Radio ratings: Alan Jones is king of Sydney but Austereo rules Australia

Austereo has the number one commercial FM station in every metro city for the first time in seven years, new ratings revealed today.

The network kept its grip on Sydney, Melbourne and Perth and snatched Brisbane and Adelaide from DMG’s Nova in one of the most dramatic set of ratings changes in recent years.  


The market had been anticipating an initial drop in audience for Nova‘s new Sydney lineup of Merrick Watts, Ricki-Lee Coulter and Scott Dooley. However, owner DMG may have been disappointed with the size of the fall in the audience inherited from the previous Merrick & Rosso and Kate Ritchie lineup.

Nova boss David Borean said the initial figures were “not a bad start” for the new breakfast  team, adding: “Clearly there’s a lot of sampling going on and that has impacted on our share.”

Across the board, Nova had Sydney’s biggest decline, with its station share dropping from 8.7% to 6.6%. However, a place for the station to build on was a healthy cumulative audience share at breakfast – with a reasonable reach of 501,000 listeners per week. Nova is also about to roll out the next stage of its marketing campaign for the show which will include more TV advertising.

Meanwhile the ABC slot that Dooley vacated at Triple J‘s drive show, suffered no ill effect from his departure – his replacement The Doctor took the show up from 4.8% share to 6.6% – the biggest jump in that timeslot, jointly with Triple M’s drivetime lineup.

This was part of an all round better performance for Austereo’s Triple M, up from 3.4% to 5% in Sydney. It’s Grill Team breakfast show was up from 2.2% to 4.5%.

On FM in Sydney, 2Day FM remained the number one FM commercial station despite falling from an 11.1% share to 10%, just behind non commercial station ABC702’s 10.5%. Indeed, it was a good Sydney survey all round for the ABC, with Triple J seeing the biggest rise in share, up from 3.9% to 5.8%.

But the Sydney survey belonged to 2GB, where there will have been delight that negative headlines over misbehaviour by staff have now been overshadowed by some of 2GB’s best results ever. Today’s figures, released by Nielsen, saw Alan Jones’ breakfast slot pulling in a 20% share, up from his previous 18.6% share and his best ever. And 2GB’s Ray Hadley, in the 9am-noon slot, also had his best numbers ever, with a 19.5% share, up from 16.4% in the previous round.


The expensive new Triple M lineup for breakfast, headed by Eddie McGuire, is also starting to pay off for Austereo in Melbourne.

The Hot Breakfast with Eddie McGuire scored a share of 5.8%, up from 4.3%, the biggest increase in the timeslot. It helped Triple M increase its station share from 3.9%  to 5.5%.

Talk station 3AW remained on top, with 14.1%, while Austereo’s FoxFM maintained its grip on the music radio market with 13.2%.


There was further bad news for Nova in the Brisbane market, which has traditionally been a stronghold for the network. The station share fell from 13.5% to 12.2% which saw it overtaken by Austereo’s B105, up from 11.2% to 12.8%

Nova’s breakfast show Meshel, Ash & Tim With Dave Thornton (down from 13.2% to 12.2%) was overtaken by Austereo’s B105 morning offering Labby, Camilla & Stav (up from 10.4% to 12.9%).

But Nova continued its domination of young Brisbane radio listeners with a huge jump in its share of 10-17 listeners, up from 22.8% to 29.8%. In that demographic, B105 fell from 36.7% to 32.1%.


Nova lost to Austereo in Adelaide too. SAFM’s breakfast show (up from 10.8% to 12.6%) broke through to first place ahead of Nova (down from 12.7% to 11.7%).

SAFM also maintained its number one position with a 12.7% station share.


It was also a good survey for Austereo’s Mix 94.5 in Perth, which kept its number one slot with an increased 16% share and also grew its breakfast share to 16%.

Austereo boss  Guy Dobson said: “We’re very encouraged by today’s survey results and to see what the year ahead holds. The Triple M Network nationally has had a great survey especially with new Breakfast shows in Sydney and Melbourne.


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