LiSTNR, Hit, Triple M: SCA’s Dave Cameron on 2022/23 and will Sam Pang sign on?


Ratings that matter, Fox setting all-time industry highs, Marty Sheargold’s distribution strategy

SCA and LiSTNR chief content officer Dave Cameron broke free from the cycle of commentating on radio ratings for every survey of the year apart from short statements. However, Mediaweek had Cameron live last week as he spoke about the performance of the Hit and Triple M networks. He also previewed 2023 with regard to strategy and the arrival of Mick and MG.

Ratings that matter to buyers

Dave Cameron: “We sell on demos. It would be rare for us to get a commercial brief that asks for our 10+ figure. We get asked about specific segments that clients want to target.

“We aim to compete 25-54 and we aim to dominate 25-54. The reality is that is where the money is. It is important for us to have a national audience reach in the key demos so we can be super competitive in the money zone.

“Our increase in the past 12 months, in terms of reach, has gone from 4.6m reach in Survey 8 2021, to a 6.1% in Survey 8, 2022. That growth of close to 33%.

“We continue to win women 25-54 on the Hit Network and win men 25-54 on the Triple M Network.

“It is important to have a broader set of numbers to trade on as not many people get into the nuances and intricacies of station-by-station shifts.”

See also: SCA unveils its line up of legacy programs and new shows for 2023

Hit Network settled after a journey

Fine tuning the positioning of the Hit Network has been a focus in recent years. “You could say have there has been several years of identity seeking, for us to be able determine the best position in each market,” said Cameron. “Looking at year-on-year growth the Hit Network has gone from 2.7m to 3.8m, up 41% year-on-year. That is very much the same for every one of our Hit stations outside of Perth which remains very challenging. Perth will be something we will focus on next year.

Fox in particular is achieving not just all-time highs for the station but for the industry in general. A weekly audience cume of just under 1.4m is quite phenomenal.

“Even if you look at 2Day FM we started the year on a 622,000 cume and we are now at 969,000.

“It all comes down to assessing and getting the product right, getting positioning right and then remaining true to the strategy and being consistent.

“Consistency over the last 24 months is allowing us to achieve numbers now that give us confidence we have great line-ups with great, premium key talent.”

Cameron explained that the Hit Network music strategy allows variation in different markets, allowing his team to reshape stations when required.

While Cameron said Hit breakfast shows around the country are in a good place. “That doesn’t mean we won’t be striving for continued and significant growth next year. We now have long term contracts with our teams. The best performing stations globally are the ones with consistent line-ups. That doesn’t mean we can’t have succession plans waiting in the wings though.

“The key programs need to have familiarity to be able to draw a loyal audience in big numbers.”


Triple M: Rock’s greatest hits

Although the Triple M stations stick generally to rock’s greatest hits, Cameron explained the stations around the country also have their own market nuances.

“At the moment Perth Triple M is different from the other Triple Ms. It is finding its place in a market with some strong competitors. We tweaked the format several months ago and it is back growing [audience] now. There is a new breakfast and drive show which we believe is more fitting for where the product is.

“Triple M in Adelaide and Brisbane are slightly older than the Sydney and Melbourne stations.

“In the breakfast shows, comedy is a critical element, and we are leaning back to finding that point of difference.”

Marty Sheargold

Triple M’s Marty Sheargold

With regard to The Marty Sheargold Show, Cameron mentioned the same stats Mediaweek reviewed on survey day this month. “Year-on-year growth is up 20%.

“The icing on the cake now for the Triple M network is bringing one of the brand ambassadors back, Mick Molloy.”

Triple M Sydney rebuild

“I will put my hand up and say we didn’t get Triple M Sydney right this year. Mick Molloy would agree with me that [calling him about the Triple M Sydney breakfast roll] we did one of the quickest deals in the history of radio.”

When asked about bringing together talent with links to different football codes, Cameron said: “They both have a love of sport which is a key pillar of the Triple M DNA. They are both lovable larrikins. One owns a pub, and one owns a gym.”

Cameron said when it was suggested to MG that Molloy was in the mix for the new year, MG replied, “that would be working with radio royalty.” Cameron continued: “Mick has had a lot of success delivering national products [radio and TV], so the Sydney audience is familiar with him.”

Triple M’s Cat Lynch will be the anchor of the Mick and MG show with Natarsha Belling also on air as the news presenter.

Triple M - Mick Molloy

Mick Molloy

Is Sam Pang going to be on Triple M in 2023?

The former Nova 100 Chrissie, Sam and Browny team member Sam Pang is a radio free agent at present. There has been speculation he could be joining Triple M in some capacity in the new year.

“That’s something you would have to ask Sam’s manager,” replied Cameron when the question was put to him. “There is no formal deal with us. Sam has just been on the road with Mick and Marty. If he pops up on any of our Triple M stations, fantastic. But it would only be as a guest.

LiSTNR merging delivery of audio by radio and podcasts

Having many podcast programs on LiSTNR gives SCA extra options when it comes to cross over those shows to radio. Cameron mentioned the Hamish & Andy Hit Network summer breakfast show which is their podcasts repurposed with some extra new content.

SCA’s Grant Blackley and Dave Cameron at the recent re-signing of Hamish & Andy to LiSTNR

Similarly, LiSTNR’s Tom Tilley is hosting a summer Triple M breakfast show.

“It is just entertaining audio,” said Cameron, noting the division between podcast and radio is a very fine line.

“Radio is one way to get it and on-demand via a podcast is another way to get it. It’s a different distribution method.”

With so many podcasts on LiSTNR, Cameron agreed discovery can be a challenge for the audience.

“You will probably hear the name LiSTNR as much as the name of the station you are listening to across summer. The brand is very much integrated into our broadcast assets. There is no one in our company that feels LiSTNR is an off-shoot or a side project.

“Everyone [at SCA] knows that LiSTNR is the centre of the company.”

Cameron also stressed LiSTNR is a brand that SCA owns. “We are not leasing a property that we might have to hand back if the rent gets too high.”

There is plenty of crossover between the different distribution models, both which of course are available via SCA’s LiSTNR app.


“Take Marty Sheargold for example,” offered Cameron. “Some people are choosing not to listen to the live breakfast show. They might listen on demand. It is one of our highest-ranked podcasts in the Top 20. Some also choose to listen to the national show at 3pm. When you wrap all that audience up and add the social engagements you get an impressive audience number.”

Sheargold has the #2 podcast radio breakfast show, trailing only Kyle and Jackie O according to Podcast Ranker.

Top photo: Marty Sheargold, SCA Chief Content Officer Dave Cameron and Fifi Box

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