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Will Kyle and Jackie O stay in radio?

Specualtion is rife as to where radio hosts Kyle and Jackie O will work next after Friday’s announcement that they are leaving 2Day FM. Andrew Hornery reports.

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Auditions for a radio act to replace Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O will begin next week as executives at 2DAY FM scramble to protect the $ 30 million worth of advertising which is threatening to follow the celebrity duo out the door following Friday’s shock announcement they were quitting the show.

”We have a few combinations in mind, and we will begin experimenting with those next week,” Southern Cross Austereo head of content Craig Bruce told PS on Friday.

Both Sandilands and Jackie O, (real name Jackie Henderson), were keen to say it was their decision to quit, casting the move in a positive light by telling listeners on air the parting was ”amicable” and not to believe ”rubbish” reports saying otherwise.

Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O.

Coming to an end: Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O have decided to leave 2Day FM’s breakfast show. Photo: Lee Besford

However chatter across Sydney’s cut-throat radio industry on Friday focused on where the pair would be likely to emerge on the airwaves next year, with mounting speculation it would be rival Mix FM network owed by ARN, in a new deal, which could be for less money but include a profit-share arrangement, which if successful could potentially eclipse the million-dollar-plus contracts they were each on at 2DAY FM. ”The radio game has changed a lot since they first arrived, the big contracts are gone. If they managed to do a deal with a production company to sell a show to a broadcaster for a share of advertising revenue and network it across the country, then they would be in a position to get that sort of money again,” one well-placed radio executive said on Friday.

However others have pointed out that the 14-year-old listeners who made them No. 1 are now aged in their mid-20s, while today’s teenagers are spending increasing time engaging in social media and listening to their ipods rather than a daily breakfast television show.

Mr Bruce said every radio show had a ”life cycle”, but was adamant that the Kyle and Jackie O show remained on top of its game and denied the pair had simply become too expensive.

Their final show on 2DAY is scheduled for November 29.