Erin Phillips & Soda back on air on Mix 102.3 after mysterious absence

Mix 102.3’s Breakfast team in Adelaide has returned to work after an unexpected and mysterious absence prior to the regular scheduled survey break.

Initially, media outlets were told the temporary disruption was due to Mark ‘Soda’ Soderstrom being unwell, however Australian Radio Network’s (ARN) chief content officer, Duncan Campbell then said he’d given Soderstrom and co-host Erin Phillips an “early mark” prior to survey break.

Despite speculation the duo may not return, they are back on air this week, kicking off a little awkwardly, with the pair asking each other multiple times “how are you?” and Phillips telling Soderstrom he looked well.

“I’m always feeling good,” he said. “On top of the world.”

Soderstrom said it was wonderful to be back after a “little break, little breather”, and Phillips said she had missed her co-host.

You can listen to the duo’s first reunited talk break below.

The Breakfast slot at Mix 102.3 has been through a number of changes and challenges of late.

As 2019 drew to a close, anchor and Breakfast content manager of what was then the Jodie & Soda show, John Bleby, left as part of a restructure. Alexis Kuchel took over as executive producer, however it appears she exited by March.

While co-host Jodie Oddy was on maternity leave, Phillips stepped in to host the program alongside Soderstrom.

Oddy then returned, however in November she abruptly left the show after 13 years and over 80 survey wins. She was then permanently replaced by Phillips with ARN noting the show was going in a new direction.

New executive producer Geoff Watts also left the program to move into a position as brand activations director, forcing ARN to again recruit for an EP for the program.

In the most recent radio ratings survey, Mix 102.3 had a 12.0% share in Breakfast, up 1.1 points and leading the FM market.

ARN is also facing changes in Melbourne, with co-host Polly ‘PJ’ Harding departing the Jase & PJ show to return home to New Zealand. That program, too, has had a change in EP and various behind-the-scenes staff departures.

ARN has remained tight-lipped over who will replace Harding, with speculation it could be former Summer Breakfast host Lauren Phillips or recently returned radio stalwart Kate Langbroek, who currently appears on KIIS’ 3pm Pick Up program.

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