2013 in Review: October-December

Our review of 2013’s top radioinfo stories concludes with this third part in the series.

See part 1 here and part 2 here for our handpicked highights.


Derryn Hinch guilty of contempt
Derryn Hinch has been found guilty of breaching a court suppression order after publishing tweets and blog entries about Jill Meagher‘s killer, while court proceedings were still underway.

It was alleged that in April of this year during the trial of Adrian Bayley, the man convicted of the rape and murder of ABC radio administrator Jill Meagher, Hinch made reference to Bayley’s previous criminal history on his online blog and twitter which was in comtempt of a supreme court order. This included making note that Bayley was already on bail for another serious charge when he committed the offences relating to Jill Meagher.
Radcomms report: Spectrum is one of the great enablers of the 21st century
Opening today’s Radcomms conference, ACMA chairman Chris Chapman told delegates the conference will “stimulate and challenge our intellects.”  

Referring back to the last conference he looked back on the success of the digital dividend spectrum auction, saying: “When we met in Melbourne in June last year the digital dividend auction was THE number one topic of discussion and speculation in the spectrum world.   Since then we have successfully concluded Australia’s largest spectrum auction with both the 700 MHz and 2.5 GHz bands put to the market… I felt the ACMA executed its role flawlessly and our processes certainly ran seamlessly.”  

Radio was the first social media: Warner at Radcomms
At today’s Radcomms’ conference, Joan Warner urged the government to quickly roll out digital radio to Australia’s regional areas and countered the claims that streaming will kill radio.

Warner did not have her head in the sand however, acknowledging that “radio’s future is multi platform… on any new device that comes to the market.”

“Rather than fear that new forms of communication may take time away from radio, radio has embraced new technology and has worked brilliantly with the new technology that is supposed to kill it off,” she said.
ABC loses exclusive cricket broadcast rights
2UE, 3AW and other commercial stations in the Fairfax Media network are expected to begin live cricket commentary this summer, breaking the ABC’s traditional stranglehold on the game.  The ABC will still continue its test coverage, but is likely to lose its rights to a range of domestic matches.
Triple M is also expected to secure rights to the Twenty20 Big Bash League.
In the early days of ‘Packer Cricket’ 2UE mounted live coverage of major games, but ceased when the coverage got too expensive and was considered to take up too much of the day’s broadcast time. With 2UE languishing in the current ratings, live cricket commentary will probably not hurt daytime ratings, as it did back then, but other higher rating stations in the Fairfax network may be adversely affected.
Matt and Jo leaving Fox breakfast
Matt and Jo announced this morning that they will finish up their long running breakfast shift at the end of this year.
Fox FM’s long-time celebrated duo Matt Tilley and Jo Stanleytold listeners that, after ten sensational years together on air at Melbourne’s number 1 FM radio station, they have decided to leave behind their daily 5am call of duty to embrace new opportunities in 2014.
Matt and Jo along with their show anchor, Troy Ellis, will soon wrap up their show on a high, having broken countless news stories across Melbourne, raised millions of dollars for charities and delighted listeners with constant laughs. They have claimed the number 1 FM breakfast spot for six consecutive years.

Was it smart of Grant Broadcasters to buy Prime’s radio stations?
Bob Peters runs the numbers on the Cameron family’s recent purchase
Grant Broadcasters consolidated its position as Australia’s second largest commercial regional radio group with is recent purchase of the regional radio operations of the publicly listed Prime Media Group (PMG), whose principal activity is regional commercial television broadcasting.
Grant Broadcasters (Grant), a private company owned by the Cameron family of New South Wales, purchased PMG’s ten regional radio stations in Queensland (PMG Radio) in August 2013 for a reported price of $24.5 million.

Radio people are never sacked they just pursue personal interests
These days it’s not all that often in radio (or most other businesses, for that matter) that someone is publicly fired. And if they are officially dismissed, it’s for something so contemptuous that police are called in to take them away in handcuffs.
The language of dismissal, borrowed mainly from American corporate speak, is outwardly designed to sound as innocuous as possible. The phrase, we’re going to have to let you go (its genesis being, this will hurt me more than it does you) sounds so nice – like setting a bird free from its cage. Except there’ll be no more bird seed.

2UE is bleeding Fairfax – it needs to stop the rot. But why merge?
Opinion from former Fairfax Radio Network GM, Graham Mott 
The first talk of a merger between Sydney Talk stations, 2UE and 2GB, started in mid-2003.  The merger proposed to combine a significant part of the station operations including, but not limited to:
National (Agency) sales
Technical; and
The merger was designed to benefit both owners – Southern Cross Broadcasting (SCB) and Macquarie Radio Network (MRN) – with considerable savings in operating expenses and an improved share of National Agency revenue share.
Where do people most listen on headphones? Jogging, Bus or Home?
GfK’s Morten Boyer explained the new audience research methodology at today’s CRA Conference.
Key points from his presentation include:
The new multi mode methodology will increases the ways radio surveys will interact with respondents.
Collectors will recruit people using online tablet PCs, which will allow GfK to monitor samples in real time and adjust, so that the correct balance of demographics is achieved.

