Big changes for 96FM Perth

ARN has listened to Perth’s feedback and responded, shifting its music to focus more on pop rock/modern rock, giving 96FM a unique music position in the market and reigniting the strength and heritage of the brand.

To coincide with the format change, 96FM has launched an outdoor and digital marketing campaign, inviting listeners to “Experience the Change” and introducing “Perth’s Real Gold”.

In a statement, ARN said that 96FM Perth’s Real Gold is all about the music, better music and more of it with a whole new playlist and the return of the 'No Repeat Workday' guarantee.

The station's news service, previously sourced from 6PR, service will also be improved.

On the changes, ARN national content director, Duncan Campbell said: “We’ve changed the music on 96Fm in response to listener feedback and we’re confident that Perth will love the new sound. We've embraced the rock heritage of the original 96FM, playing only Perth's Real Gold with the return of the always popular 'No Repeat Workday'."

With the internalising of their news service, two new journalists join the team this week.

Broadcasting from the station's East Perth studios, journalists Kema Rajandran Johnson and Maddie Burke will deliver "the highest quality local news" to Perth listeners.

Kema Rajandran Johnson, already a familiar voice amongst the breakfast team, will continue to update listeners during the Carmen & Fitzi Breakfast show. Kema joins the news team from 6PR where she began her career working as a producer before moving into the newsroom as a reporter.

Another popular Perth news favourite, Maddie Burke, will also join to the 96FM team, delivering news in drive. Maddie spent five years as the breakfast newsreader at Nova 937, and more recently hosted shows on 6iX and Coast FM.

Popular breakfast hosts Carmen & Fitzi will continue to entertain in the breakfast spot, engaging and connecting with listeners each morning.

"This is exciting for 96FM and for Perth audiences, and when they experience the change they’ll hear a playlist full of the music they love," Campbell said.

“We also welcome Kema and Maddie to the 96FM news team and, in doing so, increase the quality of our news service and further strengthen our local connection with our audience.”

Homer(2:41 23 Jan 2017)
So it took the radio station 2 years to actually listen to its audience... that's what they're really saying! Perth listeners, you've been Punk'd!
Experience change #1567 and breakfast show #25!
Good luck to ARN but you can't help but laugh about 96FM. Oh Perth...
Anonymous(3:16 23 Jan 2017)
The M1 of music position changes.
Anonymous(3:22 23 Jan 2017)
This doesn't make sense. It says focus more on pop rock/modern rock but they are calling themselves "Real Gold"? Something isn't right here.

Also they need a great local content director to steer the ship. Perth is a unique market where good direction is required.
Matt(3:34 23 Jan 2017)
LOVE to hear a station is embracing and promoting its quality local news service. The industry and every company needs to follow this lead.
Anonymous(3:42 23 Jan 2017)
I think 96fm is playing good music now but i still think that they need to get rid of Hughesy and Kate and also Kyle & Jackie o and then bring back Darren de mello to host a new night show on 96fm.
Anonymous(3:57 23 Jan 2017)
Not really much of a change to the music to be honest, very minor adjustments if anything
Rob(4:20 23 Jan 2017)
Love a station that has Linkin Park between Sussudio & You're the Voice
Anonymous(4:24 23 Jan 2017)
I heard Duke Dumont's "Ocean Drive" today on 96fm. I don't understand how a song from 18 months ago is classed as "gold". They should have just stuck with the "Keep Real Music Alive" format they inherited 2 years ago and they'd be a solid number 1 now. [eye-roll]
Anonymous(4:55 23 Jan 2017)
Stand by for another Duncan Campbell failure.
96FM will still have Hugesy and Kate, whom Perth audiences loathe. Same applies to Kyle and Jackie 'O'

Another question. If the station is moving to Gold, H&K and K&J are less of a fit.

When ARN purchased 96FM it was number 2, having achieved number 1 on a couple of occasions. It is now number 7 and dropping.

The axing of popular local announcers Ian Blackeley and Darren DeMello were hardly the actions of programmers with any clue as to what they were doing.

