Ratings soar to record highs on Sydney AM talk radio stations

Sydneysiders flock to AM radio during lockdown Source: Getty

A lockdowned Sydney appears to be firmly focused on hearing breaking news with AM talk radio stations experiencing a flurry of listeners tuning into the wireless in the latest released ratings.

A report in the Sydney Morning Herald reveals 2GB and ABC Sydney are enjoying record numbers of those dialling in, with Sydney’s number one station 2GB witnessing a 16.4 per cent increase in its overall audience share – up 1.2 percentage points – and its highest since 2004.

The ABC also celebrated a healthy rise in audience share to 13 per cent – up 1.1 percentage points – and its best ratings since 2010.

Early morning news seems to be the winner with those stations celebrating increases driven by breakfast shows. 2GB’s Ben Fordham extended his lead to 18.8 percentage points – up 2.0 percentage points – and his best performance since he replaced Alan Jones in 2020. Jones announced his retirement last year due to health concerns.

Interestingly, the ABC’s Wendy Harmer and Robbie Buck also recorded a rise in audience share of 15.7 per cent (up 1.7 percentage points). The pair announced last week they were ending their show at the end of the year.

It appears Sydney listeners aren’t switching off after their morning coffee either with 2GB’s Ray Hadley enjoying a 0.1 percentage point increase to 20 per cent audience share in his 9am to midday slot. Even when the sun set on another Sydney day in lockdown, followers hung in there, with 8pm – midnight host John Stanley marking the biggest jump in audience share to 25.7 per cent (up 4.8 per cent).

Meanwhile FM stations were left bruised and battered from the extended lockdown with SmoothFM 95.3 plummeting 0.4 percentage points to 8 per cent; KIIS1065 down 0.7 points to 8 per cent; and WSFM down 0.5 percentage points to 7.6 per cent.

The radio ratings released on Thursday are the sixth for the year and cover the period of July 11 to September 18.

Greg Byrnes, head of content for Nine Radio which owns 2GB, has hailed the results as “extraordinary”, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

“It’s been a tough few months for Sydney…but the audience knows that 2GB is the source of trusted news and opinion. We’re proudly live and local and that’s seen a bit jump in audience across the network,” he said.

The radio ratings released on Thursday are the sixth for the year and cover the period of July 11 to September 18.

What radio station do you currently listen to and why?

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