People buy emotionally and justify it with logic: Pat Bryson at #CRAconf
Pat Bryson advised conference delegates that they should have conversations with clients to get beyond the nature of the inward focused radio sales process.
What do radio clients think about their sales reps? 62% said that their sales reps “don’t know about my business,” a damning statistic which Bryson quoted in her presentation.
“The world of the sales person and the world the buyer are different. We need to understand clients only care about our world in the way that makes their world better. We need to help make the connection between their needs and what we have to sell.” This relies on knowing the clients needs.

Winners acceptance speeches part 1 #ACRAs2013
Along with Radioinfo’s Peter Saxon and Steve Ahern, we will be reporting from tonight’s #ACRAs2013.

Full winners list for #ACRAs2013
The Kyle and Jackie O Show has won the Best On-Air Team (Metro FM) category, at this year’s ACRAs. The team, who won their 50th consecutive ratings survey last month, have been on air together for nearly nine years and won the top ACRA accolade in 2006, 2007 and 2011.  Producer of the program,Gemma O’Neill won Best Show Producer (Entertainment/Music).
Ross Stevenson and John Burns won Best On-Air Team (Metro AM) and Marc McCreadie & Venita Overton of 7AD, Devonport won the Best On Air Team provincial category.
Nova’s Sydney breakfast team, Fitzy and Wippa (Ryan Fitzgerald & Michael Wipfli) won three awards:  Best Networked Program for the Best of Fitzy & Wippa, Best Station Produced Comedy Segment for Cookie Jars Parody and Best Multimedia Execution for their many well known song parodies. 
Look Ma, No Celebrity
A view of the CRA National Radio Conference by Peter Saxon
For the past decade or more, each conference and ACRAs has featured a big name international celebrity. Among them, EnglishSirs, John Cleese, Bob Geldoff and Michael Parkinson – Australia’s own Dame Edna, American moon man Buzz Aldrin, fictional TV talk radio host Kelsey Grammer and last year’s famous for being the wife of somebody kind of famous, Sharon Osbourne.
While for most, their connection to radio was tenuous at best, CRA justified the six figure sum it took to lure them to the antipodes by pointing to the value of the publicity they drummed up for the industry. Certainly it was great publicity for the celebrities as they did the rounds of media – a few even landed a TV commercial while here. Cleese even landed a radio commercial. But publicity for the radio industry?

The Party After the ACRAs
Peter Saxon crashes the ARN party
As the ACRAs has grown in excitement and prestige, the After Party event which has surfaced in its wake, is emerging as the ultimate definer of who’s hot and who’s not. Or who’s cool and who’s not. No one has yet been able to explain to me how these opposites can mean exactly the same thing. Merely winning an ACRA is no longer enough to catapult you from nerdy intern to radio star. You need to be seen at the right after party.
In recent years it’s been DMG that has rationed out the most desired wrist bands to the anointed few considered hot (or cool) enough to inhabit the same room as Fitzy & Wippa, Smallzy and Lachlan Murdoch. Last Saturday though, the hottest, coolest and most exclusive ticket was held tightly in ARN’s clenched fists.

The ACRAs STATS: Who won the most per station
Predictably Southern Cross Austereo won line honours with a haul of 29 ACRAs, more than double DMG with 14. Next best was Grant Broadcasters with 9. SCA’s single biggest winning market was the Gold Coast, with 6 ACRAs to SCA’s two stations in that market.
But on handicap, dividing the wins by the number of stations owned, the winners, in a tie are MRN with four ACRAs from just two stations, 2GB and 2CH. if you don’t count their 4ZR mining network. And Hot Tomato with two wins from just one station.

APRA to retain monopoly on music licencing
ACCC says APRA monopoly is of ‘public benefit.’
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission proposes to allow the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) to continue its arrangements for the acquisition and licensing of performing rights in music subject to a range of conditions for the next three years.
“The ACCC accepts that APRA’s arrangements provide users with transaction cost savings by providing instantaneous access to APRA’s entire repertoire. The exclusivity of APRA’s arrangements also results in enforcement and monitoring efficiencies,” said ACCC Commissioner Jill Walker“On the other hand, as a virtual monopoly, APRA has significant market power in relation to its dealings with users and its arrangements can also create inefficiencies for its members.”

