Nine Radio’s Greg Byrnes: “We need to be looking over the horizon”

A combination of trusted legacy hosts and fresh new voices puts Nine Radio on the front foot heading into 2024.

That’s according to Head of Content Greg Byrnes, who – in an interview with Radio Today’s sister publication RadioInfo – has reflected on the wash up from Survey 8.

“A consistent 16 in Breakfast is a wonderful result. That’s what Ben Fordham’s doing. It’s a 19 in Melbourne and yes, we’re very happy.”

Elsewhere, it’s something of a work in progress.

Byrnes says as far as Perth and Brisbane are concerned, it’s about creating stability.

“Consistency will be a key in Perth. We need to make sure these relatively new shows and relatively new broadcasters are doing the best, day in and day out.”

He points to significant changes over time in Brisbane.

“In four years, we’ve gone from a one hour local real estate show on a Saturday morning – and the rest of 4BC being networked out of Sydney – to live and local content from 5.30am until 7pm, Monday to Friday, and then all across the morning on weekends.”

“So there’s been a big shift in sound and broadcasting in Brisbane.”

Byrnes says they know their audience wants stability, and notes the longevity of hosts such as Ross Stevenson, Ray Hadley and Neil Mitchell as being a key factor in their success.

The major challenge for Nine Radio next year? TSL (Time Spent Listening).

“We are having unprecedented cume results,” says Byrnes. “The problem across the board has been our reaches, and time spent listening.”

“The menu of available content now is greatly improved. People have more options, whether it be audio books, podcast or catch up radio.”

And Byrnes says TSL is as much an issue for the industry as a whole as it is for Nine Radio

“We’ve gradually gone younger. And that’s not turning our back on the, say, 65+ audience, because they’re very important to us, but we’ve had to go younger. We knew that would have an impact on TSL.”

“So our cume’s up, yep, but TSL’s down. We knew this might be a consequence of adjusting slowly younger, but we had to, because we need to be looking over the horizon.”

“It’s no use targeting a particular demo at the expense of everything else.”

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