Merrick Watts: We won’t turn our colleagues into casualties

Highway Patrol: From left, Corbett, Watts and Schiller

Triple M’s new drivetime presenter Merrick Watts has promised that his show will not cause trouble for behind the scenes staff.

The comments came in an interview to promote next week’s launch of Merrick and the Highway Patrol on Triple M. Also on the team is Rachel Corbett and Julian Schiller.

In the interview with Mumbrella journalist Colin Delaney, Watts said: “I want the show to be a great show. Not to be the most famous show, not to be concerned or obsessed with ratings but to be a show that just wants to create great comedy.

“To be a really positive, fun work environment with no bullshit and no casualties. And when I say no casualties I mean nobody who is going to hurt staff, nobody who is going to make other people in the building’s jobs more difficult unnecessarily.”

Although he did not refer to anybody by name, Watts’ comments could be taken as a nod towards the upheavals for the staff at Southern Cross Austereo following Kyle Sandilands’ on air attack on News Limited journalist Alison Stephenson late last year.

A string of advertisers pulled out from the Today Network, and security at Southern Cross Austereo offices nationally had to be stepped up as the public backlash took place. SCA is the parent company of both the Today Network and Triple M.

From Monday – when Merrick and The Highway patrol goes to air – Watts and Sandilands will be broadcasting from the same building for the first time. Bad blood built up between the pair when Watts hosted Nova’s breakfast show putting him in direct opposition to the ratings-leading Kyle & Jackie O Show. Watts is joined by Corbett who previously hosted the drive slot with Paul Murray, and Schiller, formerly of Nova and the ABC.

Schiller added: “If you’re not consistent, if you do two great shows and three terrible shows because you’ve got other commitments, you’re going to photo shoots or you’re thinking about a television show you’re doing that night then they won’t come.”

Merrick and the Highway Patrol  launches on Monday. Going out nationally, the show will air from 4-6pm in Sydney and Brisbane, 6-8pm in Melbourne and Adelaide and the rest of the regional network, Localworks from 5-7pm.



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