Every second counts in FM news: Award Winner Deborah Clay
Deborah Clay is Sydney News Director at Southern Cross Austereo’s 2Day FM and Triple M. At the Australian Commercial Radio Awards, she received the prestigious Brian White Memorial Award, which recognises sustained achievement and effort across news, current affairs, entertainment and sport reporting.
radioinfo spoke to Deborah about her award.
Congratulations, you’re only the third FM journalist to receive the award and the first female FM journalist. Can you tell us about your entry?

Talk Radio not immune to online challenge: Valerie Geller
While it is generally accepted that AM talk radio in Australia is more resistant to online alternatives than FM music, in the United States there is growing concern that talk shows are springing up on the net and fragmenting radio’s audience.
“Talk radio is NOT dead, but it needs to fight harder,” says International Talk Radio consultant, Valerie Geller (pictured).
“Listeners can get personalities, entertainment and information other ways – online, and on their mobile devices, as well as radio. Talk audiences are finding their “talk needs”  satisfied in other ways – they’ve found religious talk formats and many have discovered public radio shows such as The Moth or This American Life, or have found podcasts such as the hugely popular Ted Talks. Five years ago all this content could have had a logical home in some form of talk show on radio.

Yumi marries again this time, live on Mix106.5
Yumi Stynes has only been married a year, yet last Friday, found herself renewing her vows to husband Martin Bendeler. But it wasn’t her idea.
Last time, the real wedding wasn’t so public. In fact, it was held in secret with only Yumi’s mum and daughters were there and the only photos taken on the day were on her mum’s iPhone. They’ve never been shared.
So this week, Yumi’s co-host Sami Lukis surprised Yumi on air for their first anniversary by giving them a surprise encore wedding or vow renewal. Sami also gave her just six minutes to change into her dress and get ready for the wedding.
ABC boss eats a red hot chilli pepper for money
This morning triple j’s Tom and Alex took on a whole bunch of challenges and dares to raise money for the refugee crisis in Syria.

Among other things, they managed to get the MD of the ABC,Mark Scott to eat a chilli live on air.

UK comedian Mark Watson read the weather like the Count from Sesame Street.
British Media loves to shovel S-H-I-T
But their readers aren’t buying it. Comment from Peter Saxon
SCA Chairman Max Moore Wilton – widely known as Max the Axe from his days as Secretary of The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet in the Howard government – has a reputation to protect. He’s not backing down from his now infamous comment regarding what his company refers to as “The UK incident.”
Mr Moore-Wilton was reportedly asked by a shareholder, “Just in relation to Eddie and King Kong, Kyle and obviously the UK incident, do we have a cultural problem?”
Swinburne study shows benefits of SYN Media on young people
A survey conducted by the Swinburne Institute for Social Research into the participation of young people at youth-run community broadcaster SYN Media has found 97% of people would recommend SYN to others.
Conducted in June, the survey found the benefits of SYN participation are numerous and widespread, and that SYN provides young people with work experience that, for a significant number, leads to employment in the highly competitive media labour market. Some of the benefits listed by respondents included:

Newly elected Minister for Communications DIGs triple j
Given a decent run in the traffic it can take less than half an hour to travel from Vaucluse in the heart of Malcolm Turnbull’selectorate to Newtown. But the two Sydney suburbs may as well be at opposite ends of the planet politically.

The recently elected Communications Minister was well aware that Liberal voters would have been thin on the ground at the down market pub in Newtown where triple j chose to make its official announcement of their takeover of DIG MUSIC. Parking in this region of Sydney is always at a premium, but many in this crowd would have pedaled to the venue while the guest of honour arrived by chauffeur driven com car.
A bright future for radio
As part of her studies at the Australian Film and Television School (AFTRS) this year, Gabrielle Fitzgerald has done a historical analysis of history and trends in the radio industry. Gaby, who was one of the students responsible for our great coverage of the ACRAs this year, shares her thoughts withradioinfo readers as this year’s class broadcasts its final format for the year, Next FM:
Radio owes its development to two inventions; the telegraph and the telephone, all closely related and also known as wireless telegraphy. Radio is a very well established and popular medium that has withstood the test of time for one reason, that being that the industry has embraced change. Rather than stay as it was first invented radio has been a flexible medium that has adapted to change.
Hate speech and the rush to publish are two great challenges to quality journalism
“We are seeing a decline in the quality of journalistic content, resulting in the decline of trust in media.”
At an international seminar in Vietnam, exploring Trust in Media in the Digital Era, Aiden White, Director of the Ethical Journalism Network, told delegates that free speech is not necessarily journalism.

