Gethin, Gemma and Dave exit Hits Radio Breakfast Show

Breakfast presenters Gethin Jones and Dave Vitty, plus afternoon presenter Debbie Mac, are leaving the station, whilst Gemma Atkinson will move to Drive.

The major changes come just 12 months since the station launched amid much fanfare with a large marketing campaign and almost national coverage on DAB.

Gemma will co-host with Wes Butters when she returns from maternity but in the meantime, Wes will move to breakfast to present with Dave Vitty and former Emmerdale actress Sherree Murphy.

Gethin, Gemma and Dave’s last Breakfast Show will be Friday 7th June, with Wes, Sheree and Dave covering Breakfast ahead of the brand new show launching this summer. Debbie Mac’s last show is 21st June.

Bauer tells us Gethin Jones and Dave Vitty have made the decision to step down, using the change as an opportunity to pursue new projects which they will reveal in due course. The details of the new Breakfast show will be unveiled shortly too.

Programme Director, Paul Gerrard tells RadioToday: “Gethin, Gemma and Dave drove the Hits Radio Breakfast show with passion, enthusiasm and heaps of fun. All incredibly talented broadcasters, we wish both Gethin and Dave all the best with their upcoming projects and Gemma with her impending arrival!”

Debbie Mac will continue to work at Bauer on other projects. She joined Bauer and Key 103 in 2015 from Real Radio North West (Heart). Before Real Radio, Debbie worked for Galaxy, Kiss, Key 103 and Hallam FM, and spent two years at 95.8 Capital FM in London.

Group Programme Director, Gary Stein said: “We’ve been really lucky to call Debbie a member of the Bauer family as a host on the Hits Radio Network, and look forward to continuing to work together in the future.”

RadioToday’s take

This latest move from Bauer programers raises more questions over the strategy in place at the network. Bauer is known for changing things on a frequent basis – and not giving new ideas or new programmes a chance to settle.

Changing a talent-heavy breakfast show on a flagship station after just 12 months isn’t ideal for continuity.

It’s really hard to get the right mix of talent on-air and even harder to stick with something long term regardless of what the RAJAR figures say. If there’s one thing 103FM needs in Manchester right now, it’s stability, and this latest bombshell will not help in the ratings war one little bit.

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25 Comments
  1. Ross Patzelt says

    I just wish Dave would rejoin Chris Moyles now.

    1. Ted says

      Will never happen after Chris knocked about with his Mrs

      1. jeff c says

        Dave should patch things up with Chris and let bygones be bygones.

        1. Ray says

          To be honest, I don’t think anyone misses Dave on the new Chris Moyles breakfast show. Dom is given more of a chance to shine now and Pippa can be comedy gold.

  2. Stephen barnes says

    I’m suspecting some listeners followed Chelsea norris and Paul locket to the fully local radio Manchester breakfast

  3. Thomas Myerscough says

    What are odds of Joel and Lorna getting the slot

    1. Rob says

      Good call!! Joel and lorna!!

    2. Bob The Builder says

      I would think it’s a distinct possibility, and one that the hits should be considering.

      They have a good listener base who may move with them, and are both well known in the region.

      Could well be a show to network, when they decide to go for a “national” breakfast show, as both presenters have personalities.

      So long as they are allowed some creative freedom, they could make a huge breakfast show.

    3. Will says

      They were popular in the north west, not sure why they didn’t go to drive that might be why

    4. Mike Rose says

      Bring back Ditchy & Salty!

  4. DJ Bambi says

    Well that didn’t last long.

  5. MICHAEL BOLTON says

    We all know it looks like “The Hits” in Manchester is the beachhead for Bauer going more national with a brand across it’s heritage stations. “LocalRadio is dead” arguments aside if you are going to do this you need to do it well, with a clear strategy and long term investment. Especially if you are up against Global (who might be getting it in the neck over localisation) BUT are on thier A game on strategy / marketing.
    Clearly the product is not right yet in many many ways.

  6. Stephen Dixon says

    Bauer seems to be in a bit of a mess overall. Plummeting listening across most stations. They really need to shake things up big time. It doesn’t help that they’re adding more stations to the company. They need to focus on getting things right and stop the rot.

    1. MICHAEL BOLTON says

      So MUCH potential, such poor execution and strategy

    2. Will says

      Agree with you there. If they were smart enough they could have Kiss on the Hits frequencies and Magic on the GHR frequencies. And why do they have two rock type stations!!!

    3. Kish says

      True firstly for Magic, biggest mistake is their breakfast show Ronan Keating is hardly on the show always having his off days and Harriet is better off solo, so having the duo is absolutely pointless. Might as well get a new signing or appoint Richard Allinson to Breakfast.

  7. t1 says

    Terrible station name, poor branding, crass logo, bad management … but it’s the presenters that get the boot. Appalling behavior by Bauer.

    1. Sj says

      It’s always been the Bauer way. Magic, Kiss and Absolute are strong brands with clear strategies but they’re appalling at running their local stations. Despite having strong brands they could role out like Global, they invent new ones from scratch and execute it badly! Then they chop and change with yet more weird decisions.

  8. whitsal86 says

    Bauer’s problem is that the Hits Radio strategy doesn’t quite work.

    Going MORE local, like Wave 105 would give them a USP.

    Maybe, and perhaps this is an unusual suggestion – but how about having Grant Thomson and Amber from Clyde 1 move to Hits Radio Manchester for Grant & Amber in the Morning.

    Grant currently does networked 2-4pm on Bauer Scotland and did networked late show there, so has a track record.

    Would this be too much of a gamble for Bauer?

    Then again, Clyde 1 is the network hub for Bauer in Scotland.

    Also, perhaps Sarah-Jane Crawford replaced by Leona Graham or Chris Martin from Absolute on networked evenings part of a Hits Radio revamp?

    How would this affect Hits Radio?

  9. Ian says

    Bauer clearly have a strategy problem. The hit network stations are trying to target to broad of an audience. If your gonna network you need a strong brand which is where global are killing it. They need to decide what audience they are going for – if its your 16-25 year olds then take Kiss National and add pop music (Galaxy – Capital was the global example) or if your targeting 25 – 40 then take Magic national (real radio – Heart).

  10. Kish says

    Maybe they’re off to Magic because Angie’s leaving. I’m sure Magic will have a few changes to their schedules soon .

  11. Paul Swift says

    There was nothing wrong with Key 103 before they changed it for T*ts radio losing thousands of listeners. Good to see that Debbie Mac is staying with the industry. Always comes across as pleasant and professional. So sad the way Radio is going.

  12. Len Groat says

    Perhaps there is a “bright spark” PD who is brave enough to try just ONE great personality DISC JOCKEY (and not a TV has-been) to do breakfast – and cut-out the ‘in’, gushy boy/girl Y A P….. and just play GREAT songs!?

    1. Rob Pendry says

      Absolutely agree, Len – just wish it was possible to wave a ‘magic wand’ to make it happen!!

  13. DJ Bambi says

    I’m calling it… Nick Grimshaw leaves Radio 1 to take over the Hits Radio Breakfast Show.

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