Mix 102.3 promises Erin & Soda will return after survey break

Former Editor & Content Director

With mounting speculation about what’s happening at Australian Radio Network’s (ARN) Mix 102.3 in Adelaide, the station has issued an assurance that its Breakfast show will be back on the air.

The Erin Phillips & Soda show mysteriously disappeared from the airwaves prior to survey break in March. At the time, ARN said co-host Mark ‘Soda’ Soderstrom was unwell and the duo would be back on air within days.

The duo, however, did not return, with ARN then backtracking and saying they had knocked off early for an extended break.

“It’s been a huge start to the year and the team behind Adelaide’s #1 FM Breakfast Show need a break so I have made the decision to give them a well-deserved week off,” ARN’s chief content officer, Duncan Campbell, said. “Like all radio shows around the country, the team will be taking the scheduled survey break off-air too.”

Rumours have since been swirling in the South Australian capital that the show won’t return as planned, however an ARN spokesperson made short shrift of the speculation.

Erin & Soda are on survey break, returning on Monday, April 19,” the spokesperson said in response to enquiries.

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 10.9% share in Breakfast, 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 growing 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.

With uncertainty in Adelaide, some crystal ball gazers have gone so far as to suggest ARN could syndicate Sydney’s Kyle & Jackie O Show. 

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7 Apr 2021 - 3:43 pm

What a joke!

Let’s hope ARN address the elephant in the room and take action. If not, what signal does this send to their staff in Adelaide. They’ve created a monster and now need to step on it, otherwise they will continue to lose good staff.

RT, how about you do some snooping around and get to the real story here?

7 Apr 2021 - 4:12 pm

What’s the real story ?

7 Apr 2021 - 9:58 pm

The real story is quite amusing actually, and a great example of what might work in one market might not work in another.

Sue ellen
8 Apr 2021 - 6:45 am

Alot of people switched from the mix 102.3 breakfast show because of Erin taking over. I use to listen to the show but when Erin took over from Jodie while she was on maternity leave I switched over. The vibe of the show has changed, when it was Jodie and soda the show just flowed and was good to listen to their banter etc, now it just seems forced. I think Mix picked the wrong person to take over from Jodie. Maybe they need to add another person to the show or change the line up.

Anne Sheidow
8 Apr 2021 - 8:35 am

Have been a regular listener of 102.3 for many many years but it hasn’t been hitting the spot for me ever since Soda came on board…sorry just the truth.
I have been listening to other breakfast shows out of pure frustration with the childish behaviour that is dished out every morning.
Actually prefer the fill-in at the moment.
And by the way people don’t appreciate being hoodwinked by 102.3. Tell us the truth…more poor management.

8 Apr 2021 - 9:58 am

100% agree with Rod.
Two more girls just resigned.
Wonder why….
Time for management to grow some balls.

8 Apr 2021 - 10:23 am

Yeah I don’t care what the survey results said. As a courier driver on the road at that time of day it is very rare to walk into a small business and not hear either Nova or SAFM. I think they got the ‘Mix’ wrong with this combination it all just seems forced. Jodie hid a lot of Soda’s dislikable traits and what we are hearing now is just generic rubbish. It might take time for the ratings to pan out but there is NO way they are the most listened to FM show in town.

Ladies of ARN
8 Apr 2021 - 10:52 am

Not very ‘woke’ Mix1023. Given the governments announcements today would be expecting our employer to protect us more.

Karen Ryan
8 Apr 2021 - 1:12 pm

I switched over when Erin Phillips took over from Jodi, I am sick of hearing her name, it’s like listening to Sodas obsession, some of us are not obsessed by football and it’s players, I also changed from 7 to 9 news for the same reason, way too much garbage football dribble!

Suzie Worthley
8 Apr 2021 - 7:05 pm

Don’t really care if Soda and Erin never return….the breakfast show was always great fun to listen to when Jodie was on air.Her humour infectious laugh plus her compassion for her listeners was so natural that she made you laugh and cry with her.
So bored listening to Soda and constantly listening to the ads for the Erin and Soda show .They sound so unnatural together
Piss off Soda and Erin bring Jodie back and give her a partner that she can blend with …102.3. You have let a real character go and lost a lot of listeners

8 Apr 2021 - 9:40 pm

So true Rod. Let’s not forget one of the biggest issues this station has ever faced is Corp got rid of the GM role and the culture has never been the same since. If they had a real GM then none of this would of ever eventuated and further more, good people would never have left or lost their job. No one in the building trusts the HR dept or the Corp peeps. Yeah let’s do another internal survey that’s as dodge as! The culture is decimated and divided. Now they’ve created a monster who is smutty and thinks he is gods gift and hired a PD who doesn’t understand the heritage market that Mix use to own the crown for. Well played ARN. You’re breakfast show up until 2013 averages 14% now lucky to be an 11%. Some would say this has turned into an unmitigated disaster….

8 Apr 2021 - 10:42 pm

Let’s be honest the survey 1 results are just reflective of Mix being such a strong breakfast show/brand over the last 10 years. Anybody who understands radio knows this won’t last. I bet even Mix management are predicting they are in for some tough times

Couple questions –

Why is it an ARN spokesperson saying the breakfast show is returning on the 19th? Clearly no individual wants to put their name to this claim. Another lie? Spokesperson really?? I cannot stand the word Spokesperson

If everything is great and everybody is now getting along and they are coming back why have they stopped promoting the breakfast show (in particular Erin playing in the AFLW finals this weekend)?

This show is clearly not returning.

Who the replacements are is anyone’s guess?

9 Apr 2021 - 8:42 am

Time for ARN CEO to step up and make a statement. The appalling treatment of some women at Mix is an ongoing problem for ARN. There’s a long list of them. Can Mr Davis once CEO of the year please stand up and be a man, own the problem, would be a good starting point. This is another 973 stuff up, all over again. The ineptitude and tone deafness management at ARN is unbelievable. You never hear of problems like this at 96FM which has its own CEO Gary Roberts.

9 Apr 2021 - 3:08 pm

If I was a betting man I would say late this Friday evening or more likely next Friday evening there will be an announcement. There is no chance they are returning they just need to put some extra polish on the spin.

10 Apr 2021 - 11:16 am

Dear ARN, I think we’re all suffering from a bit of “spin fatigue” here.

There comes a point where people stop believing it you know…

11 Apr 2021 - 5:31 am

So true, I think the elephant in the room is
ARN Management. Always starts at the top.

12 Apr 2021 - 12:55 pm

A lot of good people have left that building in the past 12-18 months. On air and behind the scenes.
That alone, speaks volumes I’d say!

12 Apr 2021 - 7:58 pm

One thing that tells us this show is not coming back….

Erin is playing in the AFLW Grand Final this weekend, and there has been next to no promotion apart from an online story that does not mention her until the last line.

Enough said.

Conspiracy theorist
13 Apr 2021 - 12:14 am

A lot of good people have left ARN full stop in the last 12-18 months. At all their stations. Maybe we should be asking questions about all of them. Culture is set from the top. And happy employees don’t leave in a pandemic.

9 Jun 2021 - 12:28 am

Does the 80s guy still consult?


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