Cracker by Damian Christie

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Cracker: "It says 'Let's b friends', and it's got a b on it"

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  • Jackie Clark,

    You know, I don't know much about bfm nowadays. In the old days, pre 1986 when it was radio b, I knew quite alot of the people who worked there. Marcus was a friend. Mikey Havoc, I have never met, but I have always liked him. I suspect he's a bit like crumpet to women of my age - there are a few of us who find him delightful. But you're right, Damian. Student radio used to be experimental, colourful, interesting, broadcasting for the peeps by the peeps. Perhaps Mikey's time has come. I won't be listening anymore when Mikey goes, but then me and my cougar friends aren't the demographic, are we?

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3121 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    Student radio used to be experimental, colourful, interesting, broadcasting for the peeps by the peeps.

    Matt's a nice guy n'all but is there nobody close to target demographic and under 30 who could do the job? Maybe not. Maybe older is the target demo now. I dunno.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3200 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Off topic, Damian, do you what we're likely to have to do to get a seat at the Dunedin Back Benches special? Turn up at any particular time? Pre book? I'm imagining it will get full, the political parties have been pushing it a bit.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6147 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    @Jackie - As I said, I'm sure Matt will be polarising to some degree - as Mikey is himself - and there will be listeners who drop off, and others who return after years listening elsewhere. I would say perhaps don't prejudge until you've given it a chance, and query where you're going to find anything better - even a bad show on bFM is easier on the ears than a good show on zm, for instance.

    @Simon - I think the demographic definitely is older these days. Although it wasn't so many years ago these two guys who must now be pushing 50 used to host bFM's electronic music shoBw... and there are people like Jim, Troy, Dubhead etc, all doing great shows despite the greying hair.

    Perhaps you're suggesting non-specialist shows should be different, and I tend to agree. Part of me would always like see a relative unknown newcomer have a shot at the big show. I think one to watch is Mike's producer Vince. He does the show until Mike shows up, so he's had heaps of airtime, and filled in for a week when Mike was suspended recently. I think he's only 18 or something, but he's a natural talent. Perhaps they think he needs a couple more years on him, but I hope he's on their radar for the future.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1127 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    I hope they choo-choo-choose you.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 846 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    Although it wasn't so many years ago these two guys who must now be pushing 50 used to host bFM's electronic music shoBw

    You talking to me and G? Heh..but to be fair when I killed the show, because of age, and the limitations of the format, and moved to George, I made the fact that I was an old f**ker, one of the show's selling points..the knowledge that comes with age or some bullshit like that. If you meant someone else, then I'll STFU.

    But yeah, I'm not talking specialist shows and I do think that B has somehow lost track of what it's supposed to be if they're moving Matt to brekky.

    Then again, most kids I know don't even know what a radio looks like.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3200 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Good on you for the apology, Damian, and for sticking to your point too.

    It's certainly time for Mikey to go again, but I think his second run has shown off a better broadcaster. The first era trailed off, in part because it was always a long way down from the peak where Mikey's Breakfast show drove bFM to its biggest ratings audience ever.

    I think coming down off that high has been a challenge for the station as a whole. I was on the board that bought the ratings. We thought we were bloody geniuses.

    Second-time Mikey has been more professional, and, crucially, I think new entrants have flourished during that time. Jose Barbosa was Mikey's first producer, and handled it with aplomb. There now are three or four young men (no women!?) who can take over Breakfast when Mikey's away without it being too much of a problem. A previous generation -- Joe Nunweek, Hannah Sarney, etc -- are at TV3. So that's good.

    Matt? It'd be rich for me to complain. I was in my 30s for most of my time at bFM, and I believe -- as Don McGlashan pointed out to me once -- that fatherhood tends to be focusing for creative guys. But if I were him, I'd not make it BOTY in the morning. He can do more than that, and I would think he'll be expected to.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18512 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I recall when Matt & Chris did the show a few years ago, they had Sue Kedgely on wanting to suppress violent cartoons. They gave her a total roasting (I think she was expecting an easy ride on student radio).

    I'm not sure wheich one of them said: I watched violent cartoons as a child. It didn't make me violent - it just made me want to draw cartoons

    Hopefully the new show'll be like that.

    (Not that I listen to it. Down here in Wellington Liam Luff and Lucy Lolz are doing a great job on Active Breakfast).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4359 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    I think coming down off that high has been a challenge for the station as a whole. I was on the board that bought the ratings. We thought we were bloody geniuses.

    Heh, yeah I have mixed feelings about b joining up to the ratings. As I complained recently about ratings re Campbell/Close Up etc, everyone loves ratings when they win, dismisses their validity when they don't. The best answer I believe is to stay away from them completely. Works for RNZ. Works for us at 7 don't ya reckon Russ? So I think buying those first ratings must've seemed smart, but having bought into the system, it becomes impossible to then pretend one is not part of it. Genuine question: If you could do it again, would you?

