Dan & Maz dumped from 2DayFM breakfast as Southern Cross Austereo turns to Rove

Southern Cross Austereo has hired light entertainment star Rove McManus to try and rescue its ailing Sydney station 2DayFM, dumping struggling breakfast show hosts Dan & Maz.

rove dan and mazAn update to the Australian Securities Exchange this afternoon confirmed the move which will see Dan Debuf and Maz Compton moved to the weekend breakfast timeslot.

The update also shows Rove will be on a three year contract, getting $350,000 worth of shares every six months. A spokeswoman for SCA said a formal announcement will be made later this afternoon.

Share in SCA have risen by 10c, or around 10 per cent, to $1.02 after rumours of Rove’s appointment were leaked yesterday.

Dan and Maz’s future on the breakfast show has been in doubt for a while with the pair dropping 0.8 points to 3.1 per cent share in the last survey and sitting firmly bottom of the FM pile for much of the year.

Last week HitFM boss Dave Cameron was reluctant to be drawn on their future saying only “the breakfast show remains a challenge for us.”

“We haven’t finalised any lineups for around the country for 2016 but remain committed to Dan and Maz,” he added. “The show has only been on-air nine months but we will continue to make inroads.”

Under the terms of talent deal posted on the ASX shares to value of $350,000 will be issue on January 2 2016, 1 July 2016, 2 January 2017, 1 July 2017, 2 January 2018, 1 July 2018.

In a statement SCA’s executive director of metro operations Guy Dobson said: “Sydney needs a big show, with a big name and it doesn’t get much bigger than Rove. We’ve got a superb plan in place to make sure the new show is everything you’d expect from one of Australia’s greatest entertainers. But…why would we tell you everything now? We’re holding some of the show-and-tell for later. Watch this space, all will be revealed very soon!”

The release also paid tribute to Dan & Maz who it said had done “an amazing job in the hot bed that is Sydney radio”.

“Dan and Maz are a fantastic radio show. We’re committed to continuing to nurture and develop their infinite talents. They’re definitely a show for the future and remain an incredibly important part of the SCA family,” added Dobson.

Rove said in the release: “Sydney has been my Aussie home for a number of years now and I very happy to be making it a more permanent arrangement, even if it will mean waking at 4am.

“The immediacy of radio has the same electricity of live television – anything can happen and the best shows are the ones that go off script but unlike TV you can eat while you work and who doesn’t want to work with the smell of fresh toast.”

Speculation of the move emerged over the weekend, and follows moves in the breakfast slots in Melbourne where Jane Hall will be replaced on Kiis by Meshel Laurie, with Chrissie Swan filling her seat at Nova.

Rove’s share options are worth less than those handed to Hamish Blake and Andy Lee when they agreed to rejoin the network in the drive slot at the end of last year, with ASX filings showing they received 3.35m shares worth $3.08m at that time.

2DayFM has struggled since the departure of Kyle Sandilands and Jackie ‘O’ Henderson from the breakfast slot, with the show dropping from first to last in the ratings and the station’s share plummeting.

That was despite a heavy investment in a show with Sophie Monk, Jules Lund, Merrick Watts and initially Mel B, which failed to halt the decline.

Dan & Maz were brought into the breakfast slot at the beginning of this year with Dobson telling Mumbrella it would be the “only show by under 30s, talking the language people under 30 talk, in Sydney”.

More to come. 

Nic Christensen & Alex Hayes


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