MEDIAWATCH: Today FM radio ratings crash is gruesome and the lowest of any Talkback ever in NZ History


Jesus wept.

The Today FM experiment is now officially the worst result for any Talkback in NZ Radio history.

I’m a Talkback radio geek and I’ve previously done Talkback on the legendary Channel Z, did a summer at the old RadioLive and was a panelist on the old MagicTalk so I’ve always had an intense fascination with Talkback as an industry and with The Working Group repeatedly number 1 in the NZ Political Podcast Charts, I think I’ve got some insight into what makes good political talkback and what doesn’t.

(The political panel on Newshub Nation is dreadful by the way).

Today FM has been a fascinating media experiment to watch. Shaped by the woke outrage generated at MagicTalk,  it has championed middle of the road Talkback hosts giving very safe middle of the road opinions in a political environment riven by extremism.

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Their ‘Balanced Mic’ rebrand in a Talkback market known for its robust dynamism is like trying to sell no contact Boxing to people who enjoy Boxing.

Today FM in the last ratings book went from 1.9 market share to a record ratings low of 1.7 and cumulative audience plummeted from 136 000 to 115 000.

That 1.7% represented the lowest rating for a Talkback station in NZ Talkback history, so I simply assumed that the ratings book out last week would have shown some green shoots of hope for this Talkback experiment that has cost $9million so far in rebranding.

To my absolute shock however, last weeks ratings book was EVEN MORE abysmal than their previous!

I know, how is it possible to sink lower than the historic lows?

Well, Today FM managed to find it.

They went from 1.7 share to a staggering 1.4 share. They went from 115000 listeners to mere  100400!

The Daily Blog has 3 times that audience.

MagicTalk finished its ratings run on 2.4 share with an audience of 165 000 after David Farrier published an incredibly defamatory character assassination of Sean Plunket where a millennial female staff member felt triggered that she had to work in a building with a man like Sean who had different opinions from her.

The funniest bit about Farrier’s character assassination was the bit where the millennial female staff member raced to the toilet to sob that Sean was in the building ONLY TO FIND OUT that MagicTalk was being played in the toilets!

You can’t write satire like that.

Sean was cancelled and MagicTalk rebranded into Today FM at a cost of $9million.

$9million dollars spent and all you get is 1.4 share while Sean’s new Platform has many times that audience?


The problem with Today FMs ratings collapse  is is that it holds them hostage to the woke cancellation Lynch mob who can target advertisers (as was done with Sean) and because Today FM has so few advertisers, they will always capitulate to the woke Lynch mob.

In comparison, ZB now has a 15.3 share and over 700000 listeners!

You think ZB gives a fuck when the woke attack Hosking and call for cancellations?

Of course they don’t because they have so many advertisers!

You can spend $5000 on ZB advertising and get $10 000 in sales, Today FM can’t promise anything like that.

It’s funny how David Farrier and the Spinoff who were so instrumental in the destruction of MagicTalk are no where to be seen as Today FM burns.

When you go woke, you go broke.



The Today FM experiment is a response spawned by a panicked media company who got spooked by the woke, the only focus now must be at stopping the audience from haemorrhaging any further.

To that end, Today FM must forget about the ‘Balanced Mic’ branding and think that’s enough to win an audience in such politically polarised times.

They have to actually create a reason WHY people would listen.

Luckily for Today FM, there is a moment like that they can capture, the election next year!

Today FM must be politics, politics, politics all year in the lead up to the election.

There is a multi-party MMP spectrum splintering going on out there…

…Today FM could interview Political Leaders of the fringes all day long, play to the balanced mic branding by the Host being the balance between two extremes.

It needs producers with political intelligence and broadcasting insight to build those panels, but it can absolutely happen.

Today FM has to be talking head CNN radio and produce news about an event NZers still engage with at a higher level than a lot of other countries when it comes to voting in elections.

By creating a reason to listen with political news in an election year, Today FM would have chance of becoming a media product that sets the agenda while producing a justification to tune in.