“Hate speech and the rush to publish are the great challenges of our age for journalists. We need to avoid the rush to publish if it leads us to inaccuracy,” he said.
David and Goliath slog it out on the Gold Coast
Peter Saxon talks to the combatants
The Gold Coast is one of Australia’s most hotly contested markets – between the most mismatched of warriors. The nation’s largest commercial network, SCA is in a David and Goliath struggle with the smallest, Hot Tomato. And then, of course, there’s the ABC, with its considerable resources plus a full set of household brands that stream in from Brisbane.
Hot Tomato, which recently celebrated its 10th birthday, is a network of one. Even the last of the single market regional owners, Ron Camplin in Bathurst, has two licences. Southern Cross Austereo has 78.

Social media and women in Wilkinson’s sights at Olle lecture
At this year’s Andrew Olle lecture, Lisa Wilkinson looked at the issue of quality journalism in the modern media age. She examined the two edged sword of social media and took aim at some women who are more interested in thw quality of the clothes she wears on tv rather than the quality of her journalism.
Some of her comments included:
On Media Jobs
I am sad to note that since Mark Colvin delivered the 2012 Olle lecture, the MEAA reports that more than 1,000 jobs for Australian journalists have been lost, with the numbers going from around 9,000 to just under 8,000 around the country. With the collapse of the funding model, our once exclusive Fourth Estate has been under siege, by millions of enthusiasts bearing iphones and laptops. So now, while traditional media struggles, contracts, reinvents and tries desperately to survive, everyone, it seems, can now join us in the sandpit and play journalist…

Fairfax Radio’s new strategy
After clearing the decks of its more right leaning personalities over recent weeks, Fairfax Radio has gone public with its positioning strategy for next year. It is chasing the ABC talk audience.
A full page ad in Fairfax Media’s Australian Financial Reviewtoday announced the strategy with the message, ‘It’s like being able to advertise on the ABC.’
4BC Brisbane recently announced that Greg Cary and Gary Hardgrave would not be renewed, and in Sydney, Jason Morrison has not been renewed at 2UE. In Perth Gary Adshead moves into mornings, replacing WA’s Paul Murray, who will move to drive.
Merger with 2GB would let 2UE off the hook
Opinion from Peter Saxon.
A loyal listener rang Jason Morrison’s Drive program on 2UE on Monday. ‘Mate is it true, what I read in the Tele over the weekend? You’re not leaving are you?’
Another caller professed undying loyalty as he explained how he’d followed Morrison from his early days at 2SM through to 2GB and then moved with him to 2UE. He vowed to switch stations again just to listen him.

To see all our stories from October 2013, click here


Theres no nervousness, panic or concern: Craig Bruce on a future without Kyle and Jackie O
Negotiations between SCA and its most valuable human resource had been going on for months. Head of Content Craig Bruce admits that they thought Kyle & Jackie O would return to the 2Day-FM microphone in 2014. They weren’t expecting negotiations to break down.
“No we weren’t,” says Bruce. “We made an offer… they’re just ready to have a break. I’m just really thrilled for them that they’re going to go out on top and that we’ll get to have a month to really acknowledge and celebrate the show.
“They’ve been with us for 13 years and they’ve been doing breakfast for nine. Nothing ever lasts forever particularly on pop radio. Sometimes you get to pick the end and sometimes it happens to you. Kyle and Jack have picked their own ending – in the same way that Breaking Bad finished on a high and Seinfeld went out on a high. Plenty of good media brands know where the end is and pick it, and these guys have done exactly that and they should be applauded for it,” says Bruce.

Survey 7 2013 Analysis: Networks and Cities
Kyle and Jackie’s 2Day breakfast show increased most in the Sydney breakfast timeslot. They leave 2Day at the end of this year.
Nova 100 knocked off Fox for number one FM spot in Melbourne. Hughesy and Kate leave at the end of this year.
Mix 94.5 is the new market leader in Perth. Triple j falls further.
See also the raw results and Spin Cycle.

Kyle and Jackie O go to MIX? That would surprise me massively: Paul Jackson, DMG
DMG Network Program Director Paul Jackson has weighed in to the Kyle and Jackie O debate. Here’s what he had to say…
If it holds true that Kyle and Jackie O were going to MIX, that would surprise me massively. I just think its totally the wrong fit for them. It would confuse MIX listeners. It would confuse heritage 2Day FM listeners who have listened to Kyle and Jackie O forever and have loyalty to them and that station. It’s a bit like watching your friends breaking up after ten years having a terrible affair and big bust up – you don’t know which side to take. I think they’ll be awash with people going. “is it MIX – is it 2Day?” All the audience won’t necessarily follow. It’s a very different thing.  Absolutely huge confusion across both stations. 
My view is that with Kyle and Jackie O off of 2Day the brand isn’t particularly strong. They are the brand in fact – put it that way. Kyle and Jackie O is 2Day. Without them they have got a lot of uphill struggling ahead of them.

