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Mix Melbourne rebranded as Kiis with Hughesy and Kate returning to radio replacing Rosso in Drive

Hughhes and Langbroek

Hughhes and Langbroek

The Australian Radio Network has started the consolidation of its stations rebranding Melbourne station Mix 101.1 as Kiis 101.1, with Dave Hughes and Kate Langbroek replacing Tim ‘Rosso’ Ross in national Drive.

Speculation had been mounting about the station name change following the success the network has had in rebranding its Mix station in Sydney to Kiis in January, taking it from bottom to top of the FM stations in the ratings.

The announcement of Hughes and Langbroek also signals an end to Ross’ time with the network which he joined in 2011 for the Drive segment. Last week former co-host Merrick Watts ruled out a “reformation” with Ross in his new TripleM Drive show.

The pair had hosted the Breakfast show on Nova Melbourne together for 12 years before ending it at the end of 2013. They will be entering a very competitive Drive market up against Watts and a yet-to-be-named co-host, Nova’s Kate Ritchie, Marty Sheargold and Tim Blackwell, whilst Hamish Blake and Andy Lee are joining the Today Network from July in the slot.

News of the rebrand comes amid rumours Southern Cross Austereo will also rebrand its struggling 2DayFM station in Sydney under the Hits brand.

At the National Radio Conference last month Nova’s marketing boss Tony Thomas said national brands were the way forward for networks as they built “equity” with listeners, while his SCA counterpart Nikki Clarkson said it was “too early” to know if the Sydney station would be rebranded.

In  statement today ARN’s CEO Ciaran Davis said: “It’s no secret that at ARN we continue to attract and retain Australia’s best talent. We have the two best breakfast shows in Sydney with Kyle & Jackie O on KIIS 1065 and Jonesy & Amanda on WS FM101.7 and the number one breakfast shows in Brisbane and Adelaide.

“We now have our sights set on extending the success of our Breakfast shows to the Drive slot nationally from January 2015.

“After several years of successful growth, the extension of the KIIS brand to Melbourne is yet another strong step forward for the entire network. Our strategy is focused on creating great content for our audiences across multiple channels, while delivering advertisers the most effective and integrated multi-platform media offering.”

National Content Director Duncan Campbell added: “Hughesy & Kate are brilliant radio talent who have enjoyed great success, and audiences in Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide are going to love their new drive show, while Hughsey & Kate’s loyal fan base in Melbourne will get to hear them on a fresh, new station next year.

“All at ARN thank Rosso for sharing his exceptional talent with our listeners and wish him all the best on his next project.”

Alex Hayes

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