Sun. Oct 24th, 2021

Lockdown-weary but news-hungry Melbourne listeners flocked to 3AW in the recent radio rating period, with the station’s breakfast duo Ross Stevenson and Russel Howcroft and breakfast host Neil Mitchell leaping forward with outstanding results.

But the morning-to-night dominance of the commercial network AM did not come at the expense of its news-and-talk rival ABC Melbourne, which remained largely stable all day in survey six, which covers July 11 to September 18. . the results span nicely over the news-heavy period with Melbourne’s fifth lockdown (which started on July 14) and its sixth (which started on August 5).

Russel Howcroft hosts 3AW's breakfast show with Ross Stevenson.

Russel Howcroft hosts 3AW’s breakfast show with Ross Stevenson. Credit:Eddie Jim

Overall, 3AW (owned by Nine, publisher of this masthead) took an 18.2 percent share of the audience, a 3.1 percentage point increase, beating ABC Melbourne, which fell slightly from the last poll’s 12.4 percent share to 12 percentage.

In the breakfast restaurant, Stevenson and Howcroft dominated with a share of 23.8 percent, an increase from 20.8 percent in the last survey. This was their best result as they took just 25 per cent of the audience in the final survey in 2020. At ABC Melbourne, breakfast host Sammy J had dropped from 16 per cent to 14.6.

Meanwhile, Neil Mitchell, who closes his remarkable 31 years in the morning, drew an audience share of over 20 percent for the first time since last year’s last survey, when he cracked 22 percent. This time, he scored a share of 20.7 percent against 17.3.

His ABC morning rival, Virginia Trioli, held on to 14.2, down 0.1 points.

Radio host Neil Mitchell.

Radio host Neil Mitchell.Credit:Justin McManus

Mitchell said he was proud of the result, but he would not continue his rating-winning habit of playing What a wonderful world, given the circumstances of the pandemic.

“We are not rejoicing or celebrating,” he said. “Times are tough for our listeners, it would be obscene to party. I have never rated higher than during this pandemic and it has never meant less to me. What matters is that we help people get through this, let them air and cry and learn and laugh and all the things we need to do to stay healthy.

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