Latest survey results – SAFM topples in Adelaide, leaders close elsewhere

The latest Survey 6 Capital City Ratings are available.

The survey was conducted by ACNielsen for Commercial Radio Australia, covering the period Sun 27 June to Sat 4 September, which included the Athens Olympics.

Click Nielsen Ratings in the left hand margin (see ‘Knowledge Base’
section) to see the overall results, or click the link to the shift breakdowns at the bottom of this page or in each section.


The Sydney market has completely changed from what it was two years ago. Apart from 2GB, which is still well out in front, the rest of the market leaders are all clustered within a point of each other, in a result much more reminiscent of a major American market than Australian markets. With this sort of result, winning share is much less significant than focusing on a well defined market segment.

Melbourne reflects a similar trend, with 3AW well in front and the next five stations within a point of each other.

In Brisbane Austereo has the two top stations, with 97.3 third and ABC612 fourth.

In Adelaide the effect of the new Nova station testing during the survey has finally toppled the previously invincible SAFM off the top spot after many many years. While Nova is not shown in this result (because it was not officially on air for the whole survey), the erosion effect on SAFM has left a gap, which has allowed ARN’s Mix 102.3 to jump to top spot.

In Perth Austereo has the top station, 94.5, with Southern Cross’ 96fm second. Both stations had good gains this survey. Talk station, 6PR, improved at the expense of rival talk station, ABC720.



Austereo CEO, Michael Anderson, has congratulated the Triple M network for achieving number one in its target 25 to 39 age group on the entire east coast – Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

“This is a great result for our Triple M team and heralds the real consolidation and reinvigoration of Triple M on the east coast… We are committed to continual improvement of our on air product, city by city, station by station.

“Triple M’s The Shebang and The Cage, in particular, have performed strongly on the eastern seaboard.

It has also been a very pleasing result for 2Day FM in Sydney. All the hard work and focus on 2Day is starting to show results, with the station up in every session across the day.

“We have systematically worked on the music, the promotions and the shows – and we are seeing it in this survey… The work of the team has just begun and we have a commitment to returning 2Day back into a radio power.”

Austereo Chairman, Peter Harvie, has told radioinfo:

“We are living and competing in a new market, a market that will only get more and more competitive. The reinvigoration of Triple M and the fight back by 2Day FM demonstrate our resilience. As the new licenses come on air in each city, we will keep doing what we do best – delivering great radio for our audiences.”

SA FM Adelaide

Austereo Adelaide’s General Manager, Sam Ciccarello, has told radioinfo he is “determined [the station] will win back its number one position after a disappointing ratings survey.”

SAFM fell 1.6% to an audience share of 17.6% in the survey.

While SAFM remains “the overwhelming favourite of the 25 to 39 age group” with a 28.3% audience share, and has Adelaide’s number one breakfast show with Milly and Lehmo scoring a 19% rating, Ciccarello says the survey “shows there is still some work to be done.”

“We’ve made some important changes to the station in just the past few weeks, so it will be a while until that begins to show… We’re listening to what our audience wants and we’re confident we’ll be back at number one soon. We are constantly working to deliver exactly what listeners want plus a few surprises, such as mobile phone bingo and some exciting competitions over summer.”

Austereo stablemate, Triple, M also experienced “a slight ratings dip,” falling 1.3 points to a 10.8% audience share.

“We’re in an increasingly competitive market, but we’re focused on getting back to the top two spots for both our stations,” says Ciccarello.

Triple M Brisbane

The relaunched Triple M scored a three year ratings high with a 1.9% increase to a 15.7% audience share in the ratings.

It also achieved the highest number of listeners to the station since October 2001 with 46,000 more listeners tuning in for a cumulative audience of 434,000 people every week.

Austereo Brisbane General Manager, Richard Barker, says the ratings show Triple M’s move to a more adult format is paying off.

“The Totally Different Triple M was built by the listeners, for the listeners and today’s results are our listeners telling us, we’re getting it right… Triple M increased share across all shifts on every day of the week including its brand new breakfast show – ‘The Other Breakfast Show with Marto, Jade & Sully’ up 2.1 points to a 15.7% audience share.”

