If ever you needed a sign that the Canberra media landscape is in flux, here it is: Alan Jones will be presenting breakfast on 2CC from July 15 in what station manager Michael Jones says will be a direct challenge to the ABC’s Dan Bourchier on news and current affairs.
2CC will run the fully nationally syndicated Jones program from the Sydney studios 5:30 am to 9 am weekdays, while current breakfast host Tim Shaw has been moved to the Drive slot between 3 pm and 6 pm.
ABC Breakfast lost their ratings crown in April after a long run of successive wins throughout the Ross Solley and Philip Clarke eras. Bourchier, who is also the ABC’s newsreader, lost out to 106.3 FM’s Kristen and Nige in their first survey. Johnson has an extensive local radio history and returned to presenting late last year after a hiatus following the implosion of the Scotty and Nige show.
Overall, Hit 104.7 claimed the top spot on 17.8 per cent, just ahead of 106.3 on 17 per cent while with ABC Radio Canberra, with a different programming mix, was third on 12 per cent. 2CC does not feature in the top three listings, although Shaw has worked hard to provide an alternative morning talk offering, as did his predecessor Mark Parton, now a Liberal MLA.
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“Dan Bourchier vs Alan Jones would be a good contest,” Michael Jones says. “It’s about winning ears and it gives Canberrans a good choice for which way to go in the mornings.
“Alan has been part of 2CC for a long time and he’s always been very good to us.”
2CC has previously taken a highlights package with a local breakfast program, but following the success of the model at 4BC in Brisbane, the network believes that a full national breakfast program will win listeners, while incorporating some local content.
“The new arrangement gives us a chance to be more competitive in the market because the resources behind that program are excellent. The success he has as Australia’s number one broadcaster is outstanding”, Jones says.
Jones has recently been embroiled in prolonged contract negotiations, following a major slug to 2GB when he lost a $3.7 million defamation case with Queensland’s Wagner family. Reports before his June 30 contract deadline suggested that Jones had been offered a contract, at $2 million a year, half that of his current salary.
Fairfax Media were the majority owner of Macquarie Media, which owns radio stations 2GB (Sydney), 4BC (Brisbane) and 3AW (Melbourne). Since the merger, Network Nine are now the principal stakeholders.
A statement from Alan Jones says that he is “looking forward to being with you at Breakfast time in Canberra from July 15. We’ll be rattling a few cages!!!”