ARN backtracks on Erin Phillips & Soda’s return, confirms pair are now on ‘a well-deserved’ break
The confusion around Adelaide radio station Mix 102.3 is set to continue this week.
The station’s breakfast show, Erin Phillips & Soda In The Morning, was off the airwaves again today, despite a spokesperson telling Radio Today on Friday that the duo would be back behind their respective microphones on Monday.
The show was mysteriously off air on Thursday and Friday last week, with listeners instead hearing Shane Lowe hosting a music-based format which continued this morning.
“ARN won’t comment further on our team members’ health but we are excited to tell you that Erin & Soda will be back on air on Monday,” a spokesperson told Radio Today on Friday. “They are both looking forward to being back on air and we know their listeners are too.”
But at 6am Adelaide local time today, Phillips and Mark ‘Soda’ Soderstrom were off again with the network’s chief content officer, Duncan Campbell, confirming that the Breakfast show won’t, in fact, now return to Adelaide’s airwaves until after the Easter survey break.
“It’s been a huge start to the year and the team behind Adelaide’s #1FM Breakfast Show need a break so I have made the decision to give them a well-deserved week off,” Campbell said. “Like all radio shows around the country, the team will be taking the scheduled survey break off-air too.”
ARN was also set to announce Mark Aiston as EP last week, but pulled the pin last minute.
Radio Today understands it has been a tumultuous time behind the scenes at Mix’s studios, with “friction between some talent and executives at an all-time high”, resulting in multiple fleeting visits from Sydney-based management in a bid to “get the situation under control”, according to two sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
A spokesperson from station owner ARN last week told The Advertiser that the show was off-air as co-host Mark ‘Soda’ Soderstrom was “unwell”.
Listeners and observers were left confused, however, when Soderstrom appeared in his other regular posting on Thursday night, presenting sports news on Channel 7.
The confusion even prompted market rival Nova to issue a well-humoured media release over the weekend to announce that its Ben & Liam breakfast show was “feeling well”.
The Breakfast slot at Mix 102.3 has been through a number of other 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.
In the most recent radio ratings, Mix 102.3 had a 10.9% share in Breakfast, leading the FM market.