Radio ratings: Finely chopped, stirred and spun

Radio audience figures can be sliced and diced. Last week’s release of the first quarter’s ratings was cut so many ways that even the bobby dazzler of the chopping board Jamie Oliver would have been impressed.

NewstalkZB could afford to play it straight (almost) with figures that showed breakfast host Mike Hosking has well-and-truly eclipsed RNZ’s Morning Report as the most-listened-to programme. It stated on its website that “already king of the airwaves” Hosking has “surged to a new record of more than half a million listeners”. His 511,700 listeners – compared to Morning Report’s 429,100 – was certainly worth crowing about.

So, too, was ZB’s place as the top commercial station in the GfK commercial survey with a cumulative weekly audience of 744,000 people. That, too, topped RNZ National’s weekly audience by 117,000 listeners, although ZB wouldn’t draw the parallel because the commercial broadcasters have assiduously avoided a single radio market survey where non-commercial audiences are included in the comparisons.

However, what ZB and its sister, the New Zealand Herald, didn’t tell us was that in its biggest market – Auckland – both Hosking and the station’s overall audience  have come off the boil. The breakfast host’s share of audience in that market has dropped 4.6 percentage points to 30.3 per cent and his weekly cumulative audience is down by almost 6000 to 217,800. The station’s overall share in Auckland is down from 24.3 per cent to 21.5 per cent. Continue reading “Radio ratings: Finely chopped, stirred and spun”

New snap and crackle in breakfast radio

Santa has already sent my Christmas present, and I confess to taking a sneak peep. I can’t wait to fully unwrap the 2022 Breakfast Battle Royal.

Before we have vacuumed the sand out of the car and packed away the folding chairs, New Zealand broadcasters will be hard at work finessing the line-ups they offer in the most hotly contested and crowded part of the market.

It is the space where not only do the two broadcast television networks fight each other for audience but must also compete with radio stations that are determined to hook morning listeners before they start their commute to work. And, somewhere in that mix, newspaper publishers and news sites also are vying for eyeballs. Continue reading “New snap and crackle in breakfast radio”

Ego poisons radio’s culture

Commercial radio really must stop feeding the Ego Monster.

By over-inflating the self-worth of some of their employees, the broadcasters create risks for the public, toxic environments, and rods for their own backs.

The problem is not limited to radio hosts, although they are the most obvious manifestation of the abnormality. It affects executives and, indeed, anyone in the organisation who buys into the belief that they are personally contributing to success in the latest audience ratings. Continue reading “Ego poisons radio’s culture”