Em Rusciano to exit 2DayFM breakfast by end of the week

Sydney’s 2Day FM breakfast co-host Em Rusciano is set to leave the station on Friday.

Rusciano, who first joined the station with comedian Harley Breen at the beginning of 2017, announced this morning it was her last week on air, emphasising it was “entirely” her own decision.

Rusciano was splashed across headlines around Australia in May

“Before anyone gets into a flap, let me make it crystal clear that this is entirely my decision and not one I made lightly. I appreciate how lucky I am to be in a position to leave on my own terms. Usually in radio, you are not afforded such a luxury,” Rusciano wrote on her website.

“The truth is when I found out I was pregnant, I made my mind up on the spot that this year would be my last year of breakfast radio. I had intended to work through until December, but as my pregnancy is progressing I’m finding it increasingly harder to fulfil the requirements of my job. So after talking it through with my family, and my boss Gemma, it was decided that I should finish up.”

It marks the end of a controversial run with 2DayFM for Rusciano, who will be replaced by Ash London until the 2019 lineup has been announced. When Hit Network, which owns 2DayFM, first announced she would join the station, Rusciano said she would not uproot her family. Just one year in, co-host Breen announced his departure from the show. The Em Rusciano Radio Show with Harley Breen then became the Em, Grant and Ed show, with new co-hosts Ed Kavalee and Grant Denyer.

And while the show continued to gain traction until the most recent radio ratings survey, Rusciano was caught in headlines over her comments about the breakfast show’s restructure.

It sparked widespread industry commentary about managing radio talent and generated rumours about the internal dynamic of the breakfast show. Last week, the breakfast show fell a full ratings point to a 3.3% share of listening.

But when Mumbrella spoke to Hit Network’s head of content, Gemma Fordham, she noted the result wasn’t enough to pull a breakfast show.

“Unfortunately for them – they’d probably love a sleep in,” she said.

“You are always tweaking any station – we really are, we do it with every single station. We’ll continue to tweak with 2Day – I mean we have to. Until it is performing consistently above where it is now, it will continue to get tweaked.”

Today, Rusciano thanked the 2DayFM team and Fordham for their support and hard work.

“Coming in each day was made easier by the producers being so supportive. We will always have that bond – we have become a lovely, dysfunctional family and know more about each other’s lives than we do about some of our closest friends. I also want to thank my co-hosts Grant Denyer and Ed Kavalee for supporting my decision to leave, I wish them both all the best in their future endeavours and in Grant’s case: total TV domination,” she said.

“Thank you also to Gemma Fordham for believing in me, for supporting my decision to leave (even though it makes your life far more difficult for the foreseeable future) and most importantly, for being my friend and not just my boss.”

But Rusciano admitted her time with the station had been a “mixed bag”.

“t’s been heart-breaking, hilarious, soul-destroying, uplifting, disappointing and bloody hard a lot of the time. Thanks to radio I’ve learned so much about myself; it really puts a spotlight on your strengths and weaknesses like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. But the best thing to come out of it has been me rediscovering my sense of self,” Rusciano said.

Rusciano will focus on her family and the birth of her new child. She has also signed on to write an adult fiction book and is working on a new stage show and podcast.

Fordham said Hit Network 100% supported Rusciano’s decision.

“We are so thrilled for Em and her family that after  everything they experienced last year they will have a beautiful baby in their world early next year. Em had a heart to heart with me last month and let me know that she would like to wrap up breakfast hours and focus on her growing family and her other many creative pursuits,” she said.

“Em has always been forthright and honest with our listeners, sharing every intimate detail of her life, and she will continue to be part of the 2DayFM family when she can for the remainder of this year”.

Rusciano will finish on Friday.


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