'They're passionate about the music': Bauer's Gary Stein talks Hits Radio breakfast show

'They're passionate about the music': Bauer's Gary Stein talks Hits Radio breakfast show

There’s yet another new early morning show on air today (July 12) – Hits Radio has launched its fresh line-up, Fleur East, James Barr and Greg Burns. 

It follows 12 months or so of huge change on the airwaves in the morning, with big new shows from Greg James on BBC Radio 1, Jamie Theakston and Amanda Holden on Heart, Dave Berry on Absolute, Chris Evans on Virgin,  Zoe Ball on BBC Radio 2 and Tom Green and Daisy Maskell on Kiss.

Gary Stein, group programme director at Hits Radio brand networks, is confident the new show can cut through thanks to the music and chemistry among the Manchester-based presenters.

“The exciting thing about this show is that it’s really fresh,” he told Music Week. “I think it’s a show that reflects the UK and connects with listeners in 2019. There’s a diverse line-up on the team and there’s a real friendship there. They get on brilliantly and that’s been the key. I’ve been working on the show for quite a while, and the chemistry and fun is at the heart of what we want to achieve.”

The breakfast show has a strong music connection with Fleur East, a former X Factor finalist who had a Top 15 album and Top 5 single.

“I’ve never met anyone who is so natural on the radio, having never presented on a radio show,” said Stein. “She’s an amazing communicator. She’s really in tune with the audiences we are aiming at and she brings a really unique perspective to breakfast radio. Even when it comes to interviewing musical artists, she’ll bring something very unique in what it’s like to be an artist in 2019, because she’s running this in parallel with her music career.”

Fleur East brings a really unique perspective to breakfast radio

Gary Stein

Stein also praised the contribution of her fellow presenters.

Barr, a comedian, is “very relevant and he understands the audience”, while Burns is a “real radio pro” following stints on Virgin, Heart and Capital FM. 

“As a team, I think it’s a very interesting mix and the dynamics are going to provide some really fun and different radio breakfast,” added Stein.

The Breakfast show has upcoming guests including Jason Derulo, Jax Jones, Bebe Rexha, Zara Larsson, Mabel and Craig David. Artists sending messages of support today include Camila Cabella, Tom Walker, Sigala, James Arthur, David Guetta and Ava Max.

“If you listen to the presenters on the station, we’ve got a musical artist on at breakfast time and Sarah-Jane Crawford is hugely passionate on the UK Chart Show, she loves the music,” said Stein. “And our new appointment of Jordan Lee in evenings, the common thing is they’re really passionate about the music. From an industry point of view, bringing artists in on the Breakfast show or the evening show is very much something we will be doing a lot of.”

Stein also noted the transformation of breakfast radio and the appeal of commercial radio.

“It’s changing times for the breakfast landscape,” he said. “And we’ve seen a huge amount of big talent moving from the BBC to commercial, like Simon Mayo, Eddie Mair, Chris Evans. Listening has never been higher and [commercial radio] is still massively important for breaking new artists. When you look at Hits, we’ve championed the likes of George Ezra, Tom Walker, and that can only be a good thing for the industry.”

Subcribers can read the Q1 RAJAR analysis here.

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