SmoothFM launched

SmoothFM has launched today in Melbourne and Sydney, you can hear the stations on Radio Today's 'listen live' page here.

There was no launch production piece, rather a brief low-key scripted and pre-recorded chat with Michael Buble in each market out of  the 7am news where the format was described as 'a year in the making'

The Breakfast positioning remains 'the more music breakfast show', and the first song on Smooth in both markets was Michael Buble's 'haven't met you yet'.

(pictured at the Melbourne launch function: Rohan Brown, Cathy O'Connor and Helen Davies)

You can see the first hour of music on Smooth, and more pictures from this mornings launch below.

Smoothfm 7am - 8am May 21

Haven't met you yet Michael Buble Current
How deep is your love Bee Gees 70's
Sweet caroline Neil Diamond 70's
Back to black Amy Winehouse 2000's
Build me up buttercup Foundations 60's
Kiss from a rose Seal 90's
We've only just begun Carpenters 70's
I won't let you go James Morrison Current
True Spandau Ballet 80's
Daydream Believer Monkees 60's
Big girls don't cry Fergie 2000's

update: Smoothfm 8-9am May 22

Your Song Elton John 70's
Love is in the air John Paul Young 70's
Haven't met you yet Michael Buble Current
Son of a preacher man Dusty Springfield 60's
Time after time Cyndi Lauper 80's
Stand by me Ben E King 60's
Wherever I lay my hat Paul Young 80's
I won't let you go James Morrison Current
Do you love me Contours 60's
Runaway The Corrs 90's
This old heart of mine The Isley Brothers 60's

update: Smoothfm 1-2pm May 22

There must be an angel Eurythmics 80's
I can't help myself (sugar pie honey bunch) Four Tops 60's
Need you now Lady Antebellum Current
In the ghetto Elvis Presley 60's
Rock with you Michael Jackson 70's
Eleanor Rigby Beatles 60's
Better together Jack Johnson Current
I still haven't found what I'm looking for U2 80's
My eyes adored you Frankie Valli 70's
Up where we belong Joe Cocker/Jennifer Warnes 80's
Say you say me Lionel Richie 80's

update: Smoothfm 6-7pm May 22

California Dreamin' The Mamas & The Papas 60's
We've only just begun Carpenters 70's
A thousand years Christina Perri Current
Walk on by Dionne Warwick 60's
What a wonderful world Louis Armstrong 60's
(I've had) the time of my life Bill Medley/Jennifer Warnes 80's
The A Team Ed Sheeran Current
Have I told you lately Michael Ball 90's
Chain reaction Diana Ross 80's

(above) Mike Perso, Pip Mooney and Mark Robinson at the Melbourne launch.

(above) Ty Frost, Cathy Dinn, David Reyne and Mark Robinson at the Melbourne launch


Given DMG has publicly said that SmoothFM will rate 6% or more within 12 months, what is your ratings expectation? You can vote in our just launched poll here.

Here are some of the articles pre-launch on Radio Today:

  • DMG Group Marketing Director Tony Thomas says 'Smooth will be 6% at least within 12 months' (here).
  • 'Will Smooth work?' Read here.
  • See the Smooth marketing here.
  • Radio Today reader and journalist Rob McCasker gives his thoughts on Smooth (pre-launch) here.


Published on Monday, 21 May 2012 07:05

Agency Girl(9:03am 21 May 2012)
I'm loving it. Listening since 8.30 this morning and the music is brilliant. Nice work ang congratulations
henry(10:00am 21 May 2012)
It is interesting to see how the news of Robin Gibb passing away today has played out on radio. The only station paying tributes with music, callers, production and coverage on their websites is smooth. Shows they have a uniqueness. Mix and WS aren't touching the Bee Gees. Very interesting
Peter Holden(11:40am 21 May 2012)
So at 6.50am I switch my radio to 91.5 FM in Melbourne.

It's ten minutes before launch and I'm listening to 'Nothing's going to stop us now' by Starship.

Around 6.53am Mike Person comes on the radio and mentions it's the last time he will be saying "Melbourne's 91.5 FM" as Smooth FM is about to take over.

The ad break kicks in... and it runs for 6 minutes.

At 6.59am there's a traffic update, followed by 90 second news bulletin. Interesting to note that since the newsroom sackings, there has been no audio actuality/bites in their news.

Now that news is finished, I'm ready for the kick-off (to be honest I was expecting a produced countdown)... only to be disappointed.

