Radio musical chairs: Who’s got a job when the music stops?

What a year in radio – who moved stations for 2020?

Has there ever been an end-of-year radio shake-up like the industry has experienced in the past few months?
The changes at AM and FM commercial radio stations in metro markets around Australia come as significant factors are at play.

The radio business model is under pressure as advertising spend in media impacts radio as much as it seems to be doing to other media platforms.
The new ownership of Macquarie Media has also triggered several key departures and new hires.

This list hopefully tracks most of the major moves, but we’d be happy to hear about the moves we have missed.
Let us know at

 Radio musical chairs: Sydney shakeout for 2020

2CH: Breakfast hosted by Trevor Sinclair and Indira Naidoo has gone at the AM music station. No detail yet who will be hosting in 2020.

2GB: Third afternoon host in six months with Deborah Knight replacing Steve Price who replaced Chris Smith. Ross Greenwood was also given an offer he could refuse and steps down from Money News, to be replaced by Brooke Corte from Sky News and Your Money.
Money News will now to be an hour and networked from 7pm.
Replacing the first hour of Money News on 2GB and 4BC at 6pm is an hour of a new sports show Wide World of Sports hosted by Mark Levy.
Tom Malone now runs Macquarie Media for Nine and he appointed Greg Byrnes as head of content.
Penny Kaleta is the new director of sales – radio after Mark Noakes’ head of commercial role was made redundant. Former Macquarie Media Sydney sales director Annick Perrin left the business earlier this year.

Macquarie Sports: Network shows gone, live sport continues…the future TBC.

Sky Sports Radio: Breakfast gone, plenty of speculation about replacements but no confirmation who might join Laurie Daley on the Big Sports Breakfast show.

104.1 2Day FM: Expect a breakfast overhaul when new network content boss Dave Cameron starts work. Although Jamie Angel saw his all-music show lift in the ratings, it still trails most of the market by a significant margin.

KIIS 106.5: Ended the year in good shape after illness plagued The Kyle and Jackie O Show for some days in Q4. Kyle Sandilands kept the tabloids busy at the end of survey before he flew out of Australia.

104.9 Triple M: Gus Worland stood down this year during the first year of Moonman. Full impact of SCA national staffing cuts to be revealed on either Triple M or Hit Networks. Speculation NRL coverage will be impacted in 2020.

Nova 96.9: Network staffing cuts may impact the station, but no details confirmed of who has left the company. Great breakfast show! (Full disclosure: Fitzy and Wippa sent a Christmas gift pack.) Station lost the services of the wonderful publicist Cathrine Mahoney during the year and the talented PR Cleo Trifonas has also stepped down. Publicist Amy Ward joined the station in the last half of the year.

smoothfm 95.3: See above for Nova listing. Otherwise no changes – won all eight 2019 surveys as #1 FM.

WSFM: On-air team seems to be intact after mid-year re-signing of Jonesy and Amanda. Their program lost its EP Laura Bouchet early in the year to Triple M (replaced by Millie Michael) and the program director Scott Muller departed just before the end of the year.

Radio musical chairs: Melbourne shakeout for 2020

SEN: Dwayne Russell has been signed for a new afternoon show as he moves across from 3AW. Russell starts on the new show on January 13, hosting from 12pm until 3pm.

3AW: Hard to believe that management is splitting up Australia’s highest rating breakfast combo, but Ross will be without John mid-year. Also moving is Denis Walter, out of afternoon and into evening. Another long-term partnership is ending at 6pm with Gerard Healy continuing in Sportsday without Dwayne Russell.
The year’s last appointment was moving summer weekend afternoon co-host Diane “Dee Dee” Dunleavy to host 3AW weekday afternoons in 2020.
Dee Dee has been a fixture on Melbourne’s radio airwaves for more than 30 years and moves into the slot vacated by Denis Walter.
Dunleavy has had a longstanding on-air partnership with Peter “Grubby” Stubbs and was part of the ground-breaking Fox FM Morning Crew in the1980s, moved to the breakfast show on Gold FM in 2000, and has been co-hosting The Weekend Break on 3AW.
Dunleavy said: “It’s sad leaving my on-air partner Grubby, but he has made it easy for me by being incredibly supportive and encouraging. Grubby has been my rock throughout our 32 years on air together, and we remain the best of friends. I’m thrilled that he’ll join me for a weekly catch-up on the show.”
Dee Dee will commence hosting 3AW afternoons from Monday, January 13, 2020.

