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