It was no frills job. Mike Perso came on and had a 'chat' with Michael Buble. It felt cold, fake, scripted and lacked any passion for the new station/format.

The first song was predictable, but to their credit a good choice. 'Haven't met you yet' was light, bright and catchy. Excellent starting song.

However, song two was a train wreck (even despite the overnight news)! Don't get me wrong, 'How deep is your love' is a classic, BUT wrong song at the wrong time. Too slow and dull for breakfast and may have scared off potential new listeners. Also killed the momentum the first song created.

After the song Mike Perso came on and thanked everyone for their calls saying how they liked the news station... then gave out the new phone number for the FIRST time! So... how did they call you without knowing the number... plus saying they like the new station just TWO songs in?

Third song was an interesting choice with Neil Diamond's 'Sweet Caroline'. I thought they would have gone for a 90s or more current track, but playing this gave me the impression of "3MP on FM".

Maybe it was me, but personally I didn't like Amy Winehouse "Back to Black" in Breakfast, though female listeners might disagree with me.

So the jury is out for the long-term, but I rate their start as 'clumsy'.
Anonymous(12:27pm 21 May 2012)
it seems news is not seen as one of the 'wins' with the new format, so bulletins are being kept snappy with this in mind. Although, when something big happened like Robin Gibb, they ran audio. Makes some sense, more music, less talk, including news.
John Caruso(14:25pm 21 May 2012)
Peter Holden's post above made me laugh.
Carrie Van Huesenberg(14:27pm 21 May 2012)
Henry, I can't speak about Sydney 'cos I'm not there, but I can tell you that in Breakfast Gold 104 in Melbourne had a very moving, well produced tribute to Robin Gibb, played songs and then spoke about it again often in Mornings, replayed the segment, and played another song. They swung into action very quickly. I would like to know why you found it "very interesting". In what way was it interesting?
Henry(15:19pm 21 May 2012)
Carrie. I'm in sydney so wasn't sure what was happening in Melbourne. I found it interesting because such an incredible artist like Robin Gibb and the Bee Gee's didn't have a natural home on a Sydney FM station. Shows the opportunity really
Timmyv (15:42pm 21 May 2012)
Cathy Dinn really suits the Smooth format in Melbourne, such a great talent! Her tone is perfect for this style of radio station.
So nice to see Cathy's talent put to such good use!
Ex DMG(16:02pm 21 May 2012)
@Henry. WS did play Jive Talking when Jonesy & Amanda announce his death and then played a produced tribute later in the morning.

If Smooth is so female skewed where are the female announcers on 95.3? It's a total sausage party! Surely Bogart Torelli would be an obvious choIce. She used to fill in on Vega...
Anonymous(16:55pm 21 May 2012)
Listened for a large part of the day. Underwhelmed. So much promise but poorly executed.
Reid(17:38pm 21 May 2012)
Great to see Cathy Dinn doing Drive in Melbourne. I liked her when she was on Melbourne's Mix 101.1 and now hearing her on Smooth FM is fantastic.
Anonymous(8:06am 22 May 2012)
Had a listen in Sydney, but probably not qualified to judge as I'm not female nor in the target market. But isn't this just easy listening like you'd find over at Mix?
Anonymous(11:10am 22 May 2012)
Boring as.I cant beleive in 2012 these stupid radio programers still dont get one wants to hear all this daggy old crap songs that we have heard forever.there is nothing different or new about Smooth.Radio in this country is terrible.down load the tune in app for Iphone and you wont have to put up with this rubbish ever again.
Anonymous(14:50pm 22 May 2012)
What a waste of money - where's all the great jocks that were number 1 when the yanks bought WS. Boggart, sure... but where's brad donaldson, bob peters, rob neil, and a non event brekky show??. More music breakfast is what you do on a caralis station, if you couldn't poach anyone good or have the processes in place to develop anyone over the past few years. merrick?? Tune in pro - funny! I did like the bubble though.
Anonymous(16:51pm 22 May 2012)
Not so SMOOTH comment. As inspiration,zilch creativity, thought I was listening to Easy 3MP. Slogan based personalities...Amy Winehouse 'Back To Black" and Carpenters at 7 in the morning...give me a break ! Please amp it up give me a reason to listen...I want you to succeed...entertain me don't drain me...Bee Gee's tribute nice touch...tell me what's going on in my city...make me laugh (I know that's a stretch)..... 90 second news casts...honestly my brain can handle more....try me....and what's with the cheezy singing I.D tracks.......hope it was a barter deal ! Overnight juke box to boot..
Anonymous(17:31pm 22 May 2012)
Yeah whats wrong with a jock on overnight... its really not that expensive, what a nice touch - a music station with somewhere there. or seemingly so. That's 80s. (in a good way)
Anonymous(21:47pm 22 May 2012)
The problem here is that the disaster this final commercial position has presented, begins to reflect on the industry as a whole. On a day when "spotify" makes news, this is radios big headline. Wow.

