Paul Jackson: Fitzy & Wippa’s best start ever for year at Nova 969

“This is the best Survey 1 I have seen across the Nova network”

Network highlights:

• Nova is Australia’s #1 network in share (9.5%) and cume (3,735,800)
• Nova’s Kate, Tim & Marty is the #1 National Drive show (4-6pm) in share (12.2%) and cume (1,590,600) – #1 in all 5 markets and have held the #1 FM spot for 25 consecutive surveys
• Nova’s Smallzy’s Surgery celebrates 52 consecutive wins as the #1 National Nights show in share (11.1%) and cume (845,000)

The start of the radio ratings year hasn’t always been kind to the Nova FM network, said Nova Entertainment chief programming and marketing officer Paul Jackson.

“Over the years Nova has hit a few bumps in the road in Survey 1, but this is the best Survey 1 I have seen across the Nova network,” Jackson told Mediaweek.

Fitzy and Wippa in Sydney was the standout result in the biggest radio market. Jackson: “We only cracked an 8% share once last year [and once in the last four years] so to start the year that strongly has been fantastic. The standard of the content from Fitzy and Wippa and the team over the past year has been terrific. This is exactly where we feel we should be ratings-wise – both cume and share. The Nova station cume in Sydney of 1.12m is an all-time high. The radio station is riding high and dominant across drive, nights and weekends and is much improved across workday too.”

A big focus for the Nova brand was Adelaide as it is the only market where announcers have chopped and changed several times across the past few years. Could this be the show to bed in for the new decade?

Even though Ben and Liam are Adelaide boys we did have a number of best and worst-case scenarios. Our best-case scenario was exactly what they did this survey. They have the #1 cume and we have the #1 station cume. Their breakfast show has started brilliantly and to be able to maintain what was a strong finish to the year from the station is outstanding. They are clearly stars.”

As to any challenges the new hosts had adapting to the Nova model after triple j – “definitely not” said Jackson. “They have been chomping at the bit to do things with clients and they have so many ideas. The marketplace and the station suits them perfectly.

Nova Perth #1 as market explodes

All radio industry execs are fascinated with the battle that is unfolding in Perth this year. Jackson: “Mix is off the pace because of the strength of 96FM and Hit is off the pace because of the strength of Nova. Two have two stations breaking out of the pack is not all that common these days. For Nathan, Nat and Shaun to be over 15% is an all-time high and cume in breakfast and at the station is fantastic.

“The result is an absolute credit to Garry and Dan (both ex-Nova) for the 96FM result and to the current Nova team for keeping our good times going as well.”

Jackson is very happy for Mix and 96FM to beat each other up while Nova looks on from above. “We have two very different audiences.”

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