Em Rusciano hits the ground running on first show

Em Rusciano hit the ground running this morning on her first Sydney breakfast radio show with Harley Breen.

The pair powered out of the 6am news with energy and laughter, feeling at home in the format.

Em warmed up for the show on her facebook page last night where she urged her fans to listen during a live facebook video chat with her 240,000 followers.

She also told them in the facebook chat that she would not be moving permanently to Sydney because of her family commitments, but she doesn’t think that will matter to the Sydney audience.

“I sat down with my family in a family meeting and I said ‘do you guys want to move to Sydney?’ and they all said no. I’m not a selfish person and I’m not going to make my children uproot their lives for a job – look, who knows how long its going to last, let’s be realistic…”

“I don’t think you guys care where it’s out of – if it’s good, it’s good,” she told her facebook followers (view the video below). Time will tell whether it matters or not to the Sydney audience, and if competitor stations use it as a way to talk down and discredit the new show.

It’s clear who’s the boss on the show, Rusciano gets top billing. The graphics on the 2Day website, social media and the onair sweepers all say The Em Rusciano radio show… with Harley Breen. Some even play up the reverse sexism, putting a comic spin into the sweepers, such as the line “sequins, makeup and a teency bit of bloke.”

It was a good start according to radioinfo’s Steve Ahern, a former Director of Radio at AFTRS, who reviewed the show for us:

A great start. The team were laughing right from the first moment and there was lots of energy.

The two main talk topics were a poll on who was the best Hemsworth brother and Donald Trump’s rest day after his inauguration, she also told us that she got trapped in the 2Day car park on the way to the studio, a nice slice of life throw away but not one that was so important that it returned. That’s the difference between experience and inexperience – an inexperienced announcer may have stuck with the car park topic all morning, but Em and Harley had planned better things to talk about.

The throw to the first song by Ed Sheeran was fun and all the transitions were smooth. It’s clear who runs the show, Em is the one who usually opens the breaks and then throws to the song. The only criticism is that her throws are almost always things like ‘see you after this’ or similar ‘back later’ type comments, these invite the listeners to go away while the music is playing – I’m sure her PD will mention that one to her and she will change that bad habit.

Otherwise, what a show, she was fresh, the team was tight, the pace was fast, although there was plenty of meaty comment. They handled the first two callers well and kept good forward momentum. News was well integrated, with throws to the topics that were on Em’s agenda. Harley was comfortable in his role and is a strong foil for Em, they are very together as a duo, as you would expect from people with their experience. Topics have a plan and tight outs, delivered well, with neither of them talking over each other or stepping on the punchline. They seem to be doing live reads, which also carry the same energy as everything else they do on the show.

Surprisingly for someone with so many social media followers, there was not much related content activity during the show on Em’s own social media pages or the 2Day FM pages.

They are both is funny and relatable – later in the show they also talked about themselves and their families (and their nits), Em’s women’s march during the weekend and they offended a few people, including anti-vaccination supporters. They related to the songs where appropriate and had good flow with the ticket giveaways and other required break elements. The new show has got off to a good start and will appeal well the 2Day’s target audience.

The format of the first half hour was a first welcome-to-the-show break which also teased Ed Sheeran, followed by an Sheeran song and the promise that Ed may call in later to promo an exclusive concert for 2Day.

In the second break they promo’d the Helmsworth poll topic and moved to traffic, sweeper and a commercial set and a second song. The sales team have obviously been integrating with the new show, with one ad, for a Rooty Hill Fitness Centre making a special offer to celebrate the new show. The last break of the half hour was about Donald Trump, leading to a last song and the bottom of hour news, which teased the Trump topic.

Song played included: Shape Of You Ed Sheeran, Touch Little Mix, Emotions Mariah Carey, Stranger Peking Duk.

See our previous coverage of Em Rusciano’s radio career over the years from the radioinfo archive.

View her facebook video chat below – the first minute had bad audio, skip forward a bit.


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