Duncan Campbell: Why I think Kyle & Jackie O will do well in Melbourne

Duncan Campbell is predicting a big year for our industry in 2024, one which will see radio return to the front page.

As we hurtle towards a new year and a new networked Breakfast show, ARN’s Chief Content Officer is feeling optimistic after Sydney duo Kyle & Jackie O chalked up their strongest Survey 8 result in more than seven years.

In an interview with Radio Today’s sister publication RadioInfo, Campbell (pictured above with Christian O’Connell) says one of the main challenges in 2024 is ensuring that the launch of The Kyle & Jackie O Show in Melbourne goes well.

“I think there’s a bit of a turning tide on that with people these days.”

“We have a perception issue in Melbourne primarily with people who don’t really know what (the show) is now. Their perception is that it’s back in the ‘shock jock’ era.”

“But it’s not the show it used to be. And the content’s very strong.”

“Timing wise, I think we might be pretty spot on with it.”

“I don’t expect it to jump to Number 1, but I think it will do well in Melbourne and we’ll execute it really well.”

The topsy-turvy ride continued for Melbourne’s Gold 104.3, which saw significant drops across the board.

After dominating the airwaves for most of the year, The Christian O’Connell Show lost the #1 FM Breakfast mantle to Fox FM’s Fifi Fev & Nick.

What happened? Campbell points to what he describes as an aggressive marketing campaign by Fox this year.

“Nothing really happened in Melbourne, except that we were out-marketed by the opposition.”

“Gold was impacted by that and also by the final survey for Jase and Lauren.”

“We’re not concerned about Gold,” Campbell says. “It’s cumes are still very strong.”

Jase and Lauren – the KIIS Breakfast team making way for K & J – went up in their final survey, posting a result of 9.1.

Addressing that, Campbell said “The KIIS 101.1 result in Breakfast is just a one off at the moment.”

Campbell says the network’s products are very strong.

“Our stations don’t rely on marketing as much as some of the other formats do.”

On the subject of ARN’s bid for SCA – and what that could potentially mean for the KIIS, Gold, Fox and Triple M brands and network personalities – Campbell says that’s all still yet to be determined.

“I really can’t say too much. We have an idea of what we want to do, but whether we can do it … we don’t know yet.”

Campbell says the primary challenge for 2024 is to make sure ARN delivers strong ratings consistently for commercial teams to monetise.

“We had a strong 25-54 this year. It was our best year for share this year.”

“If we get the Triple M Network, the challenge will be to improve their performance and find a good strategic position for them to occupy.”

Given the changes that could lie ahead in 2024, Campbell wouldn’t be surprised if radio dominates the news next year.

“I think all ears will be on Kyle in Melbourne, and if the Triple M thing happens … what our end does with that.”

“I guess the challenge overall for the industry still remains getting more of that advertising pie. Streaming is obviously growing (and) a big part of the future.”

Right now, it’s fair to say Campbell is looking ahead to the new year with a glass-half-full kind of attitude.

He says a strong start and strong finish to the year is the goal – with some fun in between.

“I think we have an obligation to be optimistic.”

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