Kiis axes Matt & Meshel for Kiwi breakfast duo in breakfast, hires Perth’s Will & Woody to replace Hughesy & Kate in drive

ARN’s Kiis FM is ditching its national Hughesy & Kate drivetime show and dropping its struggling Melbourne breakfast hosts Matt Tilley and Meshel Laurie, Mumbrella can reveal.

Kiis will replace Dave Hughes and Kate Langbroek in the drivetime slot with Will McMahon and Woody Whitelaw, who currently present the breakfast show on Southern Cross Austereo’s Perth station Hit92.9.

And New Zealand duo Polly ‘PJ’ Harding and Jase Hawkins will host Kiis101.1 FM’s Melbourne breakfast program from the start of the year.

Kiis FM’s new national drive time hosts Will & Woody

The news ends a three year stint for Kiis’ Hughesy & Kate show, while the sixth-placed Matt & Meshel show only began at the start of last year.

Hughes and Langbroek’s contracts were set to end this year. But Duncan Campbell, ARN’s national content director, told Mumbrella last week the duo were still in negotiations.

Hughesy & Kate will leave ARN at the end of the year

In the most recent set of ratings, Hughesy & Kate topped the timeslot in Sydney with a 9.8% audience share. In Melbourne the show was up 0.4 ratings points to 7.2% and in Perth the show climbed to 8.7%.

However in Brisbane and Adelaide, the show fell 0.8 points and 1.9 points to shares of 10.5% and 11.9% respectively.

In the sixth survey of the year, released last week, the Matt & Meshel show dipped 0.3 ratings points, to a 6.1% share, placing sixth in Melbourne.

Matt & Meshel are also to depart

Tilley joined the Kiis network in 2015 from Triple M, where he replaced Chrissie Swan and joined Jane Hall on Kiis Melbourne breakfast.

Hall was replaced a year later with Laurie, who joined the network from Nova.

Meanwhile over in Perth, the 92.9Hit breakfast show with Heidi, Will & Woody has averaged a 10.3% breakfast audience share, up almost every survey this year.

However in the most recent survey the show fell 1.9 ratings points to 9.3%.

It was revealed in August the trio, who had been working together since 2013 would split, with speculation McMahon and Whitelaw were moving to Melbourne to take up “a late-night drive spot”.

Meanwhile Matt Tilley and Meshel Laurie’s replacements, PJ and Jase, announced their departure from New Zealand and ZM’s drive in July this year.

New Kiis 101.1 Melbourne hosts Jase Hawkins and PJ Harding

They began working together in 2015, and were put together by NZME’s then chief content officer Gemma Fordham, who is now SCA’s head of content for SCA’s Hit Network.

Hawkins began his career in Australia at Triple M Brisbane before being poached by Kiis’ Kyle Sandilands and nicknamed ‘Labrat’. He was also previously B105 breakfast host in Brisbane.

Harding comes from Christchurch, and has been working with ZM since 2011. She hosted ZM’s night show before taking on drive time.

In New Zealand’s most recent survey of its major commercial radio markets, the duo finished with a 7.7% audience share, the same as the second survey of the year.

The first survey of the year saw the duo climbed 0.5 points to a 7.2% share.

ARN’s national content director, Duncan Campbell said the announcement was part of a “new strategic direction” for the network, which has been in planning for the last twelve months.

“The signing of Will & Woody and Jase & PJ is an exciting coup for ARN given the talent was also courted by other networks,” Campbell said.

“These changes not only enhance our national offering but also reinvents our approach for Kiis 101.1, marking a significant, bold step forward for Melbourne and the network overall.”

ARN CEO Rob Atkinson said: “We’re not only reinforcing our number one network position, but also confirming our commitment to further energise the ARN network by delivering the best-in- market talent, content, and commercial solution.”

The replacement for Hit network’s outgoing drive show hosts Hamish & Andy is yet to be revealed.


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