Complacency “The Biggest Enemy” For Macquarie Media’s News-Talk Programs

Complacency “The Biggest Enemy” For Macquarie Media’s News-Talk Programs

Macquarie Media needs to be “more mindful than ever before” about evolving its programs and brands to fit today’s expectations, according to its bosses.

Speaking to shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting yesterday, Macquarie Media chairman Russell Tate said its core business – news-talk radio – are in a very strong position right now.

“There is no reason at all why we can’t at least maintain market share and hopefully continue to grow news-talk revenue and earnings,” he said.

“At the same time, we will of course continue to explore new opportunities and do whatever it takes to get our second network, Macquarie Sports Radio, in positive earnings territory.”

Macquarie typically dominates the Sydney and Melbourne radio ratings surveys for overall market share and breakfast with 2GB and 3AW.

However, Tate said the biggest enemy facing Macquarie’s news-talk dominance is complacency.

“Eight ratings surveys every year are a good start in killing complacency, but media habits and choices are changing rapidly as we all know, and no media product can afford to stand still,” he said.

“The last thing we need in our news-talk network is radical change, but we must absolutely be open to both needs and opportunities to make changes in the way in which we engage with our audiences, our guests and our customers – our advertisers.

“Whether we like it or not, audience expectations of the media they choose to consume, and advertiser expectations of the media with which they partner, are also changing rapidly.”

Russell Tate

Macquarie Media chairman Russell Tate

If Macquarie is to retain its audiences and attract new ones, Tate said the AM radio giant must be “more mindful than ever before” of the need to evolve its programs and station brands to match contemporary expectations.

Macquarie Media CEO Adam Lang said the challenge of complacency applies equally to the way in which the company seeks to earn an audience, the advertising investment of clients, and its operations.

“We must continue to change the way we operate to attain the utmost in customer service and efficiency,” he told shareholders.”

Macquarie will of course come under the Nine umbrella once its proposed takeover of Fairfax Media is complete, due to the publisher’s major shareholding position with the radio network.

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