The winds of change are blowing through the Melbourne commercial radio industry, and the Hit Network has this morning managed to pull off something of a coup. The radio network has poached Hughesy & Kate from rival station KIIS FM, securing the popular broadcasting duo as the replacements for the departing Hamish & Andy.
Hamish Blake and Andy Lee previously announced they’d be leaving radio altogether at the end of the year, leaving a large hole in Hit’s programming schedule. But today’s announcement more than amply fills that void, with one of Melbourne’s most popular radio duos jumping ship to helm an extended Drive lineup in 2018.
The Project pals Carrie Bickmore and Tommy Little will remain part of the new-look Drive lineup, hosting the 3:00pm to 4:30pm shift. Hughesy and Kate will then take over at 4:30pm and run their show through till 6:30pm.
Grant Blackley, who serves as the CEO of Hit’s parent company SCA, issued a statement to media confirming the announcement, stating “I’m absolutely thrilled to welcome Hughsey and Kate to the SCA family. Both are consummate professionals and wonderful entertainers and will be a great addition to the Hit Network’s already strong national Drive line-up with Carrie and Tommy.”
As a result of the defection, KIIS and ARN have gone into crisis mode, announcing “bold strategic plans” for 2018 in a major shakeup of their national lineup.
Along with Hughesy and Kate’s defection, KIIS also announced the departure of fellow hosts Matt Tilley and Meshel Laurie. In their place comes Jason Hawkins and Polly Harding aka “Jase & PJ” who “will be bringing their highly successful ‘Always Awkward’ brand of content and #1 show to KIIS 101.1 Breakfast in 2018,” which is a real-life sentence that somebody wrote. Additionally, the national drive slot will be filled by Will McMahon and Woody Whitelaw, who currently host the Hit Network’s breakfast show in Perth.
The TL;DR of all this is that there’s big doings going on in Melbourne radio.
Big, big doings.