Today presenter Jules Lund has revealed the reasons why his foray into breakfast radio last year with 2Day FM was always going to be one of the toughest gigs in media.
Lund, speaking to B&T on the eve of his brand new evening program with the station, admitted that when he, Sophie Monk, Merrick Watts and Mel B replaced Kyle and Jackie O at the station the departing duo not only left to a rival they took the vast majority of listeners with them.
“It wasn’t our show’s fault, our show sounded great,” Lund said of the program that was ultimately canned in October. “We were sitting in this hole left by a show that had spent 10 years gathering that audience and that’s what happens.
“Talent hold all the power and they’re worth every cent,” he says with a nod to his predecessors.
Lund dismisses the idea that a lack of synergy between the hosts was cause of its demise, rather it was a case of Kyle and Jackie O taking a significant chunk of listeners with them to rival KIIS.
“Kyle and Jackie had earned that audience and when they left the audience went with them. They’d worked their arses off for 10 years for that and there’s nothing we or (Today) management could have done.
“We never inherited Kyle’s and Jackie’s audience. They left with them and were now going up against us. There’s not too many radio shows in history that have had to face the challenges we had and we didn’t know how big the challenge was until the first ratings came through. The thing we underestimated was just how much of the audience they would take and it turned out to be much bigger.
“To be honest I was never going to stay that long, I was only going to stay for as long as my contract. If it had flown and we were the toast of the town I would have reassessed.
“We were never a long-term investment,” Lund says of the quartet. “You need to invest in a younger crew that could’ve done it for the five or 10 years required to make it a success and I was never going to do that. It was a long term game and soon as we all realised that we needed to change the strategy.”
On January 14th 2Day bought into the surprisingly young Maz Compton and Dan Debuf to fill the highly-prized breakfast slot.
However, Lund’s radio career lives another day with today’s announcement of a new show – co-hosted with Emma Freedman – called The Scoopla and broadcast nationally across the Today network.
Lund describes the new project – which airs for an hour at 6pm – as having a celebrity bent but without the fluff and gossip.
“The stuff that fascinates me is not the gossip,” Lund says of his celebrity addiction, an interest he says came from nine years of reporting from the Logies red carpet.
“It’s things like celebrity hacking; how do they do it? I want to speak to a hacker. I want to know what the people on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here are getting paid. I want to know what extent celebrities will go to for PR. I want to know did Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman marry for publicity? I don’t want to hear about Taylor Swift’s new haircut.”
The Scoopla starts nationally on Monday 2nd February from 6pm on the Today network.