Radio Today

dmg announces 'SMOOTH'

As Radio Today broke last friday (here), dmg have just announced the rebrand of 91.5 and 95.3 as 'Smooth FM'.

Since dropping the Classic Rock branding a year ago, dmg have had the stations in an obvious, and long, 'holding pattern' whilst they decided on the new brand and format.

The new format is described by dmg as being focused on providing 'more music and less talk' and as "distinctive, contemporary, soft easy listening", and will feature soft music from all era's.

The lineup of the stations has being tweaked slightly with David Reyne, formerly of Channel Ten, joining the stations for the evening program 'the Wind Down', and Operations Manager Mark Robinson slotting into afternoons. Also signing on for weekend specialty programs are Richard Wilkins and Jason Donovan.

In announcing the brand and the format that she has chosen for the stations, CEO Cathy O’Connor (pictured left at todays launch) said: “A major launch of a new radio brand is incredibly exciting not just for dmg Radio Australia, but for the whole industry.

We’ve identified a gap in the market for a music position that is unique in the Sydney and Melbourne radio landscape and we’re confident that listeners will embrace smoothfm.”

“dmg Radio Australia now has a comprehensive portfolio to go into market. smoothfm, when combined with the Nova Network, will provide an incredible offering to both the under and over 40s with enormous revenue opportunities for the company.”

Some of the artists featured on the new format, dmg have said, will be the Bee Gees, Adele, The Beatles, Abba, George Michael and Michael Buble.

dmg have referenced other markets where AC formats such as SmoothFM are highly successful: Magic in London, Coast FM Auckland and Lite FM in New York each of which are ranked either first or second in those markets.

The relaunch will happen at 7am on 21 May and will be supported by a  marketing campaign described as 'significant'.

note: we previously had linked to DMG's Sizzle Reel, however they have shutdown the URL containing this.

 

Published on Published on Thursday, 03 May 2012 14:20



Anonymous (5:41am 03 May 2012)
With MyMp in Melbourne, is there a gap for smooth? I guess mp is just as damaged as 91.5 and with the advantage of FM may come out on top.

I just hope it was worth all the job cuts, I haven't listened to a DMG station since the jobs went from the newsroom (shame, because I think Nova's drive show is better than FIfi & Jules) how much would Richard Wilkins and Jason Donovan cost?
Anonymous (6:00am 03 May 2012)
The biggest surprise here is that no one has done this before, with complete commitment to the format. I hope it works, and I am bummed that I dont live in either market. Good luck to all involved, and please don't panic after one weak book and start adding Katy Perry songs:)
Mark Taylor (6:14am 03 May 2012)
Great move its been a hole in Melb and Sydney FM for a long time.
Good Luck to the DMG crew your on a winner!
Anonymous (6:23am 03 May 2012)
it's a bit sad how these frequencies keep being "relaunched" with new stations... while there is a massive pile of careers left dead in the battle fields of Vega/Classic Rock/91.5 and 95.3!

If DMG screw up these stations again, and sack more people because of the mistakes made in top level management (if you could call it that) - the Fed Gov should step in and take back the licenses for re-auctioning.
Jase (6:34am 03 May 2012)
This should be an interesting move, easy listening stations in the past have normally been crusty classics on the AM band.....the right mix of 'smooth' classics and current songs on the FM should attract a niche market. Will probably never win a survey but a market share around 6-8% is achievable, certainly alot better than what previous formats have reached.
Jason Staveley (6:41am 03 May 2012)
As someone who spent many days, weeks and months slaving away trying to make vega 95.3 work...the benefit of hindsight and 10 figures above 5% in 2008 suggests we had some success......I wish the dmg team nothing but the best.

Passionate people like Mike Perso, Kate Mason and Mark Robinson to name a few, deserve a few wins.

Good luck guys.

Will be interesting to see how ARN move to 'block'.
Anonymous (7:31am 03 May 2012)
After seeing the sizzle video, this might work! This reminds me more of what Mix used to be like.
Anonymous (7:44am 03 May 2012)
Great to see that Cathy can get excited even with all that blood on her hands. Jason Donovan and David Reyne? "Old and Unwanted Sydney-based has-beens FM" would be a better moniker. I agree with all of those wishing DMG luck, they are certainly going to need it.
johnny lonely (7:46am 03 May 2012)
Duncan's smart. Mix / WS to block easily. Next?
Anonymous (8:32am 03 May 2012)
Great news! F$@k the haters!
Anonymous (8:38am 03 May 2012)
I think the format sounds fantastic...but as one of the many who lost their job after slogging it out for years on these stations...I can't help but feel like it's another mess waiting to happen.

