Merrick Watts and Highway Patrol axed

Merrick Watts and Highway Patrol axed

Triple M has sent the Merrick Watts and the Highway Patrol packing, with a new national drive show to hit the Southern Cross Austereo network next year.

Merrick Watts and the Highway Patrol – presented by Watts, Julian Schiller and Rachel Corbett – has been on air since February 2012. It will wrap at the end of the year.

In the latest radio ratings survey the show scored only 4.9% of the market, after dropping from 5.7% in the previous survey, to sit behind  all other FM stations including Smoothfm 95.3, Nova 96.9, Mix106.5 and WSFM.

Triple M’s head 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.”

The new show is likely to come out of Melbourne, according to Fairfax reports.

Yesterday, The Daily Telegraph reported that Watts’ show had been dumped so Southern Cross can afford to keep Kyle Sandilands on air at fellow SCA station, 2DayFM.

There were rumours circulating the radio industry last week that Nova was showing interest in poaching Sandilands from 2DayFM. It’s a move Nova denied. Click here for more.

There are a lot of changes underway in radio currently with two long-running Melbourne breakfast shows to wrap at the end of the year.

Melbourne listeners will say goodbye to Nova 100’s 12-year program Hughesy & Kate on November 29 before farewelling Fox FM’s The Matt and Jo Show.

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