Ratings highlights include:

· The favourite radio station for the 25 to 39 age group with a 2.1 point increase to a 26.5 per cent audience share

· Mornings up 2.6 points to a 18.3 per cent audience share

· Afternoons up 1.9 points to a 18.6 per cent audience share

· The Shebang in drive up 1.5 points to 16.9 per cent audience share

· A 3.5 point increase in the 40 to 54 age group to a 16.0 per cent audience share



Nova 969 Sydney

The results of the sixth radio ratings survey, which coincided with the Athens Olympics, were released today – and the judges [Sydney’s radio listeners] “awarded Merrick & Rosso a perfect scorecard of 10.6% overall [they provided urine samples despite protests by officials].”

Nova 969 was the leading FM station in Sydney for the sixth consecutive survey with 9.4% overall.

Nova fared well across the day with increases for Bianca Dye in Mornings to 9.6% and in Afternoons to 10.0%.

Nova “took home medals” in the following:

The Merrick & Rosso Breakfast Show [6am-9am] – 10.6% leading FM

Bianca Dye Mornings [9am-12md] – 9.6% Equal FM leader

And in key age groups:

All People Under 40 – 18.5% leading outright

All People 18-24 – 32.3% leading outright

All People 18-34 – 21.8% leading outright

All People 18-39 – 18.7% leading outright

All People 18-54 – 12.9% leading outright

Nova’s medal tally during the Athens Games is attributed to its patriotic sucking up to members of the Australian Olympic Team – and its Limited Edition run of authentic “Go Australia!” headbands [made in China].

Nova 100 Melbourne

Nova 100 is Melbourne’s favourite radio station for listeners aged under 40.

In its fourth consecutive ratings rise, Nova 100 was also Melbourne’s most popular station for listeners aged 18 to 24, 18 to 34 and 18 to 39.

“We’re all about providing entertaining radio to the under 40’s market so to be nearly 2.5% points ahead in this demographic is great,” says General Manager, Fiona Cameron.

“We’ll keep asking what listeners want and hopefully we’ll get it right more often than not.”

Nova 937 Perth

In a survey result that was just about as exciting as Sunday night’s Debate, the Nielsen worm was flat for Nova 93.7.

Despite a slight drop in overall share, Nova’s total number of listeners in its target demographic of 18 to 39 year olds, remains exactly the same on 181,000.

Nova 93.7’s early birds, Nathan & Nat didn’t trouble the worm either. They stayed on exactly the same share of 9.2% and are Perth’s favourite Breakfast show for Under 40’s.

Nova remains Perth’s favourite station for 18 to 24 year olds, and second for 18 to 39 year olds.

Nova staff are currently trying to get a shot of tequila down the worm’s neck to see whether they can get some movement out of him next time.



The Australian Radio Network’s Classic Hits stations in the key Sydney and Melbourne markets have recorded major increases in the number of listeners tuning in during the sixth radio survey for the year.

In Melbourne, Classic Hits station GOLD 104.3 secured the number one spot in the highly competitive FM market, after posting a rise of 0.6% – the largest percentage increase among listeners aged 10 plus of any station.

The network’s Classic Hits station in Sydney, 101.7 WSFM, reported the biggest increase of any station with a 1.3 per cent rise, moving the station to equal second in the important FM market, and less than one per cent behind the FM leader.

The news was also good for ARN’s Mix stations in Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne. In Adelaide, Mix 102.3 is the highest rating station in the city, recording a 3.6% increase in listeners.

Both Mix 106.5 (Sydney) and Mix 101.1 (Melbourne) produced solid results for the period, with particularly strong gains among listeners aged 25 to 39 – up by 2.15 and 1.4% respectively.

In Brisbane, 97.3 FM dropped slightly from 13% to 12.9%, but remains the third most popular station in the market.

APN CEO, Brendan Hopkins, says: “We are thrilled with the results of the sixth radio survey, particularly with the performance of Gold 104 in Melbourne and WSFM in Sydney. Importantly, in the competitive Sydney market, ARN stations together are now the outright leaders among listeners in our target demographic group – those aged 25 to 54.”

