ARN has ‘aggressive’ plans for Jase & Lauren, says CEO Ciaran Davis

Former Editor & Content Director

ARN’s newest Breakfast show, Melbourne’s Jase & Lauren in the Morning on KIIS 101.1, faced the unenviable task of launching part way through the year.

CEO Ciaran Davis acknowledged this is a hurdle, so he will give the show time to find its feet. He will, however, be keeping an eye on it towards the tail end of the year.

In this week’s half-year financial results, ARN’s parent company HT&E noted investment in the show would push up its operating costs this year.

So, presumably, this has to pay off.

“Breakfast shows, as we know, take a while to get up and running,” Davis told Radio Today. “It’s obviously unusual to launch a Breakfast show mid-year as well… But I’m really happy with the lineup that we pulled together. And Lauren [Phillips] is really good talent. But it’s an unusual time to launch a Breakfast show.

“Having said that, I’d like to see how they’re going by the end of the year. And we certainly have aggressive plans into 2022.”

Despite the show’s steep climb ahead, Davis said the station’s fortunes are not solely on the shoulders of Jase & Lauren in the Morning. 

“The station is more than just the Breakfast show. We know the music content is good. So I have high hopes. I think it’s a really strong Melbourne show with good Melbourne personalities and a lot of new personalities that are quite Melbourne coming into the show as well.”

In the most recent radio ratings, KIIS 101.1 had a 6.2% share in Breakfast, above the station’s overall share of 5.5%. In Drive, with Will & Woody, it had 6.9%.

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21 Aug 2021 - 9:09 pm

This show should have never gone ahead. Kyle and Jackie o should have gone national. This show pulls in less that 7 percent share. Yet Kyle and Jackie o pull in nearly double. Kill the show launch k J national. Why would a network pay for breakfast shows in every city. Run it national save the $$.

23 Aug 2021 - 1:21 pm

I agree with Mike. Make Kyle & Jackie I a national show. I’ve given up on Melbourne breakfast radio so I listen to Kyle & Jackie O on the iHeart app. I’ve not enjoyed a Melbourne breakfast radio show since Matt & Jo on Fox fm.

23 Aug 2021 - 3:14 pm

Those believing Kyle and Jackie O will work in Melbourne are deluding themselves.

Not only would K&J fail, they’d take KIIS 101.1’s breakfast ratings to lows never previously experienced by the station. Sydney and Melbourne are totally different markets and any management failing to acknowledge that fact and act accordingly is in for a nasty reality check.

The old adage of failing to learn from the past applies.

Kyle and Jackie O are a Sydney outfit who work because they broadcast to the Sydney market. Their success will not translate in Melbourne.

24 Aug 2021 - 8:48 am

Chris, I think you might be operating off an old playbook there. 10 years ago people would be saying that, now, I think they’d make more noise in Melbourne than all of the last 3 KIIS shows. If anything for curiosity… it will be something completely different to anything else in Melbourne and even if people hate them, still gets attention and headlines.

Not to mention they’d have the biggest breakfast audience in Australia which would bring an almighty PR pull.

A good show is a good show – good content is good content – the old “they can’t mention the Yarra river” is an old way of thinking.

24 Aug 2021 - 9:28 pm

K&J are a great show, a mighty machine of a thing; but a show that positions itself as ‘So Sydney’ would not replicate that success in Melbourne. Other networks have tried in the past (Triple M) to average success. If it worked, everyone would be doing it.

All the best to Jase & Lauren (they sound nice together), but it’ll take some very aggressive ARN marketing to shift audiences from listening to Fifi & Co on Fox or Chrissy & Co on Nova.

Interesting though how Ciaran highlights how ‘Melbourne’ the new KIIS show is – isn’t Jase originally from Brisbane (via NZ) and Lauren now in Byron Bay?

25 Aug 2021 - 10:41 am

It’s interesting to see the debate around whether a breakfast show requires the talent to be in that city.
While it used to be true- I just don’t think those rules apply anymore.
The drive shift works perfectly well with talent based all over the place.
On KJ- Kyle used to broadcast from LA for a good part of the year.
I think the way people consume radio now has changed so much that an entertaining show and good music is all that really matters.
It’s worth revisiting the rule book.

26 Aug 2021 - 8:57 pm

I’d be fascinated to know if anyone commenting that ARN should just syndicate K&J to KIIS Melbourne, is from actually Melbourne or has spent a considerable amount of time living in Melbourne (more than 10 years)?

I feel there is a reason the majority of FM National Drive shows are broadcast from Melbourne (think Will & Woody, Carrie & Tommy, Molloy, Joel from Kate, Tim & Joel). Melbourne people want to hear people from their city, the rest of the country doesn’t seem to care as much.

Also in the last few weeks alone I think K&J’s most recent interview with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has rubbed a lot of Melbournians the wrong way, firstly regarding the uncritical praise of the NSW Premier as the best in the country (despite serious allegations of corruption at the time), then the way Kyle mocked Daniel Andrews falling down the stairs. Yes I understand this was before the NSW outbreak but it’s pretty jarring footage now, particularly given that Melbourne is now in its second lockdown as a result of the NSW outbreak, with no end date in sight. This footage has blown up on social media since the Sydney outbreak, and Melbournians have certainly taken notice.


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