Gold FM is refusing to hose down rumours popular breakfast presenters Jo Stanley and Anthony Lehmann won’t be returning in 2018.
Fairfax Media understands the Jo & Lehmo show will soon get axed despite claiming the number one breakfast FM slot in November’s radio ratings.
Jo and Lehmo have snapped up an 8.4 per cent share of the Melbourne breakfast market, 0.3 points ahead of Fox FM rivals Fifi, Fev and Byron. The result is the best ever result for Gold FM’s breakfast show in a decade.
Radio insiders are also of the view 2017 has been Lehmo’s strongest year at Gold FM. He has been with the station’s breakfast show for about six years.
But despite the ratings success, Jo and Lehmo are yet to renew their contracts with ARN. The uncertainty comes after the radio network made the decision to replace Meshel Laurie and Matt Tilley with up-and-comers Jason Hawkins and Polly Harding.
ARN, responsible for KIIS and the Pure Gold Network, also lost popular drive presenters Hughsey and Kate earlier this year. They will be replaced with two presenters from Perth, Will McMahon and Woody Whitelaw.
The recent programming decisions have left radio insiders scratching their heads.
“I’d hardly say two teams of nobodies is a strategy,” said one source, who did not wish to be named.
ARN employees have publicly stuck to the script, however, and said it’s all part of a long-term strategy.
On Tuesday, ARN’s content director Duncan Campbell refused to deny Jo and Lehmo’s show was getting the chop.
“When we have something to say about Gold and about Jo and Lehmo, we will announce that,” he said. “But we’re not in a position to do that at the moment.”