Jase & PJ debut on KIIS101.1, address Matt & Meshel departure
Today was the first day for Kiwi exports Jase Hawkins and PJ Harding at KIIS 101.1.
Hawkins and Harding arrive in the Breakfast slot with everyone asking the question – Are they ready for metro breakfast, especially in Melbourne; the most competitive breakfast market in the country.
However, they got off to good start today, despite some expected nerves.
Within an hour of the show, after receiving a swag of negative comments on social media, Hawkins went to great pains to point out that he and Harding had nothing to do with the sacking of Matt Tilley and Meshel Laurie from the Breakfast slot.
Later in the show, new Drive hosts Will and Woody dropped by, sporting Matt and Meshel t-shirts and holding Matt and Meshel mugs, a joke Harding didn’t immediately appreciate.
Hawkins is a good storyteller and their chemistry is solid. Honesty, it’s easy to tell these two have worked together for awhile.
Harding’s accent could be problematic for Melbourne listeners. Hailing from New Zealand, her accent is very pronounced. It will be interesting to see how listeners react.
Any change to a breakfast show lineup will inevitably see a drop in rating share before it potentially increases. It’s always the way. Hawkins and Harding are in for a challenging first year.
In this case, it will be interesting to see how far KIIS 101.1 will decline in the first few surveys.
The pair kicked off with an early promo in December, taking to the streets of Melbourne wearing hi-vis vests in an amusing video stunt where they attempted to hold up pedestrians for as long as possible for no real reason.
This morning’s $10,000 Perfect Pour petrol pump contest was good, but was it strong enough and compelling enough for the first-day launch of a new radio show?
Additionally, it is hard to see which station they will take an audience from, as it’s unlikely to be from the strong offerings from both Nova or Fox.
The real shame for Hawkins and Harding is that they weren’t bedded into the market in Drive or Nights first. Its a big call taking on the key breakfast shift.
In terms of positives, Hawkins and Harding had good localism for a new show. This is something that 2Day FM lacked in its first year of Em Rusciano in Sydney.
This show would go well in a market like Adelaide or Brisbane if given enough time to develop and with strong marketing support.
Branding themselves with the tagline “always awkward” is an unusual too. Clearly, they are playing the underdog position.
They certainly led into the show with some bizarre and awkward publicity.
As News Corp reports, Hawkins uploaded a photo to Instagram of Harding appearing to be vomiting into a toilet on her knees with the caption “Don’t be nervous Peej. Show starts Monday.”
In the past, Melbourne radio personalities have either had a strong heritage, history and profile in the market like Matt Tilly, Grubby, Chrissie Swan, Dee Dee, Jo Stanley, Eddie or have had a strong comedy background like Mick Molloy, Lehmo, Sam Pang and Tony Martin.
Hawkins and Harding have neither, and if ARN is serious about this it will take several years to build this show, as they’ll need to build the duo’s profile with strong marketing and promotion.
That’s an expensive exercise and has left many wondering whether they’d have been better served to continue with Matt and Meshel, who rated 6.3% and were growing.
We wish Jase and PJ all the best in the battle ahead. It’s always good to see “radio” talent with radio backgrounds coming up through smaller markets.