Singo, Jones and Tate slam media for ignoring 2GB success story

Broadcaster Alan Jones has slammed the mainstream media for its obsession with FM radio after Macquarie Radio Network station 2GB made history with its 100th successive Sydney radio survey win.

John Singleton

John Singleton: “Advertisers know what works. If you are 25 or 30, you weren’t around when there was no FM. That’s only 1980”

Jones himself sits on the cusp of a double century of wins across his career at 2UE and then 2GB, with 199 career wins.

But at a celebration at 2GB’s Sydney studio the station’s majority owner, John Singleton – who lured Jones from 2UE to create the winning breakfast and morning combination with Ray Hadley – said he was frustrated that FM stations captured headlines despite 2GB and 3AW’s dominance.

“I think it’s amateur hour on their part,” Singleton told Mumbrella.

“It doesn’t affect us. We’ve still go the audience, we’ve still got the revenue.”

“The advertisers know what works and if the other media choose to misreport it, or not understand it, which is more like. If you are 25 or 30, you weren’t around when there was no FM. That’s only 1980.

“I’m tolerant of it, but it’s very frustrating for the guys who achieve number one and you see headlines ‘Smooth again’.”

Jones also used the occasion to slam coverage of the station’s ratings wins.

Alan Jones: Radio station 2GB has been breached 30 times under Chapman.

Alan Jones “They are radio surveys…not FM surveys or AM surveys”

“They are radio surveys that come out today, they are not FM surveys or AM surveys,” Jones told the audience of Macquarie Radio staff and media.

“They are radio ratings surveys and it might suit some people to gild the lily or to disguise their inability to win.

“The gap is enormous.”

Macquarie Media CEO, Russell Tate, told Mumbrella that failure by media to recognise the success of the network was frustrating, but admitted, “the story will be when 2GB loses; that’s a headline”.

Macquarie Media CEO Russell Tate

Macquarie Media CEO Russell Tate

“It pisses you off, but FM? It suits their purpose. Why would they dignify our existence because, suddenly, they are not number one in whatever they want to be number one in,” Tate said.

He said he also saw a change in tone from News Corp’s newspapers after Macquarie Radio struck the deal with Fairfax over 2UE.

“I saw the change in how The Australian reported generally on Macquarie Radio stuff the day the merger was done. That’s just a known fact; they don’t like each other.

“The biggest challenge we’ve got is on the revenue side is not that at all, it’s the fact that our audience is 45-plus. It’s a massive audience, it’s got all the money, they are going to live for another 30 years. It is actually gold.

“But, the problem? Most media buyers are not only not 45 or 50 – they are not even 30. They are not listening to our radio station, most of them never even read a newspaper. So that demographic under performs.”

At the same time he has called the transition of 2UE to a lifestyle format a success in the station’s first full survey since switching from talkback and news.

“We basically have retained the same audience numbers even though it’s not an audience-based model,” he said.

He said by cross-promoting lifestyle segments running on 2UE on 2GB, Macquarie was learning how to drive special interest audiences to 2UE’s more targeted lifestyle shows.

“It’s deep-diving into rich content. It will be a smaller audience because you are only going to listen if you are interested in it, but it massively qualifies.”


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.