Sammy J replaces Sami Shah and Jacinta Parsons in ABC Radio Melbourne breakfast slot

Comedian and regular radio contributor Sammy J will be stepping into the breakfast slot for ABC Radio Melbourne in 2020, following current presenters Sami Shah and Jacinta Parsons moving on to other roles with the broadcaster.

Sammy J is best known for his man/puppet comedy show Sammy J & Randy, which has toured Australia and is the basis of his ABC TV sitcom Sammy J & Randy in Ricketts Lane. He is a regular contributor to ABC Radio Melbourne, guest-presenting the Breakfast show in September and taking part in big events.

Sammy J is in at ABC Melbourne Radio as Jacinta Parsons and Sami Shah are out

ABC’s Melbourne manager, Dina Rosendorff, welcomed Sammy J to the Breakfast role next year, saying he had already established himself as a popular and engaging personality through his various roles on the station across the year.

“Sammy is an acute observer of the world around us and we look forward to his take on Melbourne life in 2020,” said Rosendorff.

Current Breakfast hosts Shah and Parsons remain with the station and both move to other roles in 2020. These will be announced in the national presenter line-ups to be released next week.

Regarding Shah and Parsons, Rosendorff said: “They are both extremely talented broadcasters and communicators. They have brought a fresh new sound to Breakfast along with a whole lot of new listeners. There is absolutely no way we would want to lose their skills.”

“This balance between existing and new audiences will be a focus for us in the new year. That doesn’t take away the from the exceptional job Sami and Jacinta have done building their show since early 2018 and we will give both plenty of opportunity to use their skills in the future. They are very much part of the ABC Radio Melbourne family.”

Despite promising Shah and Parsons would stay in the radio team, the announcement hinted that ratings may be the reason behind their departure, with Rosendorff saying the show brought in many new listeners but didn’t ‘connect as strongly with its existing audience’. Shah and Parsons have been in the role two years, replacing Red Symons.

After Shah and Parsons took the role the ratings dropped off, falling to ABC Melbourne’s lowest smallest breakfast share in decades. The ratings have since improved, rising to 10.4% as of GfK survey seven.

Sammy J said: “Like a stray kitten in need of some food the ABC has welcomed me into their radio household and I couldn’t be more excited. I’m a proud Melbourne nerd and can’t wait to learn, engage, and disgrace myself with an on-air gaffe within a fortnight.”

Sammy J will start on-air in his new role on Monday 20 January 2020. This year also saw Virginia Trioli replace Jon Faine in the Mornings slot. 


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