It was on April 10, 2015 that Adam Lang, then COO of the freshly merged Fairfax/Macquarie radio network flew to Brisbane to tell 4BC staff that, for 18 of them, it would be their last day.
Henceforth, every shift, except Drive, would be networked from 2GB in Sydney.
“Madness!” said the pundits. “I’ll never listen to 4BC again!” said the listeners. “#&%^ you!” – and worse – said the sacked staff.
Now, four years later, in Survey 3, 2019, 4BC returned a 7.6 share overall in the Brisbane market – its best result since 2012.
What’s more, the station’s networked shows did much better than its one major local show, Drive.
Alan Jones scored a 9.4 share in Breakfast and Ray Hadley a 10.5 in Mornings.
“It comes down to the right people on air and the right content,” says MacRadio’s National Executive Producer, Michael Thompson.
“When you look at Alan Jones and Ray Hadley, they are just phenomenal. They are equally adept at managing callers from Sydney as they are managing content from Brisbane or any one of the other network stations that are tuned in to those programs. If that content is handled the right way, if the stories are given the right priorities and all callers have the same right to get on air whether they’re from Brisbane or from Sydney, Wagga, Port Macquarie or Toowoomba, then it comes across on air that the program is relevant to anyone in those listening areas.”
Of course, the federal election that coincided with the survey didn’t hurt 4BC’s result. federal elections provide a common topic for talk stations from Sydney to Perth and Adelaide to Darwin.
Mr Thompson agrees, “The election did have an impact on all of our talk stations and all the Macquarie Sports Radio stations too. Every single one increased in cume this survey.”
But the resurgence of 4BC started before the federal election, “Survey 2 was quite a good result for 4BC. And it included a NSW state election. I think that really says something about the strength of the personalities hosting those programs that they speak to anyone in any of those areas but also the fact that the content that they’re doing is relatable.”