96FM to replace Fred Botica with Dean ‘Clairsy’ Clairs in Breakfast
The Perth radio market is set for another shake-up, with Fred Botica departing 96FM Breakfast.
Botica and co-host Lisa Shaw reunited in 2019 as part of a revitalisation of 96FM. At the same time, the station also shifted its music positioning to ‘Real Music’.
With Botica departing, the heritage Breakfast brand, Botica’s Bunch, will also be retired.
In his place, Dean ‘Clairsy’ Clairs will join Shaw from Monday forming The Bunch.
Clairs was most recently on Mix 94.5 Breakfast and had spent 30 years with SCA.
He announced his departure in November, saying the time had come for new adventures, both professionally and with his wife and kids.
“If the next chapter brings with it half the fun I’ve had in my time with Mix 94.5, I’ll be more than happy,” he said at the time.
Now, however, he said 96FM is actually the station he’s wanted to work at since the 1980s.
“At the end of 2020, after 38 years on radio, I decided to take a break and tick off some long overdue things on my list like, sleep in until 8:00am, play my drum kit poorly and windsurf incessantly. I’ve had a fantastic few months doing all of that and more, it’s been terrific, but when I got the call offering me the chance to join 96FM, I couldn’t resist. It’s a station I’ve actually wanted to work for since August 1980,” he said.
“I’m a huge admirer of Fred and can vividly recall hearing his voice for the first time back in 1986 when I was driving from Bunbury to Perth. I was spellbound. To follow in his footsteps is such an honour, and I can’t wait to join Lisa on air.”
Botica, meanwhile, noted he’d been at it a fair while.
“I’m turning 74 in about a week and after 50 years in radio I’ve decided to retire and do some of the other things I’ve wanted to do for a while,” he said.
“I’ve known 96FM’s managing director Gary Roberts since 1978 and he’s been a huge part of my career. He was instrumental in luring me over to Perth with a tempting job on 96FM in 1986. And the fact I got to windsurf each day in one of the best places in the world with the Fremantle Doctor was one of the reasons why I never left.
“There’s nothing else behind this decision, I’m just ready to call time. I’ve been doing breakfast radio since 1971 and I’m just really looking forward to a sleep in.”
96FM’s content director, Daniel Underhill, added: “Having the legendary Fred Botica return to 96FM, being here for our 40th anniversary, and leading the station to #1 is the kind of reunion you can only dream of in radio. After five decades in broadcasting, and all those early starts waking up Perth, Fred’s more than earned having his time become his own again. We can’t thank him enough.
“As we move to our next chapter with Clairsy joining Lisa we have the rare opportunity for another legend of Perth radio to takeover from Fred. The new show officially starts Monday, but Clairsy will join Fred & Lisa tomorrow from 5:30am to say hello again to Perth.”