Movement at the stations: all the major market changes for 2014
It seems fitting that Survey 7 is released around this time of year when the nation stops for The Melbourne Cup. It’s intriguing how during the race, one of the longest in the world, the runners jockey for position. For most of it, not much seems to be going on. The lead rarely changes until they round the last bend. It is then, in the last few hundred metres that the real contenders burst from the pack, invariably overtaking those who’d lead early on.
For radio, it has always been this time of the year when stations and presenters review their contracts, if they have them, and assess where they’re at and what they’ll be doing in the coming 12 months.
With shocks aplenty, this year is quite extraordinary with more jockeying by stations and presenters that we can recall in the 15 years of radioinfo’s existence.
The Man with the Safest Job in Radio
With a world record 17 ACRAs to his name for presenting news,Steve Blanda currently working at 2UE, is inarguably Australia’s finest practitioner of his craft. With a voice and delivery that proclaims “He whosoever believeth in me shall learn the truth of the events that occurreth this day,” he oozes credibility from every pore. He is to Radio what Brian Henderson was to television.
It is little wonder then, as I am unreliably informed, that actorSam Waterston, (below, left) best know for his portrayal of Prosecutor Jack McCoy in Law and Order, was selected for his most recent role as news chief, Charlie Skinner, in Alan Sorkin’sThe Newsroom largely because of his uncanny likeness to real life news hound, Steve Blanda.

Ad suspension costs MRN unto 4 million
At today’s Macquarie Radio Network AGM, Chairman Russell Tate has told shareholders that a suspension of advertising in the Alan Jones Breakfast Show cost the network between 3 and 4 million dollars.
The suspension was a result of the massive social media backlash aimed at Jones and 2GB after Jones made a comment about Julia Gillard’s father dying of shame, albiet at a private function. The campaign specifically targeted advertisers, forcing many to withdraw support from the station.
Hamish and Andy come up big in new Celebrity Report
Southern Cross Austereo and  the Nine Network have just released the first issue of the Australian Celebrity Report.
Based on national omnibus research, this online report is designed to give an in depth overview of who the leading celebrities in Australia are in ranked order, and what makes them popular.
The report features prompted and unprompted celebrity awareness and breaks out into a number of different categories. It also includes demographic and market differences, which can vary greatly from city to city

Radio industry announces Gold Standard survey software providers
The radio industry continues to prepare for the change in radio audience measurement in 2014, with the announcement today of five provisional Gold Standard software providers.
The software providers that have today received provisional Gold Standard accreditation, with full accreditation to be awarded later this year after final testing are:
·       GfK Retail and Technology Australia Pty Ltd (GfK)
·       Landsberry & James Marketing Pty Ltd (L&J)
·       Roy Morgan Research
·       Telmar International Inc
·       Total Exact Solutions Australia Pty Limited 

American digital radio a half assed system: John Anderson at #CBAA13
“Digital radio… it could be worse. America is an example of how not to do it.”
Speaking at today’s CBAA Conference, Dr John Anderson, Director of Broadcast Journalism at America’s Brooklyn College, told the conference that America’s HD digital radio system “kinda works.”
Unlike DAB+ or DRM, HD Radio in America’s attempt to place analog and digital signals together in the same spectrum, explained Anderson. “It increases the spectrum and causes interference… there is no qualitative improvement in the sound quality of functionality of digital radio.”
Top paid ABC Radio identities
Director of Radio, Kate Dundas is, unsurprisingly, the most highly paid ABC Radio staff member, earning $298,207. She is 14th on the list of most highly paid staff members at the national broadcaster, behind ABC Newsreader Juanita Philips and a range of corporate identities.

Former 2GB CEO Angela Clarke, who is now the ABC’s Director of Innovation, comes in 5 places above Kate Dundas, earning $334,225.

