The GfK survey, which covered a period including Triple J’s popular Hottest 100 broadcast, saw the station climb to equal pegging with long-established Adelaide rock station Triple M.
In Drive, Triple J put on a huge 4.6 percentage points to become Adelaide’s second favourite show in the shift behind Nova.
FIVEaa has also had a strong start to the year, even before its full team for 2017 is in place.
In Breakfast, David Penberthy and Will Goodings closed the gap on long-term leaders ABC Adelaide, where Matthew Abraham was flying solo while on-air partner David Bevan was on leave (Bevan returned to work after the survey period was over).
Overall, Mix102.3 retains its ratings lead, despite losing ground in its traditionally strong shifts in the mornings and afternoons. It had a marginally better period in Breakfast and made some strong gains in Drive.
However, Triple J was the biggest winner, with gains in every shift.
In the final survey of 2016, Triple J was in a distant eighth place. In the first survey this year – which ran from January 22 to March 4 – the station climbed to equal fifth with Triple M, only 1.1 percentage points behind leading youth station Nova.
FIVEaa has built a solid platform for this year with veteran Jon Blake yet to make his return to the schedule after being poached from Triple M at the end of last year.
In Breakfast, Penberthy and Goodings put on 1.7 points, while Abraham lost 0.5 points. The ABC retains the lead on 16.3, following by FIVEaa on 14.7. After that there’s clear air to Mix on 11.5.
In other big movements, Triple M’s Drive sports program plummeted 4.3 points to lose the sports mantle to FIVEaa.
However, both shows – in the pre-AFL season lull – languished well behind new Drive leader Nova, with Triple J’s Veronica and Lewis a huge surprise in second place, followed by Mix.
In the Evenings, ABC Adelaide lost a massive 5.4 percentage points to fall from shift leader to third place.
The survey, apart from reflecting silly season volatility, could also indicate some adjustment pains for the ABC, which has thrown around its schedule this year.
A new Drive present, Jules Schiller, started work part-way into this survey. Schiller is only presenting Drive from Monday to Thursday, with veteran Peter Goers taking the role on Fridays, and his usual Evenings shift going to a nationally syndicated program featuring Christine Anu on Friday nights.
Hit107 had a poor survey, falling from third place in the final survey of 2016 to sixth place.
Radio managers across the board are likely to take these results with a grain of salt, coming as they do at the end of the holiday period and before new teams and programs have been bedded down.
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