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Triple M to axe The Highway Patrol

Triple M has confirmed that it is axing its national drive show The Highway Patrol after just 18 months on air.

highway-patrol

The show – presented by Merrick Watts, Julian Schiller and Rachel Corbett – launched in February 2012 and will stop at the end of the ratings year.

The announcement from Southern Cross Austereo came hours after Sydney’s The Daily Telegraph reported that the show was being dropped for cost reasons to create savings that could be spent on retaining Kyle Sandilands on sister station the Today network. Sandilands’ contract is reportedly up for renewal.

According to this afternoon’s announcement: “Next year, Triple M will launch a new-look national network show which means that Merrick and The Highway Patrol will not be returning in 2014.”

In the statement the head of Triple M Mike Fitzpatrick said: “We’ve made some successful changes to the Triple M network this year and now we’re going to build on those changes by creating a real alternative to the drive time line-ups across the country.”

Watts said in the statement: “ I have enjoyed every second of the last two years on air with Rachel and Jules, it is disappointing that it will be coming to an end but I am planning to make the most of the next couple of months together on air.”

When the show first launched, Watts told Mumbrella: “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.”

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