“I was surprised.” ARN’s Duncan Campbell on Jase & Lauren’s move to Nova


When Nova 100 recently announced Jase & Lauren as its new Breakfast show team, it was a stunning turn of events.

Coming soon after their departure from Melbourne’s KIIS 101.1, the news caught a lot of industry people off guard. Even ARN’s Chief Content Officer Duncan Campbell admits he was surprised.

In an interview with our sister publication RadioInfo, Campbell says “Yeah, I was, to be honest. Yeah. I was surprised.”

Surprised, yes. Concerned? No.

“I think they seized on an opportunity which they think is there, based on the ratings in the last books of last year. I think that’s why they did it.”

Campbell points to Taylor Swift ticket promotions as a factor behind the uplift in those Breakfast ratings.

Now, Jase & Lauren will be going head to head with Kyle & Jackie O, who just this week moved into their new state of the art studios in North Sydney.

“It’s an amazing set up,” says Campbell. “I mean, it’s expensive but it’s not like they’ve gone overboard.”

As for K & J’s launch date of April 29, Campbell says “We never planned for January or February, because we always had the issues of technology. That’s the reason for the delay.”

“We want to make sure that when we do launch, there are no glitches and it runs smoothly.”

Will Melbourne welcome K & J with open arms? Campbell says it’s difficult to say.

“It’s very hard to research that. What we have found is the main hurdle is the perception issue.”

Campbell cites the so-called ‘shock jock’ era as an example.

“The show has evolved so much further than that. The job from a marketing perspective is to change that perception. The research we’ve done indicates if we can change that perception – break down that barrier – (we can) open up a huge opportunity for us.”

There’s no doubt Kyle Sandilands is a polarising figure.

“In Melbourne, (if) he gets fifteen, twenty percent of the audience loving him, and he’s number one,” says Campbell.

Doug Mulray was number one in Sydney, even John Laws … they had 15, 20 percent ratings. That’s all you need, really.”

“The show is fun and it has universal appeal.”

“Sydney-Melbourne rivalry is not what it used to be. People in Sydney love Melbourne. People in Melbourne love Sydney. They just choose to live in the other (city). I think the media makes more of that than it really is.”

As far as the risk factor involved, Campbell says “I think it’s up there with Christian O’Connell (who topped the FM Breakfast ratings in the first radio survey for the year). It’s certainly risky but I think the time is right.”

“It’s not about (being) a show for Melbourne, it’s a show with content which people are interested in and relate to and like to listen to.”

“I feel the same way I felt with Christian. I wasn’t booming with confidence with Christian. I just felt that he would work in Melbourne. And I think with these guys, the time is right to work in Melbourne.”

“Kyle is more accessible than ever before. He’s married with a son.”

Whilst networking between Melbourne and Sydney hasn’t worked previously in breakfast, Campbell says times have changed.

“I don’t have hard research to back this up, but my perception is that the rivalry – that sort of parochial rivalry – exists in the older demos, rather than the younger demos.”

“Good content wins wherever it’s coming from.”

“We’re still going to have the Melbourne news. We’re still going to have the Melbourne traffic. But the content’s going to be universal.”

“Look, Kyle’s a smart guy. He’s a radio guy. He knows this has to work. It’s pure entertainment, this show. That’s why it’s so successful.”

“Expect the unexpected.”

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14 Mar 2024 - 9:44 pm

Even before Jason & Lauren made it back on air & still many weeks before K&J go live into Melbourne, Nova 100 enjoyed the biggest jump at breakfast time while Kiis 101.1 sliced a third off its breakfast share.

If we side-step any mention of Jase & Lauren and follow the logic provided here, is this because Kiis failed to give away enough Taylor Swift tickets compared with last surveyed period?

The fact is last survey was the highest Kiis scored at breakfast in decades. That’s why it’s worthy to go back decades to when ARN last self-inflicted injury on this radio station – it was 2001 & they decided TT-FM must become a MIX…also a Sydney import.

Then too, ratings went down sharply.

A further rebranding to Kiis in 2015, outside the K&J context of Sydney, failed to relight the fire.

It’s only been through patience and taking a chance on presenters with a record of exhibiting some chemistry – at first Jase & PJ, then Jase & Lauren (with Clint) that some momentum finally showed.

Oh, okay – maybe Jase & Lauren with Clint & the Taylor Swift tickets…in case I’m at all wrong!

Not to underestimate K&J. It’s a indeed an outstanding program.

Yet it’s noteworthy local ABC radio demonstrates how difficult it can be to rebuild lost momentum while 3AW shows how bumpy it can be to manage change (though they still handling it reasonably well).

In this knowledge, ARN have taken a gamble here & gambling is what it is.

Jason, Andrew Toppin from Mubarek Victoria
15 Mar 2024 - 5:11 am

ARN should not act so surprised tha Nova 100 signed Jase and Lauren and the listeners that boycotted KIIS 101,1 and became listeners to Nova 100 KIIS 10,1 are staring g to stink to high heaven How could you have dune what you did in 2023 and not see the depth of anger it caused people who are fwns of Jase and you treated them so poorly hope you are pleased with that ,

15 Mar 2024 - 8:28 am

Why didn’t ARN have a non compete with a top rating breakfast show ? How did this happen ? Corporate governance anyone ?

15 Mar 2024 - 8:31 am

Is it that easy to grow ratings, just give away
sh****t loads of concert tickets. Sounds easy enough. Anyone can do that.

15 Mar 2024 - 8:59 am

Does Duncan actually listen to this show? Just because he’s married with a son the content has never been more extreme. It’s fair Duncan probably wouldnt know because he has nothing to do with the show.
Read back through Duncan’s past interviews, he always makes a point whenever another station goes up is that it’s because they had huge marketing, and now he saying it’s Taylor tickets.

15 Mar 2024 - 9:19 am

So now than Ben Liam and Belle have gone up in ratings does Nova want them back for breakfast. They were a breath of fresh air.
Something different and clever compared to the rest.

15 Mar 2024 - 9:26 am

Seriously? Taylor Swift tickets? SCA and Nova also gave away tickets.

They’ll come up with anything to keep laying into J&L rather than admit they axed a popular program.

KJ to Bris
15 Mar 2024 - 9:44 am

Comment about Brisbane?

bruce donaldson
15 Mar 2024 - 2:48 pm

When you make a gamble dont screw over the people who are loyal to you as it will come back to bit you in a soft spot

Taylor's version
15 Mar 2024 - 4:12 pm

We’ve gone from “Give ’em the P!nk tickets” to “Give ’em the Swift tickets”.

15 Mar 2024 - 7:35 pm

It’s a bit weak to pin continued growth in the slot on Taylor Swift tickets. Especially when so many outlets were doing TS giveaways. Nova seized on a show that had obvious audience appeal, but was shunted due to contractual obligations with K&J. You can spin it however you like but thems the facts.

7 Apr 2024 - 2:40 am

I wish Jason Lauen and Clint nothing but the best. arn treated Shane Lowe mix102.3 breaky co host just terminated when back from Christmas break no concern or thought of the things they have to deal with mentally.


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