Nine’s Greg Byrnes on a remarkable year of talk radio

Radio ratings

“There’s no doubting that Covid has exposed us to a wider audience”

Radio Ratings

With the radio ratings survey coming to a close for another year, pundits are now able to take a step back and look at the results. Over the next few days, Mediaweek will be talking to some of the most influential names in radio to get their take on how their companies performed.

First up is Nine Radio‘s head of content Greg Byrnes who described Nine’s results this year as remarkable.

“Sydney and Melbourne are clear number ones and have been throughout. And I am really happy for Breeny (Neil Breen) in Brisbane, his results are the best up there in 13 years. He’s right up there now with those long established breakfast programs.”

Radio Ratings

Neil Breen

The final radio survey saw Sydney’s 2GB and Melbourne’s 3AW as the top stations in each city in  2021.

In Sydney, 2GB Breakfast host Ben Fordham finished his second year on the air with a 18.5% share.

In Melbourne Ross and Russ on 3AW Breakfast finished with a 24.1% share.
In Mornings Ray Hadley and Neil Mitchell both remain the most listened to presenters in their timeslots.

In Brisbane, 4BC’s Breakfast host Neil Breen finished the year with a 10.7% share, up 1.4 points. This is Breen’s highest result ever and the best 4BC Breakfast result in 13 years. Ray Hadley was again #1 in 4BC Mornings in talk with a 11.1% share.

In Perth, 6PR  finished the year with Gareth Parker‘s Breakfast lifting 0.6 points to a 9.9% share while 6PR Mornings host Liam Bartlett lifted 1.2 points to a 9.2% share.   

Gareth Parker

This has been the first full year of Nine’s local first approach with its talk radio stations, and Byrnes said that they are happy so far with the results.

“It’s working, there’s obviously still a lot of hard work to do. There’s no doubting that Covid has exposed us to a wider audience and a lot of people have sampled us and these figures show that they’ve liked what they’ve heard, and have stuck around. We go into 2022, a federal election year, COVID normal, whatever that may be and the relevance of talk is is never stronger.”

When asked what Nine Radio aims to improve on next year, Byrne said that they will aim to improve every program on their roster.

Ray Hadley has always said you’ve just got to work hard. The hours and the commitment are hard enough, but there’s just never enough. We need to stay on top of the issues and keep setting the agenda. It seems a bit flippant, but it’s what we need to do it.”

Nine’s best results came in Sydney and Melbourne, particularly in the breakfast slot. When asked about how they bridge the gap between these results and their other stations in Brisbane and Perth, Byrnes said it takes time.

“Sydney and Melbourne are traditional talk towns. Brisbane and Perth may be less so. When we came in as Nine Radio we immediately went about re-establishing that local voice. In both Perth and Brisbane, there’s been a lot of rebuilding going on. We’ve only just put Sofie Formica into a local afternoon show in Brisbane. At the beginning of the year, we changed every day slot except drive in Perth, and that all takes time to bed in.”

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