Radio ratings week: Macquarie Media CEO Adam Lang on the strength of 2GB and 3AW

• Broadcaster planning for the next generation of hosts with support from current stars

The results from GfK radio survey 2, 2018 have delivered more good news to Macquarie Media’s newstalk stations.

2GB was #1 in Sydney for its 111th consecutive survey with Alan Jones #1 in breakfast with his 210th survey win.

3AW continued its winning record over the past 13 years. Ross Stevenson and John Burns were #1 in breakfast for the 131st time for a total of 201 survey wins.

Alan Jones

When asked by Mediaweek about the network superstars breakfast shows hosted by Alan Jones and Ross and John, Adam Lang said:

“They are phenomenal on reading their audience, driving opinion, knowing what matters and engaging talkback. They help make it the best kind of media we have.”

If the unthinkable happens and either program decides to step away from the microphone, Lang said: “We can’t define a precise timeline because we don’t know when is the right time for people to part ways.

“We are very lucky because these are generous people who have achieved extraordinary things. They do look to help build their own successors and it would almost be impossible without that help.”

3AW’s Ross and John

Lang praised the teams of producers behind the Macquarie Media radio shows and added that a succession plan involves searching out younger talent.

“On 3AW we have producer Kate Stevenson, who is often on air with Ross Stevenson and takes over also when they are on leave.

“In Sydney we have people replacing both Alan Jones and Ray Hadley when they are off air. That includes Mark Levy for Ray Hadley plus other names like Luke Davis, James Willis and Natalie Peters. We introduce new talent and you test and learn from the audience how they are going to go.”

Lang made mention of how they are able to network the big names like Chris Smith, Ross Greenwood and Steve Price into other markets like 4BC in Brisbane. “We still have a local Brisbane drive show with Ben Davis.

“In Perth it is very different. We have an all-local lineup with a fabulous breakfast show with Steve Mills and Basil Zempilas, and Gareth Parker in mornings, who is in the mould of Neil Mitchell and Ray Hadley, is also doing well. We have Simon Beaumont in afternoons and Oliver Peterson in drive.”

Ray Hadley

As to the launch of the new Macquarie Sports Media, Lang said:

“Music was always going to be a problem for us as it has difficulty in retaining an audience and even greater difficulty in attracting clients.

There were aspects of Talking Lifestyle that were successful, but on balance it wasn’t successful enough.

“The new Macquarie Sports Radio is for the fans and not the fanatics. We will be talking about all sports all of the time. It is like starting a newspaper from the back pages and really covering the stories of the day and why they happened. It will be opinionated and will be funny.”

Lang noted the EPL rights deal. As to attracting more live sport, Lang said: “I think we need more live sport. We have existing rights for AFL in some markets and NRL in others. We will be part of the new cricket rights radio negotiations.”

As to the potential for success, Lang said of Macquarie Sports Radio: “There is nothing like it in commercial radio and we have the confidence and desire to be successful.

 

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