Was working together really that bad?

It goes without saying that if Merrick & Rosso got back together, they’d be in one hell of a good negotiating position.

Radio networks, in particular Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) and the Australian Radio Network (ARN), have been busily lining up their chess pieces for a very serious game of Who Can Win The Survey Across The Board next year.

And while a Merrick & Rosso reunion on Triple M would be an awesome power play, we instead have the announcement that Merrick Watts will be returning to the station to take on the Triple M drive show with a yet-to-be-revealed co-host that is NOT Rosso, and that Tim “Rosso” Ross will most likely be leaving ARN if Hughesy & Kate take over or if Hughesy is teamed with someone such as Matt Tilley.

Hughesy & Kate are rumoured to go to ARN to host a national Drive Show with Mix, expected to be rebranded as KIIS, which has seen success in Sydney.

Hughesy, plus Kate if ARN can get her, or someone else if they can’t, are being brought in to combat the full force that is Hamish & Andy when they return to SCA next year from July. (Jules Lund will host the show until July when Hamish and Andy finish their TV commitments).

Head of the Triple M Network Mike Fitzpatrick said, “Triple M listeners have been asking us to bring Mez back, ever since he left at the end of last year. Now they’ll wake up on January 19th and it’ll feel like the whole thing was a dream, like he never left.”

Merrick said“Returning to Triple M is exactly like coming home, only I’m rewarded when I act like an idiot.”

Where Rosso and Matt Tilley are going, nobody knows for sure. 

When asked by News Ltd if a Merrick & Rosso reunion was on the cards, Merrick catagorically denied it, instead revealing that his co-host is all lined up. 

“The people who are in the know and everybody who’s aware of (who it is) has said, ‘Oh that makes total sense,’” said Watts about the co-host. The person I’ll be working with is going to have a different skill set to me. It’s not like Merrick plus one. This person is a very, very experienced broadcaster. They’re a very old friend of mine but I haven’t worked with them before.”

Rosso’s management has also denied he is the mystery co-host, telling radioinfo earlier in the week and more recently News Ltd“Rosso was approached by SCA but we can say he is not interested in reforming with Merrick Watts or pursuing that at this stage of his career.”

So what happened? Was SCA trying for a Merrick & Rosso reunion? Was it Rosso who put an end to that possibility by tellling them he wasn’t interested?

Why won’t this talented duo – who have already enjoyed enviable radio success together – just reunite already?

And just what does Rosso have up his sleeve for next year?

Their refusal to even consider working together again hints old conflict, the same conflict perhaps that saw Rosso walk out the door that day in November of 2009. It’s both a mystery and a damn shame.

Anyone who has worked with a co-host in radio knows it can be a hard slog. You either get along famously like Hughesy & Kate and Hamish & Andy and consider each other a ‘significant other’. Or you grow to dislike each other but in the name of professionalism, or lucrative contracts, soldier on until like the cast of Seinfeld, you can’t stand to be together any longer.

Hamish & Andy will return to SCA to host a national Drive Show from July, 2015.

So the two questions we hope to have answers to shortly are:

1. Who will Merrick’s co-host be next year on the Triple M Drive Show? If not Rosso or Matt Tilley, could it be Paul Murray

2. What is Rosso’s next move going to be? Will he stay in radio in some capacity or leave altogether?

Regardless of what happens, next year is going to be an epic year in the good old radio wars and one that we will definitely enjoy listening to.

Let the games begin!





Jo Abi

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