Southern Cross Austereo rejected a report it is looking to slash costs and sack staff in an effort to build a $20m “war chest” to bring back breakfast hosts Kyle and Jackie O to 2DayFM.
SCA denies it is looking to lure back Kyle and Jackie O
The Sunday Telegraph claims Southern Cross Austereo management is “forensically analysing” ways to amass the funds to lure back the breakfast duo to its struggling Sydney flagship station 2DayFM. Their departure in 2013 for ARN’s KiisFM saw 2DayFM fall from first to last in the FM rankings as Kiis grabbed top spot.
On Sunday morning, Southern Cross Austereo denied the report, with a spokeswoman saying: “SCA is not in discussions with Kyle and Jackie O to return to 2DayFM, or any other station in the Hit Network. (It is) completely untrue, we are not dumping staff.”
Sandilands today fired back at SCA going on-air this morning to tell listeners: “I would never go back to Austereo, even if they gave me the radio station… if they said here you own it. I would say no thanks.”
The Sunday Telegraph report is thought to have angered SCA’s management, who today said that they were committed to its current 2Day breakfast line up of Rove McManus and Sam Frost, with a spokesperson saying the pair were a “perfect fit” within SCA’s culture.
Kyle and Jackie are known within the industry for being difficult to work, with a high turnover of staff within the breakfast program.
“SCA is strongly committed to its new breakfast show on 2DayFM and we look forward to many great years ahead with Rove and Sam,” said the SCA spokeswoman.
“They are a perfect fit for our positive culture and team environment.”
Sydney radio station 2Day has struggled to find a competitive breakfast line up since the departure of Kyle Sandilands and Jackie Henderson, cycling through three different combinations over the last two years.
First SCA tried the combination of Merrick Watts, Jules Lund, Sophie Monk and Mel B before dumping them at the end of 2014 in favour of Dan Debuf and Maz Compton who were then dumped in October in favour of Rove and Sam.
Rove McManus and Sam Frost: on 3 share.
In their first survey result in December 2015 the pair had managed to boost the audience share by just 0.1 points to a 3 per cent share, as Kyle and Jackie O who finished the year as number one in FM breakfast on a 10.1 per cent share.
One of the components of the Sunday Telegraph story which has been questioned by radio insiders is the suggestion that SCA would look to raise cash to hire Kyle and Jackie O.
Blackley: equity breeds a greater alignment.
New CEO Grant Blackley has made it clear he favours equity deals with key talent with the network making such deals Hamish and Andy and also Rove McManus. Both are on three year deals.
In an interview with Mumbrella last year Blackley said: “I think getting greater alignment between the talent, the network and the network’s objectives is vital as we move forward.”
“They have therefore got a business interest, they have got an alignment with our company, and arguably I think thats a good thing.”
Rove McManus has been handed $2.1m in shares as part of his package, while Hamish and Andy got $3m each for their return to the drive slot.