Monday, August 07, 2006

bFM and Havoc - get over it?

Bit of a comment on Damian Christie's Public Address posts on bFM's upcoming replacement of Wallace with Mikey on the breakfast show.
By not totally agreeing with Damian, I think I'm in a minority of one, but here goes:

- bFM obviously have a business issue. More than 50% of Aucklanders prefer to listen to the kind of radio station that doesn't tax you with music that you might not have heard before. The rest mostly favour hip-hop, right-wing drivel, or something in their home language. That leaves maybe 5-10% of people who are open to listening to an "alternative" station, in which I'd include bFM, Kiwi, George and some of the low-power stations. With bFM at around 1.5%, it's hard to see how they can substantially boost those figures (assuming they don't fancy a total change of format / demographic). You can see how tweaking with "name" presenters might appeal.

- They could of course go back to their "student radio" roots, fire most of the paid staff and rely on the endless pool of keen volunteers. Trouble is, I've listened to RadioActive and it isn't pretty...

- Mikey's musical tastes aren't to everyone's liking. The USP of bFM is, however, *meant* to be, as far as I can tell, that they play a wide range of different music. Surely that includes "bangin house tracks"? After all, Havo also plays plenty of noisy rock music, hip-hop and wistful pop. There is a wonderful device on the market that allows you to restrict yourself to music that matches your own taste - it's called a CD player (or iPOD, even).

- Havo has a range of views on politics, some of which I find annoying and some I even agree with. But surely bFM viewers are intelligent enough to filter this? I think it's a sad day if we can't hear opinions beyond "sensible and realistic liberal opinion".

- There do seem to be rather a lot of callers to bFM whose mental functions are in some disrepair, either through natural causes or through overenthusiastic drug use. These people do seem to be attracted to calling Mikey.

- I think it must be a general problem for radio stations to find creative presenters that will reliably turn up at 7am. Look at Chris Evans.

Having said all that, I think Wallace does a good job on breakfast and is steadily getting better. I haven't switched to George for ages (unlike with the previous incumbent). But then, I'm not in the typical demographic - maybe 20 year olds want a bit more craziness at breakfast time?

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