ARN invests close to $80m to secure key radio talent until 2024

• The announcement follows ARN’s launch of its new positioning Defining Audio

ARN has signed new contracts for three of its top breakfast shows – KIIS 1065’s The Kyle & Jackie O Show, WSFM’s Jonesy & Amanda in the Morning and Gold 104.3’s The Christian O’Connell Breakfast Show have been extended until 2022 and beyond.

The announcement follows ARN’s launch of its new positioning Defining Audio – through Australia’s most complete audio offering.

There is some sensitivity about the amount paid and the term of the contracts. However Mediaweek believes Kyle and Jackie O’s current contract, worth about $10m+ a year for the duo, runs until the end of 2021. The new deal should lock them in at KIIS for another three years meaning they will continue to report for duty at Macquarie Park until the end of 2024.

Their new deal is thought to be valued at about $60m.

Jonesy and Amanda’s current deal runs until the end of next year, meaning a new contract could see them locked in to possibly 2023.

Christian O’Connell bet his career on a move to Australia in mid-2018 and it has been a spectacular success with strong Melbourne breakfast ratings at what is now a #1 FM station.

The total value of the deal for HT&E’s radio division ARN could be as high as $80m+ for its key talent.

In locking away what are arguably the three best FM breakfast shows in Australia, ARN has just made the job of some content directors elsewhere that little bit harder by taking top talent off the market.

Of the re-signing, HT&E managing director and ARN CEO Ciaran Davis said in a statement: “We’re excited to be announcing today that Christian, Jonesy & Amanda and Kyle & Jackie O will continue to have their home here at ARN until at least 2022 and beyond.

“ARN continue to lead the market in delivering the most complete and comprehensive broadcast and on-demand all-in-one-place audio offering for our audience and clients.

“In defining audio, ARN is focused on delivering compelling content at a time when the importance of live and local content delivered by trusted on-air talent has never been greater. Our focus on the very best on-air talent is a key part of the strength of ARN’s offering across all channels and we’re committed to working together as we innovate our entertainment and business offering.”

ARN’s national content director Duncan Campbell said: “ARN have some of Australia’s favourite radio shows and we continue to invest in the best and most trusted talent to connect audiences with entertaining content and the best audio experiences available. Kyle, Jackie, Jonesy, Amanda, and Christian are some of Australia’s most loved radio personalities and I am proud to say they, along with the strength of our broader network talent, are a big part of ARN’s plans for the future.”

ARN’s Sydney breakfast shows have consistently dominated the Sydney market, holding the #1FM and #2FM Breakfast positions since ARN created KIIS 1065 in 2014.

Of staying with KIIS 1065, Kyle Sandilands said: “Obviously Jackie and I decided to re-sign with ARN, we launched KIIS 1065 so we really feel like it’s our station. Plus our show keeps getting better every year. It’s a great time for us and for radio in Sydney.”

Jackie ‘O’ Henderson added: “Kyle and I truly love our listeners, our incredible guests, and have so much fun working together. Not many people get to go to work each day to share stories, laugh with their best friend, and create entertainment that hopefully makes our listeners’ day that little bit lighter – that isn’t lost on me. We’re so grateful to be able to continue this journey with ARN.”

Equally happy to be extending her stay on WSFM, Amanda Keller said: “Over the past 14 years Jonesy and I have shared some of our most personal, funny and raw moments with our wonderful WSFM audience who are with us every day. There is nothing like the medium of radio and how its immediacy connects people – that’s why I love it and I’m delighted we’ll continue on air together.”

Brendan ‘Jonesy’ Jones added: “I’ve always said my job is not really like work because I have my friend Amanda right there with me – every laugh is real and every time I get on her nerves it’s genuine. I’m quite excited that she wants to keep putting up with my shenanigans.”

Of renewing his contract with GOLD 104.3’s Christian O’Connell said: “I came to Melbourne to try and build something new, and the way that this city has given me a chance as an outsider has been incredible. I’ve been humbled by the way they have given me not just their time in the morning but so regularly, their hearts.

“I’ve been doing breakfast radio for 21 years and the last 16 months have been the most intimidating, challenging but rewarding of my life. Melbourne is a place my family and I are proud to call home and that is all down to the awesome support our listeners have given me. It’s still very early days and I’m glad they are enjoying the ride because we’ve only just started.”

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