“My focus is on 2015” Duncan Campbell on ARN’s battle to retake Melbourne

Let’s talk Sydney first. Given the giant swings they’ve experienced, ARN Content Chief Duncan Campbell is first to admit that it’s lucky for ARN that they own both KIIS 106.5 and WSFM. After just two surveys in the top FM Breakfast spot, Jonesy and Amanda came back to earth with a thud dropping a massive 2.1 in audience share while their stable mates. Kyle and Jackie O shot up by 1.5… a 3.6 turnaround.


“No we wouldn’t be so thrilled if we didn’t own both. Still, WS has had it’s best year yet and we’ve managed to position those two stations off the back of two very strong Breakfast shows and we’ve been able to position them very effectively to pretty much dominate the listening. So were glad they are both ARN stations and the breakfast shows both work for us,” says Campbell.

Despite the great result for Kyle and Jackie O there’s persistent talk that the duo may be fraying at the edges after the two recently had an on-air spat about Kyle’s absenteeism. It ended with Jackie walking out of the studio. 

By next day, after presumably management knocked some heads together, all was forgiven and the show rolled on.

“No we didn’t knock some heads together,” says Campbell, “But there was definitely an issue there. There was a disagreement and we talked to them about it and in the end they smoothed things over. They smoothed things over. We just facilitated that to some degree. That’s part of managing strong talent.”

While the ARN manifesto has always been to have the number one station (at least on the FM band) in each market where it operates, the plan’s gone awry in Melbourne where SCA’s FOX-FM, led by Fifi and Dave in Breakfast, has poked its nose through the pack to regain the crown it held for years during Matt and Jo’s reign.  

Says Campbell, “We had a lot of confidence in Melbourne at the beginning of the year and, of course, that is now more competitive then we would like it to be. We don’t have the position we would like so that remains a big challenge for us.

“The Nova Breakfast show is yet to see some traction. Eddie McGuire performs very well, as he tends to do in the middle of football season. And we’re at the tail end of it.  MIX is a disappointment for us. After a successful first half, we’re back to 2013 numbers, which is not great news for us. 

“GOLD is still okay, it’s still up there. But FOX has obviously done well this book. It’s still all very close – all high 6’s and 7’s – there’s still no consistent winner or a trend yet, so it remains very volatile.

“My focus is now on 2015. We’re aware of the issues we’ve got there and we will make the changes we need to make between now and the end of the year. We are getting ready for a better performing 2015 in Melbourne,” says Duncan Campbell.

View the Survey 5 results here.

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