Dynamic Duos: Sally & Erica on commercial radio’s diversity problem

Former Assistant Editor

“The issue is [finding] the people who are willing to take chances and do something that isn’t Hamish and Andy,” Sally and Erica tell Radio Today.

Sally Coleman and Erica Mallett host triple j’s Weekend Arvos show and regularly fill in across slots including Breakfast and Drive as guest hosts.

When they’re not presenting on the national broadcaster, Sally and Erica make up hip hop act Coda Conduct.

They recently featured on a list of up-and-coming duos, a list that the duo believe highlighted a real diversity problem in radio, especially in commercial radio.

“If you’re hearing stories from the same kinds of people all the time it’s not representative of the listener,” say Sally and Erica.

“We’re a white female duo and we’re really aware of that. But Australia is this amazing multicultural country and [we] think that list could also include heaps more diversity.”

According to Sally and Erica, the issue boils down to a successful model that is proving hard to move away from.

“The [male duo] model that has worked for so long… the audience has known that for so long, and that’s what gets the ratings.

In our chat they also reflect on work-life balance, fitting in their time as a band, and the transition to a weekly show on a station with a “special” audience like triple j.

“That’s something that [we] find so special about triple j, it feels like you’re really building a relationship with the listener.”

Listen to the full chat below:

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Go girls
31 Aug 2018 - 8:48 am

Love this we need more female duos Im a huge fan of the girls! I loved the Thinkergirls as well wish I could hear them on commercial radio again.

Yes girls!
23 Oct 2019 - 6:13 pm

Loving seeing the rise of female duos and as a listener I am a huge fan of them especially those two girls! Also from an announcer perspective this makes me hopeful for the future and opens up so many more job opportunities. I would love to have a female co host one day!


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