    Second-time Mikey has been more professional, and, crucially, I think new entrants have flourished during that time

    I've never denied Mike's a talented broadcaster - I wish I had a fraction of his on-air charisma and energy. However I struggle to call anyone who is consistently half an hour to an hour late for work "professional"; that's one hell of a caveat.

    I don't think Matt will do BOTY in the morning. I don't think Chris is coming with him, for a start, and I think that schtick mainly comes as a duo. I expect he will be quick-witted and irreverent, sure, but I also think he'll be more thoughtful than you might hear on Drive. I don't expect to hear the catch-phrase "Good Morning, Arseholes". Anyone who knows him knows he's got more than a few brain cells to rub together.

    @Simon - yeah I was referring to you and Greg :) But as I say, specialist shows call for specialist people, the best person for the job etc, regardless of age. That's one of the continued strengths of bFM, and I wouldn't want that to change.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1127 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    @Andre - "My cat's breath smells like cat food." :)

    @Kyle - they're expecting a good turn out? Awesome. Looking forward to it. We don't book tables as a general rule I don't think, you could ask the pub if they're reserving tables. Otherwise it's just first in first served - turn up early. I don't know the bar, whether they serve meals etc, but if so then come down for dinner about 6 or 7, grab a good table, settle in.

    And make sure you come and introduce yourself!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1127 posts Report Reply

  • jedd bartlett,

    Personalities bring ears and advertisers, and I wonder about numbers - for example how many of those Akld morning commuters who tune in to Mike for entertainment, humour, off the wall behaviour and the odd bit of music listen to any other bfm shows? Mike has the personality and presence that keeps people like me going back to bfm for morning (web) radio on a regular basis. But when I want music during the rest of my working day I go elsewhere...

    Wellington • Since Apr 2010 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Works for us at 7 don't ya reckon Russ?

    Well, Damien, I very much doubt PA Radio is the highest rating show on Radio Live but someone seems to like us enough not to start issuing pink slips, even made up a finalist for an award. Jus' saying, in a whorish self-promoting way...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    Craig, you've known me long enough to spell my name correctly. The others I forgive, but reallly...

    Radio Live didn't enter us in the awards, the DLC did, thanks to a massive effort by Glynis in compiling an hour long highlights package of shows from the past year. So big thanks to her and the boys. :)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1127 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Craig, you've known me long enough to spell my name correctly. The others I forgive, but reallly..

    After all these years, I still think your name is "Oy, sweet buns" so cut me a little slack. :)

    Radio Live didn't enter us in the awards, the DLC did, thanks to a massive effort by Glynis in compiling an hour long highlights package of shows from the past year. So big thanks to her and the boys. :)

    I keep forgetting to say Glynis is wonderful, because that's as obvious as saying water is wet, fire is hot, and gravity is mildy useful for keeping your feet on the ground. My bad. And I don't know that its a bad thing if Radio Live doesn't really notice we exist -- many good things happen under the radar.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    Mike for entertainment, humour, off the wall behaviour and the odd bit of music

    Oh is that how it all hangs together.
    Couldnt quite figure tit out meself.
    And then at 9 there's another Mike with outrage, humour(is he off the wall?) and he doesnt do music does he?

    DR John was excellent BTW.
    When is AK going to get a Las Vegas style nightclub. Cinema type seating just doesnt work for such as he.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    (no women!?)

    As an early riser (not necessarily by choice), I've been listening to Jennifer, the DJ who is on before/fills in for Mr Havoc before he arrives.

    She's rather good, in my opinion.

    I don't think Matt will do BOTY in the morning. I don't think Chris is coming with him, for a start, and I think that schtick mainly comes as a duo. I expect he will be quick-witted and irreverent, sure, but I also think he'll be more thoughtful than you might hear on Drive.

    Was wondering about this. Much as I love Thursday drive when I get to listen to it...woud I love it first thing in the morning?

    And personally I'm a big fan of the 'specialist show' format. We ended up listening to a lot of jazz and funk on sunday afternoons when we were renovating the house last year, which was great. But generally, if there's a demographic, I'll not be in it...

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2326 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    Ha, yeah, it's funny how one's weekend moods can be set by the specialist show on at the time. I don't usually listen to the jazz show to be honest - nothing against the hosts, jazz just gets to me after a while (I find myself hearing songs that sound exactly like the bit in the promo for the show that says "it's like, do-doodle-oo, do-doodle-oh"!) but really like Automatic's Back on the Good Foot. Generally creates the perfect vibe for some sunday arvo wines.

