“The act of a desperate man,” Mott says of Singo

Last week, John Singleton, (2GB, 2CH supremo) was sticking it up Fairfax saying, “2UE is dead. The Sydney Morning Herald is dead. Fairfax is dead. It’s just that no one’s noticed.” Not surprisingly, the rant was eagerly picked up by the Murdoch press. Even less surprisingly, Radio Chief, Graham Mott, is sticking up for Fairfax describing Singo’s rant as, “The act of a desperate man.”

When radioinfo asked about his reaction to Singleton’s comments, Mott chuckled, “He’s a colourful character. We’re pleased that he bitches on because it gives us something to talk about. Any time he wants to have a go at 2UE, its not a problem. We love the free publicity.

“But I don’t think he takes much notice of what he says. He contradicts himself. He tries to tell everybody in his interview with Alan Jones that 2GB’s got more audience than Underbelly. I don’t know what figures he’s looking at, but they’re certainly different to the one’s we’re looking at,” says Mott.

Not content with bucketing 2UE, Singo couldn’t resist taking aim at the FM stations and the advertising industry saying, “The ad agencies used to be run by young guys who, between smoking pot and snorting coke, would place clients with the stations they listened to.”

Mott replies, “That’s a massive insult to the way that advertising agencies run their business. Ad agencies are accountable to their clients for the marketing decisions they make on their behalf. They’re not going to make decisions because people are smoking pot or drinking or listening to stations themselves. What they do is analyse the research data and the data tells the story.”

But Singo keeps dishing it out saying, “Now those (agency) clients have worked out no one listens to them (FM) any more, so they’ve sacked the agencies and come to us direct.”

“For an old advertising bloke he doesn’t seem to understand that the clients of advertising agencies don’t spend a lot of money in the 60+ space,” says Mott. “He’s having a go at the FM stations, but the FM stations have got that audience that a lot of those clients want. And until there’s a massive shift of advertising that would include audience of 60+, he’s not going to get a lot of change in what comes out of advertising agencies.”

Mott was happy to continue to give his rival a lesson in advertising saying, “Agency revenue is about ratings in a particular demographic or demographics. Direct revenue is where talk stations excel and deliver great results for their clients. We go out and search for them and in my view that’s what we’ve got to work harder on.

“In an aging population, more advertisers through agencies will look at marketing through the talk stations. But until there’s that significant shift, rather than bitch about it you’ve just got to get on with what you’re good at while still working on improving where you need to improve,” says Mott.

On Singo’s boast that Macquarie Radio Network was writing record sales figures of around a million dollars a week, Mott says, “Their financial performance according to their own records wasn’t good.”

MRN made just $400,000 profit to the six months, December 31.

Mott’s last word on Singo’s rant, “You know, you’d expect me to say this, me being the opposition, , but it looks like the act of a desperate man.”