ARN boss Ciaran Davis: ‘Today is inauguration day’, Kiis aims at 25 – 54 demo

ARN is set to spend $2m on a massive publicity campaign around Sydney to promote the new Kiis1065 brand which went live with the first Kyle and Jackie O show at 6am today, with CEO Ciaran Davis  saying he expects the Sydney radio market to be “the most competitive” he has seen anywhere in the world this year.

Speaking to key advertisers and press at the North Ryde studios this morning Davis pledged the group would have the number one and number two breakfast shows in Sydney by the end of the year, with the new show on Kiis and Brendan Jones and Amanda Keller’s Jonesy and Amanda show on sister station WSFM.

He told Mumbrella the music mix, previously a closely guarded secret, will be younger and more contemporary than Mix aiming at 25 to 54 year olds, but not taking on rival stations aimed at 18-25 year olds as. Kyle and Jackie O will reach that audience because they are very broad, he said, which along with focused and targeted music “will create a good mix”.

Describing the speculation before and after the move of the star duo from 2DayFM last year, and the announcement of the rebrand to Kiis1065 as the “presidential election” Davis described today as the “inauguration”, adding: “Kyle and Jackie O is going to be a successful show.

“Kyle is polarising undoubtedly and we will have moments where we think ‘Oh my God, did he just say that?’ But the investment ARN are making, we are making it because we believe we can commercialise it.”

While the new show is one of several in a hugely changed market, Davis said the company was spending $2m on advertising, with a TVC going to air over the weekend and press and outdoor executions to follow, as they bid to raise the profile of the station.

Sandilands described the new show as “like we’ve got rid of an old girlfriend and are dating a new one”.

Davis added: “I’ve never been more comfortable driving in to work than I was this morning. This is something ARN has planned and worked for for a long time. We’ve worked hard as a station, not just in terms of Kyle and Jackie, but in terms of building up the capabilities of ARN to be able to launch what I think is the biggest thing to happen to Australian radio in many years.

“People wake up in the morning and after a night’s sleep they want to know what’s happened on TV last night, they want to know the entertainment gossip, news and sport.

“And they want to know it from personalities they know and like and love. When we thought about this in terms of bringing Kyle and Jackie over we asked ourselves would the audience transfer? There is no doubt in my mind the audience will transfer to this breakfast show, because they are the best breakfast show in the world.”

He said the brand of the new station would be “fun, it’s going to be fresh and cheeky and go about things totally differently than what has happened in the past” but admitted he is under no illusions competitors will be planning their own “assaults” on the market.

But he said the first how had “gone exceptionally well, it was a flawless transition” adding the new Kiis app was already number five in its category 11 hours after launching on iTunes, and the Kiis1065 brand was trending on Twitter.

Around half of the advertisers coming over to ARN have never advertised with the network before, and Davies said his staff have been on the front foot to retain existing advertisers prior to the rebrand.

The studio has been completely rebuilt with a window, shiny mics, TV screens, LED lights and a “birthday wheel” for the daily prize giveaway, as well as the technology that gives producers a 30 second delay on the broadcast and the ability to dump content not fit for air.

“That’s important from an advertiser’s perspective,” Davis told Mumbrella. “There’s been no problem with Kyle and Jackie for the last two years, we’ve had no controversy at all and that’s because of the 30 second delay in there, and a censor who has got a dump button, so we’ve employed the exact same thing.”

He said the music mix will be younger and more contemporary than Mix, but not as young as the stations aimed at 18-25 year olds as ARN continues to pursue the 25-54 demographic. Kyle and Jackie O will reach that audience because they are very broad, he said, which along with focused and targeted music will create a good mix.

Sandilands said it would be the same with a “few little tweaks and adjustments” with some of their team following them over from 2DayFM to join ARN staff in North Ryde.

“It’s weird because I think radio, more than TV, we’re fierce rivals and it feels like we’ve got rid of one girlfriend and are dating a new one,” Sandilands told Ross. “And she’s sexy, and she’s hot and she’s down for it, you know what I’m saying?”

“I think with the audience that Mix had and all the audience that we are going to steal from 2Day it will be number one pretty quickly. I’m way more overconfident than Jackie is but that’s just how I am. I believe everyone’s going to come with us. And we’ll retain a lot of the people who are already there so it’s going to be survey one or two I’d imagine.”

Megan Reynolds and Alex Hayes


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