With these ratings results, I can’t see cricket coverage working any worse within a music format. Sure the “summer of cricket” is coming but so is the best time of year to launch into a music format.
When I was a young lad (well it is a whole generation ago now you had a particularly successful promotion on radio called “the classic hits of summer” on 2UW, 2CC and 3TT (the Albert stations, two of which went on to be part of ARN). That promotion, which included the type of jingles you simply don’t get in boring 2018, lifted 3TT’s ratings by nearly double and the summer factor would have been at least partly the reason.
The playlist on those stations back then is very much what 4KQ in Brisbane and Cruise in Adelaide still play and I think everyone here understands it’s the obvious era of music and the right tempo for this format to be taken back into Sydney and Melbourne.
Such a station does fill a gap in Melbourne so long as they’re bold enough to launch a fresh brand (this isn’t an endorsement to revert to Magic - which was a declining brand, however much the failed formats since only made things worse).
Due to the idiotic discarding of heritage call-signs during the 90s (with the long-standing 3AW, still at the top, being evidence enough of how much of modern day branding is relatively ill disciplined), it’s a struggle to name this prospective station. I previously suggested BIG 1278 (3BG) as a suggested restoration of that old time call-signing. An overarching network brand like “Good Time Oldies” (similar to “Forever Classic” of the Capital network stations) would enable a relaunched Sydney station to simply go back to being 2UE 954 (example: Good Time Oldies 2UE 954)
Now it’s obvious Macquarie Sports Radio has done nothing more than menace 2UE’s good name, the sports format possibly faces the axe altogether and almost no one will notice. But as they’ve successfully (enough) got 2GB rating about the same as 3AW does in Melbourne, don’t expect a talking 2UE to return (although hopefully this will not be a robotic station and they’ll put some personality into the morning/afternoon commutes).
Also expect this misfit network of 882, 954 and 1278 to continue, whatever the format. And don’t expect much tailoring to individual markets (except maybe the restoration of 2UE and 4BH call-signs)