How Long Do You Give A New Morning Show?
October 6, 2015
In Sydney, commercial radio is once more in turmoil after 2DAY FM has once more replaced its morning show.
Top 40 station 2DAY was formerly the #1 commercial FM station, but is now the least popular commercial FM station in Australia's biggest city, with a share of 4%. Smooth FM, a soft AC station, is #1 on FM with 8.2%; the overall #1 is an AM talk station, 2GB, with 12.8%. Fellow Top 40 station KIIS106.5 is #2; and it's this station that has caused 2DAY's woes; rebranding and poaching 2DAY's breakfast show 'Kyle and Jackie O.' That move was an instant success.
2DAY has so far been through two sets of morning shows since losing Kyle and Jackie O. First, we had an over-large breakfast team of "Jules, Merrick and Sophie with Mel B." The former Spice Girl Mel B, a Brit from Leeds, contributed from her house in Los Angeles much of the time. Then, the competent duo Dan and Maz were promoted from drivetime into the morning show slot. The station was still sending out press releases about Dan and Maz until late last week. Dan and Maz only started their show in mid-January; but station owners Southern Cross Austereo canned their program this week and are starting all over again.
The new show? Not radio presenters like the previous two breakfast shows, but a stand-up comedian, Rove McManus. If you've watched Comedy Central you'd have seen him on @midnight, and he's also on the Game Show Network in the US. A big name in Australian television, Wikipedia informs me he's done very little radio over the past ten years. 2DAY's problems have been exacerbated by the fact that most advertising buyers are in Sydney; the station's issues are therefore linked to the company's other radio stations across the country. They're under significant pressure to get this right; and the company's highly-regarded Content Director, Craig Bruce, left the company in August.
The question really is whether nine months is enough to give a show. Dan and Maz had done, by all accounts, a good job on drive at the station; a program carried nationally. They seemed personable and likeable. But how long can you give a show before realizing it's time to move on?
Dan and Maz move to weekend mornings across the Hit network, which 2DAY is a part of; but only once Rove is in the air-chair. That turns out to be 2016 - leaving a three-month hole (or an awfully long goodbye). Whatever their tomorrow, 2DAY probably wishes it was yesterday once more.