Scoop: WSFM’s Charlie Fox and Ron E Sparks depart ARN
Australian Radio Network has parted ways with two longstanding and much-loved team members, Radio Today can exclusively reveal.
The Edge and WSFM101.7 Sydney content director Charlie Fox and WSFM workday announcer Ron E Sparks have left the company, effective immediately.
Since Fox joined the ARN-owned station in 2005, he has led both WSFM and the Jonsey and Amanda breakfast show to a #1 victory lap on multiple occasions.
“WSFM has been the #1 FM for two of the last three surveys. I’m pleased to leave the place in such good shape,” Fox told Radio Today following the confirmation of his departure.
“Jonesy & Amanda have never sounded better and are currently on a 10.7. It’s a tribute to a small but really great team. I wish them and all who sail in good ship at ARN nothing but the best.”
Sparks arrived at WSFM in 2002 after a break from radio and a very successful career spanning over four decades behind the microphone, including a long run at 104.1 2Day FM Sydney, that ended in 2001.
National content director Duncan Campbell attributes the latest changes to a new strategy it hopes will “re-energise ARN and position the network for even greater success in 2018 and beyond”.
There has been much speculation in recent weeks surrounding the future direction of the Pure Gold network. ARN is expected to reveal its 2018 plans next week, with many radio insiders foreseeing a significant shift in strategy.
In a statement sent to Radio Today, Campbell acknowledged both Fox and Sparks for their contribution on behalf of ARN.
“I want to thank Charlie for his commitment to WSFM and his work with Jonesy & Amanda in Breakfast.
“I also want to acknowledge Ron E Sparks who has been an Icon of Sydney radio since the late 1970s and wish him the best for the next stage of his impressive career,” Campbell added.
The as yet unexplained changes at GOLD104.3 Melbourne left many radio admirers and insiders confused after it was confirmed that Jo and Lehmo would not return in 2018.
The duo had just delivered management their best book in a decade, topping the most recent GfK survey. A replacement is not expected to be announced until next year.