Mix FM to be rebranded for Kyle and Jackie O?

A new look Mix FM could be just the ticket for Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O to join.Mix FM may relaunch under a new name if it signs shock jocks Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O, industry sources claim.
Nanjing Night Net

The new brands it is considering include “Kiss FM” and “Kiiss FM”.

The relaunch would address the problem of the brash hosts being considered the “wrong fit” for Mix, which is aimed at women aged 25 to 54. It may also help it reclaim a stronger position in the market, which has been eroded by new rival Smooth.

Mix is currently wooing Sandilands and Jackie O, who recently confirmed they would not return to 2Day FM in 2014. Negotiations are advanced but a deal has not been finalised.

The pair are tipped to fill the breakfast shift in Sydney’s Mix 106.5, replacing Sami Lukis and Yumi Stynes. But the station was quick to deny rumours that the controversial FM kings would be networked into Melbourne.

“That wouldn’t be part of the plan,” said Duncan Campbell, national content director of Mix’s parent company, the Australian Radio Network. “I think it’s really important for breakfast shows to reflect the pulse and soul of the city. You really need to be local.”

Campbell insists that current Melbourne presenters Chrissie Swan and Jane Hall will “definitely” return to the breakfast slot in 2014.

When asked if the Mix stations would re-brand as “Kiss”, “Kiiss” or another name, Duncan said: “That’s all just speculation. Negotiations are still continuing, nothing’s signed, we haven’t thought about that.”

It is unclear if ARN is considering re-naming its Sydney Mix station only, or every Mix station in its network.

Former Austereo managing director Brad March, who reported the possible name change on the Radio Today website, told Fairfax Media: “Since Smooth launched, they’re doing a very good job with that softer, relaxing position.

“The Mix brand doesn’t really stand for anything any more. There’s certainly a good case to make for changing the name.”

The “Kiss” brand could present a difficulty in Melbourne, given a narrowcast dance station already operates under that title. Manager Timmy Byrne said he hasn’t been approached by ARN but would consider selling the name.

Sources say that while the mooted name change “is under serious consideration” it is “by no means a done deal … they could decide not to make any change in the end and just stick with Mix”.

Other sources say the change is highly unlikely, claiming to have seen Mix-branded material and promotions for 2014.

Media analyst Steve Allen, managing director of Fusion Strategy, said ARN would benefit even if it broadcast Kyle and Jackie O under the Mix brand.

“They might alienate a few listeners, but what they’re going to gain in new listeners – and therefore advertising revenue – will more than make up for it,” he said. “The last ratings survey was very good to Kyle and Jackie O. Their management is going into these negotiations well-armed.”

While 2GB’s Alan Jones has a bigger slice of the audience, Allen says the two programs generate roughly the same amount of revenue.

“In radio, the peak is in breakfast. It’s the springboard for everything else you do; all your promotions and all your other show. It really is the most important program to get right.”

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