May 7th, 2006 at 12:27am
Welcome to the first radio ratings season in Canberra, which will run from now until Saturday June 3, which means results will be due sometime around June 13.
If those of you with (and even the rest of us without) survey books could be so kind as to tune your radios to 2CC for the duration of this season I would be most grateful, and I’m sure you will agree that you have stumbled on to Canberra’s best radio station.
Naturally I’m looking forward to seeing how this ratings season pans out, 2CC are already off to a good start with ads on busses, but it will be interesting to see what tricks the other stations in Canberra pull out of their collective hats. Last year ABC Local Radio pulled off the dirty trick of advertising on commercial television, a trick I wouldn’t mind if they had advertising themselves, but the fact that they (the ABC as a whole) cry poor and then squander precious taxpayer funds on expensive television advertising is a very low and dirty trick. Of course the question as to why the ABC pay to be included in commercial radio ratings is beyond me, but I suppose they have to do something to make themselves look like a worthwhile budget hole. If the ABC are allowed in to the commercial radio ratings using taxpayer funds, perhaps the government should just make it an open and honest affair and pay for the community stations as well.
In my view, Canberra’s radio market is severely split into two markets, one being music, and the other being talk. In recent years the music market has been a fierce competition between Mix 106.3 and 104.7, with Triple J, ABC Classic FM and 2CA making up the rear of the pack. Last ratings season 104.7 gained an astonishing 2.6 ratings points to take the lead from Mix 106.3.
Having recently been subjected to multiple hearings of 104.7, I can safely say that I think they are going downhill quickly, and will struggle to retain top spot. Mix 106.3 will probably regain top spot, and the rest are unlikely to change. 2CA could have gained if they had informed Canberra of their new format which is similar to Mix 106.3, but as they haven’t done that, I don’t forsee many gains for them.
In the talk market, the ABC have dominated, with ABC Local Radio absolutely sweeping the field with just over 2.5 times the ratings share as second place 2CC in the last survey. Radio National were just behind 2CC last time, and News Radio came last in both the talk market, and the overall Canberra market.
This ratings season sees a few interesting changes. The ABC Local Radio lineup has changed, with the awful Ross Solly (who by his own admition entered radio because he was no good at farming) heading the convoluted breakfast schedule, and being followed by good newsreader but horrible feminazi Virginia Haussegger (already complained about on the ABC guestbook) as their answer to John Laws (good luck…Ha!). ABC Local Radio have also lost their main attraction of a saturday morning, gardening host Mark Carmody, which has probably prompted listeners to fiddle with the dial and find alternatives.
I can’t understand why the ABC insist on changing their schedule, if they want to keep listeners they need to find a schedule they can keep for any length of time. They are slowly but surely driving people mad with their constant schedule fiddles.
2CC have had the same schedule for quite some time, albeit with minor alterations caused by 2UE schedule changes. In fact the only real changes at 2CC in terms of local programming is minor improvements such as a recent change to the Trading Post (whoops, new sponsor, it’s the Tradies Post now…and I thought it was a typo in the script when I heard the promo for the first time) which made calling to sell things a fairer experience for all and sundry.
2CC have a tried and tested formula which is popular amongst the listeners (and much more interesting than ABC Local Radio in my opinion), and a timetable which is easier to remember.
Of the other stations in the market, ABC Radio National has had plenty of success in podcasting, which has probably raised their “brand awareness value”, which in turn may work in their favour, although I think when it comes to their programming which has no local content, people might be happy with just the podcasts. ABC News Radio is really facing extermination here, their conversion to FM didn’t help them in the last survey, and the only reasons they survive is the taxpayer funding that keeps them there, and the fact that the other ABC stations don’t really want to take over the parliament broadcasts, which are a niche market and bore most people to tears (I personally love televised question time, which is a circus of comedic proportions). The budget proceedings may help News Radio, but their chances of getting anywhere in this survey are almost null.
It’s an interesting few weeks ahead in Canberra, and I wish all the stations the best of luck, although I wish 2CA and 2CC much more luck than the others!