ARN’s Mike E hits out at SCA for poor programming & lack of chemistry

Former Editor & Content Director

The Australian Radio Network’s (ARN) Mike ‘E’ Etheridge has slammed rival network Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) for its history of underperforming Breakfast shows in Sydney, pointing to himself and co-host Emma Chow as examples of programming and chemistry that actually works.

Etheridge and Chow first broadcast on ARN’s The Edge back in 2008 and came back together in 2011.

“We get along really well. It’s hard – I’ve worked in radio with a girl I couldn’t stand, and that was really hard,” he said.

Etheridge said in radio it either works, or it doesn’t, and co-hosts absolutely have to like each other in order to sell the program to listeners.

It was here, during his appearance at media agency Carat’s virtual Couch-ella event this afternoon, that Etheridge then took a swipe at SCA.

“So these other networks, you know, little Southern Cross Austereo, for example, to name just one, where they put, you know, a footy chick together and a TV comedian, and they’re all in Melbourne, they’re not really in Sydney – that doesn’t work,” he said.

“They don’t like each other. They don’t know each other. They have no chemistry. They’re not even in the same bloody room.

“With all the ARN people, you know, Kyle & Jack, Jonesy & Amanda, Mike E & Emma, all the people around the network, they’re all one, radio people, so we all love radio, and two, they’ve actually got chemistry. And you can’t fake that.”

Etheridge then threw back to 2016 when Rove McManus was hosting 2DayFM Breakfast alongside former Bachelor and Bachelorette star, Sam Frost.

“I get it. On paper, Rove McManus would be great on radio. Did anyone hear that show? It was terrible.”

It was here the MC of the event cut Etheridge off.

“Let’s not talk about competitors, because we can’t. So I’ll talk about myself for a minute,” she said in a bid to move the conversation along.

The radio hosts at this afternoon’s virtual Couch-ella event 

Since the Rove & Sam show was dumped from 2Day Breakfast in early 2017, the station has been through multiple other talent lineups and shows.

It has since settled on The Morning Crew with Hughesy, Ed & Erin featuring Dave Hughes (presumably the “TV comedian” Etheridge was referring to), Ed Kavalee and Erin Molan (perhaps dubbed “the footy chick”).

Despite Etheridge’s claims, the head of the Hit Network, Gemma Fordham, has previously told Radio Today that her new Sydney Breakfast trio are great friends on and off the air.

“I know this is going to sound cliche, but I’ve always been a really big believer in if you’re having fun off the air, it translates on the air. And I’ve seen that first hand. I’ve seen when shows off the air are not having fun or not getting along, and it’s no great surprise that the radio show doesn’t sound as good as it could. And it doesn’t sound like a party that you want to be part of as a listener,” she said previously.

“So the thing with the three of them is they just genuinely adore each other and they’re together all the time, and even when they’re not on air, they’re going out and doing stuff during the day together just as mates, which, I think that’s what the special chemistry is, is that they genuinely love hanging out with each other and they make each other laugh, and I think that’s the special sauce so to speak is what’s making it sound in my mind, great.”

Fordham has also previously opened up about criticism, from the likes of Etheridge’s ARN stablemate Kyle Sandilands, and how she’s reached the point where it truly doesn’t phase her.

“I don’t know what else to say other than, we don’t pay attention to any of that stuff. We just try to put the best shows to air every day,” she said.

The focus, she said, is her target market, or “Sarah in Blacktown”, as it were.

“People are going to write stuff, of course they are. And that’s their job. But it’s our job to not focus on what press are writing. It is our job to put a show together every day that delivers for the people of Sydney… We only care about Sarah in Blacktown, and what she thinks and making sure we put her in a good mood as she’s driving to school or driving to work or on the train. That’s all we care about. And that’s all we talk about internally. That’s our single focus is, have we delivered for them today? Or are we delivering for them tomorrow?

“Because I’ve said this before, it’s a privilege to entertain, regardless of what market we’re in, it’s a privilege to entertain and wake up a city every day. And so that’s all we focus on.”

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19 May 2021 - 6:05 pm

100 percent correct.

19 May 2021 - 7:24 pm

If Mike E and Emma were included in the Sydney ratings, what would they rate??

Radio guy
19 May 2021 - 7:52 pm

Good on you Mike E! You are 10000% correct.

19 May 2021 - 8:38 pm

“I know this is going to sound cliche, but I’ve always been a really big believer in if you’re having fun off the air, it translates on the air. She is a Gem !

19 May 2021 - 9:09 pm

Headline should read ‘Regional breakfast show co-host has rant about a metro station’ – I’m sure SCA are shaking in their boots after seeing this.

