Delving into the ratings

Delving into the ratings

Posted March 6th, 2012 by debritz

Some figures that fell off the back of a metaphorical truck provide an interesting perspective on the first official radio survey for 2012.

The 15-minute breakdowns reveal that changes to the 612ABC on-air line-up have had an immediate, positive impact on the station's daytime schedule.

Audience share for the local ABC station has increased in every segment across the day, from 5am to 7pm, as compared to the final survey of 2011 -- with only two exceptions, one of them a tie.

The figures are particularly good for top-rating breakfast host Spencer Howson, who added as many as 5.0 percentage points in some 15-minute segments.

In evenings, however, new host Rebecca Levingston has a substantially lower audience than her popular predecessor, Steve Austin, who has moved to mornings.

The stats also indicate that 612ABC dominates the AM dial and continues to be the preferred news-talk choice over commercial rival 4BC for most of the day. In some 15-minute segments, Howson has more than twice the audience of BC's Peter Dick and Mary Collier.

The good news for BC is that the race becomes tighter in the middle of the day, with Greg Cary narrowly beating Austin between 10.15 and 11am. BC also enjoys extremely narrow leads between 2.30pm and 3.45pm, but 612's Tim Cox pulls away from 5pm on. Levingston maintains the lead over 4BC until 8pm, when the commercial station swaps Sports Today for the Walter Williams show.

A word of caution: January-February is an atypical time for 612, largely due to cricket interrupting the normal schedule. On top of that, the ABC always does well when there are big political stories around, and they have not been in short supply this year. The latter factor is of particular benefit to the news and current affairs offerings, and to the mornings shift.