Larry Bruce on ratings and Ugly Phil

This week radioinfo spoke to Nova 96 9’s General Manager Larry Bruce about Ugly Phil and this week’s ratings. Bruce highlighted the station’s movement to number one in the 25-39 demographic as a key indicator this survey. He told radioinfo: “Our first ever number one for 25-39s is a great result… We are very pleased that our commitment to creating a different radio environment continues to attract a growing group of listeners across a broad age range.”

radioinfo: Ugly Phil’s drive shift went up by 1.4 share points, one of the biggest increases on the station. Is it a mistake to let him go? Bruce: It was Phil’s choice to go. He wanted to do a more talk orientated show and we didn’t think that would fit. We wanted more music. We regret that he is leaving, but that’s his decision. Nova will stand or fall on the totality of our approach. We wish him the best and hope he finds a station where he can do the kind of show he wants to do.

radioinfo: Do you think he will find that sort of station in Australia, or do you think he will have to go to America for instance? Bruce: There are far more opportunities for his style in the American market, the only thing is that America is not so friendly to foreign voices, so that may work against him. There was a guy in Los Angeles talk radio called Mike Jackson who was not American and he has been a big success over the years, so it is not impossible. I think he was South African.

radioinfo: You went up a little, from 8.3 to 8.7 overall. You have a cume of 736,000 listeners per week. Would you like to be doing better? Bruce: We are looking for continued growth. There has been a lot of turmoil in this market for the last few surveys, but during that we have just achieved a major benchmark, we have just broken through in dominance of the 25-39 demographic with 16.4% of that age group, over two points ahead of our nearest rival. It will send a message that we are not just a young station. We will be looking for more incremental growth. I think we will see a lot of small movements in that demographic in the next few surveys.

radioinfo: You broke through in 25-39s, but you dropped in 18-24s and Triple J improved this survey. What do you make of that? Bruce: As I said the market is very volatile at the moment. We are looking for continued growth, for example Merrick and Rosso’s shift grew by 32,000 listeners and we believe it will continue to move ahead.