Is Kyle bluffing, or moving?
There has been rumours circulating for a fortnight or so around the industry that dmg is looking to poach the Kyle & Jackie O show for Nova 969.
Now, the Daily Telegraph has become the first to report them.
However, all parties involved have strongly denied it.
Nova has said that they have not spoken to the pair in any capacity, whilst Sandilands has said that he has 'definitely not had discussions with Nova'. SCA has said that they do not make public comment on negotiations.
However unlikely, there are a few clues that fuel the rumour-mill;
- In an article last week Sandilands strongly suggested that he is open to a move if 2Day don't make a suitable offer, and he made it clear he expects a pay increase. He is on the public record as saying the parties now need to agree on the money.
- Forget the $1m the mainstream media report, Sandilands is likely to be on closer to $2m, and there has been speculation he wants to double his salary. It is believed Jackie and Sandilands are contractually paid the same.
- Nova might be his 'Plan B' if, however unlikely, SCA and Sandilands don't agree on money. With Nova signing Fitzy & Wippa to a reported $11m+ deal across 4 years recently, a move to national drive would allow dmg to amortise that amount across the group, and clear the way for Sandilands to host Breakfast on Nova 969.
- The existing Nova network drive show, "Meshell, Tim & Marty", from Nova 100 is performing well and appear a good option for Melbourne Breakfast replacing Hughesy & Kate. Although, Nova appear to have been grooming comedian Tommy Little for bigger things and he may play a Breakfast role in 2014.
- Former 2Day Content Director, Derek Bargwanna, is close friends with Sandilands and his departure is the subject of numerous conspiracy theories and rumours. Irrespective of why he left, Sandilands is known to be extremely unhappy about the departure of Bargwanna.
Of course the big winner out of the rumour-mill is probably going to be Sandilands who has a vested interest in a bidding war eventuating.
It is a fascinating chessboard with high stakes for all parties, and it should be acknowledged that Sandilands and Nova have denied that any conversations have taken place, and SCA has said that they do not comment publicly on any negotiations.
Whilst there may well have been conversations; with the departure of Matt & Jo from Fox FM today, Southern Cross Austereo will not want to be rebuilding two Breakfast shows in their two biggest markets.
Given that, the most likely outcome is Kyle & Jackie O remaining on 2Day in 2014, with a nice salary increase.
So our verdict?
He's bluffing, or if you prefer, he's negotiating. Whatever you want to call it. But either way being paid handsomely for it.