​How many breakfast hosts does it take to keep an audience? | radioinfo

​How many breakfast hosts does it take to keep an audience?

Saturday 14 December, 2013
The new 2Day show on the Today show: Jules, Sophie and Merrick. Mel B was on the phone.

Answer: We’ll find out by about Survey 8 next year – if not sooner.

Any General will tell you that in warfare, outnumbering your enemy goes a long way towards victory. It is unlikely, though, that that translates to the broadcast battleground where often, less is more. Which is more or less true except in cases where more is more.

In any case, having announced a four person breakfast team to replace Kyle and Jackie O, SCA’s Head of Content Craig Bruce (CB) would not be drawn on what the new team is being paid compared to the old. Our guess is it’s about the same, but less than what K & J wanted to be persuaded to stay.

Understandably, CB is not keen to make comparisons between the outgoing talent and the new line-up. “I  just want to say for the record: You don’t replace the Kyle and Jack show… and we are not trying to replace them.”

Yet, the bones of the new show won’t be too unlike the old, “It will sound like a 2Day-FM breakfast show,” says CB. “It will be a different creative treatment based on the fact that we have new people involved, but it will still be a pop radio breakfast show.”

But why these four? What was the thought process that arrived at Jules Lund, Merrick Watts, Sophie Monk and Mel B?

“We wanted performers that were and are well known by our audience and the Sydney market in general. That was the starting point,” says CB. “The Sydney market is not the sort of market where you can bring in new talent or use someone for the first time - certainly not in breakfast.”

Like a team of super-heroes each member is seemingly chosen for their special powers.

Jules Lund, Ringleader: Says CB, “I guess Jules will be the ringleader on the air. It’s not that we’ve said, ‘Hey you’re the captain and the others need to sit underneath.’  It’s just that Jules has a vision about how broadcast radio can move to a multi-platform experience. The Fifi and Jules facebook page is the number one social media brand in the country in terms of engagement levels. He will certainly drive leadership in and around this area. He is a natural leader of people.”

Merrick Watts, Funny Guy: Says CB, “We wanted to have a funny component in the show. Probably what was missing was a genuinely funny person in terms of the Fifi and Jules combination in Drive so, we wanted to make sure that we had that in breakfast. Jules can now focus on being the ringleader and Merrick can concentrate on looking for opportunities to add a laugh to the breaks.”

Sophie Monk, Funny Lady: Says CB, “She has a completely unstilted approach to her work on-air. She’s funny, she’s self deprecating and a little crazy. Sophie and Jules worked together for a couple of months in Drive earlier this year and they have a great relationship - a good rapport. And the audience developed a real affinity towards her. So we’re really excited about her.”

Mel B, Star Connection: Says CB, “She’s a bit cheeky and a bit naughty and is brave enough to say whatever she thinks and her and Merrick had a thing going right from the start. We had a moment in one of her trials - where we sort of throw up a topic and let them talk about it - we said to the four guys: ‘Talk about Mylie Cyrus because she was in the news that day and Mel hopped in and said, ‘Mylie’s actually a friend of mine and I know her family well and here’s my perspective.’

“When I heard that I thought that’s a completely different perspective on celebrity and pop culture that radio doesn’t have. I mean her connections to that world is really different to anyone I can think of on pop radio.”

Having put the on-air team together, the next part is support. Even the best trained troops cannot be expected to win battles without material support incuding food, clothing, ammunition, intelligence and medical.

CB vows, “We will support this new show as strongly as we supported Kyle and Jack. There will be a commitment across marketing, contesting, production support, intellectual support - whatever we can provide to make sure that this show gets where it needs to go we will do that.”

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