Duncan Campbell previously programmed in Perth on 92.9. He should know the market, making this debacle less excusable.
96FM is a disaster and I suspect these so called changes are akin to a doctor prescribing asprin for cancer.
Paul (7:53 23 Jan 2017)
The new format is disjointed I think with Duke Dumont back to back with T Rex among other things. I think they would be better adopting the Pure Gold postioner & going up against 6IX, then they might have a chance.
The Barefoot Investor(7:57 23 Jan 2017)
On an earnings multiple basis, that $80m purchase would be now worth... say $35m at best???
To quote earlier articles on this site, for a network that 'intensely researched the market prior to purchase' i'd be very keen to know which market that was... let's see how long the bean counters will put up with this mess. It's not just the listeners that have been taken for a ride with this one!
Marge(10:44 23 Jan 2017)
The music does not have to be old to be gold. If it was Classic Gold yes but Real Gold could mean the quality of the music, new and old. By the way, I am loving the new sound.
Juan Powerball(12:02 23 Jan 2017)
Get rid of the Eastern States garbage. Nobody cares. I do miss Alice Cooper at Night. You need De Mello back as well. Good operater in all radio formats.

That Maddie, good newsreader. Wasted her time with Gossage.
Trouble in paradise(21:34 23 Jan 2017)
One of the worst investments in radio history. And one of the worst programming strategies ever implemented. ARN turned 96 into a basket case and I dont see anything changing soon with this change.
They wrecked Perth and have now wrecked Brisbane. What next ? Just as well Kyle runs KISS Sydney.
Dave(6:04 24 Jan 2017)
Of late I have barely listened to what was my once my favourite station but am tuning in again to give it a go.

Certainly music-wise sounds close to where they were before they were vandalised by ARN. Need to give it more time though to see if its too repetitive or not.

But yes it will take a lot more for them to recover lost ground. What I've heard of breakfast has been boring and there's no way I'll touch drive.
Anonymous(9:53 24 Jan 2017)
It's always good as a former metro PD to listen to a strategic change to a radio station, especially a Perth icon like 96fm. Listening over the past two days, the music is better, but still not crafted. Too many messages. In one break, 96fm real gold, better music and more of it, the 10k no repeat workday and then into a all over Perth rant for breakfast. Too much!
Where are the music demonstrators to educate the listener on what this new format stands for?? You spent a good week promoting the change. I like the breakfast show, but it lacks substance. The best nickname for the new Perth Stadium as a topic? Really? How about some relatables that will connect with listeners. This team are good at that, but clearly lacking direction. News changes are good. No Perth feel, just the usual 80s and 90s programming - back to outdated basics. You are up against a powerhouse in Mix. Not a good plan again or even well executed change to 96fm. Sorry.
Matthew(14:01 24 Jan 2017)
I heard an ad for the changes on the way home tonight. Lots of emphasis on Perth Perth Perth, and even a claim of "No more calls from over east". Do they think we're stupid? Their whole drive show is a call from over east!
Anonymous(1:12 25 Jan 2017)
Everyone should give them a break. That team works hard and the new sound is a step in the right direction. Naturally it will take time to put it all together and the competition is quite strong. So good luck guys
How does it generate a profit (1:42 25 Jan 2017)
This product must be rather difficult to sell in Perth's market.
Is the name alone just enough?
Having sampled during the last few days I am confused.
They sound lost to me.
Jono(19:36 27 Jan 2017)
96fm was a winner in the 80's and 90's because it had staffing continuity. Didn't the Triple M disaster of 20 years ago not teach them anything at all? They lost Botica and Capt Paul to 94.5 and all the old guard followed them. It was awful. Now we have Hughsey and Kate and those other two cretin's from the east that don'r even deserve to even be employed, Kyle and Jackie O. Get rid of this dross and return to your core values of 1981 and you might be somewhere near. I was a staunch supporter before the Triple M debacle and switched off then and have switched off again since this second foray into forcing the eastern states down out throats.
Freddie(0:19 28 Jan 2017)
So is 96FM part of the KIIS Network or the Pure Gold Network (with an edited KIIS logo?)
Anonymous(17:29 30 Jan 2017)
The loss of experienced and talented news presenter Andrew Glencross makes less sense in the face of the format change at 96FM.

ARN clearly wanted a younger news sound at the same time they are relaunching 96FM to an older demographic.

Apart from Glencross being brilliant at what he does, you'd think ARN might have worked out he was a plus for the newly targeted older audience.

Meantime Hughesy and Kate, along with Kyle and Jackie O, remain on air. Given the station is older, keeping those people on air makes even less sense.

If 96FM was human, you'd have strong evidence suggesting it was insane.

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