Radio hosts Kyle and Jackie O sign mega $200m deal

Kyle and Jackie O's mammoth $200m radio deal

Sydney radio juggernauts Kyle Sandilands and Jackie Henderson have officially signed mammoth contracts said to be worth as much as $200 million over the next 10 years.

The deal – described by radio network ARN Media as the “biggest in Australian radio history” – was unveiled at an all-staff meeting early on Wednesday, ahead of the duo signing their new contracts live on air.

Under the landmark decade-long contracts, The Kyle & Jackie O Show will extend its broadcast to Melbourne from next year.

“Melbourne listeners, you’ll hear us on KIIS 101.1 on the Melbourne FM,” Sandilands said.

“We want to thank the listeners. Staff. All the clients. Even senior management, I’ll give a nod to. They actually did something brilliant.”

Sandilands did not discuss the fate of KIIS 101.1’s existing Melbourne hosts, Jason Hawkins and Lauren Phillips. They learned in late-night phone calls on Tuesday that they had been axed.

“Last night, we all received a phone call from management … Mine was during ‘Black Hawk Down hour’, when all the kids are cracking it trying to get to sleep,” Hawkins said on-air on Wednesday.

“[Management was] informing us that the show will be finishing up at the end of this year. We’ll be finishing up at the end of 2023. Kyle and Jackie O will be taking over in 2024.”

Sandiland and Henderson’s new deal begins next year and runs until December 2034. It includes a base salary, shares, sign-on and ratings bonuses and revenue share,

Under it, the pair will each earn $10 million a year – doubling their current salaries.

“I’ve never signed a contract for a 10-year deal before,” Henderson said on-air on Wednesday.

“Usually it’s like three, maybe five at the most.

“You’re stuck with us, guys.”

In a statement on social media, Henderson said “we really do want to be here and we love our job”.

“To wake up and look forward to going to work every morning and to know that we’ve got that for the next 10 years – we can talk to you guys every morning, laugh and do all the things we do,” she said.

There are widespread reports the contract is worth more than $200 million. It also reportedly features a clause that allows Sandilands to broadcast The Kyle & Jackie O Show from “anywhere on the Earth”.

ARN also said on Wednesday it had extended the contract of top-rating GOLD 1043 Melbourne host Christian O’Connell for five years, taking his term to December 31, 2029.

“The new multilayered contracts are designed to create full alignment with ARN Media and incentivise and reward superior performance and include base fees, revenue share on incremental growth and sign-on bonuses predominantly comprised of shares in ARN Media,” it said in an update to the ASX on Wednesday.

It said the combined base salaries of Sandilands, Henderson and O’Connell would jump by about $2 million-$3 million a year over the course of the contracts.

“The total base fee increases under these new contract arrangements, which take effect from January 2025, will be offset by lower content costs resulting in part from the live broadcast of the Kyle and Jackie O Show into Melbourne, and will be limited to a net total increase of approximately $2-3 million per annum,” ARN said.

The contracts include $7 million worth of ARN Media shares (about 7.5 million shares at Tuesday’s closing share price), to be issued to Sandilands, Henderson and O’Connell at the end of their contract terms.

ARN Media chairman Hamish McLennan the company had “Australia’s best radio and audio talent”.

“These re-signings are a vote of confidence that Kyle and Jackie O, and Christian O’Connell, will continue to grow their audiences delivering a style of broadcast that makes them so successful,” he said.

ARN managing director and chief executive Ciaran Davis said the signings would allow the company to attract new audiences and expand commercial opportunities.

“Melbourne is the largest radio advertising market in Australia and represents an opportunity for ARN Media to grow ratings and revenues on KIIS 101.1,” he said.

He said Sandilands and Henderson had held the no.1 spot in Sydney’s breakfast FM ratings for 69 of 76 surveys since launching in 2014. O’Connell had topped FM breakfast ratings in 27 out of 28 surveys since his show launched in 2018.

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