Everyone loves Fitzy and Wippa but that show is misfiring badly: Craig Bruce

It’s not often anyone gets to speak with the top two Content Heads at SCA in the same room at the same time. But in the aftermath of Survey 5, both Craig Bruce and Guy Dobson were keen to talk up their networks’ achievements. 

By the time their tag team is finished with you, you will believe that even the 3.8 result posted by 2Day-FM is pretty good.

Bruce: It’s a Tale of Two Cities really. Melbourne is in unbelievably good shape with FOX and 3MMM… although a little disappointing for 2Day-FM on the surface from a share perspective. But if you look at what our cumes are doing,  there’s some positive signs there with 50,000 new listeners coming into that show.

Dobson: With no marketing…

Bruce: With no marketing.

The hill that we need to climb is the Nova hill. And it’s not a particularly high one – certainly not at the moment. You would have seen the Fitzy and Wippa figures and you know everyone loves Fitzy and Wippa-  awesome guys. But that show is misfiring badly. 

We’ve got an excuse. We’ve got a brand new show. Yet, we’re not far off… we’re only a couple of points away from Nova and that’s who were focussing on. Their workday figures have gone from 5’s to a 4.2. 

Paul Jackson (Nova program supremo) is a music specialist, according to the brief, and he would be disappointed with those workday numbers as well. In terms of a Nova versus 2Day-FM battle, yes we’re behind but not by a lot and there were some positive signs out of those numbers that we think we can build on.

Dobson: For 2Day-FM in Sydney, when you have a look at the extraordinary circumstances the station finds itself in… our breakfast show went across the road.

Our major opposition, the second top 40 station in town, has been doing their breakfast show for about three years and ours has been doing it for four surveys, so its not a level playing field as such in Sydney. But you go to Melbourne, where blew each other up at the start of the year, and you can see that FOX has come through the middle and Triple M continues to dominate as well in Breakfast. It’s crazy, but it really is a tale of two cities.

Bruce: The FOX/Nova battle in Melbourne is a much truer indication of what we’re capable of. We have a brand new Breakfast show in Melbourne and so does Nova Entertainment. Ours is growing and their’s isn’t at this stage. 

So we couldn’t be happier with the Melbourne situation. There’s no question that there’s still some growth to come from Fifi and Dave. Their chemistry was good right from the start but they are already at a 583,000 cume which is the most listened to brekkie show in the country already, five months in. And we’ve got Eddie (McGuire) at Triple M downstairs who’s  going from strength to strength with Mick and Luke . That show is a monster!

radioinfo: But Triple M in Sydney is still a tough cookie…

Bruce: I disagree. We’re number one 25-54 men. That’s the remit of the station. That’s what we’re here to do. We are here to win men 25-54. Men overall . We do that. We’re number one in Breakfast 18-54 men. Job done! 

If you start looking at share numbers for MMM you kind of are missing the point.

Dobson: If you have a look at the breakfast show it beat Nova before and it’s only slightly behind Nova now and that’s a broad top 40 station. 

Triple M traditionally bounces around in the surveys. It has done for years . It’s a low cuming male skewed format. Its going to be open to the vagaries of the diary system more so than a high cuming top 40 right. We know that. I’ve seen it through the years. I’ve seen it a million frigging times, till I’m blue in the face: Triple M gets between a 5.0 and a 6.0 and it will do that in Sydney all the time.

radioinfo: But you’ll take those Melbourne figures nonetheless…

Dobson: Melbourne is a bit of a different thing. Two things about Melbourne: One – every show blew itself up to a degree at the start of the year,  so, Triple M is the most consistent brand in Melbourne. And, Two – Melbourne is a way different market to Sydney – it’s a bit more of a thinking radio market than Sydney – not taking anything away from every single Breakfast show on Sydney radio  but Melbourne’s a different kettle of fish.

radioinfo: You’d know Kyle and Jackie O better than most, given the recent spat between them, do you think the wheels might be coming off?

Bruce: I don’t know. They’ve been together for a long time. They’re tight. They need each other for the success of the show – it works as a combination. You know we had plenty of number one survey results where no one was particularly happy behind the scenes. You can be number one and miserable. We’ve had that. 

We don’t think about them to be honest. I haven’t listened to the show. It’s not on our radar. What we’re doing is to focus on Nova. That’s where our early wins will come from and to that end when you look at a 5 point something versus a 3.8, it’s gettable. And as a starting point and that’s what we’re going to do. 

There’s a lot of things coming over the next period of time, that we can’t talk about now, that I think will set us up for a strong 2015.

View the Survey 5 results here.

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