Presenters Jon Faine and Richard Glover earn nearly as much as their boss, Dundas, with Glover receiving $290,000 and Faine on $285,249.
19 year old scores dream job on Nova Sydney
Just three weeks after his 19th birthday, soon-to-be graduate of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS)Tim Wong-See, has landed the job of his dreams, on-air at leading Sydney FM station Nova 96.9.
Tim completed his HSC in 2012 and has spent this year with 17 others studying for a Graduate Diploma in Radio at AFTRS in Sydney.
The students toured Nova 96.9 two months ago as part of their course and within three hours of the tour, Tim had sent a demo to Program Director Brendan Taylor who was suitably impressed and invited Tim to spend his two weeks work attachment at Nova.
Testing times for music streaming as Rdio halves its staff
Job cuts to ad-free music subscription service Rdio appear to be drastic and go to the viability of the company. 
TechCrunch has reported that around 35 people have been fired, which constitues between 1/5 and 1/3 of the company’s small workforce according to its estimates. 
In a response to a question on how the company is doing, Rdio provided TechCrunch with the following statement:

Robbie Buck to replace Adam Spencer
702 ABC Sydney has announced its new breakfast presenter for 2014.
There has been much conjecture about who will be stepping in to fill the very large shoes of Adam Spencer. The answer isRobbie Buck.
702 listeners will know Buck as a former host of the 702Evenings program in 2010 and 2011. Since then he has been no stranger to the station, being heard regularly on air with Richard Glover’s Critics Forum and Linda Mottram’s Mornings program.
Flume wins Australian Album of The Year at J Awards
The winners of the 2013 J Awards have been announced at a live broadcast from The Cliff Dive in Sydney.
Now in its 9th year, the J Awards honour the very best talent Australia has to offer.
What a twelve months it’s been for Harley Streten aka Flume. The Sydney-based producer pumped out his self-titled debut record last November, impressing us with his combination of judiciously-chosen samples and warbly, shapeshifting production.

ABC finds salary leak source
Mark Scott has written to ABC staff telling them he has found the source of the leaked salary information.
A forensic audit found that the information was sent to South Australian Senator Robert Brokenshire in reply to a Freedom of Information request. The story was broken by The Australian’s South Australian bureau.
Scott has apologised to staff for the leak and branded the disclosure as distracting and disruptive.

LEAKED: ARNs plans for Kyle and Jack
Spy photos confirm that plans to bring Kyle and Jackie O to Mix and change the station’s name to KiiS 106.5 are well advanced.
The photos were shot through the window of Redfern based creative agency Joy by a passer-by who sent them to Mumbrella.
No doubt there will be questions asked about how such a commercially sensitive campaign could be visible to the public from the street.

CRA announces First Break final five
First Break is the search for unsigned Australian music talent run jointly by Commercial Radio Australia and the Mushroom Group.
Music and Program Directors from all major commercial radio networks, Mushroom Group personnel and music journalists, judged 128 entries from around the country – and the final five contenders is this year’s search have been announced today.
Kyle and Jackie O confirmed for ARN
After much speculation, it has this morning been confirmed thatKyle and Jackie O are moving to ARN.

An ARN spokesperson has told radioinfo there will be no official announcement about a station name at this time, but that Mix will be “a whole new station” next year. radioinfo believes the speculation about the new station name being KiiS will prove to be correct, depending on trade mark details.

ARN staff were called to a rooftop meeting this morning for a short briefing, followed by listening to the on air countdown and announcement that Kyle and Jackie O will be joining the network.
Neil Mitchell wins Radio Walkley
3AW’s Neil Mitchell has won the  Radio News and Current Affairs Walkley for his Ford closing scoop. Radio National’sSarah Dingle has taken out the Radio Documentary award.

Neil Mitchell

Mitchell’s scoop that Ford would stop manufacturing vehicles in Australia after 2016 came two hours before the rest of the Australian media began reporting the story. After receiving a late tip and making calls to confirm his first source, Mitchell declared on air when his show started that the decision would be announced by Ford later that morning.
The story unfolded on air, with the wife of a worker, and a union leader, calling to confirm the rumour. Mitchell sought comments from Melbourne’s Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle, Victoria’s former premier, Jeff Kennett, and Premier Dennis Napthine, before having the decision confirmed on air by Bob Graziano, the CEO and president of Ford Australia.

To see all our stories from November 2013, click here

2014 is going to be the year of DMG and ARN
Duncan Campbell tells Peter Saxon why. 
Ever since Kyle and Jackie O announced they were leaving 2Day FM, the fact that they were going to ARN has been the best kept non-secret that most pundits found difficult to believe – including SCA’s Head of Content Craig Bruce who’d admonished us, ‘not to believe everything we read in the newspapers.’ DMG’s Paul Jackson said he’d be ‘massively surprised’ if that were to occur.
Well, occur it has.
Craig Bruce also said at the time “Mix would have to change format to take on Kyle and Jack and I don’t think that Sydney is big enough for three top 40 radio stations. They’d probably have to change their brand and they’d probably have to change their client list.”

