Shake Up: Behind the 4BC Breakfast and Drive lineup changes


• ARN’s Duncan Campbell and Nine Radio’s Greg Byrnes on the Brisbane radio refresh

Audiences thought that they had heard the last of 4KQ’s breakfast show hosts Laurel Edwards, Gary Clare, and Mark Hine when they signed off for the final time on June 24th. However, in a lifeline for Brisbane’s longest continual running breakfast show, the Laurel, Gary and Mark show has found a home on Nine’s 4BC 882, switching their mics on from 5.30am on Monday, July 11. 

Radio ratings survey four marked the last survey under ARN for Brisbane’s 4KQ, selling the station to SEN after the acquisition of Grant Broadcasters to ensure compliance with Australia’s media ownership laws.

See More: Hutchy spends $12m on ARN’s 4KQ as SEN completes east coast metro network

Speaking to Mediaweek after the survey four results, ARN’s chief content officer Duncan Campbell said that he was pleased to see the trio find a new home.

“It’s an interesting move with Laurel, Gary and Mark heading across to 4BC. I take my hat off to those guys at 4BC, it’s quite a clever move, I think. We’ll wait and see what happens there.”


Duncan Campbell

Nine Radio‘s head of content Greg Byrnes told Mediaweek that 4BC hadn’t planned to take on Lauren, Gary and Mark, but when the opportunity arose they couldn’t pass it up.

“We didn’t see it coming. It wasn’t part of our planning, but when it became available, we had to move pretty quick because of the timeframes around things. We did our research and are confident it’s the right way to go.”

“It’s been a matter of weeks. It literally came out of the blue when SEN purchased 4KQ. That team had previous contractual arrangements in place which they needed to honour, and we totally understand that. It’s happened very, very quickly and there’s still much work to be done.”

4KQ Laurel, Gary and Mark 4BC

Mark Hine, Laurel Edwards and Gary Clare

Naturally, Laurel, Gary and Mark taking over Breakfast has led to some other changes in the 4BC lineup. Previous Breakfast host Neil Breen will now be heading to Drive, hosting Brisbane Live 3pm-6pm each weekday. Byrnes says it’s a move that works for both Breen and 4BC.

“He’s established himself in that market over the last two years. He’s popular, and we were very happy with how that program was sounding and the direction the program was going in. He understands the opportunity that’s arisen. He gets it. As he said publicly, he’s looking forward to passing on the alarm clock and moving into Drive.”

Radio Ratings

Neil Breen

By definition, the content produced for Drive radio will differ from the content that goes to air on Breakfast. Byrnes says that this won’t be a problem for Breen, who is one of those people that can tackle both ends of the day.

The beauty of Drive is that you can pick the eyes out of the best stories of the day. In Breakfast, you are really setting an agenda. This is why Neil has been so good at it – he has that wonderful news sense and he can see where a story will evolve and develop throughout the day. 

“People are sitting at home having been working all day, and they are in a different frame of mind. They might have heard a story first thing in the morning, and they don’t just want to hear it again. They want to hear about how it has evolved throughout the day, and Neil’s news brain is perfect for that.”

Radio ratings 4BC

Greg Byrnes

The domino effect continues, with previous Drive host Scott Emerson now taking up a new role as a political contributor across 4BC and Nine Radio’s talk stations.

“That is probably the best thing out of all of this,” says Byrnes. “All those teams and people that have been working so hard for us for the last couple of years are all staying on in some capacity. They all understand the opportunity that’s arisen. Together, we can all make it work. Everyone is committed to it, which is a wonderful position for us to be in.”

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