GfK survey 4, 2019 analysis: Mike Fitzpatrick on Triple M

• Overall the brand is in good health

• Moonman, Marto, Robin, Nick, Eddie, Wil, Darc, Roo & Ditts
• The battle for Perth: Clairsy, Matt And Kymba v Botica’s Bunch

The network’s biggest success this week was perhaps the continued improvement in Sydney for The Moonman – Lawrence Mooney.

The biggest challenges – working on The Hot Breakfast share in Melbourne (the cume is good) and guarding against the marauders coming after Mix 94.5, the only station not carrying the Triple M brand.

Overall the brand is in good health. Brisbane posted a record high cume, Sydney had its best cume in a decade and Melbourne is over 700,000 and close to its best in the past decade.

Something that OMD’s Jane Combes noted yesterday in her radio ratings analysis.

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“The new Sydney breakfast show started on a 4% share which was our new reality with brand new show,” Fitzpatrick told Mediaweek. “To have three consecutive surveys up for a brand new show is encouraging, especially when you consider none of them have been big bounces. They have had consistent rises over those surveys.

“I think we have the Sydney recipe right. With breakfast improvement comes drive growth. Kennedy Molloy are now #2 25-54 all people nationally with over 1m listeners.”

The Brisbane result was also pleasing Fitzpatrick after taking Lawrence Mooney out of the show last year. “It was something we had to do to relaunch Sydney. To be back to 400,000+ in cume and #2 in breakfast with Nick Cody joining Marto and Robin is encouraging.”

Adelaide is also a Triple M good news story in survey four. “Roo and Ditts examined the previous figures and realised what they had to do. “Roo is a natural leader. He and Ditts gathered the team around and said, ‘We are not happy with this and we’re going to fix it.’

Roo and Ditts

“They really applied some focus and this is the result of that.”

Fitzpatrick noted the change of market leadership in Perth, reminding us it was another year where Mix 94.5 slipped back in survey four. “This looks like the start of a trend at this time of year so we need to have a look at what we are doing mid-year. I am still confident in the Mix product and the brand.”

On the appointment of Fred Botica at 96FM, Fitzpatrick answered: “The changes at 96FM will make a bit of noise in the market.”

He noted some things are out of his hands. “I can only program our own stations and Mix is well constructed with a strong breakfast show – Clairsy, Matt and Kymba – and Kennedy Molloy who perform well in Perth.”

He is not dismissive of the potential for disruption. “We assume the people running 96FM are smart operators and know what they are doing, so we will keep an eye on that. But our focus will continue to be on what we are doing.

Fitzpatrick said SCA was not surprised about the return of Botica to radio, given his past relationship with 96FM MD Gary Roberts. He does not predict it will musically tackle Mix: “It looks more like a musical Triple M position at this stage, or maybe WSFM. It can be hard to win men in Perth if you don’t have football though.”

Melbourne’s The Hot Breakfast had a down survey, but it wasn’t alone. “Everyone is going down in Melbourne apart from Fox. There was a tumble at Gold, a tumble at smooth. Triple M is being led by our afternoon and drive slot at the moment. Kennedy Molloy and The Rush Hour are both above station average.

“It’s not a cume problem for The Hot Breakfast, it’s a TSL [time spent listening] problem. We will get under the hood and have a look. Eddie, Luke and Wil don’t like not winning so expect a rally there and expect some laser focus on improving that rating from them.”

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