DMG strong on air – as well as on the balance sheet

Programming gurus will tell you that one of the key ingredients to success in radio is consistency – it certainly seems to be working for DMG at the moment.
At a time when there are big changes going on at many stations, DMG’s Nova and smoothfm are quite stable and performing very nicely.
smoothfm in particular must be bringing smiles to the faces in the DMG boardroom. In the final Sydney survey it rated better that all of it’s direct competitors. A long way from the dark days of Vega and Classic Rock.
The one real question mark for the company is how the new Tommy Little and Meshel Laurie show, that replaces Hughsey and Kate on Nova breakfast in Melbourne, will go. But considering their major competitors Matt and Jo on FOX FM have also left the market, they should have a good chance of making an impact.

On the all important financial side of the business, as reported by the Australian newspaper, DMG’s operating earnings have had a big increase over the past 4 years. For the year ending September 2009, the company posted EBITDA of $16 million. By way of comparison, in the 12 months to September 2013, EBITDA was $40 million. This coincides with Lachlan Murdoch’s investment company Illyria taking first a 50% share, and then 14 months ago, full ownership of DMG Radio Australia. 

Nova has recently claimed the Number One network title in Australia, strengthened by the Brisbane operation topping the latest ratings this week.

DMG CEO Cathy O’Connor told the Australian’s Darren Davidson: “Now that Nova is No 1 and Smooth is continuing to accelerate, you can see that there’s still a lot of organic growth available to the company. I think that demonstrates we’re converting the plan into profit, and there’s still more upside to come.”

Regarding the success of the smoothfm brand and the potential challenge of Kyle and Jackie O going to ARN’s new KIIS FM, Program Director Paul Jackson confidently stated: “We very much run our own race and will continue to do so. The movement in the marketplace is going to happen between those two products – KIIS and 2Day – because listeners will go back and forwards between them.

They’ve got all the churn. We’re probably not going to be losing any listeners from smoothfm or Nova to those stations. We’re going to be swerving the storm and have a chance of picking up a lot of people along the way.”
Which leaves us with some big questions about what will happen in the major markets next year: 
Will Kyle and Jackie be able to take their audience with them?

Will that audience embrace the new KIIS format replacing MIX 106.5?

Will Tim and Meshel or Fifi and Dave come out on top in Melbourne?

Will smooth’s rise continue?

Will an all new line up at 4BC and the rebrand of 4BH to Magic 882 be the key to success that Fairfax Brisbane is looking for?

Can Robbie Buck keep Adam Spencer’s high ratings at 702?

Will Matt and another Joe work on Triple M drive?

What will happen at 2UE?

And what impact will a new survey methodology have to everyone?
Have a relaxing Christmas people, because the start of 2014 looks like being a wild ride.

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