ARN’s Sam Zniberhas told radioinfo: “The growth continues for MIX 106.5. It’s the best all people 10+ result in three and a half years, and the best Time Spent Listening of the year – from 7.6% share all people 10+ to a strong 8.3% now. TSL went up from 7.11 at the start of the year to now 8 hours 26 minutes.

Sammy and Jason in the morning now rate their best ever, from 4.4% a year ago to now 7.7% share all people 10+. Bogart Torelli weekdays 9am to 2pm is now number one music station.

“MIX 106.5 continues to dominate 25-54 cume and 25-54 female share up to 14% from 12.6%.
It’s four surveys in a row that MIX 106.5 is number one Female 25-54! MIX 106.5 is the only station that cumes more than half a million people 25-54 per week. An increase from 14.1 to 16.4% share Female 25-44 has lifted MIX 106.5 to Number One Female 25-44.


FIVEaa’s live coverage of the Athens Olympic Games has boosted its ratings, jumping 1.1% overall to record a 16% share of the Adelaide radio audience.

FIVEaa’s Olympic coverage featuring Sports Director Cam Thompson and overnight live commentary of all major events in Athens, “saw the radio station maintain its number one position at night with an 18.5% share, and the FIVEaa Sports Show hosted by KG Cunningham and Graham Cornes consolidate its number one position, jumping 1.9% to a 21.4% share.

FIVEaa’s breakfast with Keith Conlon, Tony Pilkington and Jon Blake also benefited from daily
comprehensive summaries of overnight Olympic action, boosting its strong number two position 1.3% to 18.1%.

FIVEaa football coverage was also a strong performer, helping the radio station record a 17.6% weekend ratings share.

FIVEaa General Manager, Paul Bartlett, has told radioinfo: “With the football finals and the Federal election just around the corner, over the coming months FIVEaa listeners can expect to hear what the radio
station does best – bring Adelaide the latest information and entertainment as it happens.”


Melbourne’s sports radio station, SEN1116, “continues to go from strength to strength with yet another positive survey result.”

SEN1116’s Managing Director, Danny Staffieri, says the station’s continued growth is reflected across all programs and, in particular, in the outstanding figures achieved by The Run Home:

Matthew Hardy, Dermott Brereton and Anthony Hudson continue to draw more listeners to SEN1116, with our ‘male 25-54’ figure jumping from 10.3 in survey #5 to 11.2 in survey #6.

“Morning Glory has grown its audience share (male 25-54) from 7.3 in survey #5 to 8.2 in survey #6, Hungry for Sport has moved up from 6.4 to 6.5, Afternoons with Francis Leach has increased from 7.4 to 8.1 and The Night Watchmen leaped from 5.5 to 7.1. These are outstanding figures, reflective of the hard work that the entire team has been putting in, especially during the coverage of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.”


After steady increases during the year, 2UE has climbed up to third place in Survey #6, describing itself as ‘Sydney radio’s relentless but quiet achiever’.

2UE has announced a 31% increase in Time Spent Listening from Survey #1, rising by two hours to 14 hours and 42 minutes.

There have been significant gains in many shifts – Mike Carlton has come in at 9.1% in breakfast (up from 8.4%), John Laws is steady in mornings on 9.6%, John Stanley is also unchanged at 8.1%, Steve Price is up to 7.9% (from 7.2%), Sports Today has risen to 8.4% (7.3%), Murray Olds (off evenings during the Olympics) has dropped to 8.8% (9.6%), and Stan Zemanek has jumped to 12.9% (11.9%) on nights.

2UE General Manager, Bob Miller, says: “This is our reward for adopting the Toyota production system and applying it to the steady improvement of our product.

“Each day, we take tiny steps forward in assuring we provide our audience with the finest broadcast material possible.

“2UE continues to provide Sydney with the most comprehensive news’ coverage. This was exemplified by Murray Olds and News Director, Greg Byrnes, in Athens for the Olympic Games. Despite 2UE being non-rights’ holders, Sydney turned to 2UE for thorough and accurate coverage of Olympic Games’ news.”

If you have a survey release, please email to [email protected].