First Impressions: Smallzy & Matt Tilley on Nova Mornings

Former Assistant Editor

It was a big day for Nova 96.9 and Nova 100, with both stations launching new morning lineups with Smallzy in Sydney and Matt Tilley in Melbourne.

The new shows are a big shakeup for Nova’s Workday, ending the networked daytime programming across both cities.

With top rating Nights host Smallzy in on Nova 96.9 Mornings, DC will now be heard on Arvos locally.

Securing the services of Melbourne radio veteran Tilley saw Troy Ellis move to Nova 100 Arvos.

So what happened on day one?

Matt Tilley on Nova 100

It was something of a coup to secure the services of Matt, who dominated the Melbourne Breakfast market on Fox FM for years.

He returns to radio after a self-imposed hiatus, following the axing of his KIIS show Matt & Meshell in 2017 (which also rated well compared to the station’s current performance).

New sweepers for the show were branded as ‘Matt Tilley In The Morning’, and the show was the first time we’ve heard Matt solo.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, he sounded comfortable from the off, throwing in plenty of funny anecdotes and local references.

Matt wasn’t completely alone though, and he introduced his ‘carer’ Mel Tracina, who is panelling the show.

Mel featured on Radio Today‘s Top New Talent for 2019 recently.

In terms of music, things kicked off heavily featuring tracks from Matt’s music timezone.

Tracks by Justin Timberlake, Beyonce and Scissor Sisters from the mid-2000s were featured.

However the music strategy still felt well-within Nova’s Greatest Hits strategy, with new tracks by Dominic Fike, Khalid and Rita Ora all spun.

The verdict? This could well be winning move for Nova, and gamechanger for Melbourne daytime radio.

Smallzy on Nova 96.9

As per Matt’s new show in Melbourne, Smallzy’s Mornings show is a music/talk hybrid.

“This is a little different. I’m three coffees deep, I’ve never been up this early,” he said.

Smallzy’s infectious personality shone through for the whole show, as he showed off his music knowledge and interviewed Khalid.

He also revealed that he’d be joined by Taylor Swift on the show tomorrow.

From the very start, the show had a similar feel to his successful Nights show, with producer Zach La Cava heard frequently off-mic in the background.

Despite this, there was less talk than his Nights show, but a little more than the previous Morning show.

From the off, it appeared that the show will be a little more CHR-leaning than the previous Greatest Hits Workday in Sydney, with the first three songs all new ones.

But the Greatest Hits strategy was still clear to see, with older tracks by Justin Timberlake and Beyonce spun alongside with Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus and P!NK.

For Nova Sydney, it seems a case of replicating the best bits of a format that has worked nationally on Nights for years.

Smallzy will definitely grow into the slot, which saw more mums and tradies call in than he’s probably used to.

In saying that, there’s no reason why the popular presenter won’t have a similar impact in Sydney as Matt Tilley is set to have in Melbourne.

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29 Apr 2019 - 1:59 pm

Any audio of the first breaks RadioToday?

29 Apr 2019 - 2:18 pm

Matt sounded amazing, great to have him back on-air and awesome that Nova are trying ‘something different’ in daytimes.

29 Apr 2019 - 3:19 pm

Matt Tilley what a pro that guys is. Gee he sounded good.

Charles Dozsa
29 Apr 2019 - 4:03 pm

Matt Tilley was ALMOST as good as a succulent chinese meal. ALMOST.

He is the best!

29 Apr 2019 - 6:23 pm

Radio is subjective. I heard a different Nova today to this review. Anyone else? Long, clunky talk spots with no funny. Numerous messages. Oh no!

29 Apr 2019 - 8:08 pm


29 Apr 2019 - 9:18 pm

This is all well and good but why did they network Adelaide Afternoons when it was outperforming these markets?

30 Apr 2019 - 6:18 am

Strong first day from Matt Tilley. Give him a few weeks / months and I’m guessing he will have some impact on FOX and KIIS daytime. By next year this could end up an exceptional show. It has the makings of a strong radio show. Matt sounds so Melbourne. Credit to Rohan and Nova Melbourne team on doing something more than play just music like everyone else. God knows why Tilley is no longer on KIIS breakfast he was the best part of it.

30 Apr 2019 - 6:19 am

AUDIO ?????

Since when did all the stations start sounding like they're targetting 50 year old Brits
30 Apr 2019 - 9:19 am

Dunno about everyone else, but Matt Tilley in the morning sounds like a cross between Smooth FM and bad community radio (SYN or something).
Smallzy sounded a bit try-hard – a pared-back, workday version of his nights show I don’t think really works. It just doesn’t have the same energy. I also wonder how effective the night show will be now he has to do double-prep, or is the idea people listening during the morning arent listening at night so doesn’t matter if the same content (celeb gossip for example) runs twice a day…?

30 Apr 2019 - 3:16 pm

Changes already. A new co host for Matt Tilley – Troy Ellis! Rumblings inside Nova Melbourne after day one. Wasn’t great to be around.


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