Smooth confident it could dethrone Kiis, despite ‘potency’ of Kyle and Jackie O

After a strong survey five ratings result, Nova Entertainment is confident its SmoothFM program could steal the Sydney FM breakfast crown from KiisFM’s Kyle and Jackie O.

Jackson: We want to win everything

Jackson: “We want to win everything”

Paul Jackson, Nova Entertainment group programme director, told Mumbrella the station wants SmoothFM to “win everything”.

“It’s one of the great ratings days in Sydney any station has ever had, to win by such a margin right across the board. To be the number two FM breakfast show is ridiculously good,” he said.

In the most recent radio ratings survey, Smooth FM’s breakfast team of Bogart Torelli and Glenn Daniel posted a share of 7%, behind KiisFM’s Kyle Sandilands and Jackie ‘O’ Henderson, who reported a share of 9.8%.

Bogart Torelli - one half of SmoothFM's Sydney breakfast duo

Bogart Torelli: Half of SmoothFM’s Sydney breakfast duo

“I don’t think anybody really thought a breakfast show with Bogart and Glenn would turn into something so special and go this far. Of course it can win at breakfast,” Jackson said.

“In drive we’re double the numbers of Hamish & Andy.”

Smooth’s drive host Byron Webb claimed the top spot with a share of 10.1% while 2DayFM’s Hamish Blake and Andy Lee posted a share of 5.6%.

Jackson rejected the notion they were focusing on beating KiisFM’s Kyle and Jackie O, suggesting that Smooth had already won as a station outright, with Smooth posting a Monday to Friday share of 9.6%, ahead of KiisFM’s share of 8%.

SCA denies it is looking to lure back Kyle and Jackie O

He said: “We’re not thinking about KiisFM or Kyle and Jackie O – we’ve already beaten them by some distance as a radio station, and all the demos 35+ we wish to beat them in. We’ve already beaten them anyway. To win number one overall at breakfast, it’s just time. There’s nothing to change, we just have to keep on doing as we’re doing.”

However, Australian Radio Network’s national content director, Duncan Campbell, said while it cannot be denied that “Smooth is having a very good year”, the station was not concerned.

“We have to acknowledge that Smooth is having a very good year and we’re counter-programming as effectively as we can, particularly with WSFM, and the more we can improve WSFM we’ll see the Smooth result stop over time,” Campbell said.

“There’s no doubt about it that’s the challenge for 2016 for Sydney is us counter-programming against Smooth. Our focus is very much on WS and building that up again and trying to reduce the overall share of Smooth.”


Campbell: “Don’t underestimate the potency of Kyle and Jackie O”

On Smooth’s ability to dethrone KissFM’s Kyle and Jackie O in the competitive breakfast time slot, Campbell admitted “anything is possible”.

“The reality check is stations that have strong content which is driven by personalities which are liked and loved by the audience have historically done consistently very well,” he said.

“This year has certainly been a big year for Smooth but they are still three or so points away from Kiis in breakfast. It’s a good goal to have but I wouldn’t underestimate the potency of Kyle and Jackie O and their ability to sustain a very strong audience.”

Campbell said ARN’s biggest challenge was KiisFM in Melbourne, which posted a Monday to Friday share of 5.3%.

kiis melbourne logo

“The really big one is Kiis in Melbourne, to be honest. WS has a strong format base, we just need to improve that, and a heritage breakfast show, which we’ve done some work around but Kiis Melbourne is our biggest challenge.

“We’ve seen some improvement after some weak results – up 1.1% in breakfast. So the goal, really, is to see continued improvement in Kiis that we haven’t seen this year.

“It’s been a challenging year for us and that’s the key focus for us.”

Despite the performance issues of Kiis Melbourne, Campbell said there no plans for any programming changes.

“We’ve done a lot of work with Matt and Meshel and they’ll be really happy with today’s result. They’ve never worked together before so building that dynamic is always challenging – particularly in a short-period of time.”

The Kiis breakfast team of Matt Tilley and Meshel Laurie posted a share of 5.3%.

Campbell added: “The focus is very much on breakfast and generating some stronger content out of that breakfast show and the breakfast personalities.”

The Melbourne market has been dominated by Southern Cross Austereo’s Triple M Breakfast – the ‘Hot Breakfast’ featuring Eddie McGuire, Mick Molloy and Luke Darcy.

The reigning trio saw their breakfast share slide by 1.1 points from 9.5% to 8.4% in the wake of Eddie McGuire’s comments about drowning sports journalist Caroline Wilson.

However Triple M head of content, Mike Fitzpatrick, denied the comments were the cause in the show’s decline in audience share.


Fitzpatrick: “Eddie McGuire’s comments are not responsible for the share decline”

“It’s normal ebb and flow and probably contributing to it was that Eddie was off for a week-and-a-half during survey,” Fitzpatrick said.

“Those moments often drive share figures higher rather than lower; people come in to hear what they have to say. We certainly don’t engineer them – no one would have engineered that moment.

“But if take a look at what Kyle [Sandilands] does, when he’s created a stir or said something controversial, his figures don’t go down, they go up. These moments create higher cumulative share and interest in the show and the personalities.”


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