Report: Kyle & Jackie O in talks with old network SCA about comeback

Sydney’s most sought-after radio duo, Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O Henderson, have reportedly been in talks with Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) about moving back to the network, as the pair’s contract with ARN ends next year.

The Australian Financial Review quotes sources saying that SCA has been “pretty aggressive” in pursuing the pair as the end of their current deal with KIIS FM approaches at the end of 2024. Either way, it’s expected a new deal with the duo will be finalised by the end of the year.

The duo’s breakfast show has always been a strong contender in the Sydney market. In the latest GfK radio survey, Kyle & Jackie O had a 17.9% share in the breakfast slot, compared to 15% from its competitor Ben Fordham on Nine Radio’s 2GB.

Sandilands and Henderson’s contract with KIIS FM was last re-signed in 2019 – an early renewal off the back of a five-year deal signed in 2016.

They departed the SCA-owned 2Day FM in 2013, resulting in a share price slide for the media company and more than $100m wiped off its market capitalisation over two days back then.

The report came after ARN’s move last week to acquire a 14.7% interest in SCA for $38.3 million. The former referred to the acquisition as a “strategic equity investment” at the time.

When approached for comments, Ciaran Davis, ARN Media CEO and managing director said: “We don’t see contract negotiations as being an on-off exercise. Since Kyle and Jackie O have been with us, we have been working very hard to make sure they feel part of a bigger network, and that everybody contributes to that.

“I don’t think that it’s a surprise to us that they have had the highest listenership they have ever had.”

An SCA spokesperson said the network doesn’t “comment on speculation”.


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