It seems Mediaworks Management have allowed themselves to be convinced that Today FM is a 5 year project so the people running it effectively don’t have to perform in the ratings until 2027.

That’s a pretty big blank cheque to pay a lot of mortgages and overseas holidays without ever having to perform until the early 2030s. It’s a bit like working for the Greens.

Moving Gary to Today FM is a the first smart thing they’ve done.

Without an urgent change of focus and content creation, there must be a point where the financial owners of Mediaworks will demand results from this experiment.

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    • Funny that. I know Hosking is despised with a passion on this site, and I totally understand why.

      But give him his dues, he wears his support for the National party on his sleeve. As opposed to Tova who still tries to tell herself that she is an impartial journalist when everyone knows that she was the govts biggest cheer leader for so long. She has zero credibility.

      Also ZB has been blessed with 5 years to complain about the govt, while only now are one or two others waking up. Perhaps if Labour didn’t give him so much material Hosking en tal wouldn’t be so successful.

    • Bert, and others believe that Bob the First, is the illegitimate offspring of Mike Hosking and a ‘yet-to-be-named right-wing commentator (he/she)’. Conceived down a rabbit hole by the way. Have you been vaxxed and double-vaxxed BTF K?
      Personally, I’m with bert and others.
      The genetically inbred comments of BTK F, are just another manifestation of Dirty Politics Part IV.

      • Let’s not forget that the sum of BTF political intelligence was Bob telling us Simon Bridges was an ex National Prime minister! (eyes rolling to the back of one’s head)
        He is clueless.

  1. Today FM is toast. Imagine putting Tova up against Hosking lol. The same Tova who is despised by a considerable proportion of the population who see her as a lacky to a PM she was seemingly favoured by and who she never held to account like a good political editor should during the most extraordinary excess of government forced controls in our country’s history.

    • Lovely salacious anti-democratic comment, ‘salacious-crumb’!
      Expect a knighthood in the next New Zealand honours announcements.
      Does crumb equate with your IQ, or the circumference of your needle-dick?

      • Wonderful to see the majority of listeners tune in to Mike Hosking.
        Restores my faith in New Zealanders.
        By the way I don’t listen to Mike it’s too early for me.
        I’m told he’s wonderful.

  2. Thank you Martyn and the readers comments for your input to The Daily Blog.
    Also thanks to Sean Plunket and The Platform too.
    Full respect to both of you guys.
    I appreciate having these outlets as part of my news gathering etc.
    You guys give me food for thought even if sometimes I don’t always agree or understand stuff…you still make me think.
    I can appreciate your style.
    All the best for 2023!

    • 100% Kay Pai.

      Huge congrats to you Martyn and Sean P.

      I love the working group. Mostly white males who are on the panel, but to me that is irrelevant. What I get from it is a diversity of views. This is something the woke don’t seem to appreciate

  3. Moving Gazza to Today FM …… He’ll probably live to regret it and be pining for more regular slots on RNZ’s Talking Head list for “the Panel”.

      • Tom’s podium of truth Fox News(sly, cunning). In case Tom noticed Fox News is going down the toilet and laying tons of people.

        • There’s no way that right -wingers Fox-ites, or NACT-ites will be laying “tons of people”, is with Rohipnol.
          Or cepromazine, chlorpromazine, and promazine, for their non-human ‘lays’.

      • Couldn’t say about the first three but Fox News is killing it’s competition in ratings and has been for years. Probably because all the rest are fighting for the eyeballs of you and yours.

        But hey, you’ve still got MSNBC. 😉

  4. Delicious. Absolutely delicious. I always say success is the best form of revenge.

    Here’s to you Sean Plunket. After a personally difficult and very sad year, I hope you are enjoying your triump

  5. Glad to hear, Martyn. Oz radio is dominated by right-wing tits.

    The thing about the Right is their time is up — no more resources and climate change. A Left which doesn’t shout that is strange and neanderthal. But, Roge Douglas. Short-termness, despite his claim it’d all be good ‘in the immediate term’.

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