Radio 2023: Mick and MG fire first shots into Sydney FM battleground on Day 1

Mick and MG

SCA’s new Sydney duo set a cracking pace at Triple M Sydney

The first day of weekday radio ratings for 2023 saw Mick and MG among the newcomers positioning themselves to make an impact in the metro FM markets.

Among the new year shows was Ben, Liam and Belle hosting Nova breakfast shows in two markets – Adelaide and Melbourne from 6am. The trio actually got a head start into Melbourne last year.

The other major attraction today though was Mick and MG in the Morning on SCA’s Triple M Sydney. “There is a new kid in town,” explained the Triple M voiceover. It’s a change that hasn’t shown up on the station’s website yet, but it has started with a cracking first show.

The aim of these new shows is to hack into the ratings mountain that incumbent FM leaders have built – Christian O’Connell at Gold 104.3 in Melbourne and Kyle and Jackie O at KIIS FM in Sydney.

Molloy gets into shape during his summer vacation

For the Triple M watchers, Mick Molloy opened his innings with a number of surprises – he was at the crease from 6am and he was broadcasting from Sydney! During his successful years on Triple M Melbourne breakfast Molloy didn’t start the show until 7am. Today MG revealed Molloy was staying in Double Bay, to which Molloy countered: “You know I’m a westie at heart,” as MG guffawed in the background.

The MG and Mick combo was on fire from the opening over (just to keep the cricket analogies coming). Molloy couldn’t resist gags about the NSW Premier and his Nazi birthday costume. Molloy said he was dressed as Yasser Arafat today, he asked anchor and birthday girl Cat Lynch if she was wearing a Nazi uniform to her party and he referred to the NSW Government goosestepping around the parliament.

And then this one an hour into the show: “The Nazis have distanced themselves from the NSW Liberal Party.” A phone in segment in the show’s second hour asked callers to talk about why they had dressed up as in the past.

One gag across the first show was the number of Mick’s friends calling Mick with good wishes. The first two mates were Andy Lee, and yes, Sam Pang appeared on Triple M for the first time. As SCA’s Dave Cameron predicted here last year, if Pang turns up it will be as a guest.

Just how will an AFL fan and a former NRL star handle the football season? It was something the hosts addressed early on with MG explaining the aim of the season was to win a Premiership, not the flag. Canberra-born Molloy revealed as a youngster he supported Manly Warringah.

Mick and MG

Mick, Natarsha and MG

The final part of the Triple M Sydney breakfast puzzle is former 10 newsreader Natarsha Belling. Late last year she was reading the news for Steve Price’s LiSTNR daily news show. Sadly that is no longer, but Belling has transitioned back to broadcast radio as Mick and MG’s newsreader and commentator throughout the show.

Can the new format work – for sure. MG has a big Sydney following built from his years on The Grill Team, his daily evening sports show and more recently the underrated MG, Jess and Pagey. I miss the special appearances of Alan Jones on the latter, but welcome the arrival of a new Sydney ratings contender. Triple M doesn’t need to be #1 10+ (although that is always welcome), the first target will be hitting the station’s key demos. The quality of the rock, sport and comedy on offer on day one indicates that could be achievable.

It won’t be easy – the hosts and management will need to be consistent and patient. Just look at the Sydney radio landscape littered with previous breakfast attempts. But for those that build an audience the satisfaction of delivering a successful product and the financial rewards to the hosts and licence owners should make it worthwhile.

Mick and MG
Assets: Mick and MG plus Tarsh Belling and Cat Lynch
Audience pitch: Rock, sport and comedy – not necessarily in that order

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