In a stunning result, the final radio ratings survey of the year paid a fitting tribute to Russell Woolf, with ABC’s breakfast program finishing the year on top. The program, which was helmed by Woolf until his shock death a month into the survey, jumped 2.5 points to snatch the crown from Nova93.7’s breakfast team and end the year on 13.0 points (with Nova on 12.7).
Woolf’s breakfast program had already been gaining ground in the previous survey, but sadly, the nice guy of radio never got to see the results. The massive jump in ratings may be in part due to the huge outpouring of grief and support following Rusty’s untimely death. Hundreds of listeners tuned in and called in, wanting to share their memories of him, with stories about his larger-than-life personality both on the radio and off.
On a personal note, having worked with Russell and his predecessor Eoin Cameron for several years at the ABC, I can only hope they’re up there somewhere having a red wine and revelling in going out on top.
The ABC is yet to announce Woolf’s permanent replacement, with Stan Shaw sitting in the chair for now. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with the program’s ratings in the new year…clearly someone has some big shoes to fill.
But the ABC’s good news didn’t extend much past breakfast.
The Mornings program took a small dip of 0.2 points, with Nadia Mitsopoulos ending the year on 7.7, well behind rival Liam Bartlett at 6PR, who picked up 1.2 points to end the year on 9.9, but still in fourth place behind the FM stations.
6PR’s afternoon program hosted by Steve Mills ended the year on 8.5 per cent of audience share, far outperforming the ABC’s Christine Layton (5.5), while in the Drive slot, Ollie Peterson made a slight gain of 0.2 to finish the year on 9.0 points, while ABC counterpart Geoff Hutchison gained 0.8 to end on 7.9.
In the overall scheme of things, Nova93.7 maintained its position as the number one station in Perth with 12.6 per cent of audience share but was closely followed by Mix 94.5 on 12.4. Despite losing a bit of ground, 96fm rounded out the top three in the first survey since the departure of managing director and radio legend Gary Roberts, who brought the station back from the ratings wilderness during his tenure.
The fortunes were not favouring the brave over at 92.9 Triple M, however, where listeners clearly haven’t embraced the re-brand as a rock music station and the station finishing the year on just 5.5 points, equal to oldies station 6IX.
Heading into the non-ratings summer period, all the program hosts will be taking a break from the microphone, with the 2022 ratings to start on Jan 16.