Poll Results: Joel Creasey the favourite for Nova drive
Melbourne comedian Joel Creasey is the radio industry’s top pick to replace outgoing Nova drive host Marty Sheargold, according to the latest Radio Today reader poll.
Creasey topped a shortlist of 20 potential candidates and hopefuls with over 14% of votes. He was followed by Merrick Watts, Tom Gleeson, Hamish Blake and Peter Helliar.
Almost immediately after Sheargold announced his pending departure on-air last Friday this writer’s phone lit up with suggestions and rumours for possible replacements.
Media outlets including News.com.au, The Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail Online raced to publish speculation stories this week. All three are tipping Creasey to join Kate Ritchie and Tim Blackwell.
Sydney-born Creasey, 29, who lives in Melbourne with his model partner and is affectionately known as “Australia’s Acid Tongue Prince”, has appeared on Nova many times in recent years.
The decision to install a much younger and openly gay third wheel to the primetime slot will be seen by many in the industry as a progressive and bold move by network bosses.
“Some Kate, Tim & Marty fans clearly won’t like Joel,” a seasoned programmer told Radio Today. “But some new female listeners could like the show more now. It largely depends on Joel’s role.”
“Not replacing Marty with another comedian of the same ilk is smart,” another programmer said. “But people only change their habits when you give them a reason. This is reason enough.”
Radio Today asked Nova about the Creasey rumours but a spokesperson declined to comment.
NOVA Entertainment’s programming and marketing chief, Paul Jackson, did reveal last week that an announcement on a new co-host will arrive “in the coming weeks”.
Marty Sheaghold said he plans to spend more time on the comedy circuit.
Kate, Tim & Marty had proven a fan favourite with listeners around the country. In the most recent GfK survey, Nova’s loveable trio claimed the #1 FM drive show in every metro market.
As first reported by Radio Today, Sheargold departs on September 11 in the program’s biggest changing of the guard since Kate Ritchie arrived from television to replace Meshel Laurie in 2014.
Radio Today understands the network has a “male personality” locked and loaded, disappointing many reality television hopefuls and out of work entertainers searching for the coveted radio gig.
As multiple radio insiders explained over the weekend, this is not a decision network bosses want to get wrong. The drive shift, this writer is told, could be set for a “major shakeup” next year.
“It’s inevitable that Kate Langbroek will be back on Drive next year,” said one informed insider, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “She will reunite with Hughesy on Hit or KIIS”.