Radio Ratings: Nova’s Ben Latimer talks whats next after record survey

Ben Latimer

“It’s another survey where we’re looking at record cumes”

The fifth radio ratings survey of the year was released on Tuesday, officially passing the halfway mark for the year. Mediaweek has caught up with content executives from around the industry to get their thoughts on the results.

Mediaweek caught up with Ben Latimer, head of programming at Nova 96.9, Nova 919 and the brand’s national shows to discuss Nova’s performance.

One major talking point Latimer pointed to was the success of the Nova brands in the traditional heartlands of Perth and Brisbane, but now also Adelaide. 

“It’s another survey where we’re looking at record cumes again at Nova and across the industry. Brisbane and Perth are usually very strong for us and Adelaide joins the other two markets as being standouts. 

“In Brisbane and Perth in the last survey, we were talking about record shares – and here we are again. Brisbane has 743,000 cume and Ash, Luttsy and Susie are up to 14.4%. In Perth, Nathan, Nat and Shaun had a 20% share, which is Perth GFK history and is probably one of the highest FM breakfast radio shares in the world.


Nathan, Nat and Shaun

See Also: Perth powerhouses: Nova’s Nathan, Nat and Shaun on record high ratings shares

“The other part we’re particularly impressed with is the Adelaide station and the breakfast team jumping up to the number one FM position. Also, David and Will at Fiveaa are the number one commercial FM.”

Latimer was also excited by the success of Nova’s national drive show.

Kate, Tim and Joel have had 42 #1’s in a row in the drive slot. That was one of those results where cume went up in every market – the dominoes don’t always fall like that, but that’s a show that just keeps giving.”

The success of smoothfm over Nova in Sydney and Melbourne

The Nova brand is successful but not dominant in Sydney and Melbourne, with smoothfm performing strongly in those cities. Latimer said that it partially comes down to the saturated market.

“The field that Nova plays in is much more competitive. If you’re looking at a market like Melbourne, you have Fox FM and KIIS FM playing in that same pool, whereas smoothfm tends to have a little bit more clear air. Having said all that, there were some really good results from Nova Sydney and Melbourne.

Chrissie, Sam and Browny had a record share with 9.5%. A year or so ago, 9.5% would have had you out in front, it’s a super tight market. 

Fitzy and Wippa had a record cume and was the #2 cume in the market. That’s a show that had a rocky start to the year. We’ve shown we’re capable of an 8% plus share and that’s certainly what we’re working hard towards.”


Speaking of smoothfm’s success, the station has been closing in on KIIS for the top FM station in the markets, and at times this year has had the #1 cume in town. Latimer is optimistic that the easy-listening brand can chase down its competitor.

“smoothfm is a whisker away from KIIS for #1 share, which is what we’re going for. We are looking forward to seeing how that one plays out. We are feeling pretty good about getting smooth back to the top before the end of the year.”

Success in Adelaide

In Survey 5, the Adelaide breakfast team shot up to be the #2 commercial breakfast show in the market which Latimer said was a break result for a pair that had many doubters. 

Ben and Liam had a really great result – this is their third year in Adelaide and we haven’t marketed them very much at all this year. What we’re seeing is a show that is starting to attract an audience on its own. We put the Ben and Liam Lunch Break into Melbourne and Sydney about a year ago to keep working away on their profiles. These boys are the hardest working boys in the biz. You always hear about Adelaide being a conservative market, and there were a lot of people early on saying ‘these boys are too young, they won’t work’. Listen to the output every day, it is fantastic.”

ben liam adelaide radio ratings

To Top