19 May 2021 - 9:20 pm

Little rich coming from a dweeb from a non surveyed station in Katoomba.

The Millers
19 May 2021 - 9:36 pm

What’s Mike E’s vibe on how the KIIS Melbourne breakfast disaster is gonna roll out. I’ll get the pot and the kettle ready.

20 May 2021 - 5:06 am

Little rich coming from a nobody from a non-surveyed station in Katoomba.

… next on the line we have Andrew in Nowra – You’re on the air.

Peter Mathieson
20 May 2021 - 6:21 am

Best thing I’ve heard come out of that show in a long time!

20 May 2021 - 7:00 am

Needed to be said. Good on you for saying it.

20 May 2021 - 7:01 am

Everyone knows SCA have no idea. Even Mike E.

20 May 2021 - 8:06 am

In fairness, Mike is really good regional talent

20 May 2021 - 9:49 am

I’ve never heard of this guy.

Does the E stand for Edgy? Crawl back into your hole you peanut.

Way to nutcracker your career in the most egotistical medium in the country.

Clearly hasn’t heard SCA’s brekky shows in a while.

Simon DuCann
20 May 2021 - 10:11 am

The Edge in Sydney. Why is everyone saying it’s a regional Katoomba station?

@Simon DuCann
20 May 2021 - 11:41 am

Because that’s where the broadcast licence is. ARN wouldn’t be able to own 3 Sydney licences. While the station broadcasts across Sydney and comes out of the ARN Sydney office, it’s licenced for a different area.

Tim Williams
20 May 2021 - 12:36 pm

Simon, “The Edge in Sydney” is only allowed as ARN’s third Sydney station because it’s licence vests in Katoomba (the station formerly known as 2KA).
Even in it’s twenty years based in Penrith, including it’s time as ONE-FM, the licence was still a regional Katoomba licence.
While Mike E. and Emma broadcast from North Ryde, they are still technically a Katoomba show, although you’d never know it listening to them.
How ARN got away with what is really a third Sydney licence in the first place, and still do, should never have been allowed by A.C.M.A.

20 May 2021 - 1:00 pm

Didn’t (if she doesn’t still) Emma broadcast from Melbourne…

So Edgy
20 May 2021 - 1:20 pm

Who? oh the guy who begged for that shift and was knocked back? Keep trying to build a profile around something you have totally fabricated for attention and is your own bitter opinion, Edgy One

20 May 2021 - 3:47 pm

Omg….they are great!…..I still can’t believe no other station want to snach them. Really disappointing that The Edge is not included in Sydney ratings…. They would be great to replace Kyle and Jackie O Show when they will retire….

20 May 2021 - 6:57 pm

Fact is, The Edge is also a digital station on DAB+ and has been no.1 for years in Sydney.
Mike E is coming from a place of experience, over 13+ years of breakfast radio at least. Also, he’s done breakfast in Sydney Metro.
Comments saying his opinion about on-air partner chemistry doesn’t count is way off.

20 May 2021 - 8:22 pm

Kyle lite.

Will the real Mike E please stand up
21 May 2021 - 7:03 am

The real winner here is all the real comments talking up Mike E that are *CLEARLY not Mike E under a different name ;-p

No I kid, he’s an icon. Should be the next US president, he’s got the experience.

21 May 2021 - 10:54 am

Says a guy who failed on Breakfast at the old MIX 106.5. This guy is trying to be the next Kyle, but without the credibility. What is he going to do when his gig at the Edge comes to end? he won’t be getting a job at SCA.

Reg Carmichael
21 May 2021 - 11:22 am

Just bring back Dial a Hit and end this charade

Current ARN Employee
21 May 2021 - 11:41 am

@Ex-ARN, Emma hasn’t broadcasted out of Melbourne since 2014, nor do I think she ever has? Only time I can think she broadcasted remotely was when her child was born?

Mike E and Emma are a terrific show. Very underrated. I’ve always been curious to see what they’d rate if they were in the old rating books.

21 May 2021 - 6:41 pm

The Edge Breakfast are kinda like a younger version of Kyle & Jackie O. I normally flick between Kyle & Jackie O and Mik-e & Emma anyway.
Most of the other FM Breakfast shows are not real good.
Nova breakfast is terrible with Wippa & can’t even remember the other guy. Sounds so Melbourne and so does 2DayFm’s. They never venture into dark humour or talk about anything controversial. Which becomes boring very quickly.
Which is why they never rate well in Sydney. Sydney is a lot less Politically Correct which is why Kiis breakfast does so well.

22 May 2021 - 6:36 pm

Little rich coming from a nobody from a non surveyed station in Katoomba.

21 Feb 2022 - 8:48 am

In light of the announcement today…..this has not aged well.


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