The Today Network has announced it’s 2015 line up with Hamish and Andy returning to the national Drive slot from July.
Current 2Day FM breakfast presenter Jules Lund will host the show in the meantime while Sydney 2Day FM breakfast team has been axed with quirky duo Dan and Maz leaping into the slot from January. According to a release from Southern Cross Austereo, the pair has made in-roads hosting national drive where they reach more than 1.4 million people nationally.
The network spruiks its new line up in a promotional video.
Of their return, Hamish and Andy said: “We’re so stoked to be jumping into the Drive slot, it’s something we’ve always wanted to do. Ever since that time we did it for five years. It’s going to be so much fun.”
Guy Dobson, SCA executive director of metropolitan operations said: “It’s a great day for radio when Hamish and Andy do five days in a row, live, which means it’s a great day for Southern Cross Austereo. It’s also fantastic when we get to promote young talent like we’ve done so many times in the past, to spearhead your key players. Dan and Maz will do exceptional radio waking up Sydney at 2Day FM.”
“Hamish and Andy have taken a couple of years out to do the Gap Year, they’ve decided next year they’re going to come back to their spiritual home at SCA. We’re extremely happy. We believe it’s going to give us from a radio perspective a great platform to catapult the rest of the changes we’re making on the Today Network,” Dobson told B&T.
At the brekkie scene, it was hoped Merrick, Jules, Sophie and Mel B could keep 2DayFM at the top of the ratings following the very public departure of ex-power duo Kyle and Jackie O, who moved to rival station KIIS 106.5. But instead, ratings for the show had been sluggish with Sophie Monk handing in her resignation a few days ago. Mel B left the show some three months prior and Dobson argues Dan and Maz taking over breakfast is the right move for the network. He said: “Being different will win the race. Dan and Maz will offer a different show. It will be younger, female-skewed and fresher. That puts us in a different quadrant to other breakfast shows. Our research shows they will pull an audience from other brands, so we’re very optimistic.”
Craig Bruce, head of content for SCA believes Dan and Maz will succeed because, “If you look at the Sydney market at the moment, it’s a bunch of old shows hosted by a bunch of old people.”
Lund has other plans in the works once he hands the steering wheel over to Hamish and Andy mid next year. “Jules has said to us he loves being part of the fabric of SCA and the Today Network, he doesn’t just want to jump back in and just do a normal radio show, certainly not around Hamish and Andy time, we’re working with him to create an innovative first in Drive next year as well,” explained Dobson.
In discussing how SCA will market the news hosts of the breakfast and drive shows, Dobson says KIIS 106.5’s pervasive marketing of Kyle and Jackie O isn’t “lost on us”. He said: “The notion of being everywhere.. that’s what we used to in the old days… We understand we have to be aggressive in that space and our budgets are booked accordingly.”