Southern Cross Austereo CEO Grant Blackley vows to restore radio Hit Network to number one



Newly installed CEO of Southern Cross Austereo Grant Blackley has vowed to restore the troubled HitFM network to number one in some of the key advertiser demographics.

Speaking at an event for media buyers and advertisers in Sydney last night, Blackley told a packed room that Southern Cross Austereo (ASX: SCA) had very clear goals around lifting performance among 18-39-year-olds and also among 25-54s.

“We will be number one in every category slot we deem it appropriate by demographic,” said Blackley. “It may take us a little while in some cases but rest assured that’s our goal.”

Hamish and Andy at last night's SCA event

Hamish and Andy at last night’s SCA event

The former Ten CEO was speaking at an after party for

drive hosts Hamish and Andy who ‘officially’ returned to the airwaves yesterday, after having a week on-air last week during the non-ratings period.

During his speech Blackley trumpeted last week’s radio survey results which saw SCA lift performance across the board. 

“We did achieve ten out of ten last week,” he said.  “Of course I’m talking about survey four where we were reward with ten performances that all improved across the Today HitFM and Triple M networks.

“We gained 200,000 listeners in that survey and are now reaching 4.1m listeners across our metro cities and that’s without our regional stations across the nation.”

Blackley acknowledged the importance of having consistent performances and said the radio networks were focused on particular demographics.

“I think the most important thing is that we were delivering directly on two key milestones – the first being number one metro solution for 18-39s and the second one being number one metro solution for 25-54s.

“What we are going to ensure is that over the coming months and years we deliver more often in a number one slot as much as we can.

“To achieve (our) goals we do have a fairly determined effort. In everything we do I will promise you that we will do it with some priority and consistency – so that you can rely upon it. And then in terms of the phasing of the Hit Network naturally there was the rebranding and the second phase was Hamish and Andy coming into the market.”

His comments echo previous remarks Blackley has made about the need to improve in certain areas. The media boss also acknowledged the importance of key talent singling out 2Day’s breakfast hosts Dan and Maz who had a 0.9 per cent rise to an audience share of 3.3 per cent last survey.

“We are delighted to see Hamish and Andy back at Southern Cross and also back in radio,” said Blackley.

“But we know it’s a team effort. You will have read that we improved the results for Dan & Maz and those green shoots are now laying a platform for better and better results.”

Nic Christensen  


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.