Are these licences cursed?
Anonymous (9:06am 03 May 2012)
So much money spent on re-branding every couple of years, none on marketing (not joking - the budget for that was ZERO one year) and under-resourced and managed.

However - good luck to those involved. It's bloody hard work being on that team!
Anonymous (10:50am 03 May 2012)
Good luck DMG you will need it, please, please spend money marketing so someone knows you exist!!!!

99.9% of people in both markets have never heard of Vega, Classic Rock or Sydney/Melbourne's ??
IAN WRIGHT (11:08am 03 May 2012)
Across the entire Australian commercial radio industry say in 2011, as individual percentages, if you looked at total revenue v total operating costs v $ spent on Marketing, I wonder what we'd discover ? Me thinks ca$h invested on Marketing would be relatively small. Yes, I'm excluding contra, barter, & on-air self promotion. Any estimates ? Funny, how our business survives, thrives or dies on other people investing $ enthusiastically in our medium, which we naturally encourage in good times & bad. Are we being a tad hypocritical with our cash Marketing investment or does the Industry have the ratios about right ? Anyone with the real industry numbers ?
Peter Holden (12:34pm 03 May 2012)
*Danger! Danger! Will Robinson*

There are some tell tale signs here this might end in disaster again (and for the staff's sake, I certainly hope not).

Above, Cathy O'Connor said "We’ve identified a gap in the market..." - Were they not the same words said (by at least someone in management) about a year or so ago when 'Classic Rock' was launched?

The article has also stated "Also signing on for weekend specialty programs are Richard Wilkins and Jason Donovan." Ummmmm, haven't they learnt from the "Tom Williams Show" and "Cheap Seats" failures?

I honestly can't see where DMG's Smooth station in Melbourne is going to find the audience.

If they are aiming towards the 'Easy Listening' market, they have to compete with Magic and 3MP. Sure they are on AM, but they are KNOWN brands who have a rusted on audience (even after the 1377 catastrophe).

Turning to AC, they are in a fight with Mix who own the AC listening female share of the market.

Plus, why is the launch 3 weeks from now when they have already made the move to the format? That really takes the sting out of the launch and any hype around it.

Finally... anyone other eagle-eyed readers spot that the Smooth branding colour is the same as Koffee?
gavin (10:27pm 03 May 2012)
2CH seem to be doing OK on AM with a format that's not a million miles from this. I wonder what their reaction to this was?
Anonymous (11:31pm 03 May 2012)
Wow. Peter Holden. Your comments show you are completely out of touch with what mix is, what this format is 'going to be' . Time to get back to your All Bran
David Ricquish (1:15am 04 May 2012)
DMG say they're partially copying Kiwi station Coast which is owned by ARN [through their local subsidiary TRN]. This launched many years ago and still features strongly in some markets after a playlist refreshment recently. Features 60s ad breaks, which now sometimes stretch to 90s. Uses voice tracking and is networked nationwide with local ad, weather and traffic inserts. Pretty much the easy listening early 'babyboomer' market jukebox with ads for improving sexual performance pills, home alarms for the elderly, resthomes and funeral directors. Similar sound to 2CH, Magic 1278, 4BH, Cruise 1323. Coast is split 50/50 on AM/FM. Competes with TRN's own Classic Hits [FM] and now Mediaworks The Sound [also FM which recently rebranded from Solid Gold]. So how will smoothFM rate? Probably better than currently as it's a 'safe' format but essentially has to drag listeners away from 2CH/Magic/myMP. Nothing really exciting about it all though. Expect lots of competitions with prizes of cruises, theater tickets to Jersey Boys and similar prizes for the babyboomers. Yawn.
Peter Holden (1:36am 04 May 2012)
My apologies to 'anonymous' for getting the Mix format wrong... posted after a long day at work, brain in "wind-down" mode!

In regards to David Ricquish's comments, would the best Australian example of format Smooth is aiming for, be Cruise 1323 Adelaide? (maybe those who listen to that station give their two cents worth)
Anonymous (3:20am 04 May 2012)
Saw a tweet from you guys saying there was a "sizzle reel" here to listen to. Where is it?
Anonymous (5:01am 04 May 2012)
Ed Phillips... strong play, 'from the people and of the people'
Editor (5:49am 04 May 2012)
Hey Anonymous, we've had one or two people ask where the Sizzle Reel we had linked to went. We had it online until about 8p or so last night, when DMG shut down the URL link containing the reel. Slightly unhelpfully it went down just after we tweeted about it.

It's their decision of course and we respect that, but we just wanted to explain where it went - and why we subsequently removed our link to it!

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