drive happens a lot better and vice versa.
“The reason we had to change-up our breakfast show in Sydney – even though Dan and Maz were doing a great job, they’re a generation Y show – and that audience is way different to Hamish and Andy’s show,” he said.
Dobson believed that 2Day’s new breakfast line-up of Rove and Sam Frost would do a better job at retaining listeners throughout the day and into drive. Although Dobson scoffs at the idea that Dan and Maz’s axing was a sign the Ys are turning off commercial radio.
As for The Bachelorette Sam Frost’s elevation to the highly-prized brekkie spot, Dobson said the TV star earned the hosting role on merit.
“People pooh-pooh reality show contestants, right? But the thing is with those shows you have to audition, you have to be good. These people are found, they want to be in the media, there’s a rigorous selection process for the talent and then they’re on television – in this case The Bachelorette – and you have to perform, you have to rate, you have to get the audience to get endeared towards them, and at the end of that you undergo a baptism of fire in terms of learning the craft of media. Sam’s also done a lot of radio stuff in the past and she’s very natural,” he said.
Dobson also admitted that music streamers such as Spotify and Pandora had meant that less people listened to radio for the music meaning “the stuff between the records (the hosts) has become more important”.
However, he said the tunes still pulled in listeners and cited 2Day’s ‘R&B Fridays’ that had given the station a 54 per cent uplift in listeners compared to Monday through Thursday.
“Radio can drive music selection and music choice well,” Dobson said. “Sure, there’s plenty of proliferation in the market but that’s more a problem for record sales and record stores than it is now for radio stations.
“It’s all about what’s between the records but music remains a very important offering. Take smoothfm, they’re punching well above their weight and all they do is play records,” he said.