Southern Cross Austereo’s Triple M has brought back fan favourite Merrick Watts to the drive radio slot.
Since ending Watts’ drive time show near the end of last year, Mike Fitzpatrick, head of the Triple M network, said listeners had demanded to get the broadcaster back.
“Triple M listeners are very vocal. We never die wondering with them. And they’ve been very very vocal around bringing Merrick back in all markets, not just Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane are asking to bring Merrick back,” said Fitzpatrick.
“You’ve got to remember that those other markets outside of Sydney weren’t even aware that Merrick had gone to do breakfast so they just thought we had taken him off. We wanted Merrick back and the opportunity came up about a week and a half ago and we thought ‘great’.”
SCA has had a number of reshuffles lately with the announcement of Hamish and Andy to return to the 2Day FM Drive slot in July next year and Dan and Maz taking the breakfast slot on the network.
However, Fitzpatrick said that’s it for changes for a while for Triple M.
“Change is the enemy of radio in my opinion,” he said. “And the more consistent you can be with a good the bigger the pay off. We’d like to start a drive show for Sydney and for the rest of the country that doesn’t change the line up for a few years.”
As to who will co-host with Merrick, Fitzpatrick said they are expecting to make the announcement in the next few days. There’s one particular person they’ve been chasing, who has been at Triple M before.
“It’s someone we’re also very excited about,” he said. “It’s someone who will complement Merrick. We don’t want another straight up and down comic who’s going to go joke for joke with Merrick.
“We don’t just want to put two comics in to tell jokes. Merrick’s a very smart guy, but also very funny. I wanted someone with a journalistic background who gets news as well, has a news sensibility. So they’ll be complementing Merrick rather than working joke for joke with him.”
Of his return to the drive slot, Watts said:“Returning to Triple M is exactly like coming home, only I’m rewarded when I act like an idiot.”