Peter Goers ratings success reviewed

Evenings with Peter Goers on ABC Local Radio in Adelaide has risen in the new GFK-administered ratings from 14.8 to 16.1. Commercial station 5AA, with returnee Jeremy Cordeaux, remains in second place but grew from 10.5 to 15.7. Overall, 891 increased its dominance of the Adelaide market.

John Patkin reviews the evening timeslot on ABC891.

Some of the highlights of evenings included an interview with a deaf woman, a live radio play that Goers performed in and coverage of wild weather that caused electrical blackouts. Despite Goers’ ongoing success, a little tweaking and housekeeping might add value.

The show’s opening monologue could be shorter. Instead of giving in depth details about retrieving rubbish carts from his verge or multiple plumber visits, a quick summary would do. Goers could elaborate on these activities when listeners call in later. This would allow him to converse more naturally with callers. Instead of replying ‘Thank you’ when callers begin with ‘How are you?’, he could reflect more about his day.

Goers and the ABC machine remained true to the broadcaster’s charter by informing and entertaining. The audience was informed about the impact of a storm that caused blackouts across South Australia and listeners shared their problems. A former Miss South Australia was concerned about having fallen trees removed from her backyard while an 82-year-old drag queen chatted about the tiny Adelaide suburb of Heathpool. These segments were followed by a listener who complained about the programme being crap. This was fodder for callers to counter with positive comments.

Regulars guests such as linguist Roly Sussex and Dougie from the Tutti Ensemble continue to attract audience feedback. Here is another space that could be finely tuned by allowing guests to speak more freely. Professor Sussex is sometimes caught in a three-way discussion with a caller and the host, while Goers tends to dominate Dougie when he wants to chat. A similar situation occurred when a former homeless man called to share his change of fortune. He was telling an interesting story but was cut. During longer interviews, Goers should avoid acknowledgement tokens such as mhm and uhuh.

The CWA recipes are entertaining but they reinforce what many may already know. The time could be better spent tapping into the life skills and general knowledge of the senior members of the CWA to help listeners’ solve problems related to technology and mobility. Goers and his guests occasionally mention this but technology is unfortunately mocked with a backhand comment which reinforces a digital divide for isolated members of the community. Using this segment positively could help to bridge the gap. Goers and his producers could support such content by posting more material on the ABC’s website and social media.

Reliable and popular, Goers and his team make a difference in South Australia in what could be described as textbook public service broadcasting. Their successful use of this space is hard to criticise and so this review has been limited to fine tuning. There is much to celebrate with a winning grade but there is more to the ABC than topping the ratings.

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After a big ratings week, the weekend will also be big for ABC Adelaide, with special coverage fo the South Australian election.

891 ABC Adelaide will broadcast a special election night program from 6:00pm, hosted by Matthew Abraham and David Bevan, with special guests Labor’s Michael Atkinson and Liberal’s Jamie Briggs, and 891’s Ian Henschke, Sonya Feldhoff, Micheal Smyth and Peter Goers reporting from key seats around the city. View a preview of the election coverage here.


John Patkin is a regular contributor to radioinfo.


He is a Hong Kong-based Australian media researcher.


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