Marty Sheargold turns breakfast into a long lunch

After many months of lockdowns and being the only ones in the building, Marty Sheargold and his team finally got to have a proper media get-together for Triple M Melbourne’s new breakfast show today.

Steve Ahern was there for radioinfo.


After starting the new Triple M 105.1 breakfast show just as the pandemic began, Sheargold found himself and his small team alone in the Triple M building for the first year of the pandemic, and things are only now beginning to return to normal in the office.

“We took possession of the Triple M offices because no one else was there… it’s a shame they’re back now,” Sheargold joked during lunch in a private room atop the iconic Hotel Esplanade overlooking St Kilda beach on a crisp sunny Melbourne  day.

After about a decade on Nova’s national drive show, Sheargold is glad to be back in his “natural habitat” at SCA. He began his career at SAFM Adelaide and has worked for SCA several times over the years and now feels he is back where he belongs on Triple M Melbourne breakfast.

“I needed to freshen up and go again… I couldn’t have done more of that at Nova,” he says, confiding that he is glad no longer to have to make small talk about Dua Lipa and Christina Aguilera. “It’s always hard to talk about Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift and still feel as though you’re an adult man… I’m happy to be talking to people in my demographic now,” he confides to radioinfo.

In a Q&A with Triple M morning presenter Dave Williams (pictured below) at the lunch he said he feels refreshed with his close-knit team, including Loren Barry (pictured) and Matt Thomson, who came over with him from Nova. Anchor Troy Ellis and Will Ralston (pictured) complete the team on the breakfast show. “There’s no huge egos there… except mine,” he says.

Loren told radioinfo the team “has fun and genuinely likes coming to work every day” despite the gruelling breakfast hours. They are all focused on increasing the breakfast show’s audience share, which Sheargold thinks is likely to grow now that Melbourne is back in business and the morning commute has almost returned to normal. Survey 2 ratings results also reflected that change.

“Triple M, like most other stations, lost the commuter audience during lockdowns and it is just returning to normal now… I started the breakfast show just as lockdowns began so there’s no doubt we were affected, but we will get that commuter audience back again soon,” says Sheargold.

The breakfast show strategy will include growing the time spent listening (TSL), as well as going after new listeners in the target male 25-54 audience who may have left Triple M over the years. “It’s hard to build a new audience (cume), it’s easier to keep those we have listening longer (TSL)… rebuilding the 6-9am audience after shedding it during covid lockdowns is going to be difficult, but we are up for the challenge,” he says.

“I’m not a big fan of filler radio… guests from MAFS and Big Brother, I just want to talk directly to the audience about what’s important to them and what’s local… they can talk to us and share their stories… I love this city, I came here in 1992 and I think of this as home and I hope it comes through in the show.”

Marty’s comedy is a big part of the show, but he can see the difference between stand up comedy and the daily laughs that need to be delivered in radio. “I don’t miss trying to make a living out of standup comedy, especially during lockdowns when venues were closed. I loved it at the time, you could explore and refine a joke over time and make it better at each performance, but radio is different, daily radio is a race to turn over content.”

He still does stand up and is planning to perform at some festivals this year, and hen is also seen on tv in various shows, increasing his profile.

Sheargold feels that the commute is coming back and that his audience is growing, but it is not back to pre-covid levels yet. “We know from the podcasts that the content is right, and the streams are showing that the audience is growing, but it’s not back to normal yet. For instance, we know that Monday’s is different, listening is lower, so we think that people, are still working from home on Mondays and going into the office on other days of the week.”

The Trriple M breakfast show has been building slowly, with a good lift in survey 8 last year taking the show up one share point to 4.6% in that timeslot. The show dropped in survey 1 but lifted again in the latest survey to 4.5%.

Marty Sheargold is heard on Triple M 105.1 Melbourne daily between 6-9am.

And on a side note, Dave Williams is celebrating 30 years in radio this year.





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