Sydney radio ratings: Alan Jones holds onto breakfast crown despite controversy

The ongoing scrutiny on broadcaster Alan Jones may have hit his station 2GB’s bottom line, but thus far it has had little discernible impact on his ratings share.

2GB breakfast, measured from 5:30am to 9:00am, still commands a market-leading 16.8% audience share, down just 0.3 share points from the previous survey.


The breakfast battle in Sydney. Source: GfK (Click to enlarge)

The latest Jones controversy began in August when in on-air comments, he suggested Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison shove a sock down the throat of New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern. He also said Ardern should be backhanded.

The comments and resulting outrage led to a mass exodus of advertisers and Jones being put on notice by his employer Macquarie Radio, however, until now, it has been unclear if it would hit his listener base.

Jones made the comments on 15 August. The most recent radio ratings survey, released today, measures the period 14 July to 21 September.

Jones’ two-year contract goes through until 2021

2GB has also maintained its overall lead in Sydney, with a share of 13.4%, exactly the same as during the prior survey which measured 26 May to 29 June and 14 July to 17 August. It’s also well ahead of any other station from 9am to 12pm when Ray Hadley is on air, with a 14.7% share.

The station, however, doesn’t lead the Sydney market in drive, measured from 4pm to 7pm. In drive, 2GB has an 8.6% share, down 0.1 points from last survey. Ben Fordham is on air from 3pm to 6pm. At 6pm, Ross Greenwood takes over until 8pm.

This puts the AM station behind FM’s Kiis 106.5 (featuring the “Will & Woody’ program), which is on 10.0%, and Nova 96.9 (‘Kate, Tim & Marty’), also on 10.0%. Smooth 95.3 FM is also ahead of 2GB on 9.0%, as is the ABC on 9.4%.

2GB also faces stiff competition in the afternoons. It has a 10.5% share, on par with WS FM, and just ahead of Smooth’s 10.3%.

In FM, the leader in the Sydney market overall remains Nova Entertainment’s Smooth FM, which climbed 0.1 points to a 9.2% share. Australian Radio Network’s (ARN) Kiis 106.5 climbed 0.9 points to put it within spitting distance of Smooth, with a 9.1% share.

Sydney radio ratings survey 6. Source: GfK (Click to enlarge)

Kiis, however, with the ‘Kyle & Jackie O Show’ (featuring Kyle Sandilands and Jackie ‘O’ Henderson), remains on top in FM breakfast, climbing 0.6 points to 11.6%.

Its closest FM competitor is ARN stablemate, WS FM, which remained stable on 8.2%. WS FM has Amanda Keller and Brendan ‘Jonesy’ Jones in the breakfast slot.

Triple M’s ‘Moonman in the Mornings’ featuring Lawrence Mooney, climbed 0.5 points to a 6.4% share, placing it sixth in the FM market.

Also in breakfast, the results of Southern Cross Austero’s (SCA) experiment on 2Day FM are yet to fully play out.

After consistently low ratings and a high turnover of hosts, the station moved to a music-focused show, with veteran radio exec and broadcaster Jamie Angel behind the microphone.

The new show began on Monday 19 August, part way through this survey period. The station climbed just 0.1 points in breakfast to a share of 2.5%, placing it in sixth.

Overall in Sydney, 2Day FM climbed 0.4 points to 4.5%. Its biggest gain was in drive (4pm to 7pm), where is climbed 1.5 points to 5.8%. 2Day FM features Carrie Bickmore and Tommy Little from 3pm to 4:30pm, and then Dave ‘Hughesy’ Hughes and Kate Langebroek from 4:30pm to 6:30pm. Ed Kavalee, formerly of the 2Day FM Sydney Breakfast show, has been filling in for Langebroek.


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