Confirmed: Duncan Campbell has put the band ‘back together again’

Publisher & Editor
ARN

After a bitter and unceremonious tit-for-tat split with Australian Radio Network in 2016, Brisbane radio personality Robin Bailey will return “home” to 97.3FM in 2020.

Radio Today can also reveal that Bailey’s former bandmates have reunited.

Co-host Terry Hansen, anchor Bob Gallagher and executive producer Ruth De Glas, will join Bailey from January 28 in what can only be described as the biggest radio story of the new decade.

They replace Bianca Dye and Mike Van Acker – who just like Bailey and Hansen – were axed by network executives in December while atop the radio ratings.

97.3FM was Brisbane’s #1 station in Survey 8 last year – pulling ahead of Triple M, Hit105 and Nova – to end the year with an upward swing on 11.2% (+1.7), but below the 12.2% station average.

ARN, who won’t comment on contract negotiations, says Dye will remain with the network but are yet to reveal in what capacity.

“I’m looking forward what lies ahead for me at ARN in 2020,” Bianca told Radio Today last month. “At the end of the day, I understand that change is part of working in this industry.”

After a very public separation with ARN, Bailey went on to host Breakfast at Triple M Brisbane for three years, with readers labelling the 97.3FM divorce “one of the biggest blunders in talent negotiation” and the “most embarrassing gaffe in breakfast radio history”.

“The announcement today that I am leaving the 97.3FM breakfast team has come as a complete shock,” she said at the time. “I have been blindsided by ARN’s decision not to renew my contract.

“After minimal feedback during a protracted negotiation period, at no stage did ARN make me any offer for 2017. I was ambushed this morning and told of the decision to cease my employment.”

Bailey farewells her Triple M listeners

Bailey walked from her Triple M gig in September to spend more time with husband Sean Pickwell, who finally lost his battle with cancer two weeks later.

After a trip to India and a meeting with ARN’s top brass, Bailey was ready to bury the hatchet with CEO Ciaran Davis and national content director Duncan Campbell.

“It’s so good to be back where I know what to do, I know who I am and I know the people I am with inside and out,” Bailey told Radio Today exclusively.

“It’s a safe place for me to reconnect with the wonderful 973 audiences and to slowly rebuild my life after so much heartache and grief,” she said. “I know Sean would be so excited and proud!”

Campbell and the communications team were cryptic when asked by Radio Today in December if a reunion with Bailey could be on the cards, saying “an exciting Breakfast show is currently in development” and that “there is no contract signed with Robin to return”.

But things can change rather quickly in radio. Life’s short, after all.

“I’m excited to have Robin return to her natural home at 97.3FM,” said Campbell. “With Terry also returning, it’s a great coup to have had the opportunity to bring such a successful team back together again.”

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Andrew
18 Jan 2020 - 10:02 am

Well it’s about time took long enough. Why on earth would ARN let her go in the first place ? Radio executives make some bizzare, irrational decisions at times.

Liz
18 Jan 2020 - 10:03 am

Poor old Bianca tossed aside like Xmas unwanted left over turkey. And she was number one.

Anthony
18 Jan 2020 - 10:35 am

So ARN finally folded and coughed up the money. Good on you Robin. Appalling the way you were treated. I wish you great success and happiness back at 973.

Mim
18 Jan 2020 - 1:21 pm

That is hilarious- didn’t the people at the station and management say the worst things about Robin and Robin threw it back to 97.3 in return? It’s like going back to an ex that you have spent three years paying out to anyone that would listen! Damage is done. Good luck to them. Triple M is the winner here – the show sounds great now

Russel
18 Jan 2020 - 1:36 pm

Thank you to who ever was responsible for getting these 3 back together… now I can enjoy listening to breakfast radio again..

Dave
18 Jan 2020 - 8:30 pm

Wow that is a serious backflip. Good on ARN recognising their mistake.

Ray
19 Jan 2020 - 4:13 pm

Not good getting bailey back. The show needs a whole new revamp. Looks like I’ll change to another station. Bye 97.3. Hope they look after Bianca she was good value.

Lee
26 Jan 2020 - 6:56 am

All the chopping and changing and axing number one shows has me thinking all is not well at 973 and Gold parent company ARN. They should develop some good new talent instead they rehash old talent who are past their use by date and bring in jocks from UK and NZ. Come on Duncan you can do better than that ?

Chachaching
31 Jan 2020 - 9:42 am

Don’t agree going back in time & trying to revamp what was.

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