Ch-ch-ch-changes to news

A week into the first survey of the year and there have already been big changes on the Melbourne radio landscape and I’m not talking about new stations or new breakfast shows.

I’m talking news.  Over the summer break, FM news has undergone a massive overhaul, impacting every newsroom across Melbourne.  

Let’s start with Southern Cross Austereo:

After four year’s reading news for MMM’s Hot Breakfast, SARAH PATTERSON hung up the headphones at the end of last year.  Patto is taking a well-deserved break from the early morning starts demanded by a breakfast news shift.

Channel Nine’s SEB COSTELLO (pict) has stepped into the breakfast news role.  Before getting his break in TV, Seb worked at 3AW and is also a winner of a Melbourne Press Club Quill Award.

MMM breakfast sports guy LACHLAN WILLS has also left the station.  He finished up at the end of last year and is about to make a move to Sydney to pursue TV projects. 

On the other side of the SCA fence, Fox FM’s breakfast newsreader KRYSTAL KELLER (pict right) has made the move to the newly launched Kiis 101.1, where she reads news for the Matt Tilley and Jane Hall breakfast show.

Taking her place behind the microphone is HONOR ELLIOT, (pict left) who’s returned to Melbourne from Cairns, where she was part of the on-air breakfast team at Hot fm.  Honor also worked at ARN and Nova Entertainment, where she filled in for CARRIE BICKMORE during her maternity leave.

Still at SCA, MARIA BLAMPIED has joined Krystal at the Pelaco Building in Richmond.  Maria was heard on both Fox FM and MMM, which could come in handy as she’s doing a dual read on Gold 104.3 and Kiis 101.1 for Hughesy and Kate.

And finally, NIKKI MARKOVICS is returning to the SCA Melbourne newsroom, after a stint in TV news in Canberra.

But wait, there’s more.

At ARN there have also been big changes to the newsroom in the ‘off-season’.  After eight years at ARN, drive reader NATHAN GARDINER left the station in December. A little know fact about Nathan, he was once a taxi driver.  And a school teacher.  Perfect grounding for a career in radio and journalism.

After four years with the Australian Radio Network, ADAM PONT also departed.  However, he’s since returned to do the weekend Score Board and is also freelancing at SEN.

Nova Entertainment hasn’t been immune to the summer of change with   LAUREN BRAIN (pict) leaving the Nova 100 & Smooth FM newsroom at the end of this week.  She joined Nova in 2009 as breakfast reader for Hughesy and Kate, but has developed a profile within the fashion world and as a blogger.

Joining the news team is SOFIA LAZARIDES, who has made the move to Melbourne from Gosford.

The Melbourne FM news landscape HAS undergone a lot of change in the past couple of months: the biggest reshaping of ‘news’ since the newsroom mergers of the mid 90s.

There’s no denying there has been some pain and for those who’ve borne the brunt of it, there is a world of opportunity ahead.

 Nikole Gunn has 20+ years in radio and is the former DMG Melbourne news director.

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