Next year’s surveys will be incomparable
Opinion from Peter Saxon
The euphoria of having won the business to measure radio audiences in Australia from a 66 year incumbent must be starting to subside for GfK if it hasn’t been well and truly dampened already.
By now reality is setting in. The hours are long, the work is hard. There’ll be a short break for Christmas and then stress levels are likely to rise as the release date for the first survey on 11 March 2014 draws nearer.
The last thing CRA, the peak industry body wants are big discrepancies between the survey results from Nielsen in 2013 and those from the new methodology in 2014 introduced by GfK. GfK would be praying that the survey throws up few surprises.

Bargwanna tipped to take over as Mix PD
Following incumbent PD Ryan Rathbone’s exit yesterday, despite him being contracted to ARN in 2014, Derek Bargwanna is tipped to be odds on as his replacement.
Bargwanna was 2Day FM Content Director until he departed suddenly in late September, ostensibly for “family reasons.” If our mail is correct then the family reasons have been solved now that Kyle and Jackie O are joining the station previously known as MIX 106.5. Bargwanna is known to have been highly liked and respected by K & J.
Adam Spencer signs off after 8 years
Homage was paid this morning to the ‘balding maths nerd’ who had more Sydney listeners than either Alan Jones or Kyle Sandilands​.
The 702 audience who had come to be part of Spencer’s last day had no intention of moving from their seats during the news and AM, instead listening to Spencer replay many of his classic moments as 702’s breakfast broadcasterr, including that interview with Lord Monkton

We will have the number one and two FM breakfast shows: Ciaran Davis
The musical, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Tryingdebuted on Broadway in 1961, before Ciaran Davis was born. But someone like him may have inspired the composers to write the lyric, “You have the cool clear eyes of a seeker of wisdom and truth”  for the musical’s hit song I Believe in You.
It’s obvious as you walk with him through the narrow corridors of the ARN HQ in North Ryde that the people who greet him really do believe in him. And it doesn’t look like he’s trying very hard at all. Could be that that is the very secret of his success.
Before Ciaran Davis arrived in Australia to take over the running of an underperforming ARN he had already worked in radio in 10 different countries.

And it shall be known as KIIS
After months of speculation and the game-changing news thatKyle & Jackie O will have a new home in 2014, ARN have finally confirmed, what everyone knew, that MIX is no more and the the new station will be called KIIS 1065.
“Launching on January 20 in line with Kyle & Jackie O’s first day on air, this is the biggest radio launch in Australia of the past ten years,” they say in their media release. Although, some may remember a station called smoothfm which was launched just over a year ago that’s done okay.
New Matt and Joe show: Hildebrand and Tilley take Triple M drive
The Triple M Network will shake up Australia’s drive home from January 20 with a new show hosted by Joe Hildebrand andMatt Tilley.
The duo will be a force, with Matt fresh from a 10-year reign as the breakfast host in Melbourne and both vast experience radio and television. Hildebrand is well known for his hilarious, honest and no-frills approach to life. With a past working as a political reporter, he is currently a newspaper columnist and co-host of Network’s Ten’s morning show, Studio 10.

Survey 8 results: ABC702 up, Nova new Brisbane leader
Melbourne steady. Mix and Cruise gain in Adelaide. Triple J regaining ground in Perth. Nova new leader in Brisbane. ABC 702 and 2GB up in Sydney.
This is the last survey to be conducted by Nielsen. The history of radio surveys saw the McNair company pick up the first survey. McNair then became McNair Anderson, then AGB McNair, then Nielsen, but, despite name changes and takeovers, the surveys have had the same methodology for 66 years. Next year GfK will take over the survey contract and bring Australia’s radio surveys into a new era.
This survey was conducted for Commercial Radio Australia between Sept 22 and Nov 30, 2013. Click the charts below to enlarge, and also see our analysis and Spin Cycle.

Radio most engaging sector on social media: Online Circle
Social media analytics company Online Circle has released the 2013 annual Facebook Performance Report, indicating good news for radio and its social media presence.
The report collates information gathered using Online Circle’s ‘Social Pulse’ analyitics software. The report is the first from Online Circle to analyse Facebook performances over an entire year.
In the latest report, radio was named the most engaging sector on Facebook, claiming an average weekly engagement of 23,840 hits, ahead of Television and Airlines, Travel and Tourism. 

Audio: 2Day’s new breakfast team is…
The much hyped announcement of the team to replace Kyle and Jackie O on 2 Day breakfast has just been made on air and in a simulcast with Channel 9’s Today Show.
Jules Lund, Sophie Monk, Mel B and Merrick Watts will host the show next year.
Fill in hosts Dan and Maz built up to the big announcement this morning with help from guests including Andrew O’Keefe and the cast of Anchorman, then a bit after 7.40am they crossed to Channel 9 to talk to the three Aussie hosts and, after a bit of struggling to get the satellite link working, also crossed to Mel B, the fourth member of the show.
Mark Collier leaves AFTRS
AFTRS Director of Radio Mark Collier has posted on his Facebook page that he will be finishing up in two weeks.
The post reads:
“Quick heads up … I wind up in two weeks as Director Radio at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School.
It’s been a privilege to have sat in the chair for the past 4.5 years and to be a part of such a strong team helping develop the skills and bringing out the creativity in students who have the potential to become part of the backbone of our beloved broadcasting industry. Many already are.

