Radio

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Big brekkie break

Fancy filling the shoes of Waynee Poo? River 949 in Ipswich, west of Brisbane, is advertising for "breakfast talent" to replace Wayne Roberts (pictured), who left the station abruptly two Fridays ago. The ad is looking for somebody who can "create compelling, entertaining breakfast radio in a fast paced music based environment". The successful candidate will also have to be somebody who "thrives" on waking up at 3.30am. Guess that rules out most people already in breakfast radio ...

The Dunn Factor

As promised, here's a more thorough analysis of the impact of Jamie Dunn re-entering the Brisbane radio scene. I've done a station-by-station rundown, based on the assumption that there will be no more changes in the breakfast shifts. This is by no means certain, though - especially as there are rumours, backed by strong reasoning, of changes at several stations, including (drum roll please) market leader Nova 106.9! This analysis also doesn't take into account the impact of digital radio and multi-channelling, which really won't kick in until enough people buy digital receivers - and that could be many years.
4BC: The success of Jamie Dunn depends on his ability to adapt to the talk format, keep the lion's share of the station's existing listeners and bring over new listeners from the other AM stations and, crucially, the FM band.
612ABC: The local ABC station should pick up some disaffected BC listeners but may initially lose some people who want to sample what Dunn is up to. In the long term, I see Aunty's audience staying steady and perhaps even growing. Going on the experience in other states, by the end of the year the ABC and 4BC should command at least 25 percent of the total audience, especially in breakfast
Nova 106.9: The No.1 station should remain at the top of the heap as long as it can keep its breakfast team together, or at least substantially so. I've been saying Meshel Laurie will go back down south for a long time now, and one day I'll be right. I understand there are reasons why one or two of the other presenters might want to move on, too. If Dunn really clicks at BC, Nova may not be No.1 overall but it should lead the FM pack.
B105: Although it has made some ratings gains this year, the former market leader is still doing poorly. The challenge right now for its owners Austereo (who also own Triple M) is whether to stick with what they've got or try something new. There are dangers in both approaches. I don't expect the Jamie Dunn factor to have too much impact, though, as most of his fans have already defected to Triple M or 97.3FM. If the Nova breakfast show does fall over, B105's in with a chance to make some gains - but Nova is strong throughout the day and by no means an easy beat.
Triple M: I think the Ms are in for a tough ride, at least early in the new year. With 97.3 already appealing to the female listeners in the 29-plus demographic and BC sure to target its 40-plus listeners (particularly the tradesmen and the stay-at-home mums), Triple M has a lot to lose. However, I'd never write off Ian Skippen - and, despite all the snide remarks he sends in his former colleague's directions, neither would Jamie Dunn.
97.3FM: The female-skewed music station will do OK if it sticks to its knitting. The only risk it has is that if some of the folks who tune in to hear Robyn Bailey are actually Jamie Dunn fans nostalgic for when they were together on B105.
4KQ: Things haven't been terribly bright for KQ, which was once a major contender. There's a chance they will pick up some disaffected listeners from BC but I think the station's best hope is to try to hold its own.
4BH: Again, I can't see much change. BH is run on the smell of an oily rag, and will benefit commercially from any extra revenue Dunn can attract to it via its sister station 4BC. It's not meant to attract huge ratings, and it won't.

Jamie Dunn's return: What it means

I will post a more thorough analysis in coming days, but my immediate thoughts on Jamie Dunn's move to 4BC follow: In the short term, there will be a lot of "sampling", not just by listeners from other the older-skewed stations - 612ABC, 4KQ and 4BH - but also Dunn's old B105 audience and some current Triple M and 97.3 FM listeners. The long term challenge for 4BC will be to keep the older listeners happy while drawing in a slightly younger crowd (people in their 40s and early 50s). If the move works, it will mean a strengthening of both 4BC and 612ABC (who will inherit the listeners who don't like Dunn) and a slight weakening of the other stations. If it really works, BC could mimic commercial talk stations in Sydney and Melbourne and become the overall leader in a very tight market.
Update: Jamie is pictured (thanks, Channel 10) with his longtime sidekick Ian Calder, who will also move to 4BC. Courtney Burns will complete the line-up, which will be on air from January 12 next year. Rod "Mr T" Tiley will read the news in the breakfast slot, and Peter Dick will move to the afternoon shift.
Usual disclosures apply

Jamie comes home

Oct 16 update: Jamie Dunn's return to Brisbane, and his debut on the 4BC airwaves, have been announced as expected.

