A year on from Triple M unceremoniously sacking Lawrence Mooney from the station, the comedian’s former breakfast show has been immediately axed from the airwaves.
Host Jess Eva made the shock announcement about the future of Sydney radio show MG, Jess & Page — formerly known as Moonman in the Morning — on air today, giving listeners one day to prepare for its end.
“The MG, Jess & Pagey show will not continue in 2023, and you can tune in tomorrow for the final show,” former Block contestant Eva said on Thursday morning.
She added that she and her co-hosts would not be leaving the station, joking that they won’t be “getting some unemployment payments”.
“We’re going to be in the Triple M family, which is lovely,” she explained.
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Mark ‘MG’ Geyer added: “Tomorrow is going to be all about reflection.
“Tomorrow is going to be all about the year that we’ve had together,” he added, with the two gushing over their time working on the show.
“For me, I feel like the MG, Jess & Pagey show will never leave me, as I have a picture of MG on my a**e,” Eva joked of her tattoo stunt after losing a bet last month.
“I just adore ya … At the end of the day … If you can roll in here to a breakfast show and you pick up a couple of soulmates and then you roll back out again and you have a wine, how good’s living?” she said.
In October, Chris Page announced his departure from Triple M Sydney, leaving the morning hosting line-up for 2023 in the air. Since Pagey’s exit, Cat Lynch has filled in on the show, however, Jess and MG confirmed Pagey would return for the final show on Friday.
Responding to the announcement, Southern Cross Austereo told news.com.au the future of the time slot would be made “in due course.”
In a brief statement, an SCA spokesperson said: “SCA has confirmed today on air that the current 104.9 Triple M Sydney Breakfast show will not return next year.
“An announcement regarding the Triple M Sydney Breakfast show for 2023 will be made in due course.”
Mystery still surrounds Mooney’s exit
The news comes just over a year after Lawrence Mooney’s sudden exit from the program, which was formerly called Moonman in the Morning.
Triple M’s breakfast show was embroiled in scandal following the abrupt and mysterious sacking of Mooney despite the comedian still having a year left on his contract, prompting an ugly legal battle.
Mooney was seeking more than $1 million for the alleged breach of contract, but it is understood the matter was resolved in April. Details of the settlement are unknown.
Before a settlement was reached, the 57-year-old’s lawyer had expressed concern the case would see the comedian “smeared” by the station over unfounded allegations from his time at the company in order to justify his sudden termination.
According to Mooney’s lawyer, employment specialist John Laxon, the parties had agreed to enter mediation after SCA had been late filing a defence.
“We are somewhat in the dark because we don’t have their defence,” Mr Laxon said.
“In anticipation of what that defence might be and the allegations that might be forthcoming from the defendant [in the absence of] any evidence to back up those allegations then what we might be left with is smear.”
Mooney was dropped last November, with the reason behind the move kept under wraps.
At the time, it was reported that Mooney had fallen out with co-host Eva and several other staff members as the show suffered dwindling ratings.
Before his departure from the company, he reportedly disappeared without explanation for two weeks, vanishing from the airwaves to the confusion of listeners.
On November 15, SCA released a brief statement which read: “SCA thanks Mooney for his contribution to the Triple M Network over the past five years.”
Dwindling ratings continue
The program’s name was then changed to Triple M Breakfast with MG, Jess & Pagey, with new lead host Mark ‘MG’ Geyer.
With MG at the helm, the show’s ratings have unfortunately shown little improvement.
In August’s survey results, the show saw a slight jump in listeners by 0.5 points to a share of 5.3 per cent.
However, in the latest radio survey, it saw a drop of 1.2 percentage points to an audience share of 3.7 per cent.
Meanwhile, KIIS FM’s Kyle Sandilands and Jackie ‘O’ Henderson — former employees of SCA on 2DayFM until they jumped ship in 2013 — recently defeated Ben Fordham to top Sydney’s latest round of breakfast radio ratings.
The KIIS co-hosts knocked the dominant 2GB host off the number one spot in the GfK ratings released earlier this month, increasing their total audience share to 14.9 per cent – up 2.1 percentage points.