by Craig Wilson
The latest Newcastle radio ratings delivered bad news for those stations on the AM dial with both 2HD and ABC1233 recording significant falls.
NXFM topped the ratings again with a share of 18.9%, holding out stablemate KOFM on 17.6%. NEWFM recorded a rise of 1.1 for a share of 8.8% whilst NXFM was the only other station to increase their share.
The real damage was on the AM dial where both 2HD and ABC1233 dropped 2.8%.
For 2HD it was their lowest ratings in the last few decades and signals a significant loss of support. The station lost share in every demographic including a massive loss of 7.2% with the 65+ audience who had previously been their main supporters. 2HD also went down in every shift except Drive, including a drop of 5.3 in Mornings with John Laws.
The cumulative audience figures were even more revealing. 2HD now has a cumulative audience of just 65,000 for the week, while ABC1233 who also took a big hit still has 19,000 more listeners across the 7 days.
For ABC this survey may yet be an anomaly after a few solid years of good results. But at 2HD the alarm bells should be ringing loudly as this result is part of a long term decline that now sees them in the worst position I can remember. (Note: I previously work at 2HD and NEWFM and have followed their fortunes for over 20 years).
When the current management team was installed at Sandgate 2HD had a share of 15.6% and NEWFM was the basket case they were trying to lift from around 7%. Four years later NEWFM is closing in on 2HD for all the wrong reasons. NEWFM has spun its wheels in this time but 2HD has dropped 6%. The cumulative audience is a major concern. the combined audiences of 2HD and NEWFM are similar to the signal station audience of KOFM or NXFM.
I have been alarmed at the disparity between NXFM / KOFM and 2HD / NEWFM for years as it represents a major issue for advertisers and the quality of Newcastle radio. Well its now officially worse than ever.
Something needs to change before commercial radio becomes totally irrelevant in this market.
Nielsen: Newcastle Radio – Survey #1 2012
Station Share %
2HD – 9.4
KOFM – 17.6
NEWFM – 8.8
NXFM – 18.9
ABC1233 – 10.6
2JJJ – 10.7
Breakfast Share %
2HD – 10.1
KOFM – 18.6
NEWFM – 6.8
NXFM – 19.9
ABC1233 – 12.9
2JJJ – 8.3
Cumulative audience Mon-Sun ppl 10+
2HD – 65000
KOFM – 146000
NEWFM – 95000
NXFM – 157000
ABC1233 – 84000
2JJJ – 89000