    And then, just when I'm a bit sozzled having sat through Sunday drive, Border Radio comes along and makes Sunday evening beautifully melancholy...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1127 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    As I complained recently about ratings re Campbell/Close Up etc, everyone loves ratings when they win, dismisses their validity when they don't. The best answer I believe is to stay away from them completely. Works for RNZ. Works for us at 7 don't ya reckon Russ?

    Wellll ... neither Radio NZ or TVNZ 7 sell advertising, which has quite a big bearing on the need for audience measurement. And TVNZ 7 does get counted by Nielsen.

    So I think buying those first ratings must've seemed smart, but having bought into the system, it becomes impossible to then pretend one is not part of it. Genuine question: If you could do it again, would you?

    Yes. Ironically, one of the qualms about buying the ratings was that the last time it'd been done, the finding was that almost no one was listening, so that was actually a risk. I think it was worth demonstrating that the huge "others" category was mostly bFM.

    The ratings information was useful for other reasons: bFM listeners came out tops for TSL (time spent listening) -- through the roof, compared to other stations -- and listenership doesn't really drop off with age until you get to people in their sixties. Also: bFM listeners are cleverer and wealthier than the average.

    Perhaps, with 20-20 hindsight, it might have made sense to be more selective about what surveys to buy after the first one, but it's all settled out now anyway: there's a cluster of stations in Auckland with 40-50k listeners --bFM, George, Tarana -- but bFM remains more influential, and more noted in other media, than the ratings would suggest.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18512 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    there's a cluster of stations in Auckland with 40-50k listeners

    Good Ratings means agencies put you on the schedule and you get given monies by business citizens who wouldn't normally give you money.

    If you want to sell ads you need some concept of who's listening to those ads. Wouldn't we all rather not have to sell ads on our radio?

    The measurement of listenership is pretty patchy and i'm sure a statitician would cough a little bit at how many boxes need to be ticked before you can claim true listening numbers, especially down the cluttered small ratings end of radio.

    When i was 18 and started listening to b the age or expereince of the d.j never bothered me , i wanted to hear intelligent independent thought and mindfucking playlists.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    but it's all settled out now anyway: there's a cluster of stations in Auckland with 40-50k listeners --bFM, George, Tarana -- but bFM remains more influential, and more noted in other media, than the ratings would suggest.

    Sure, but doesn't that mean ratings are a tool that should be used with some discrimination beyond the obvious top line? I know it's not a direct analogy, but The West Wing was always more a critical success than smash hit, while the Nielsen numbers were always respectable it never cracked the top ten aside from the third season. But, from an advertising point of view, while the show never appealed to the coverted 18-25 male demo, the people who were watching skewed very heavily towards rather affluent college graduates.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    I find myself hearing songs that sound exactly like the bit in the promo for the show that says "it's like, do-doodle-oo, do-doodle-oh"!

    Heh heh heh. It's funny because it's true!

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2326 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    But, from an advertising point of view, while the show never appealed to the coverted 18-25 male demo, the people who were watching skewed very heavily towards rather affluent college graduates.

    Yup. I'm guessing bFM still has 2-3x the average of $100,000+ households.

    The challenge is always to make sure that listeners keep tuning in as teenagers. Which doesn't mean becoming The Edge.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18512 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    Yup. I'm guessing bFM still has 2-3x the average of $100,000+ households

    Everyones guessing to an extent.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    I guess my point was that having bought in the first time, we seemed somewhat condemned to keep buying them at the risk of "trying to hide something" if we didn't. And I remember that while the first ratings seemed really positive, because we really had no clue before that, the second survey (IIRC) showed a massive drop and bFM falling behind George, which was disheartening, and no doubt affected advertisers' decision-making.

    bFM had advertising before it bought into surveys, Russ, you would perhaps know better than I do whether advertising revenue was up (in good surveys and bad) after joining the system than before. Because as you say, bFM has always had a cool factor that all those other 'marginal' radio stations didn't, and the ad agencies knew it.

    As for TVNZ7 being part of the Neilsen ratings, probably, but I've never seen them reported anywhere, including the TVNZ intranet site, nor has anyone ever discussed them with me. Trust me, as someone who has worked on Close Up and Sunday, if you don't hear about them, and you're not being asked to change your show on a weekly basis as a result of them, they (to all intents and purposes) don't exist :)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1127 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    I guess my point was that having bought in the first time, we seemed somewhat condemned to keep buying them at the risk of "trying to hide something" if we didn't.

    Markets like information, the more the better. Would you buy ads on a station that just winked at you and said, 'trust me"....the real problem with the ratings is not their existence but there accuracy.The fact that Auckland is smothered in frequencies makes the measurement even more difficult.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

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