The Battle for under 40’s Breakfast in Sydney

SCA’s Craig Bruce, ARN’s Duncan Campbell and Nova Entertainment’s Paul Jackson draw battlelines in a war of attrition.

Last year, when it became clear that Kyle and Jackie O were leaving SCA to join ARN, the radio pundits wondered whether the Sydney market could support three stations all targeting under 40’s.

If Tuesday’s results for 2Day, Nova and KIIS are any indication, the answer is, no, it can’t.

“It’s a super tough market at the minute,” says SCA content king, Craig Bruce. “It’s unusual to have three radio formats essentially sharing the same music playlists and the same positioning. 

“And all three of those stations went down today.  Kyle and Jack (9.0) had their second down book. Fitzy and Wippa (6.2) got beaten by the Grill Team (6.7) which will be an incredible frustration and disappointment for them. And obviously, we didn’t have a great result either.”

Nova Entertainment’s Paul Jackson sees the market as a two horse race between Nova and KIIS.

“There’s one positioned as an out and out Top Forty Fresh station – and that’s Nova. And there’s one, more adult contemporary – and that’s KIIS. There’s some overlap but not masses. 2Day-FM, and I’m not keen to talk about other stations, but you can’t escape the fact that when you’ve got a 3.0 share breakfast show, that’s lowest in the market, it’s very difficult to get the rest of the day going,” says Jackson.

Duncan Campbell at ARN sees it pretty much the same way. “The CHR market is really KIIS and Nova. That’s where the audiences are. 2Day-FM need to find themselves a breakfast show. Their current breakfast show won’t get them the results they want. The sooner they move on that the better for them and that’s probably what they are wrestling with internally at the moment.”

If the market can only accommodate two CHR stations then the question is: who will be first to blink?

“It won’t be us,” says Craig Bruce without hesitation. “We have a strategic plan in place for 2Day FM and we will follow that through. We’re very confident about the plans we have in place and that will continue to be the case.”

Asked the same question, Paul Jackson provides a Churchillian response, “We’ve got nothing to blink for. We have the armoury. We’ve got the image and the brand going for us. We’re winning under 40’s. So, we’ve got nothing to blink for. I guarantee you it won’t be us. And I guarantee you we will not be losing our Sydney audience to any other station. And if anybody tries to attack us on hit music, they will never get past us. We will block them at every turn!”
Sydney fireworks photo: shutterstock

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