Canberra survey success the result of a lot of hard work: 3 station managers comment

Steve Ahern talks to Canberra radio managers about today’s survey results.

Mix 106.3 has topped the first Canberra survey (see previous report), and sister station FM104.7 came in second, both scoring big gains.

Canberra FM General Manager Craig Wagstaff (pictured right) has told radioinfo the good numbers were the result of “a lot of hard work.”

The stations were active in promotions during the survey, with the big event being SkyFire, plus a lot of charitable promotions.

“Our approach has always been to concentrate on what we can do” to get the best result, says Wagstaff.

Listening right across Canberra has gone up, “which is good for the industry,” according to Wagstaff, who says it has been important for the station to be available on digital radio and online platforms.

“The key thing is access points… [listening] is still driven terrestrially, but anything we can do to enhance the ability for people to access radio stations… the audience is going to grow,” he says.

A bit further down the Barton Highway from Canberra FM’s Bellenden Street headquarters, at ABC Radio Canberra’s offices in Dickson, manager Andrea Ho was also pleased with the results of today’s survey.

The station rebranded at the end of last year, dropping the AM Frequency from its callsign in line with other local radio stations, so a lot of survey activity was about the rebrand and introducing some lineup changes to the listeners.

ABC Radio Canberra replaced breakfast presenter Philip Clarke with Dan Bourchier (Clarke moved to networked night show Nightlife), and also brought in new presenter Laura Tchilinguirian to the afternoon slot, vacated by Alex Sloan, who retired last year.

“We held our position in the market and were number one in breakfast… we are hearing a lot of engagement with our new breakfast presenter Dan Bourchier.”

Ho is happy with the first survey result where the station had more than half its line up change and was experimenting with new presenters:

“For us we were focusing on getting our people in on the ground…. and there was also the rebranding. That’s a big step forward into 21st century… we are increasingly moving into a digital space where people are not listening to 666… taking the numbers out allows people to know us by our name.”

“Digital radio is proving to be a real winner for everybody in the industry,” according to Ho. “We are looking forward to a full digital radio service in Canberra which the federal government has indicated is on the cards,” she said.

Steve McClennand and Jolene Laverty in the Canberra studios after the ratings announcement.

General Manager of Capital Radio Network’s 2CC and 2CA Michael Jones says his stations had mixed results, but he is reasonably happy with the numbers because they still reflects strong listening on the station’s target audiences. Listeners are loyal and revenue is good for the two Kevin Blyton owned stations.

Local programming on 2CC is working well, with Tim Shaw at breakfast and Chris Coleman in drive both increasing audience. Jones says the stations “copped a bit of a hit during the day with Alan Jones being off air for so long… he is a big draw card for us.”

“We are looking for consistency, it sounds great and the listeners seem to love it,” he says.

During the survey 2CA gave away regular small amounts of cash in fun, easy to play competitions, while 2CC concentrated on being at the forefront of the local news agenda.

Jones says digital radio has been good for his stations because it gives them a level playing field in terms of coverage and sound quality compared with the other stations.


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