Nigel Johnson, right, has quit FM 104.7 two months after his on-air partner Scott Masters, left, was sacked. Photo: Supplied Tanya Hennessy and Ryan Jon will take over 104.7FM’s breakfast slot in 2016. Photo: Supplied
Two months after the shock dumping of his on-air partner Scott Masters, Canberra FM 104.7 breakfast radio presenter Nigel Johnson has also called it quits.
Mr Johnson announced his decision on Monday morning during the popular breakfast program, citing the recent shake-up in the show’s line-up as a contributing factor.
It comes two months after the debut of Canberra FM’s new-look breakfast show, which replaced the long-running on-air partnership of Scotty and Nige with Nige and Knuckles for Breakfast, featuring former newsreader Kate “Knuckles” Rice.
During his announcement, Mr Johnson dubbed Mr Master’s redundancy as a “gamechanger”.
The duo will wrap up their show on Friday with a new team to occupy the breakfast radio slot in 2016.
A statement from the station claimed Mr Johnson would be taking a “well-deserved break from breakfast radio” but will return to the airwaves on Mix 106.3 in a new and as yet undetermined role next year.
Ms Rice will return to the newsroom.
Canberra FM’s general manager Eoghan O’Byrne said the decision to vacate the breakfast slot was ultimately Mr Johnson and Ms Rice’s.
“To quote [Nige], he said ‘I’m not a Rihanna kind of guy’. He’d moved past the demographic and the reality is it’s not easy doing breakfast radio and it takes its toll on your life,” Mr O’Byrne said.
Mr O’Byrne quickly hosed down speculation the shift was due to flailing ratings.
“Canberra’s demographic has changed considerably over the years. We know we’re an under 40s station and we need to be targeting under 40s to deliver the best results to our advertisers and listeners,” he said.
“The decision was made to restructure the breakfast show as a result of the consideration of feedback given from the Canberra demographics.
“Initially we took it from a three-person show to a two-person show with Nige and Kate who have a really strong relationship with one another and our audience but it became apparent after a number of weeks that this wasn’t going to be a sustainable show, Nige and Kate both wanted to move onto other things.”
The Scoopla Show’s Tanya Hennessy and HotFM WA breakfast radio host Ryan Jon are set to occupy the chairs from January 18.
Mr O’Byrne said with Mr Jon, 28, and Ms Hennessy, 30, at the helm the station is “where [they] want to be now”.
“Moving forward, we know that we’ve got talent who are going to be engaging, interesting and fun and they’ve got great chemistry and we feel that the Canberra public will love them,” Mr O’Byrne said.
In October, long-time host Mr Masters told Fairfax Media he was sacked while on a three-week holiday.
The radio veteran of 24 years was pursuing legal action against the station.
Enraged listeners took to the radio station’s Facebook page on Monday morning to convey their thoughts on Mr Johnson’s departure.
“Sorry to hear Nige is leaving but I’m not surprised… Well done 104.7 you seriously messed up!” one wrote.
“Nige was always the reason I listened to 104.7. Massive mistake management to mess with a great team. You seriously misjudged the impact and fallout. All respect to Kate but at Friday 9:01 I am gone. Can’t imagine I will be the only one. Good luck Nige…enjoy the sleep ins and your journey. Keep being true to yourself. Onwards n upwards!” another wrote.
– with Megan Doherty
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.