What’s changed and what’s stayed the same for 4BC’s Laurel, Gary and Mark

Laurel Gary and Mark

• “It’s not exactly the same as 4KQ.”

The worst was feared for Brisbane’s longest continual running breakfast show, Laurel, Gary and Mark, when they signed off from their final 4KQ show on June 24th. The trio left 4KQ after the sale of the station to Sports Entertainment Network (SEN) as a result of ARN’s acquisition of Grant Broadcasters, and their need to comply with Australia’s media ownership laws. 

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

Swooping in to save the day was Nine’s 4BC, who have given Laurel Edwards, Gary Clare, and Mark Hine a new on-air home.

Previous Breakfast host Neil Breen has made the move to the Drive, while Drive host Scott Emerson has taken up a new role as political contributor across 4BC and Nine Radio’s other talk stations.

With two weeks behind them at their new studio, Mediaweek spoke to Edwards, Clare, and Hine about what the last few months have been like.

The jump from 4KQ to 4BC has come with a series of changes for the trio. So far, the show is shaping up to be a combination of the Laurel, Gary and Mark show that people know and love, and the quicker pace of a talk radio station.

Clare: “It’s not exactly the same as 4KQ. We have to time out to the news, which we’ve never had to do! So that’s a learning curve, but we’ve still got a lot of the same segments and the same repertoire.”

Hine: “I run the desk and the computer program, and I’ve never worked Zetta before – so that made for some bumpy mornings! But in the end, it’s going really well and we’ve settled in so quickly.”

Edwards: “It’s so much more fast-paced, which comes from being a news talk station, but playing the music gives us a little bit of a breather. We give a lot of music information in our shows, so it’s a really lovely hybrid

“The whole Nine engine has been quite amazing. It’s just a totally different feeling.”

New software and news deadlines are not the only things the team has had to get used to after making the switch to 4BC.

Edwards: “It’s very exciting and very strange seeing TV commercials and billboards with our faces on them!”

Clare: “I’m really not a pretty man [laughs].”

Hine: “We suggested they should hire models and put them up as Laurel, Gary and Mark!”

Whilst the trio have landed on their feet at 4BC and are settling in well, the move comes off the back of an emotional few months for the entire team at 4KQ.

Hine: “We were very, very sad to see 4KQ go, it was a phenomenal station. Around the country – and around the world – people tuned in and were amazed at what could be done on an AM music station. So we were quite devastated by what happened.”

Edwards: “In November when we were told that 4KQ was being sold, there was still light at the end of the tunnel that whoever bought it would keep the format going, and would keep all of us on and keep the music going.

“Reading the feelings from people, all the comments were going from deep sadness to anger – there were a lot of people ferociously angry about losing their 4KQ. It would go through waves of emotion. It was sort of like losing someone very important in your life.”

Clare: “Usually when a radio station dies, they’re on the way out. 4KQ was thriving as a radio station, I think that made it even sadder.”

When asked whether or not they knew that the show would be heading across to 4BC as they signed off from 4KQ, the answer could be summed up as sort of.

Clare: “We were under contract with 4KQ until it was sold, so if the sale had fallen through then we would have been back on air until the sale went through. That said, we’d had talks to 4BC and other stations as well, and we were excited when that sale went through, because from that moment we could move across to 4BC.”

Hine: “In theory we knew we could come here, but nothing was signed.”

Edwards: “Nine were unbelievably patient, they got all their ducks in a row. We basically had to say to them, look, we can’t physically sign anything until this sale. But it did all go through, and ever since then it has been full steam ahead.”

As soon as they got the green light, the team wasted absolutely no time in moving ahead with their jump to 4BC.

Hine: “Gary and Laurel were over in Hawaii, but I was actually in the station at midnight making sure the sale had gone through so we could sign our contract!”


The trio weren’t the only members of the 4KQ team to make the switch, in a move that has helped shape what the Breakfast show will look like as it evolves in its new home.

Edwards: “It was very important to us that Brent James, our music director, came on board with us. Brent’s been able to sprinkle in the songs that he knows are fantastic Brisbane hits, and that has punctuated the talk. It’s a hybrid, and so far so good. 

“We’re getting really great reports from people saying they’re liking the mix of the two formats instead of being solidly just one niche.”

Overall, the trio are more than thankful for the opportunity to keep the Laurel, Gary and Mark show on Brisbane airwaves.

Hine: “The Nine network and 4BC have bent over backwards to accommodate our show. Everyone is great – all the people who have been involved in us coming on board at 4BC have cleared everything out of our way so that we can do the show that we really love to do. We’re forever grateful to them for doing that.”

No matter where the Laurel, Gary and Mark show is broadcasting from, the magic comes from the fact that they are not there because they necessarily have to be, but because it’s worth the early alarms.

Edwards: “We’re all at stages in our lives where if we really weren’t having a great time, we wouldn’t sign up again and we wouldn’t do it anymore. So we’ve got that luxury, which is really lovely – we can come in every day and go ‘let’s have fun, and let’s enjoy it’.”

Top Image: Mark Hine, Laurel Edwards and Gary Clare

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