Byron Cooke quits Fox FM Breakfast, replaced by Nick Cody
Breakfast radio on Fox FM Melbourne is set for a shakeup next year.
Just after 8:30am today, Fifi, Fev & Byron announced on-air that anchor Byron Cooke plans to leave the show to spend more time on his podcast and with family.
Cooke has been with the show for five years and will finish tomorrow (November 27).
His replacement is comedian Nick Cody, who currently co-hosts Triple M Brisbane Breakfast.
“I’m so pumped to be joining Fifi and Fev in 2021,” he said in a statement.
“Fifi is an absolute legend and let’s be honest, there is only one bloke that can keep up with one of the best full forwards of all time and that is me – 1999’s Werribee Under 12’s 3rd best and fairest.
“It’s insane that they’ve let a kid from Hoppers Crossing join the breakfast show on the biggest radio station in the country. 2020 was a hectic year for Melburnians but we are on our way back to the life we love.
“I can’t wait to be hanging out with these champions every morning, while getting to chat with listeners in the best city in the world.”
In November 2013, Box announced that she was going to co-host Fifi & Dave with Dave Thornton on Fox FM in 2014, replacing Jo Stanley and Matt Tilley.
In 2016, Brendan Fevola joined the show and it was renamed Fifi, Dave & Fev.
In 2017, anchor Cooke was added to the title of the show and it was renamed Fifi, Dave, Fev & Byron. Thornton resigned in 2017 and the program was renamed Fifi, Fev & Byron.
Fox FM’s former content director Adrian Brine recently told the Fox Bosses podcast that the continual shakeups at Fox FM Breakfast during this period were a personal and professional challenge.
“The biggest learning I made was through the Breakfast show developments, of that struggle of the show changing so much and voices coming in and out, and Fev [Brendan Fevola] being in there and Fi [Fifi Box] being there and Dave [Thornton] being there. We never really had clarity on the roles of everybody as much as we tried,” he said.
“And I just remember one day I just went in, with the now infamous pie chart and I put it up on the screen…. I’m at the end of my tether going ‘Guys, I think this is the best thing for the show’. I put the pie chart up… ‘This is how I see the voices in the show working’… Oh my God. Lost the room. Lost them completely. I’m sure after that they were all talking going ‘Oh my God, can you believe he put up a pie chart?’ I won’t do that again. That was a definite learning of what not to do. You learn these things.”
And saying goodbye to Thornton was also painful, he said.
“That specifically was really challenging, and probably pushed my ability around talent management to the limits, because it was really hard for both of us. It was really hard for Dave. He wasn’t sure whether he wanted to continue in that show, he wasn’t sure whether he was getting the value that he needed from the show. By that point I’d put him in the comedy box, either mistakenly or what I thought was best for the show, and he wanted more than that, and I couldn’t give him that, I think,” he said.
In Survey 7 this month, Fox FM had another subdued book, down 0.7 points to a 5.2% share.
The station celebrated its 40-year heritage in 2020, bringing back former talent and shows for a one-week period to reminisce and reflect on the station’s legacy.
Fifi, Fev & Byron did manage to climb 0.2 points to a 5.0% share, trailing GOLD FM, Nova, Triple M, and was equal fourth on the FM leaderboard with smoothfm.
Fox content director, Amanda Lee, said 2020 has been the most extraordinary year.
“For most of it our shows were broadcasting from home and I couldn’t be prouder of them.
“Our team and our listeners have shown us there is nothing like Melbourne and we just love making a show for the people who live here. In 2021 we will be focused on nothing but fun and being part of bringing our city back to life.
“There will be no place like The Fox in 2021 and we are excited Nick is joining us for the celebrations. Fifi, Fev & Nick have a comfortable chemistry, are Melbourne born and bred and are ready to wrap their arms around the city and people they love.”
The changes means Triple M Breakfast in Brisbane could also be in line for a shakeup.