Nine concedes it’s been a ‘difficult year’ for its radio brands
Nine Radio may own stations which frequently boast the largest audience share – including 2GB in Sydney and 3AW in Melbourne – but it hasn’t all been smooth sailing since the media giant took full ownership from Macquarie Media.
In its annual report, released this week, the company conceded it had lost ground from a financial perspective.
“It has been a difficult year for Nine Radio. Whilst from a ratings and audience perspective, Nine’s talk stations maintained their lead audience positions, profitability was disappointing. Metro radio market revenues declined by 20% across the year, and 30% in the June half. Nine’s revenue decline of 22% reflected a clear loss of share during the year,” the report said.
In a bid to stymie the damage, Nine Radio cut costs by 8% across the most recent financial year – or $8 million. Much of this cost saving came from consolidation, and initiatives which came into play following the onset of COVID-19, Nine said.
Nine has been on a campaign of revamping its radio assets since taking over, including installing new talent, such as Ben Fordham in Sydney Breakfast, Deb Knight in Sydney Afternoons, and Dee Dee Dunleavy on Melbourne’s Afternoon shift. The talent, as well as its ‘new approach’ to talk radio, is part of Nine’s attempt to attract a new type of audience to AM talkback.
It is also attempting to ‘simplify’ radio buying for brands and agencies to get its market share back up. And earlier this year, the group completed the ‘transformation’ of its sales teams, bringing the radio and television branches together.
The annual report noted that all these changes should culminate in its radio brands getting a larger slice of the advertising pie when the economy recovers.
“With these changes now implemented, Nine is confident that, combined with the extension of the 9News brand and the restructuring of the sales team, this will result in improved returns when advertising market conditions improve,” it said.