By REBECCA SPARROW
Dumped. There’s no other word for it.
At 9 o’clock this morning I read online that Chrissie Swan has been ‘let go’ – or, you know, DUMPED – from her popular breakfast radio gig on MIX 101.1FM in Melbourne. Chrissie is being replaced by Matt Tilley.
Matt Tilley (I learnt from Google) is a Melbourne comedian. From January he’s going to be doing breakfast with Jane Hall. Yes Jane Hall formerly of CHRISSIE AND JANE. (EDIT: Many readers have pointed out to me that Matt Tilley is a well-known and very successful Melbourne radio host. – Bec)
Oh and the 3pm Pick Up is up in the air too.
BANG! Did you hear that? That was the sound of my head exploding..
So what is all this about? Why the hell would you dump one of the most popular radio presenters in Australia? Well, it’s apparently all about ‘re-branding’ and ‘the best fit for the new direction’.
Here’s what a spokesperson for ARN had to say to us
Okay, so in a nutshell:
Chrissie Swan, who is one of the most popular radio and TV talents in Australia, Chrissie Swan whose Q score (charting a person’s appeal with the public) is through the roof, Chrissie Swan who this year took the MIX radio network to number one for the first time in its history has been sacked from the Chrissie and Jane breakfast radio show she has hosted with Jane Hall since 2012.
Because MIX has decided that they have a better chance of winning the breakfast ratings with a male comedian and a female sidekick.
Matt and Jane – Mix’s new morning team.
Yes, I did just say SIDEKICK. You see, I’m more than a little sceptical that Jane Hall (who is hilarious and feisty and fabulous in her own right) won’t find herself relegated to the well worn “Ha Ha Girl” role from January 2015 onwards. I very much hope I’m wrong. I hope they have a true on-air, equal partnership.
But I’m really tired of the fact the fallback position in radio is always: “Oh shit, the ratings are down. Quick! Give the job to a bloke.”
Male radio partnerships are everywhere and have been for decades. Martin and Molloy. Fitzy and Wippa. Gibson and Duckworth. Merrick and Rosso. Ash, Kipp and Lutsy. Eddie McGuire and a gaggle of blokes on Triple M. The Chaser boys. I could keep going. They are allowed time to establish. They ride out a few bad ratings.
But female radio partnerships aren’t given that luxury. For starters female radio partnerships are rare as hen’s teeth.
How rare? Can you name me seven female commercial radio partnerships?
How about six? Five?
No, you can’t. There’s been Judith Lucy and Helen Razer on The Ladies Lounge in 1997, Judith Lucy and Kaz Cook with Foxy Ladies on the Austereo Network in 1998 and Sami Lukis and Yumi Stynes hosting breakfast on Mix in Sydney in 2013.