Dan & Maz ‘the new generation of radio stars’


Yesterday the final major puzzle piece for the Today network was put in place as Dan & Maz were announced as the new national drive show to replace Fifi & Jules (see the announcement here).

I caught up with Dave Cameron, Head of Today Network, to find out what happened behind the scenes when choosing the show, what this means for The Bump (nights) in 2014 and he compares the appointment of Dan & Maz to that of Hamish & Andy 8 years ago.

Mark: Now all the new shows are locked in place, how's the vibe internally ?

Dave: The energy and excitement is probably at an all time high at the moment. I think people are excited for something different and new, particularly in Sydney last week after the breakfast announcement and this week building up to this announcement.

Mark: Dan and Maz seem like an obvious choice considering they were already doing a late drive show. Was it a given or did you still trial other options ?

Dave: Nothing is ever a given until we can get a really good listen to where shows are at but certainly Dan & Maz were the absolute front runners. We saw a lot in them 12 months ago when we brought them across (from Nova) and they've really continued to fire and develop sitting in Sydney. They're the new generation of radio stars.

Mark: I know you won't reveal any names, and that's fair enough, but when you were looking at your options did you manage to find some talent for the future ?

Dave: (Laughs) we did. Never let it be said there's no new, amazing talent or shows out there. There are absolutely some fresh nuggets out there that we will absolutely explore.

It's absolutely our mantra to keep finding fresh, exciting talent and Dan & Maz are really at the forefront of that for us in the future.

Mark: It's a move to Melbourne for them ?

Dave: It is. The infrastructure is already setup in Melbourne with myself and Sam (Cavanagh) and the existing drive team. I guess it's not often that you move talent to be where your producing team is but it made sense.

Mark: With the change now to early evenings will Angus O'Loughlin remain on nights and how will that look in 2014 ?

Dave: The Bump will be a slightly enlarged version of what it has been for the past 12 months. We feel really excited about that brand and it's only really in its development stages. We aim to extend that by a little. I can't reveal the exact lineup at this stage but you can certainly expect a bigger, better Bump in 2014.

Mark: In terms of time and talent ?

Dave: Angus will continue to be a critical part of the show and yes the show will be extended, it will be a bigger show but that's all I can give you at this stage on that.

Mark: Extended and expanded possibly ?

Dave: Exactly, let's go with that (laughs)

Mark: Michael (MC) Christian moves from Fox mornings to anchor the national drive show.

Dave: MC has been a regular part of Dan & Maz for the past 6 weeks as anchor. He's fantastic at what he does and he deserves the opportunity to be involved in something exciting, fresh and new for us.

Mark: His appointment creates a gap on Fox mornings, any plans for that at this stage ?

Dave: You're probably about 2 weeks premature on that question. Standby (laughs).

Mark: I'm sure there would be a lot of our community saying 'I could be in here!'

Dave: Totally and to be honest I'm open to all demos coming through thick and fast now. Bring it on. I guess Dan & Maz shows you that we're prepared to roll the dice on backing incredible, exciting, fresh, new talent.

8 years ago we put Hamish & Andy onto local Fox drive 4 days a week to see how they would go when they were relatively unknown and within 8 months that show had exploded nationally and has become one of the Australia's biggest success stories. I feel the same way I did 8 years ago about Dan & Maz.

Mark: After Survey 8 when I spoke with Craig Bruce he mentioned that the network will "approach the new year with some originality and creativity". Any insight on how drive maybe different in 2014 ?

Dave: Putting Dan & Maz into drive completely separates us from our competitors. We think listeners are screaming out for new shows, new talent and new ideas. Dan & Maz are leading the way in that. We want to do something new and there's no bigger example than putting in a fresh, light-hearted, smart, really unique show like this into a national spot. That's how much we believe in doing things differently for the future.

Mark: Thanks so much for your time today Dave. Will you manage to have a break before everything fires up in the new year ?

Dave: A couple of weeks yeah. It's going to be a busy start to next year but, as I said at the beginning, I haven't seen our staff this excited for years so we're all pumped. We'll take a couple of minutes off for Christmas then get back into it.

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