Pete and miffed
Pete and Myf are being taken off the breakfast menu, writes Megan Miller
TRIPLE M’S decision to axe high-profile stars Myf Warhurst and Pete Helliar has forced parent company Austereo to review the station’s philosophy.
As Triple M struggles in the ratings, sister station Fox FM continues to perform strongly, leaving Austereo with the predicament of having to inject life into an ailing network without having an impact on its powerhouse performer.
Warhurst and Helliar sign off on July 31, a month after their 18-month-old show recorded its lowest ratings ever.
It basically lost a quarter of its audience in the last survey, falling from 4.2 per cent to 3.2 per cent.
Why two of the country’s top names in entertainment have not resonated on radio has puzzled many observers.
Guy Dobson, Austereo national head of content, says the show failed not through an absence of hard work, talent or marketing, but rather its lack of a point of difference. He admitted it was partly a victim of Jo Stanley and Matt Tilley’s top-rating Fox show, a rival broadcast under the same roof.
‘‘It was one of those things, that did Melbourne want just another Kate and Hughesy, Matt and Jo-style show,’’ Dobson says. ‘‘We need to start looking for that great unique Triple M content that’s going to be different to anything else on the FM band as opposed to a clone of three or four other shows. ‘‘That’s the big thing for us.’’ The turmoil hasn’t been confined to Melbourne. Triple M’s Sydney breakfast hosts Ugly Phil O’Neil and Sami Lukis were axed last month while they were on holidays after struggling in the ratings. It’s review time, Dobson says. ‘‘For Triple M, it’s about standing on its own two feet these days and finding a platform where it can proudly say ‘We’re Triple M, we sit here, these are our advertisers, don’t touch them, these are our listeners, don’t touch them, and the rest of you guys go and play your game over there’.’’
Breakfast’s off: Myf Warhurst and Pete Helliar have been axed by Triple M, with Guy Dobson (below) saying they were partly a victim of Fox FM’s success.