In November 2020, Southern Cross Austereo announced that Erin Molan would be stepping into Sydney radio’s most notoriously difficult slot alongside Dave Hughes and Ed Kavalee. The 2Day FM Morning Crew with Hughesy, Ed and Erin Molan launched in January, and while it’s still too early to know if this will be the show that flips the station’s fortunes, early feedback has been good.
While the hours involved in working breakfast are enough to turn anybody’s life upside down, Molan is tackling it on top of being one of Channel 9’s most experienced sports presenters.
Mediaweek spoke to Molan about what life looks like now, and what it is that makes The Morning Crew stand out in Sydney’s radio market.
Erin Molan on Getting up early
It’s no secret that the breakfast shift is a massive job to take on. Molan says that whilst things have definitely changed, she’s very happy with the way things have worked out.
“It’s certainly not easy and I won’t ever pretend that it is, but it’s definitely worth it and I know that even after a month. I’m doing all of my Channel 9 jobs as well, I’ve got a two-and-a-half-year-old and I will always prioritise spending quality time with her over getting any extra sleep myself.
“It’s definitely challenging but it’s definitely doable, and I would never have taken it on if I thought that any of my other jobs would suffer. If I thought that I would be less of a mum to Eliza or if I thought that I wouldn’t deliver the quality of work that I have in the past for Channel 9, I would never have taken it on.
Standing out from the crowd
The Sydney radio market is a notoriously difficult one to crack, and the breakfast slot even more so. Going up against KIIS FM’s The Kyle and Jackie O Show from their former 2Day FM home was never going to be an easy task, but Molan says early signs are good.
“The start we’ve had and the feedback we’ve had have just been overwhelming. There will be highs and lows, I know Sydney breakfast radio is probably the toughest market in the business. I’m part of the media so I’ve read over the past ten years the different stories and the struggles, so it’s nothing new to me.”
How a team works together can make or break a show. Molan says that The Morning Crew gelled from the day they turned the mics on.
“I know firsthand just how powerful chemistry can be, and we had that from day dot, which is crucial to any show. You can’t fake it, and I’ve been part of some incredible shows on Channel 9 and on 2GB radio where the chemistry has just been everything, and you know each other so well, you have such a laugh, you’re great friends, and it comes across on air.
“I was nervous because I loved the guys, I knew they were great guys, but that doesn’t guarantee that you’re going to have great chemistry and you can’t test it until you’re on air for three hours a day every day of the week. I was nervous those first few days, but literally after ten minutes on the first day, I knew that this would work, and that was phenomenal.
“I love their personalities. Hughesy is so so funny, but he’s so driven and he’s so smart, and Ed’s exactly the same.”
Finding their niche
With Molan coming from a news background, she says that being able to provide listeners with trustworthy news in amongst the antics of breakfast radio is what will set The Morning Crew apart.
“We’re in a landscape at the moment where people want to laugh and want to escape, but if there’s something they need to know they want to trust that they can get it from what they’re listening to. I can have a joke and I can have a laugh but I can also deliver news that’s breaking, and I think that’s what makes us different to any other network.
“I think we fill a niche that’s not being filled currently. We’re just focussing on ourselves, focussing on producing the best possible content. We know that it will take time, we don’t expect results straight away – it would be lovely, but we don’t expect it. We’ve got a lot of time to work on this, we’ve got a great team, and we’re just really confident in the product of the radio that we are creating and that is key to anything.”
Erin Molan on the future of the show
Whilst nobody can look into the crystal ball and see exactly which shows will work and which won’t, Molan hopes this is just the beginning for The Morning Crew.
“I hope it becomes a favourite of Sydney. I hope it becomes a long-term show and a long-term place that people tune into and get a laugh and get their news in the morning, that’s what I really hope. I hope it works, I hope it’s successful, I know that that’s difficult and I know that it’s a huge challenge and that a million things have to go our way, but I believe in it.
“We’re not looking for results straight away – we’d love them, but that’s not a focus for us. The focus for us is producing great content and resonating with our listeners and forming connections with our listeners. I think that’s already happening just a month in, so I hope it works and I hope we’re there for the next ten years.”