Macquarie Sports: Gone! Drive with Ox and Marko continued to mid-December, as did Saturday morning show with Roy & HG. See Sydney listing.

101.9 Fox FM: Incoming network content and music directors probably won’t want to fiddle too much here. Hold on, survey 8 results just in. Review that first sentence. Drive slots have been altered with Carrie and Tommy now on 3-5pm and Hughesy and Ed doing 5-7pm. Is Kate really coming back one day?

Gold 104.3: Good year for Christian O’Connell and his team Jack Post and Pats (Patrina Jones). Old school radio at its best – they even sent Mediaweek a (hard copy) Christmas card.

KIIS 101.1: Jason Hawkins joked at the end of the year on the last Jase and PJ breakfast show for 2019 that even he was surprised they are coming back in 2020!

105.1 Triple M: Wil Anderson gone from The Hot Breakfast with Eddie McGuire and Luke Darcy continuing in 2020.

Nova 100: Chrissie, Sam and Browny a surprise #1 FM show perhaps and the fourth show to rank #1 in the market during 2019. Despite speculation, a very busy Sam Pang will be back alongside his hit TV shows HYBPA? and The Front Bar in 2020. Jamie Row replacing Matt Tilley in mornings in 2020.

Radio musical chairs: Brisbane shakeout for 2020

4BC: Ben Fordham expanded his drive show into the market during the year, replacing the only weekday Brisbane-produced daily show hosted by Mark Braybrook. Is Brisbane property commentator Kevin Turner the only local left on air with his Saturday morning real estate show?

Macquarie Sports: Gone! See Sydney listing

4KQ: The over-achieving station retains its breakfast show. But co-host Laurel Edwards lost her role on Seven’s The Great Day Out, where she had contributed for 22 years, after receiving a text from a friend revealed the show had been axed!

Hit 105: Abi Benaud returned to Brisbane as assistant content director in September and Jake Powell was appointed music director.

97.3FM: Breakfast gone! Nearly 18 months after Bianca, Mike and Bob took over from Bianca, Terry and Bob which was 18 months after they took over from Robin, Terry and Bob (which was not long after they got a cake to celebrate 10 years on air together), the station is without a breakfast show at the time of writing. The old team had the last say when their final survey ranked them #1 in the market.

104.5 Triple M: Robin Bailey (pictured with Marto and Nick) stepped down late in the year to spend time with her ailing husband Sean Pickwell who tragically passed away just a few days later. Bailey was replaced by Margaux Parker. Scott Menz took over from Rex Morris as content director in October after Morris moved Triple M Sydney as content director.

Radio musical chairs: Adelaide shakeout for 2020

Fiveaa: Jane Reilly called time on her 44-year career on Friday December 13 where she has been a contributor to David and Will’s #1 breakfast show. The move to leave the station came four years after she previously stepped down in September 2015. Tony Pilkington returns to Fiveaa as afternoon host on January 20 and Jarrod Walsh moves from Nova to be anchor on the sports drive show Rowey and Bicks.

Nova 91.9: New breakfast team of Ben and Liam starts in January after the long-running Lewis and Lowe ended 12 months ago. Dylan Lewis stayed on after Shane Lowe departed and hosted part of the year as Dylan and Hayley with Hayley Pearson. Lewis split in September and Jarrod Walsh then hosted breakfast until he was snapped up by sister station Fiveaa.

Radio musical chairs: Perth shakeout for 2020

6PR: Relatively stable, could be some changes when Nine’s Tom Malone finds out he also runs a Perth radio station! And that its biggest star is one of the Seven Network’s hottest properties.

96FM: ARN’s Ciaran Davis and Duncan Campbell reminded people of the move they made when they signed Kyle and Jackie. Although this time they caused market havoc when they called people back from what were premature retirements – former Nova boss Gary Roberts and the Botica’s Bunch team – Fred Botica and his long-time on-air companion Lisa Shaw. Bang! And the ratings have been creeping higher ever since they arrived.

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