Lift for an early crew
The recent rise in the ratings for the MIX breakfast show could mean patience has paid off
AFTER 29 years in the radio industry, Mix 101.1 general manager Steve Rowe has seen enough to know it takes more than one good ratings survey to make a summer.
That doesn’t mean he isn’t happy with the boost given to his Two Women and a Metro breakfast team.
It’s been a tough year for the trio, Brigitte Duclos, Georgina McEncroe and Tom Gleeson.
The station’s determination to chase a more female-friendly demographic — aged 30 to 50 — with a lifestyle-oriented format had hardly been an instant winner with listeners.
Derided by some critics as bland, soft and inoffensive, the station had struggled against rivals such as Vega.
There had been rumours the ailing breakfast show could face the axe. That’s why the 1.4 per cent audience lift to 4.6 per cent in the latest survey comes as a welcome morale boost and some small validation for the station’s persistence in pursuing its strategy.
‘‘It was really pleasing to get that bounce but, by the same token, the worst thing you can do is fly the flag and say everything is fixed,’’ Rowe says. ‘‘It’s not.’’
By his own admission, it has been a tough year.
Rowe has to go as far back as survey two at the start of the year for the only other ratings increase recorded by the breakfast team this year.
That result was followed by three consecutive falls.
Though pleased to get a bit of ratings love, Rowe says he’ll be happier when the station can string together two or three positive surveys.
‘‘When you get a good result like that, certainly people enjoy it,’’ Rowe says.
‘‘They get a bit of enthusiasm and it probably establishes some good momentum.’’
Rowe says there is no single reason for the ratings boost.
He believes the breakfast crew has ‘‘clicked’’ since its first show at the start of the year and is getting out and about and engaging more with listeners.
‘‘A lot of people want things to happen overnight,’’ Rowe says. ‘‘Breakfast teams don’t do that. You’re establishing your audience, you still have listeners who probably liked the last team and all those sort of things.’’
Rowe says breakfast radio teams have to be given time to work well together, something Duclos, Gleeson and McEncroe have progressively achieved.
He says MIX’s ‘‘smooth’’ music format has given the station a betterdefined identity with listeners.
‘‘It’s a mature type of music format. There are not too many hard edges, it’s not over-soft, either. It’s designed to be fairly good to listen to for long periods.’’
WITH Two Women and a Metro not exactly threatening top-rating breakfast rivals such as The Matt and Jo Show on FOX and Nova’s Hughesy and Kate, Rowe is keeping his feet on the ground.
‘‘I’ve been in radio about 29 years so I always feel like, ‘I’ll take it and I’ll enjoy it, but we need to do it again’, he says of the ratings boost.
‘‘We need to keep some forward momentum and have more than one good result.’’
Time will tell if the survey surge is a one-off blip or the folksy, anecdotal approach of Two Women and a Metro is beginning to strike a genuine chord with listeners.
The results of the eighth and final radio ratings survey for the year will determine whether it is going to be a Merry Christmas for Rowe and his crew at MIX.
Ratings revival: this month’s survey had some good news for the Two Women and a Metro team of (from left) Georgina McEncroe, Brigitte Duclos and Tom Gleeson.