Sydney radio ratings: Ben Fordham gains share, ends the year with breakfast dominance

In his third GfK radio survey in the 2GB breakfast slot, Ben Fordham has gained audience share for the first time since replacing Alan Jones.

From 20 September to 28 November, the 2GB breakfast frontman jumped one percentage point for a 17.1% share. He inherited a 17.9% share when Jones departed at the end of May, which dropped slightly to 17.3% in his first survey in the new job, back in September.

Fast forward to last month and his second survey, and Fordham slid nominally again to a 16.1% share, still well ahead of AM competitor ABC Sydney and FM rival Kiis 106.5.

Fordham continues to dominate in Sydney’s breakfast slot

Nine Radio’s head of content, Greg Byrnes, said that the results prove that “at 2GB, Ben [Fordham] and Ray [Hadley] have cemented their positions as the Sydney’s ‘must listen to’ radio programs”.

Kiis 106.5’s Kyle and Jackie O held onto the lead they took against the ABC’s Wendy Harmer and Robbie Buck in the slot last survey, with the stations earning an 11.3% (up 0.6 percentage points) and 10.5% (down 0.1 points) breakfast share, respectively, this time around. It’s the 16th consecutive survey atop the FM breakfast ladder for Kiis.

The breakfast pile remained stable overall, with Fordham’s one point jump the biggest in the slot, and the biggest decline coming from WSFM’s Jonesy and Amanda – who held a 7.4% share – at just 0.9 percentage points.

2Day FM’s breakfast music show climbed slightly, up 0.7 points to a 4.2% share. The station has consistently struggled in the slot since losing Kyle and Jackie O in 2014, and a merry-go-round of failed line-ups eventually led to the introduction of the ‘Music for Breakfast’ show, solely presented by Jamie Angel.

That also didn’t work, leading Southern Cross Austereo to confirm last month that it will return to talent in 2021, with Dave Hughes, Ed Kavalee and Erin Molan to become the latest to have a crack at the slot from 18 January.

Sydney radio ratings survey 8 2020. Source: GfK. [Click to enlarge]

In Hughesy and Ed’s final survey in 2Day FM’s drive time slot before joining breakfast next year, the duo gained 1.3 percentage points in Sydney for a 5.1% share. The slot also recorded a 0.5 point drop for slot-leader Smooth FM (10.8%), a 0.1 point increase for Kiis FM’s Will and Woody (10.2%), and a 1.8 percentage point jump for Nova’s Kate, Tim, and Joel Creasey – the biggest growth of any station in the slot for Creasey’s second full survey since replacing Marty Sheargold.

2GB’s Jim Wilson fell 0.3 percentage points to retain an 8.1% drive-time listening share; Wilson stepped into Fordham’s old slot in June. Fordham’s final survey in the time period secured a 10.5% share, which has slowly been eroded in each of Wilson’s first three surveys.

Sydney radio ratings survey 8 2020. Total audience share. Source: GfK. [Click to enlarge]

Fordham’s success in the breakfast slot was reflected in the overall rankings, with 2GB remaining out front with a 13.8% share in the people 10+ demographic, up 0.1 points. Once again, the climbs or declines were relatively small, with Smooth FM next in line on 9.9% (back 0.9 points), followed by Kiis (9.7%, up one point), ABC Sydney (8.5%, up 0.2 points), and WSFM (7.1%, a drop of one percentage point).

The next survey results won’t drop until 11 March next year, and will cover the period from 17 January to 27 February.


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