When it comes to the Sydney FM radio breakfast battle, Duncan Campbell, national content director at the Australian Radio Network (ARN), doesn’t feel any threat from newly minted rival brekkie show Rove & Sam.
The new duo of Rove McManus and Sam Frost on competitor network Southern Cross Austereo’s HIT104.1 2DayFM posted a three point share in the first radio ratings for the year. It’s a share that isn’t worrying Campbell in the slightest.
“As I predicted last year, that show has effectively failed. That’s the reality check,” he told B&T.
“I think their strategy is off the mark. The breakfast show lacks any key point of difference up against some heritage breakfast shows like [NOVA Entertainment’s] Fitzy & Wippa and Kyle & Jackie O.”
However, Gemma Fordham, content director at SCA’s HIT Network, said now the team knows their starting point and they’re going to build on it.
Noting the “few dark years” 2DayFM has gone through – Dan & Maz failing to make an impact, different strategies, and the tragic situation of the ‘Royal Prank’ – “the great thing is we’ve obviously solidified what the strategy is now,” she said.
“To see the numbers that we’ve got across the board with 2DayFm – and it’s coming from a fairly low base – but to see it’s jumped up overall…all the right signs are there.
“I’m really excited about what that says to us about the strategy for the brand.”
Fordham also refuted the idea there was a ticking clock for shows to make an impact on the market.
“I don’t subscribe to that,” she said. “That’s not the type of person that I am and I don’t lead my team that way.
“I like to see progressive growth. Now that we have our first book, I would expect over the next several books to see some growth and some trends.”
While Campbell may not be feeling the threat from Sam & Rove, ARN’s other Sydney brekkie team in the Gold network – Jonesy & Amanda on WSFM – has slipped down the past few surveys.
A number of surveys last year saw Jonesy & Amanda and Kyle & Jackie O battling it out for first place in the FM market. (Overall, Alan Jones on 2GB remains brekkie king). But the first survey of the year shows the duo at a 7.1 share.
“They had a softer end to the year, and I think the station has recovered slightly. It will take some time. I think the big challenge for WSFM has been [NOVA Entertainment’s] smoothfm,” said Campbell.
“We’ll take a look at that in a bit more depth and see what the key issues are.”
It’s still a strong breakfast show, he stressed, but admitted 7.1 was not where they wanted to be.
“But I’m confident with the station turning around the breakfast will rebuild over the coming months.”