Nine says Ben Fordham’s Breakfast show brings in 40% more revenue than its predecessor Alan Jones
Nine has highlighted the tailwinds pushing its radio brands towards better profitability after revealing it has written down the value of the assets in its financial results due to a downturn in revenue.
Despite the drop in revenue, profitability and perceived value, Nine said its radio business arm had long-term sustainability, and it had been doing the hard work to get it there.
Managing director of Nine Radio, Tom Malone, conceded the impact of COVID hit it hard as it is more leveraged to the Sydney and Melbourne markets and to small business advertisers.
He said it had done the work, however, to reposition its business from a cost and programming perspective to ensure it is perfectly placed to take advantage of the strengthening ad market.
He said since the launch of the new Ben Fordham Breakfast show in Sydney – which replaced Alan Jones – revenue is up 40% in the timeslot.
And the Neil Breen-fronted 4BC Breakfast show – which also used to broadcast Jones – has improved 46% in comparative revenue terms.
Across the whole business, Malone said June was the most profitable month in more than three years. This was also driven by cost reductions of 18% over two years.
In a note to staff explaining the results, Malone said the non-cash impairment of goodwill in the radio business – which saw it write off over $60 million – is “not unusual” and “something TV and publishing did last financial year, along with some of our radio competitors”.
Malone also pointed to a bright future for its digital audio output and strategy, noting it’s “leading the way” on live radio streaming with 11.2 million stream starts per month, a cume of 1.64 million and total listening hours of 10.2 million.
“The changes we have made have fundamentally reset the Nine Radio business, ensuring its immediate profitability and long-term sustainability,” Malone said in his note to staff.
“Thank you for all of your ongoing hard work and commitment to excellence, for always putting our listeners fist, especially at times like this with ongoing lockdowns.”