The rumour mill is on overdrive concerning what's going on at Brisbane Radio 4BC following the resignation of breakfast co-host Ross Davie. I now have it from four different sources that former B105 morning star Jamie Dunn is returning from Zinc 96 on the Sunshine Coast to helm 4BC breakfast. One new version has cornflakes incumbent Peter Dick moving to an afternoon or drive-time slot to make way for Dunn. Maybe they are all wrong, but it all seems right. I've been saying here, and elsewhere, for a long time that Dunn would be a hit on commercial talk radio, and potentially Brisbane's answer to Alan Jones (in terms of ratings success, I mean).
PS: In other radio news, ABC Radio National is axing a raft of shows, including Religion Report, Media Report, Sports Factor, The Ark, Perspective and In Conversation.
Disclosure: See here

Ross Davie quits 4BC

4BC breakfast co-host Ross Davie has quit. According to a media release, he will leave on Friday, October 17 to concentrate on his advertising agency, Ross Davie Advertising. In the statement, 4BC general manager David McDonald said: "Ross Davie has contributed much, and been an important part of the success of 1116 4BC in recent years and his efforts have been greatly appreciated.” He said he completely understood Davies' decision based on his commitment to his family and their business. McDonald has dismissed this blog's reporting of rumours that former B105 star Jamie Dunn will be joining 4BC next year, but today's statement does nothing to quell that speculation. It does, however, say that an announcement on the "new breakfast line-up" is expected soon. So, will Peter Dick (pictured, at right on right, with Davie) remain in the slot with another co-host, or will there be wholesale change?

And the winner isn't ...

As reported here in The Sunday Telegraph, Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O didn't win the top prize (best on-air team) at the 2008 Australian Commercial Radio Awards, Hamish Blake and Andy Lee (pictured) did. Congratulations to them, and to the other major winners:
• Best Talk Presenter - Neil Mitchell, 3AW Melbourne
• Best Current Affairs Commentator - Derryn Hinch, 3AW Melbourne
• Best Sports Presenter - Ray Hadley, 2GB Sydney
• Best News Presenter - Steve Blanda, 2UE Sydney (AM) and Kristy Warner, Nova Sydney (FM)
• Best Newcomer On-Air - Ian “Dicko” Dickson, Vega Melbourne
• Best Music Personality – Mike Fitzpatrick, Triple M, Melbourne
• The Brian White Memorial Award for excellence in journalism - Laura Tunstall, 2GB Sydney
While the awards were dominated with winners from NSW and Victoria, a few prizes went further north. B105 and Triple M Brisbane's Richard Barker was voted the most popular station manager, Nova 106.9's Kate Casey was named best music director, and the team from 4BC won the best sales achievement gong.

Poo: End of an era?

It seems it wasn't a hoax, and Wayne "Waynee Poo" Roberts has left Ipswich-based River 949. He's certainly disappeared from the website, which at the time of writing seems to indicate that River now only has two announcers. Roberts, who was on 4BK, 4IP and 4BC, is one of the genuine big stars of Brisbane radio over the past 40 years, and I'm sure his presence will be missed by many listeners. Or, as one reader of this blog suggests, perhaps he is planning another comeback ...

On his Todd?

"I'll just have to handle it all with class and I intend to do that."

So says Todd McKenney, who is facing court on charges relating to the possession of the drug GHB. Given that it's been alleged that McKenney - who is about to begin a run in drag in the musical Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and is on TV's Dancing with the Star and Sydney's Mix radio station - took his trousers off at a party to dance because it was hot, and the drug was then planted in his pants, that may be difficult.

Where's Danny?

I hear that Danny Hoyland, longtime contributor to and onetime fulltime employee of Radio 4BC is no longer with the station. Apparently the on-air folks at 4BC have been told in an email from management not to use Hoyland for live crosses but instead to use station staff. Exactly where they are going to find anybody who gets out and about as much as Hoyland is a mystery to me. It's a strange move. Without knowing any more, I assume it's a matter of cutting costs, but to me it seems like cutting off your nose - and ears and eyes. I'd venture that Hoyland is better known among the Brisbane public than most of BC's announcers.

Send in the clowns

The Cage breakfast team on Brisbane's Triple M have launched their own limited-edition beer which, as the result of a listener competition, is called Clown Lager. Not a bad name, but not as clever as the one Triple M used back in the early 1990s when Dave Gibson and Rob Duckworth were hosting the breakfast shift: Bitter and Twisted.
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