Merrick Watts, Jules Lund, Sophie Monk and Mel B to host 2DayFM breakfast show
Merrick Watts, Jules Lund, Sophie Monk and former Spice Girl Mel B will host the 2Day FM breakfast show in place of Kyle and Jackie O from January, Southern Cross Austereo has confirmed.
The team appeared on Channel Nine’s Today show this morning to make the announcement, with Mel B joining the conversation from Hollywood, California. She will move between Sydney and Los Angeles to appear in a regular segment on the show.
They replace the Kyle and Jackie O Show, which moved to the Australian Radio Network’s new station Kiis 1065 after dominating the breakfast show ratings for more than 50 surveys.
Watts moves to 2DayFM from Southern Cross Austereo’s Triple M network where he hosted the axed Highway Patrol show for the last two years.
Monk moved from LA to Sydney to host the weekend breakfast show on Southern Cross Austereo’s Today Network with Dave Thornton in September. She had previously filled in for Jackie Henderson on the Kyle and Jackie O show with Kyle Sandilands.
Mel B, or Melanie Brown, has become an Australian favourite since appearing as a judge on the X Factor on Seven, but a legal stoush has prevented her from moving to join Channel Nine to be a judge on Australia’s Got Talent.
Content director Craig Bruce, head of content for Southern Cross Austereo said Brown can offer a unique celebrity insight, demonstrated in tests of the team, when she was able to talk about the Miley Cyrus as a personal friend.
He said: “It was kind of a moment for me when I thought that’s a really different and unique perspective on celebrity that we’re probably not going to get on any other radio show around the country. She is well connected, she’s based there and here and I think it will work really well for the show to have that element.
“We can certainly go to her if there’s an inside running that she can bring to the show that others might not have, but she’s a good storyteller and she’s had a really interesting and full life and will bring those experiences to the table as best she can.”
On the question of the four hosts, Watts said on Today: “To be completely fair Kyle is the size of three. The composition of the show is four people with different personalities and different things to offer so we all play different roles and it’s gone very smoothly, we’ve done lots of testing already, and trialled off air on the show and it has been really good.”
Monk added: “It’s two really strong women and these guys are very emotional so it’s a very different dynamic.”
Bruce said the four hosts, all in their thirties, should pull an audience of under 40s.
“Good radio performers certainly on breakfast reach that level of maturity where they can pull off a show like this somewhere in their thirties so I think we’ve got about the right demo spread and we will bring some new ideas in a multimedia approach to the show and I think that’s something that’s exciting for us,” he said.
“We’re going to make it the most visual, the most social breakfast show on radio next year. It’s a passion of Jules’ and he believes, as we do, that broadcast radio, online and social are a really strong mix, and our plan is to bring those platforms together wherever we possibly can.”
The Australian Radio Network have confirmed 2DayFM’s former content director Derek Bargwanna and former EP of the Kyle and Jackie O show, Simon Greally, have followed Sandilands and Henderson to Kiis. Bargwanna departed the Today Network in September.
Dan Bozykowski will be the show’s audio producer and current Mix 1065 producers Minnie Cummins and Abigail Benaud will stay on at the station previously called Mix.
Duncan Campbell, national content director for ARN, said: “These appointments are the next step in ensuring the all-new Kiis Kyle and Jackie O show is set up for success in 2014. Each of these people are proven professionals.”
The Kyle and Jackie O show will start on Kiis 1065 on January 20 and SCA has not confirmed the start date for 2DayFM’s new breakfast show.