Clearly, there isn't an ounce of any - new - vision, a hint of courage or passion connected to this. The company admits that it (the format) has worked OS, and they're gonna give it a go. There it is! It's an act of desperation - and they're admitting they're out of ideas.

What the rest of us (competitors & non etc) can do is maybe, wish them some luck, and perhaps best of all, provide some kind of support or 'voice' to those who are on the front line and, let's be honest, will be blamed if this doesn't get to a '6' - in a year - as quoted. They're people who need 'work', look out for the first bunnies and know it wasn't their fault.

It would appear this company is close to running out of excuses. It's fortunate to not be publicly listed, and it does have owners who could be classified as 'work experience billionaires', oh well.

Overall, 'tragedy' indeed.
Peter Holden(9:47am 23 May 2012)
I decided to tune in for a few minutes this morning to hear what's going on.

What did I hear... Santana featuring Rob Thomas "Smooth".

I thought, huh? Isn't the station's campaign 'Time to relax'? That song sounded more suited to 'Classic Rock 91.5' then the goal/image of Smooth FM.

A little later they changed gear and played Carpenters 'Close to you'. So when you look at those two songs within 10-20 minutes of each other, it leaves one scratching one's head wondering what sound they are trying to achieve.

Someone else posted (and now I'm tending to agree) that the marketing campaign was done correctly, but the programming/music departments are the ones who have missed the mark.
Glenn(10:51am 23 May 2012)
I didn't get much time to listen Monday, but listened all day Tuesday. I'll give it the rest of the week before I pass final judgement, but if it continues like this, I may eat my words & revise my ratings predictions down somewhat from the over 7.5, all people 10 , & 9.7 or over, in the 30 - 54 age group in Sydney within 12 months. It's probably still the best station (to my liking in Sydney), but I believe they had the playlist the best & about right last week.

The current playlist ranges from the early 60's to today, spanning a roughly 50 year period, that’s far too wide, that span wouldn’t have happened 20-30 years ago, so why does it now, & the current tracks don't mix in well with the older ones.
Like others, I've heard a few (mostly newer songs) played at least twice a day, pretty sure I heard Gabrielle - Out of Reach played for the second, possibly third time since 6:30am on Tuesday along with, Need You Now by Lady Antebellum twice within about four hours Tuesday. Many of the newer tracks are being played every day too.

Last weeks playlist was mainly 70's & 80's, with a few 60's & 90's thrown in, (not too few, not too many), some of Natalie Imbruglia's late 90's songs that were played fitted in well, I haven't heard any of her songs since last Friday.
Last weeks music was more upbeat & not so dreary. From what I've heard yesterday & today, it's more meditation than relaxation music.

The SmoothFM station ID's/sweepers aren't to my liking either, I thought the old Sydney's 95.3 sweepers were much better, & am actually missing them.

Hopefully they change the playlist a bit over the next week or so, back to what it was 1-2 weeks ago, & I think it will be pretty well right, in the Sydney market for their target demographic.
I really want them to do well with this as it's what Sydney radio needs.
If they add a few more semi/modern songs & keep up the daily repetition, I might as well listen to Mix 106.5.
johnny lonely(15:23pm 23 May 2012)
Move along people!! Nothing to see here....
Anonymous(20:39pm 23 May 2012)
from classic rock to 2CH easy listening

i am going back to 2ws
Digitalworld(13:41pm 24 May 2012)
Have been listening to 91.5 since vega, then Classic rock and believed that from about last December DMG had got it just about right. Was "excited" to hear about Smoothfm and some new tracks being added BUT I believe they have "blown it". They need to get rid of the Carpenters, Neil Diamond, etc, they are dreary not "smooth". And stop repeating songs 3-4 times a day. There are so many really good songs from the 80's 90's 2000's and today to fit their format that they are not playing. So very dissapointed with this effort DMG, they had such a chance to come up with a top class radio station! If it is not changed soon then they have "blown it".

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