Mike Fitzpatrick – We make content for people who pee standing up – part i

Triple M has announced the return of Merrick Watts to the fold.

Mez will be one part of the new Triple M drive team for 2015. Outside breakfast, Drive is the next battle ground for each network. Some have had stability for a while, others like SCA have had new teams in play this year and the reset button has been pushed for 2015. But how different will the new offering be?

In part i, we talk to Triple M Group Content Director Mike Fitzpatrick about what’s installed for drive on the network. How they will defend their hill and a few other bits along the way.


Blair Sullivan: Drive in 2015 is shaping up to be an interesting one. Merrick is back with Triple M… last time Merrick was part of the Highway Patrol…. What is he going to bring to the table that is different this time round?

Mike Fitzpatrick:   I think what’s different this time is the style of show. . I am really confident with the funny smart direction the one percenters have taken this year.

That is something we sat down and talked about 18 months ago and we really wanted to create a point of difference in the drive home and certainly compliment our Melbourne breakfast with Eddie, Mick and Darc.

And you know bringing a certain level of maturity and differentiation from the other drive shows that were doing basic phoners, celeb interviews and that sort of stuff. We wanted to create smarter content for men.

So this year the guys have done some amazing interviews with modern day adventurers, the guy that lives on the space station, a woman who cleans up every murder site in NSW. And what’s that like?

There has been some really interesting, compelling content.

And while Merrick and the Highway Patrol was a good show, it was funny, that wasn’t its direction and that wasn’t its purpose.

So this time Merrick will slot into the one percenters style of show with a co-host that will compliment what he brings to the table.

It won’t be another comedian going joke for joke with Mez, we will probably bring in someone from a news journalistic background.

BS: Oh really…. OK

Fitzy: That’s just killed you saying it’s Rosso, it’s Rosso.

BS: I was going to throw some names and he was on the list, I will scratch that one off.

Fitzy: I mean, I don’t even have Tim’s number. And last time I heard he had a job.

BS: There you go.

Fitzy: Merrick & Rosso was a brilliant brand and probably still is a strong brand, but it’s something very different to what we will be offering on drive for Triple M.

BS: When are you looking at announcing the Journalistic Newsy type person? How long are we going to have to wait for that one?

Fitzy: Imminent. Journalist/Newsy but also with a sense of humour. The ability to take the piss, understand we are not hiring Hugh Riminton.

BS: Very nice.

Fitzy: That’s not a bad show is it. Riminton Watt – Steve Lieberman and Merrick Watts.

BS: There you go, lets kick off the rumour mill with that one.

In terms of the landscape that Merrick and this “Other” person are going to be playing in, if you look at the market place, you’ve got Hamish & Andy coming on deck, rumours of Hughesy & Kate on a re-branded Kiis for Melbourne and the network, possibly… who knows.

Fitzy: Is there, I never heard of that.

BS: It’s going to be a tough battle, do you expect Hamish & Andy and the others to take audience away from Triple M – how do you defend that hill?

Fitzy: Our hill is pretty well defined. We make content for people who pee standing up.

And the DNA of that in the show is news, sport and comedy. And if that’s not your thing.  You don’t want to hear news and sport at the centre of what we are talking about, then you’re probably not going to listening to Triple M.  You know what I mean.

BS: Yep

Fitzy: It’s like someone saying what do you do for people on the weekend who want to hear music and you’re in football season, we are just not going to win them. We don’t play music on weekends, we play football.

So I am very confident that we know what the average Australian radio listening Male wants and finds interesting and compelling and we will create content around that.

Hamish & Andy's audience will be a very different audience to ours as it has been in the past.

It’s the same reason in Adelaide and Melbourne between March and October for 3pm to 5pm I’ve got two footy shows in there. We have got to be talking football during those periods.

BS: It’s a point of difference?

Fitzy: And also people expect it from Triple M

BS: It’s in line with your brand values….

Fitzy There is a brand expectation of what you are going to deliver.

BS: Let’s talk about the one percenter’s guys now, what’s happening with Matt Tilley?

Fitzy: Don’t know

BS: You don’t know?

Fitzy: You will have to ask Matt. 100% hand on heart, you will have to ask Matt because I have no idea what he is doing next year. You will have to ask Matt.

Matt’s made the decision not to return and hasn’t told us where he is going. We have asked.

BS: You might have to maybe watch and rewind Channel Ten’s Ten Studio.  This morning Joe was on there talking about him.

Fitzy: Joe said he is going to a rival network. I knew it, Matt’s doing breakfast on Smooth next year. He’s replacing Richard Wilkins on Smooth.

I always knew Paul Jackson would poach him.


In part ii with our chat with Triple M Group Content Director Mike Fitzpatrick, we talk about Joe Hildebrand, Triple M Melbourne versus Sydney, Melbourne breakfast and a sport that’s on some networks radars.




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