Border opts for breakfast laugh

Star FM breakfast duo Ben Erbsland and Kristie Mercer celebrate their ratings success on the Border. Picture: TARA GOONAN

Star FM breakfast duo Ben Erbsland and Kristie Mercer celebrate their ratings success on the Border. Picture: TARA GOONAN

LAUGHS rule the Border’s breakfast airwaves with Star FM pair Ben Erbsland and Kristie Mercer winning the most prized radio slot in the first ratings survey done on the Border in a decade.

The twosome, who first hit Border airwaves in November 2012, attracted 21.9 per cent of the Corn Flakes crowd, ahead of The River’s Kev Poulton and Luisa Pelizzari (19.6 per cent), 2AY’s Sandra Moon (17 per cent) and ABC Goulburn Murray’s Gaye Pattison (16 per cent).

Mercer, who moved to Albury from Gippsland, was thrilled with the result.

“I’m stoked and really excited,” Mercer said.

“There’s a lot of effort that goes into planning the show and promotions and this sweetens the deal.

“You’ve got to enjoy your job and I think that shines through.”

Melbourne broadcaster Neil Mitchell, who has his 3AW program relayed through 2AY, can officially be crowned the mornings king of Border radio with a market share of 23.5 per cent, putting him ahead of talk rival the ABC Goulburn Murray’s Joseph Thomsen on 14.3 per cent.

2AY boss Mark Taylor was thrilled by that outcome.

“We’re pretty chuffed and Neil is also pretty chuffed,” Taylor said.

“To know at one time of the day we’re the absolutely No. 1 is good.”

Much of the survey data collected by Xtra Research from May 11 to 30 reflected each station’s demographic target.

Star FM was dominant with under-40s, The River popular with 40 to 54-year-olds and 2AY outstanding with the 55-plus audience.

Southern Cross Austereo Albury chief Rod Winner said the figures were a “reward for all the effort” his staff made to connect to listeners.

“For Star FM to dominate 40 and under is exactly the way we thought our demographics would go and for The River to be leading in 40 to 54s shows we’ve got the numbers in the right places,” Winner said.

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