Newcastle - Survey 3, 2018

KO (which the station was known as for pretty much all of this survey), at 13.1%, was only 0.4% ahead of 1233 ABC & 1% ahead of hit106.9. New FM fell 1.4% to 8.7%, whilst 2HD was relatively steady.

The “Other Stations” share was 27%.


That Radiotoday article totally ignored John Laws win in the mornings on 2HD.


Yes, very low share for the top rating station, I don’t think I’ve seen the Newcastle #1 share as low as 13% before.

Also telling that the “Other” share at 27%, that’s very high and suggests dissatisfaction with the local stations. I wonder what 2NUR’ s share in that is, and also out of town stations that are not SCA, particularly Star 104.5.


What’s worth noting is that the combined audience share for the SCA stations is at 25.2%. For a major market without a serious commercial competitor, as well as not being right next door to a metro market, that’s quite low, especially when you consider that the combined audience for the Canberra’s SCA/ARN FM duo (Mix 106.3/hit104.7) is at 28.6%, as well as i98 in Wollongong (in a market right next door to a metro market) scoring a 29.1% share just by itself.


One wonders if a reduction in locally produced content and overall programming quality of their commercial stations is one of the reasons behind a 27% figure for “Other Stations” in the Newcastle radio market.

I’d certainly be willing to predict that ABC 1233 may overtake the recently rebranded Triple M 102.9 in the ratings come Survey #1 2019.

I agree, the “Other Stations” share getting a higher share than the combined audience shares for both commercial broadcasters surely has to be a major concern for SCA and SRN/BOG? Seems like Newcastle is almost approaching Gold Coast levels of disenchantment with their local commercial stations! :open_mouth:

That itself seems fairly low for a market which only has two commercial FM stations.

Of the regional markets you’ve mentioned, 29.1% for i98FM in Wollongong would be the healthiest. It wouldn’t be realistic to expect SCA to achieve those figures for KOFM, but I do think somewhere around the 15-20% mark would be healthier than 13.1%!


The comparative Canberra result can partially be explained in that ABC stations rate very strongly in Canberra.

And they have more community radio stations.

Yet it is still better than Newcastle’s combined Triple M / Hit result.


Yes, but none have a format that comes close to that of 2NUR, although 2CA, a commercial AM music station, covers part of that territory.

In hindsight, I’ll admit the Canberra figures is a fairly poor comparison to Newcastle’s.


I think it’s still a valid comparison.

Both are provincial markets with 4 commercial stations and with similar populations and not affected by capital city overspill.

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That’s true.

How’s this for comparison? The combined audience for the Newcastle commercial FM stations is 33.9%, whilst for the Canberra commercial music stations, with 2 x FM & 1 x AM, it’s a little higher at 35.2%. Incredible!


I think the Newcastle result is far worse than the Gold Coast for local stations. The Gold Coast has major overspill from Brisbane, not to mention Rebel/Breeze/Radio 97 and also two very strong community stations (94.1 and Metro).

They’re clearly missing the mark and there’s a big gap there, I’m guessing in the older demos particularly. Imagine if New FM for example went Gold/Smooth.


IMO SCA deserve these results with their cost cutting, sacking of local music directors, and one music log fits all markets approach.

It is so clear the stations that are the most successful are the ones that are programmed for their markets, such as i98 in the Gong and Stat 104.5 on the Central Coast.

If each Hit and Triple M station could implement their own music logs outside of networked shows, the results may be quite different. We are seeing Sea Fm sliding on the Central Coast, 2GO in bad shape due to their own doing, and how will Newcastle reacted to KO becoming Triple M???
Next Newcastle Fm Survey will be very interesting.


Though, that is in a city where both ABC Radio and Television rate rather well.


I think you need to be a little careful about you interpret a single survey.

There a big jump for local ABC but the corresponding significant losses for music stations came from NEW and JJJ… hardly likely that the music audience has transferred across to the ABC.

It’s more likely there’s been a glitch in the survey as happens from time to time… nothing serious but it’s the reason no one takes a single book at face value.

As for criticism of SCA, no doubt there’s some validity to the points raised here… but they have a very sharp operator running the shop; Mike Byrne… I wouldn’t say they’ve pulled programming talent out of the place.

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Not to mention Hot Tomato on the Gold Coast, 7HO in Hobart & Hitz in Bundaberg.

Back to Newcastle, looking at the drive ratings, Kennedy Molloy on KO rates only 11.9%, which is just 2.1% ahead of 1233’s Paul Bevan (who is retiring) & 3% ahead of Kate, Tim & Marty on New FM. Hughesy & Kate on hit106.9 rates quite well ahead of the others.


When Hit 104.7 was Fm 104.7 and
Had their own music logs they were hitting 15-20% share, they were a rock station then. Mix 106.3 was an adult contemporary / pop station.

Hit 104.7 ratings dropped when they joined the Hit network, lost Scotty and Nige, took the Hit Regional Music log, and have had no consistent breakfast team since S&N. Hit 104.7 should have their own music log considering the size of the market, but then again their is no other Fm commercial competition.


It’s also telling that despite the poor SCA results, they are still well ahead of the BOG stations (NEW FM and 2HD).

A lack of effective competition can create a bit of complacency, perhaps losing the overall #2 spot to 1233 might spur them into action.


Why such a big “other station” figure though, in a city with not much over spill and 4 commercial stations?

It’s not about the ABC result but more about what the commercial sector is missing. They’re clearly not servicing a big chunk of people who are going elsewhere for their radio, presumably to community stations. It’s not just Newcastle of course, even in capitals the “other” figure is on the rise.

My personal view is one of the main contributors to this is commercial radio has forgotten the “broad” in broadcasters. They’re too narrow in their playlists and they piss off people with formats that mix music, talk and sport. It drives a lot of people elsewhere. The consistency is lacking. You don’t know what you’re going to get when you switch on.

I was in a coffee shop the other morning and I noticed they had switched from 97.3 (Brisbane) to 96.5. Now these coffee shop proprietors aren’t religious - at least not the religion of 96.5 that’s for sure. I mentioned to them the change and they said it was because there was too much talk, advertising and false laughing at breakfast time on 97.3. They said with 96.5 they got a toned down breakfast show with more music. It’s just an example but I do think commercial radio is driving some people away. BTW I suggested they look into DAB and they’re already on it :slight_smile:


which you’ve clearly missed Jake Powell from Newcastle being network music director for the next few months, alongside his Newcastle duties, plus the fact Nick Blanch is also Triple M Newcastle Music Director and Weekends Music Director for the MMM Network.

This was an inner-city ABC book, no two doubts about it.

Why would you spend money when the shithole at Sandgate offers no alternative and no competition.

Blame them for the poor result, not SCA. There’s no competition.


I agree, there is no competition in Newy.

I can totally understand why people are going else where for their music fix. Last time I was there back in September all three commercial music stations all seemed to be targeting the same group of people and playing all the same cheap pop music. It the same in most bigger regional areas. In this day and age with cheap and easy streaming and the way regional radio is at the moment, I can see this is going to hurt these company’s in a big way.

Jake and Nick need to stop trying to musically copy the other stations and look outside the box. As what Brian said, there is no “Broad” in broadcasters anymore.


Keep rolling out the excuses for SCA and we’ll keep rolling our eyes. Every survey since the cost cutting is embarrassing for SCA, but go on, blame others instead of SCA fixing their own.

There’s not enough inner city over the survey regions for it to skew the survey.

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