Hit Network sees momentum despite flat Sydney result

All eyes might be on Sydney breakfast, but Hit Network head of content Gemma Fordham says momentum is gathering for the Southern Cross Austereo (SCA)-owned network whether the numbers show it or not.

Hits' 2DayFM, saw total audience jump 0.2 percentage points but its breakfast show of Sam and Rove stayed flat on 3.0% audience share for the second time this year.

Fordham says while there is work to do to get the station firing, namely around time spent listening, it’s a long-term strategy and only constitutes one brand in a stable.

“It is one brand for us at a time in terms of our strategy and we’re really seeing our music strategy come to life. So it’s a good result and it’s really encouraging for us,” Fordham says.

“Sydney is doing really well. This is the best result we’ve had in a year and I don’t take that lightly.

“The reality is we’re a national product and we have a huge amount of revenue that sits outside Sydney breakfast, so it would be foolish of me to just focus on Sydney.”

The second radio ratings also revealed mixed results for Nova which saw its long-standing drive show of Kate, Tim and Marty overtaken for the second time by Australian Radio Network's (ARN) Kiis team, Hughsey and Kate. Nova group program director Paul Jackson says while the survey saw “a few ups and downs and swings and roundabouts” overall the network position is good.

He says across the board - and across the country given the national nature of the programming – it's “neck and neck” in drive.

“You’ve got three very good shows there, simple as that. People will flick the dial,” Jackson says.

“These shows have to be really good every single day to get people to tune in the whole way through and these numbers reflect this.”

ARN national content director Duncan Campbell says while its team had a strong result in Sydney, it’s still retaining its focus on Melbourne. Previously, Campbell said the aim of its Melbourne station, which launched a new breakfast team this year was to lead Nova, who also had a new breakfast team.

In the second survey, with that gap maintained, Campbell says the aim is to increase it.

“We want to get that breakfast show above 7% audience share which will benefit the station,” Campbell says.

“It's about getting the dynamic right and highlighting the point of difference to the audience – showcasing their talents and personality – which we’re working on at the moment.”

“It’s very hard to differentiate musically because we’re all contemporary hit radio formats but breakfast is where we can really differentiation and get some cume onto the other day parts.”

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