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Breakfast radio chaos. Everybody quits.

Sydney breakfast radio duo, Kyle and Jackie O, have announced that they are leaving 2Day FM.

After more than a decade on air together as Australia’s most popular radio duo, Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O will not return to the airwaves together as the Kyle and Jackie O Show in 2014.

In a statement, 2Day FM announced that the pair’s decision was a mutual decision in consultation with Kyle, Jackie and 2Day FM.

Southern Cross Austereo Head of Content Craig Bruce said:

We’re proud that Kyle and Jackie have not only given Sydney radio audiences the most entertaining radio show ever, they have also raised millions of dollars for charities and those in need whilst also enthralling listeners with the world’s hottest music artists and exclusive interviews with famous Hollywood celebrities. They have certainly lived up to their show mantra ‘Breakfast with the Stars’! None of which could have happened without the strong and dedicated team working hard behind the scenes.

Insiders have said the cost to the radio network of Kyle’s repeated sexist gaffes and scandals is now considered too high risk and executives are no longer prepared to tolerate it.

Throughout its run, the breakfast show has not been without controversy. The show was suspended for a brief period in 2009 after a lie detector stunt in which host, Kyle Sandilands, quizzed a 14-year-old about her sexual history, during which it transpired that the girl had been raped. The show came under intense scrutiny again in 2011, after referring to a News Ltd journalist as a “fat slag” on air.

Kyle Sandilands is known to be the powerbroker in the radio duo and making noises when your contract is up for negotiation is a well known and proven tactic. So when there were rumours from Sandilands’ camp earlier this year that he would be quitting Fox FM, favouring a move to popular network Nova, they were mostly dismissed by those in the industry.

But what happened this time? Did his bosses call his bluff? Sandilands was open about wanting more money but with budgets tighter after the financial disaster that hit the network after the combination of Kyle’s antics and the devastating tragedy of the phone prank and subsequent suicide of a UK nurse, it’s said that the company was just not prepared to pay what Sandilands was demanding.

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Kyle and Jackie O will be together on air for the last time from on Friday 29 November, 2013.

Rumoured replacements include ex-Mamamia Today hosts Dave Thornton and Em Rusciano, Sophie Monk and Jules Lund.

There has never been more turmoil in breakfast radio in the two dominant markets of Sydney and Melbourne with Nova’s Kate Langbroek and Dave Hughes calling it quits in November after 12 years while their rivals on Fox FM, Jo Stanley and Matt Tilley are also leaving the breakfast shift after a decade.

The breakfast shift is the most high profile and lucrative shift of the day for any radio network and it’s the most prestigious slot for any host.

Nova have moved quickly to fill the gap in Melbourne breakfast by naming the fabulous Meshel Laurie and Tommy Liittle as Hughesy and Kate’s replacements. This has been widely seen as a smart move with both comedians hugely popular and with proven chemistry on their TV show, Wednesday Night Live.

2Day FM is yet to announce their plans for a new breakfast show, to begin after the Christmas break next year.

More to come

Check out our gallery of potential replacements, whose your pick?

Listen to the pair’s on-air announcement, here:

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