This article was originally published by B&T on 18 April. You can find it here.
The radio survey results released every few weeks are baffling to radio presenter and media personality Chrissie Swan.
“More often than not, survey results don’t make any sense,” she said.
What happens on paper doesn’t translate to what people are telling you. “They’re up, they’re down.”
Swan was venting about the survey results in this week’s episode of new podcast Game Changers: Radio by former content director at Southern Cross Austereo, Craig Bruce.
Previously Nielsen would release the survey results eight times a year (every six to eight weeks) until GfK nicked the account in 2014. The results demonstrate how radio shows are doing in their prospective time slots. Often, they’re compared against their competitor shows. And for a show that receives a lower score than a competitor, it’s “deflating”, said Swan.
“A show that rates a two and a show that rates a 12, work the same level,” she said. “You’re working your guts up, probably more. It’s really deflating.
“It’s incredibly confusing and it’s difficult to remain optimistic when you just keep on getting punched every eight weeks.”
Being in radio for more than 13 years, Swan has had her fair share of up and down ratings. A particularly hard time though was the breakfast show on Vega 91.5 on DMG radio network (now NOVA Entertainment). Swan and Ian “Dicko” Dickson joined radio veteran David O’Neill in 2007 after Denise Scott and Sean Micallef left.
The Melbourne brekkie show wasn’t rating though, and Swan said she didn’t react as well as she could have.
“I kind of shut down,” she told Bruce. “I just became a log on the current. I felt like I didn’t know anything, my ideas were probably not right.”
There was a lot of focus on Dickson at the time as he was new and the most famous of the trio, she added. And O’Neill knew the ropes so well he could do a “breakfast show underwater”.
“So I didn’t know where I fit in,” reminisced Swan. “It was difficult.”
Still, it’s up and down with ratings. And Swan has now found herself in another Melbourne brekkie show with comedian Sam Peng and footy legend Jonathan Brown; Chrissie, Sam and Browny.
The trio’s survey result was 5.8 in early March this year, up 0.5 from the survey prior.