Comment from Peter Saxon
With almost as many breakfast shows as Australia has had Prime Ministers over the same period, SCA has finally bitten the bullet and announced its fourth line-up in as many years for Hit 104.7, the station formerly known (and to many still known) as 2DayFM.
From today, the first day of survey, the new sheriffs in town are Em Rusciano and Harley Breen. Will they do better than their three sets of predecessors? Who knows? SCA prays they will. Their competitors pray they won’t. Such is the nature of radio.
But while contemplating that change, which would have been a hard pill for management to swallow, it is clear that they’ve made a determined effort to futureproof its talent pool so that it will have seasoned replacements at it fingertips should prime personalities defect or otherwise fall off the perch.
Among other changes, SCA, has created a new one hour program from 3pm weekdays featuring the enormously popular Carrie Bickmore from TEN’s The Project and former Nova100 breakfast co-host (with Meshel Laurie) Tommy Little. This new show will lead in to Hamish and Andy’s national Drive slot. A clever move that will hopefully get H & A listeners used to Carrie and Tommy who will likely take over Drive when the aforementioned H & A vacate that shift later this year.
Perhaps the smartest move of all is the implementation of live Saturday morning Breakfast shows in its metro markets. In each instant, it gives rising talent the opportunity to communicate with an audience in a larger market than their regular Mon-Fri gigs.
For example, Ryan and Tanya (Ryan Jon and Tanya Hennessy) who present a regular weekday breakfast show on Canberra’s hit104.7 will now also host Saturday breakfast on Sydney’s Hit104.7 2Day-FM.
In the Saturday Breakfast time slot on FOX FM in Melbourne you’ll hear Will McMahon and Woody Whitelaw who are known to Perth listeners during the week as two thirds of Heidi, Will & Woody on 92.9.
As Australia’s largest radio operator, SCA’s strength lies in its giant pool of young talent. The downside is that that talent could easily be poached by other networks.
Apart from having “understudies” who are familiar to the audience waiting in the wings of each market, what these moves demonstrate to it’s on-air staff is that there are clear pathways for advancement within the company which may not be available elsewhere. It’s an insurance policy that SCA hopes will pay dividends.