Meryl Swanson resigns from Caralis Super Network
Meryl Swanson’s employment at 2SM/Caralis Super Networkwas due to expire on the 20th of December, however she notified her employer of her resignation a few days ago.
She has posted an explanation of her resignation on her Facebook account: 

​The selling of Kyle and Jackie O
Ben Gialouris was promoted to Sales Director of Mix 106.5, WSFM and The Edge in Sydney just a couple of weeks before the big announcement that Kyle and Jackie O would be joining the network in 2014. And while the 34 year old is thrilled about the potential numbers they’ll bring to the new KIIS brand, he insists, “We’ve always been about driving results for clients, not ratings.”
Indeed, it was he and the MIX 106.5 sales team’s ability to attract revenue to a station which had precious little by way of ratings that won them the ACRA for Best Sales Achievement – Metro earlier this year.
Gialouris began his career in selling radio advertising when he heard an ad on the radio calling for sales reps. “The first time I heard the ad my ears perked up but I didn’t get the details. The second time I heard the ad, I thought I’ve got to get my CV ready. And the third time I heard the ad convinced me to get my CV in before applications closed.
​2UE takes a sharp turn to the centre: New roster announced
If you though Kyle and Jackie O moving to ARN was surprise, the new 2UE roster for 2014 will astound.
The station has done extensive research on what listeners want and if the first in their series of print ads is any indication then it will be ‘like being able to advertise on the ABC.’
Long time 2UE listeners will no doubt see the changes as a sharp turn to the left, compared what they’ve been used to with Jason Morrison and Paul Murray.
But Chris Parker, General Manager of 2UE 954 said, “This is not about categorising announcers as “left” or “right” but about airing all sides of a particular story or debate. There’ll be a variety of fair and balanced opinions on the station – not hysterical preaching or bile. We’ll be presenting news, current affairs, information and entertainment in a way that’s balanced, fair and uplifting.”

We’re repositioning against an older generation: Dave Cameron
The announcement today that Dan and Maz will front the Today Network’s drive show in 2014 completes a busy few months for Today Network Content Director Dave Cameron. He spoke toradioinfo about plans for the latest “fresh new show.”
radioinfo: What do Dan and Maz have to offer the audience?
Cameron: They have a new unique fresh approach. It’s light hearted smart comedy. They’re very listener inclusive and the audience is craving something new. We are building a new generation which will set us apart.
Disappointing: Federal Government cuts to community broadcasting
The community broadcasting sector has recieved bad news today to learn $2.5 million in federal funds for community based transmitting services has been cut by the new Government. The cuts affect community radio and television transmission services.
Cut in yesterday’s Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, the funding was initially allocated in May 2013 to help communities in regional and remote Australia switch to the Viewer Access Satellite Television service at the end of 2013.
Community broadcasting comprised a small part of the original funding allocated, with the sector likely to have received approximately $150,000 from the scheme.

Sea FM’s new breakfast show in 2014
Paul Hogan and Esther “Woody” Woodhams will wake up Hobart on Sea FM in 2014, as the duo have been named the stations new breakfast team.
Paul is fresh from co-hosting Breakfast on 92.9 in Perth and is also a regular on Network Ten’s The Project. Woody is described as a pop culture fanatic and a rising star in the Australian radio industry.

Soaking up the summer vibes
The research team at Austereo has presented  the ‘6 key themes of the summer’, to help clients understand how to sell to customers who are in the holiday mood.
If creatives and programmers can tap into the right mood, it could lead to increased sales and market share.
The presentation, which Austereo has allowed us to share withradioinfo readers, is broad ranging, covering not only radio stations, but all sorts of businesses that could benefit from the summer holiday season.

Young Canberra announcer defends refugee family at TedX
Mariam Maz Hakim is currently a radio announcer at 104.7 in Canberra, a Refugee Week Ambassador and a Welcome to Australia Ambassador.
A couple of days ago, the AFTRS graduate gave a lecture to the Canberra TedX Women’s conference. 
Mariam comes from a traditional Afghan family where music and entertainment played a significant role in her upbringing. Her family arrived in Australia in 1987 after her father fled Kabul with his family during the invasion by the Soviet Union. 

To see all our stories from December 2013, click here

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