Will radio & TV star Carrie Bickmore front 2DayFM breakfast in 2020?
If word on the media grapevine is to be believed, radio and television personality Carrie Bickmore may be close to confirming her plans for next year and beyond.
Loudening rumbles from radio insiders suggest Bickmore is in negotiations to join Jamie Angel on 2DayFM Sydney Breakfast in 2020, with the Daily Telegraph’s Annette Sharp confirming that television and radio networks are clamouring for the star’s signature.
Sharp also revealed that Bickmore was scheduled to meet with top brass at Network Ten to “ink a new contract” and “discuss her future with the broadcaster” after talks stalled, but the former Nova 100 Melbourne newsreader remains on the market, at least for now.
The latest Bickmore rumours contradict recent reports that the Hit Network early Drive host is a serious contender to join the Nine Network’s ailing Today show, which could include a reinstated Karl Stefanovic as co-host and see Deb Knight and Georgie Gardner ousted.
Nine categorically denied any rumours they were in talks with Bickmore, saying that the reporter, Amy Harris, was told prior to print that it wasn’t factual. “Nine has not approached, and does not intend to approach, Carrie Bickmore or her representatives about joining Nine as a host of the Today Show, nor in any other role,” said director of news and current affairs, Darren Wick.
Another possible television and radio star, Any Lee, is also reportedly in the mix for Today, according to news.com.au’s Andrew Bucklow. Lee has a longstanding relationship with Nine through his various TV projects with Hamish Blake.
Photo: Hit Network personality Carrie Bickmore on the 2019 ACRAs red carpet.
However, one radio insider familiar with the negotiations told Radio Today to “ignore the Carrie-Nine rumours” and instead prepare for the possible announcement of another Sydney Breakfast show lineup, with another Melbourne talent.
“[The] new 2DayFM Breakfast show for 2020 is Carrie Bickmore and Jamie Angel,” said the source. “SCA wants a younger version of Jonesy & Amanda. Will take time, but this should work well,” they added. The Carrie & Jamie confirmation will come “next month”, said another source, but “only if negotiations are successful”.
These negotiations exclude her current radio co-host, comedian Tommy Little, according to sources. You may recall that Little had a two-year crack at Breakfast radio with Meshel Laurie on Nova 100 between 2014 and ’15.
Talking to Radio Today at last week’s Radio Alive conference, Southern Cross Austereo chief executive Grant Blackley maintains that the Sydney station, in his view, “should stay with music for some time, to see how the strategy plays out”. But he added that his preference “would be to have a high-performing local team in Breakfast” on 2DayFM.
“We’re not waiting for someone to present themselves,” confirmed Blackley. “We’re not waiting for someone to fall out of contract.” Luckily for SCA, Bickmore needn’t present herself, she’s already in the building.
Photo: Southern Cross Austereo CEO Grant Blackley on stage at the 2019 Radio Alive conference.
If confirmed, Bickmore and Angel would be the eighth 2DayFM Breakfast lineup since 2014 and leave Hit content boss Gemma Fordham in search of a new lead-in for the all-important national Drive show with Dave Hughes and Kate Langbroek, with Langbroek expected to make a full-time return next year.
In a statement to Radio Today on Thursday, Fordham quashed the rumours saying “Carry & Tommy are confirmed for early Drive next year”, with Hit readying to announce their full programming slate in the coming weeks.
But speculation aside, one thing is for certain: The Project favourite Bickmore has options, and options equal leverage. The fast-approaching countdown to 2020 means another landmark payday deal could be just around the corner. But, meantime, the million-dollar question that many in media are asking is, quite simply, will Carrie say ‘yes’?