Upheaval rocks Perth radio scene

Considering the huge upheaval in the Perth radio scene towards the end of last year, the first ratings survey of 2021, released in March, was a bit of a dud. There was very little movement for most of the programs, or across the major stations, which was slightly surprising given the widespread changes. It’s possible listeners were just too confused to know which station they wanted to tune into.

The second survey of the year, released last week, reveals a bit more about whether listeners are happy with the changes. While overall, the status quo remains, with Nova 93.7 still the top rating station in Perth, followed by Mix 94.5, the biggest winner from the survey was 96fm, which gained ground under radio stalwart Gary Roberts, who guided the station back to its roots after a couple of years in the radio wilderness. A re-brand for 92.9 Triple M to focus on rock music has so far failed to pay off in the ratings, with the station sitting 6th overall, behind Triple J.

In the battleground breakfast timeslot, the 96fm breakfast team picked up a substantial 1.5 points despite the retirement of one its key members, veteran Fred Botica, halfway through the ratings period. However, The Bunch are sitting fourth overall behind Nova 93.7, Mix 94.5 and former stablemate 6PR, now owned by Channel Nine. Sitting in the breakfast chair for 6PR is Gareth Parker, who was moved from Mornings; a move which listeners seem to approve of, since he picked up 1.1 points to give him a significant lead over his ABC rival Russel Woolf, who dropped a massive 2.2 points.

ABC listeners also moved away from Woolf’s previous co-host Nadia Mitsopoulos, who lost one point in the Mornings timeslot, trailing 6PR’s star recruit Liam Bartlett, who picked up an impressive 1.9 points to sit at 10 per cent of the market share. Listeners obviously like what they’re hearing from Mark Pascoe on 96fm in this timeslot, since he picked up 1.2 points to edge out Nova for the number two spot behind Mix 94.5.

The tightest race for ratings was in the Drive slot, where there was less movement, probably due to the fact it was the only timeslot not affected by the deck shuffling last year. ABC host Geoff Hutchison lost one point to sit at 5.6 per cent of the market share, while 6PR’s Oliver Peterson picked up 0.5 to move to 8 per cent, which is still well behind the mostly eastern states-syndicated programs which the FM stations run in the timeslot.

Survey 3 is due out on 1 June 2021.


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