In her 34 years in the entertainment business, FM Radio's Amanda Keller has seen the ups and downs of television, comedy and quiz shows, often playing second banana to Simon Townsend, Ray Martin and Andrew Denton.
But now she is flying high with her WSFM breakfast show, Jonesy and Amanda (with Brendan Jones), winning the ratings decisively.
The 52-year-old mother of two with a fine sense of humour and an even better sense of show biz eclipsed KISS1065's Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O.
The WSFM pair jumped 1.5 points to 11.5 per cent leaving their Radio Network (ARN) stablemates behind in the dust as they dropped 0.5 points to 9.5 per cent.
Both breakfast shows are stuffed full of noise, music, gossip and spruikers and variations on the single entendre, and have led the FM ratings all year
The biggest winner however is the Australian Radio Network, the parent company that owns both WSFM and KISS1065.
Overall ARN now also owns 18.8 per cent of ears tuned to Sydney radio on weekdays.
The nearest rival is AM talk station 2GB which had an audience of 13 per cent.
Neither Jones nor Keller were around to accept the accolades. Radio headliners habitually disappear from the airwaves during school holidays and Keller is holidaying with her family in France while Jones is in Bali.
But ARN’s national content director Duncan Campbell was happy to accept the bouquets saying the success of Keller (and Jones) did not happen by chance.
‘‘The first thing to say is that Amanda is passionate about radio and the listeners know the real thing when they hear it,’’ he said.
‘‘We expected we would dominate the Sydney FM market in 2014 but its happened slightly earlier than we expected.
‘‘Between the two stations we now have an absolute lock on audiences in the [ages] between 25 and 54. We took a number of steps to support Amanda and Jonesy – including changing the format from an Old Seventies to a more contemporary format and you’d have to think it effective.’’
Mr Campbell was sanguine about Sandilands and Jackie O, who, having swapped from 2DayFM stunned the radio industry by winning the first FM ratings survey last March. They have slipped ever since.
‘‘They came out of the blocks hard and this is just a bit of settling back.’’
Over on the AM dial, 2GB’s Alan Jones once again won the overall breakfast ratings but dropped one point to 14.1 per cent.
Robbie Buck on ABC702 scored well to jump nearly one point to 11.9 per cent.
The ABC’s drive presenter (and Fairfax columnist) Richard Glover took over the top spot with a 10.7 per cent rating while 2GB’s drive host Ben Fordham dropped from 11.7 per cent to 9.8 per cent.
John Stanley and Garry Linnell, Fairfax Media’s breakfast team on 2UE, lost 0.6 points to score 3.3 per cent. 2UE’s share of the weekday audience dropped to just 3 per cent.
The story Radio wars: Amanda Keller and Jonesy flog Kyle and Jackie O first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.