King… Eddie McGuire’s radio show on Triple M still tops the ratings.Eddie McGuire is now Melbourne’s top-rating FM breakfast host, talkback titan Neil Mitchell has been toppled by Jon Faine and 3AW is in danger of losing its ratings crown to the ABC.
The results of today’s Nielsen survey suggest the furore over McGuire’s recent “King Kong” gaffe may have attracted listeners to his show instead of driving them away.
McGuire’s Hot Breakfast program jumped by 1 percentage point to claim a 9.5 per cent slice of the audience, putting him ahead of all his FM competitors – including long-time FM kings and Southern Cross Austereo counterparts Matt Tilley and Jo Stanley on Fox.
While 3AW morning host Mitchell increased by 0.5 points to a 13.8 per cent share, it was not enough to stop arch-rival Faine leapfrogging him with a 1.8 point jump to 15.1 per cent.
Overall, 3AW shed a negligible 0.1 point to a 12.8 per cent share while 774 climbed 1.1 points to 12.5 per cent.
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3AW’s night hosts Bruce Mansfield and Philip Brady (down 0.4 points to 11.5 per cent) were beaten by 774’s Lindy Burns (up 1.8 points to 14.2 per cent). 3AW also lost the overall weekend ratings (down 0.4 to 11.1 per cent) to 774 (up 0.7 points to 11.3 per cent).
However, the station remains the clear AM winner in key shifts including breakfast (up 0.2 points to 18.4 per cent), afternoon (down 0.2 points to 9.4 per cent) and drive (up 1 point to 11 per cent).
Fox remained at the top of the FM ladder, climbing 0.4 points to a 10 per cent share. It also has Melbourne’s highest-rating drive shows: Hamish & Andy on Monday and Fifi & Jules from Tuesday to Friday.
“We’ve got two bloody good drive shows on Fox,” said Southern Cross Austereo’s chief content officer, Guy Dobson. “And we’re thrilled that not only did breakfast go up on Fox and Triple M but that Eddie is No. 1.”
Triple M (down 0.2 points to 8.1 per cent) is now ahead of Gold (down 0.7 points to 7.9 per cent), followed by Nova (down 0.2 to 7.1 per cent) and Mix (down 0.5 to 6.1 per cent).
Smooth slipped 0.2 points to 5.5 per cent but it is now ahead of sister station Nova in the afternoon slot, with 7.1 per cent to Nova’s 7 per cent.
After several years of volatile ratings, the 9.15 frequency – formerly known as Vega, Classic Rock and Melbourne’s 91.5 – has enjoyed its best results since re-launching as Smooth one year ago.
“We’re right in amongst it now,” said dmg Radio’s group program director, Paul Jackson.
While the station’s breakfast share dropped 0.7 points to 4 per cent, Jackson said that patience was required.
“Our share of the workday market is now huge,” he said. “We always expected breakfast to be the last to grow because we’re up against heritage programs in an established market – but we are confident it will grow.”
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