Nine Radio predicts a ‘new generation’ of listeners will turn to talkback, ahead of next week’s ratings release
Nine’s chief sales officer Michael Stephenson says a new generation of listeners is tuning into the media company’s radio brands – including Sydney’s 2GB, Melbourne’s 3AW, and Brisbane’s 4BC – as it reimagines what talkback radio can look, and sound, like.
“You guys [the media] have written a lot about Nine Radio in the course of the last nine months, and the next nine will be no different,” he told media last week. “We have reimagined, and are reimagining Nine Radio for a new generation. We’re reimagining talk for a new generation. And we have, through both our talent, our product, our programming and our promotion, recognised generational change – from Deb Knight and Dee Dee Dunleavy, to Brooke [Corte], to, of course, Russel [Howcroft], and Ben [Fordham], our talent has evolved as we regenerate for a new generation of talk listeners.”
Asked by Radio Today if this reimagining would coincide with fewer controversial headlines, and therefore perhaps less attention and political influence, Stephenson stressed the ongoing power of local radio.
“What we have done is invest in what we think are the right hosts for today’s generation, and those hosts, whether it be Ben [Fordham], or Russel [Howcroft], or any of the other existing guys, will tell the stories of the day in the city which they operate,” he said in response to the controversy and influence question.
“The localised nature of radio makes it incredibly powerful to bring those stories to light. And that will never change.”
Last week, Nine pitched its upcoming content slate and data offering to marketers and media buyers from agencies.
Some of its key announcements included the company simplifying its radio buying by expanding its automated buying platform 9Galaxy to include radio, as well as opening up 9Voyager – a self-serve automated buying platform for small business owners – to radio from next year.
In addition, Nine Radio’s Money with Brooke Corte will become a Nine ‘Superbrand’ including expanding to television.
The performance of some of Nine Radio’s new line-ups will be revealed in next week’s radio ratings, which have been paused over the past few months due to COVID-19 restrictions limiting the collection of data.