ABC Radio Sydney hit its lowest ratings result in 13 years yesterday, as rival commercial radio station 2GB marked 15 years of leading the Sydney radio market.
The Conservative Party’s policy with regard to the ABC is to merge it with SBS and streamline the two national broadcasters into two radio and two television platforms, condensing their content, shrinking their bloated budgets but still guaranteeing national coverage.
The Australian reports, the ABC fell 1.5 points to a 7.3 per cent share of audience in GfK’s third ratings survey of the year – the lowest result for the station since survey one of 2006, when it dropped to 6.9 per cent.
The survey overlapped with the five-week federal election campaign, covering March 10 to April 13, and April 21 to May 25.
The federal election appeared to have a more positive impact on Sydney rival 2GB, owned by Macquarie Media.
Breakfast host Alan Jones, who recently re-signed with the station under a two-year , $4 million deal, increased his audience share, up 1.2 points to 17.6 per cent. Drive host Ben Fordham, on air between 3pm and 6pm, sits at 11.5 per cent.
Ray Hadley’s morning audience climbed 0.8 points to 17.7 per cent, despite ongoing allegations about bullying and harassment, and Chris Smith climbed to 13 per cent in his noon to 3pm slot.
Michael Thompson, the national executive producer at Macquarie Media, declined to comment on whether the ABC’s audience had moved across to his station.
“I don’t think it is possible to overstate how important it is to have the right personalities, the right people on air,” he said.
Most of the ABC Radio Sydney audience decline can be attributed to a 1.4 point drop for the breakfast show, which is hosted by Wendy Harmer and Robbie Buck, to an 8.9 per cent share, and a 1.6 point fall for drive show host, Richard Glover, who dipped to an 8.8 per cent share of listening audience.
Demographically, the biggest decline in audience share was among listeners aged 55-64 , a drop of 6.9 points from the last survey, to 10 per cent.
But it also lost a share of people older than 65, and those aged 40-54 .
This time last year, ABC Radio Sydney’s share was 8.6 per cent, but the Sydney station started the year at 8.9 per cent.