2Day FM Breakfast rumours: Hughesy, Ed and Erin Molan
Southern Cross Austereo’s (SCA) Sydney station 2Day FM is expected to announce its Breakfast lineup this week.
Radio Today understands the show will be hosted by current Hit Network Drive hosts Ed Kavalee and Dave Hughes, with Nine personality Erin Molan also on the billing.
Kavalee and Hughes have been hosting the later Drive segment on SCA’s Hit Network – including 2Day FM in Sydney – since Kate Langbroek moved to Italy, transforming the legacy Hughesy & Kate brand into Hughesy & Ed.
Molan is currently tied to the Nine Network, previously appearing on The NRL Footy Show. She remains part of its news and NRL coverage across television and radio including as part of The Continuous Call team, for now.
The shift of Hughes and Kavalee would leave the Hit Network without a syndicated Drive program between 5pm and 7pm.
The 3pm to 5pm slot is currently occupied by Carrie Bickmore and Tommy Little. Industry insiders suggest this show could be expanded to fill the full Drive slot and compensate for the disappearance of Hughesy & Ed.
This latest round of speculation comes after an increase in chit-chat in recent months about who will take over the struggling spot. Then, a few weeks ago, SCA revealed it was just weeks away from revealing the new lineup.
2Day FM currently has a 3.5% share in Breakfast. Drive, measured as 4pm to 7pm, has 3.8%.
Currently the Breakfast slot is hosted by veteran programmer and announcer Jamie Angel who has been presenting a ‘Music For Breakfast’ format.
The Music For Breakfast approach came after numerous iterations of talent-fronted programs, which could not get a firm foothold in the market.
2Day FM Breakfast’s instability began at the end of 2013, when contract negotiations with Kyle Sandilands and Jackie ‘O’ Henderson broke down. The FM-topping duo then took their Kyle & Jackie O Show to rival Australian Radio Network (ARN) to help relaunch Mix 106.5 as KIIS FM.
To this day, the Kyle & Jackie O Show remains the #1 FM Breakfast show in Sydney.
Since then SCA has tried various programs, kicking off with Merrick, Jules and Sophie (with Mel B). This program, fronted by Merrick Watts, Jules Lund and Sophie Monk – with occasional input from former Scary Spice Mel B – could not take on the Kyle & Jackie O juggernaut and only lasted a year.
Up next was Dan Debuf and Maz Compton – or Dan & Maz – who had been doing Nights across the Hit Network. They were only eight months in when SCA announced there would be a new lineup in 2016.
This new lineup was Rove & Sam, or TV stalwart Rove McManus alongside jilted Bachelor winner, turned triumphant Bachelorette, Sam Frost. The duo failed to translate their television fame into a solid listener base, meaning they too only lasted a year.
Up next was The Em Rusciano Radio Show with Harley Breen. The comedians tried a different “looser” style of radio, but frequently hit headlines for broadcasting a Sydney show from Melbourne, and alleged tensions between the team.
Breen departed after one year to shift his focus back to standup comedy, with Kavalee and TV personality Grant Denyer catapulted in to fill the void.
It was then Rusciano’s turn to depart. She cited her pregnancy and need to spend time with her growing family. She was replaced by existing SCA talent Ash London.
Angel took over the spot at the start of this year.
Head of the Hit Network, Gemma Fordham, previously rebuffed speculation from this writer that the Music For Breakfast format was a temporary move to let the dust settle on its ever-changing lineup.
Fordham – in words we will definitely be quoting should she backtrack – is resolute. This is not 2Day FM in a holding pattern. It is 2Day FM finally listening to what the audience wants.
“There’s no rebrand. There’s no plans for some grand show. I can understand the speculation, but there’s absolutely nothing but commitment to this opportunity because ultimately it’s a gap, and it’s something different. It’s something different for Sydney, and it’s going to be tonally very different for this market. So that’s why we made the decision, and all of the feedback that we have supports it.”
This year, however, Angel has called the performance of 2Day FM Breakfast “tough”, “challenging” and a “a little bit heartbreaking” – and both SCA CEO Grant Blackley, and chief content officer Dave Cameron have flagged their intentions to return to a prominent Breakfast show.
Radio Today contacted SCA, however a spokesperson declined to comment.