How Nova plans to take on Kyle & Jackie O in Melbourne

Jase and Lauren Nova

Plus: The “easy decision” to move Ben, Liam & Belle

After their unceremonious axing when ARN management announced that Kyle & Jackie O would launch into the Melbourne market, Nova has seized the opportunity to nab the Jase & Lauren show in a bid to take on the Sydney powerhouses.

After signing off with ARN in survey eight last year, the pair’s new home at Nova 100 was announced in early February.

“Melbourne is going to be the most talked about radio market this year, and probably the most talked about radio market for some time”, group program director for the Nova Network, Brendan Taylor, told Mediaweek. And that was true before news broke that Jason Hawkins and Lauren Phillips had made the switch.

nova - Brendan Taylor radio ratings

Brendan Taylor

“It was really sad to hear the announcement that the show was ending, and I suppose it was one of those timely opportunities that presented itself,” said Taylor.

“We’ve admired the show from afar for a number of years, even when it was Jase and PJ, then with Lauren more recently.”

The Jase & Lauren breakfast show will launch on Nova on Friday, March 8. Incumbent brekkie team, Ben, Liam & Belle, will be finishing up the day before, and moving to the other end of the day on a new national show – Late Drive – from 6pm to 8pm weekdays.

The move “was, in some ways, an easy decision”, Taylor said of the switch.

“Looking at our national lineup, we knew there was a space for a live show in Drive, and it felt only natural that Ben, Liam and Belle broadcast to a national audience. Hence, we created the national Late Drive programme for those guys. The announcement of Jase and Lauren meant that there was a show there that we could pursue, that we respected, and that we could see fit the brand and the values of Nova. 

We’ve always seen that team as a national show. From the history of Ben and Liam at Triple J, and then Ben, Liam & Belle on the Nova network, building that profile in Adelaide, and then coming across to Melbourne. We always considered them as a national show at some point.”

Ben, Liam and Belle

Ben, Liam and Belle

Behind the mic in the morning, Jase and Lauren have found themselves up against their former ARN colleagues, broadcasting at the same time as Kyle & Jackie O – however, no date has been announced yet for the Sydney radio giants’ entry into the market.

When asked how well prepared the pair are to go up against Kyle & Jackie O, Taylor said he believes that “Jase & Lauren is a world-class show.”

“Melbourne is full of quality broadcasters and breakfast shows, from The Fox to Gold FM with Christian [O’Connell], it’s a quality breakfast market. It’s really important to have established breakfast shows with good rapport with your audience, and I think that’s something that Jase and Lauren have.

“I respect both of them and the craft they do. It’s going to be a competitive market, and I think Jase and Lauren are definitely up for that battle.”

With the countdown now officially on until Nova 100’s new breakfast show, Taylor said both Hawkins and Phillips are keen to get back behind the mic.

“They’re excited, it’s been a long time in the making. We’re at that point where they want to get back on and do what they love doing – and that’s broadcasting to Melbourne. 

It’s really important to have a live and local breakfast show in that market, and all ears are going to be on Melbourne this year.”

Top Image: Jason Hawkins and Lauren Phillips

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