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Kyle and Jackie O Replace Jason and Lauren

Melbourne radio star Lauren Phillips has revealed the brutal way her show was axed so Kyle and Jackie O could sign their massive new deal. Jason Hawkins and Lauren Phillips – who co-host KIIS FM’s breakfast show Jase & Lauren – are collateral damage in a monster $200 million contract offered to Sandilands and Henderson, which will see the Sydney duo remain with the ARN for another 11 years and expand their show into Melbourne for the first time from next year. (Story courtesy of Lexi Cartwright news.com.au)

Despite the record-breaking deal having been months in the making, Hawkins revealed on-air Wednesday morning he and Phillips formally found out they were being punted in favour of Sandilands and Henderson via phone call on Tuesday night.

“Last night, we all received a phone call from management … Mine was during ‘black hawk down hour’ when all the kids are cracking it trying to get to sleep.

“[Management were] informing us that the show will be finishing up at the end of this year. We’ll be finishing up at the end of 2023. Kyle and Jackie O will be taking over in 2024.”

Phillips added, “They’ll be syndicating their show from Sydney to broadcast here in Melbourne.”

Phillips, who joined Hawkins on the show two years ago, held back tears as she said “this is certainly not the way we wanted to bow out.”

“We didn’t have a choice,” she added. “It’s a business decision that we have been told is what’s happening. We don’t want to say goodbye.

“We didn’t have to be here this morning to make this announcement, but we’re here.”

Their announcement coincided with Sandilands and Henderson signing their new contracts live on Sydney’s airwaves Wednesday morning.

“Melbourne listeners, you’ll hear us on KIIS 101.1 on the Melbourne FM,” Sandilands declared, without mentioning Hawkins, his former friend, or Phillips.

“We want to thank the listeners. Staff. All the clients. Even senior management, I’ll give a nod to. They actually did something brilliant.”

News.com.au has been told by a source close to the deal that Hawkins has spoken to Sandilands about the situation and it was an amicable conversation.

The pair have had beef in recent months, with Sandilands hitting out at Hawkins on-air in October, calling him “a dog”. Sandilands’ outburst came after Hawkins had days earlier claimed the shock jock used to be a stoner.

The two men shared a house in the early 2000s after Hawkins made the move from Triple M in Brisbane to 2DayFM in Sydney, where Sandilands brought him over to the network to answer calls and be the program’s stunt guy, “Labrat”.

Hawkins confirmed on-air Wednesday he had spoken to Henderson.

“I said, ‘You guys are very lucky to have the people we have listening to this show,” Hawkins said.

“We have had just an absolute ball the last couple of years.”

ARN Media CEO and Managing Director Ciaran Davis said of Jase & Lauren’s depature: “The decision to conclude the show was not made lightly, and I would like to thank Jase, Lauren, Clint and the team for their tremendous efforts and contribution.

“Despite believing in the show’s potential, the competitive market and longstanding heritage shows meant we were unable to cut through in the way we wanted.

“For some time now, we’ve recognised the potential of The Kyle & Jackie O Show to broadcast beyond Sydney during breakfast.

“The strong uptake of their podcast and social followings in Melbourne demonstrates that Kyle and Jackie O already have significant appeal with Melburnians. Coupled with their record-breaking ratings this year, now is the ideal time to further extend the brand’s footprint.”

Sandilands and Henderson insisted their show be broadcast outside of Sydney when they began negotiations with ARN earlier this year, with rival network Southern Cross Austereo also gunning for their signatures.

Sandilands has long been transparent about his desire to tap into the Melbourne radio market, with Brendan Fevola dropping on-air in August he’d heard a rumour the Sydney pair were set to air their show in the capital city from next year.

The co-host of Fox FM’s Fifi, Fev & Nick – which is owned by SCA – told listeners in August he had received a phone call from someone who works in the radio industry confirming the news.

Fevola made his feelings known right away, insisting the Sydney-based duo wouldn’t work as a breakfast show in Melbourne.

“That’s not the right DNA,” the former AFL star said. “That’s a Sydney show. Surely they’re not coming to Melbourne … What the hell?”

In an interview back in 2021, Sandilands told news.com.au he thought ARN should ditch the local breakfast shows in each city and broadcast his program instead.

“Why wouldn’t you network this breakfast show?” he said at the time.

“I think whoever is running the whole joint here mustn’t be the full quid if they don’t realise: You’re paying a lot of money, the show’s clearly number one, way out in front of everyone else.

“So if I was running it, it would be a different story.”

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