‘Audience is trialling and flicking around the dial’: Nova’s Brendan Taylor on new breakfast, late drive

fitzy & wippa with Kate Ritchie

“Jase and Lauren are settling in well to [Nova 100 breakfast] and they are already part of the Nova family. It’s really early days.”

Group programming director at Nova Entertainment Brendan Taylor speaks to Mediaweek about results from GfK radio ratings Survey 1, 2024.

smooth hits a bit of rough?

smoothfm 91.5 in Melbourne saw share slide close to 2.0 while cume dropped over 100,000. Taylor noted it remains a strong station in the market. The Sydney smooth station performed better, where it was #1 FM.

“It’s just about the quality and the consistency of the smooth product. [Programmer] Pete Clay just continues to deliver for the brand. The Sydney results are just absolutely outstanding. Look at the 1.3 million cume – the leading FM station in market. The consistent performance of Simon Diaz and Byron Webb in their respective slots.”


It wasn’t such a smooth ride in Melbourne though. “Melbourne might just be the most talked about market this year from a radio perspective. The existing changes in breakfast, the impending changes in breakfast. The audience is trialling and flicking around the dial. We will start to see where everyone will land in surveys two and three.”

Nova Sydney equals an all-time high

“It’s a really pleasing result, particularly for Tom Ivey and the whole Fitzy and Wippa with Kate breakfast team. It’s a record share for the show. A cume audience of 629,002 shows the audience is there. The content is constantly being refined and adjusted. It goes to our strategy this year of live and local.

Nova strategy – live and local

As ARN plans more breakfast networking, the Nova message is loud and clear – “the power of a local connection with the audience”.

Taylor said there are learnings the team will take from Sydney Survey 1 and apply to the rest of the year. “We want to remain consistent and grow what we now have. I’m really happy for Kate, for Fitzy and for Wippa. They have worked very hard for this and today they have been able to hold their heads high.

“We’ve got a clear direction in where we want the show to be and what we want the show to present to the listeners. We’ve got our own benchmarks and we want to keep growing this show. It’s a heritage show in the market.”

Brisbane’s Ash, Susie and Luttsy

Brisbane stumbles

Nova 106.9 remains #1 in cume. But cume and share rankings for breakfast slipped.

“You’ve got to cop results like that when you get them from time to time. Brisbane is like Melbourne. It’s a very competitive market. And there are some very good shows in that market. Credit and respect to the competitors.

Ash, Luttsy and Susie O’Neill are fiery competitors. They’re passionate competitors. We know the challenge ahead. For now we have to take the scorecard and improve on it.”

Jase and Lauren Nova

Jase and Lauren in their new Nova home

What could Jase and Lauren do?

Taylor wasn’t about to be lured into a forecast of where its third Melbourne breakfast show in just over 12 months might go.

“You’d be very brave to try and predict that. There’s a lot of talk about dynamics in the market. Jase and Lauren are settling in well to [Nova 100 breakfast] and they are already part of the Nova family. It’s really early days. We heard the quality of their broadcasts at the back end of last year. We’re pleased that they now have a new home and we’re looking forward to the year ahead and to see where it’s at when it all settles down.”

Adelaide is Go

Both Nova 91.9 and Fiveaa lifted last week.

“There was a lot of change in the market. From a Nova perspective the cumes Jodie and Hayesy are doing are amazing for just their ninth metro survey. It’s been the most listened-to breakfast show for all those nine. It’s a competitive market, but they’re in double digits. They’re over 180,000. I couldn’t be happier with Emily and Jodie and Hayesy and Josh and the team. They do a great job and they’re setting themselves up for a great year.

Nathan Nat Shaun

Perth’s Nathan, Nat and Shaun

Others still can’t catch Nova Perth breakfast

Mix made some big inroads this survey for SCA. But despite those gains, Mix still couldn’t nail the Nova breakfast champs.

Nathan, Nat and Shaun have held a high average there for a number of years now. There are obviously some strong TSL results in that market [impacting the numbers]. We can’t be complacent regardless of the heritage nature of the shows. David McClung is leading the team over there and does a great job.

“Although breakfast remains strong, we will be working on that overall station result.”

What’s with a Late Drive slot?

Taylor is adamant Nova will find a receptive market for a late drive show. It’s the timeslot Ben, Liam and Belle are moving into – 6-8pm.

“We know there’s an audience there. It’s for the late commute. There’s an audience for a live show and it goes into our strategy about having live programming. We feel a live show at 6pm nationally will be received really well.”

See also:
Sydney Radio Ratings 2024 Survey 1: 2UE jumps to highest share in nearly a decade

Jase and Lauren Day 1 at Nova: First review – Lots of chat about KIIS sacking

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