Triple M host breaks silence on Lawrence Mooney’s sudden axing


Incoming Triple M host Mark Geyer has broken his silence on Lawrence ‘The Moonman’ Mooney’s sudden axing from the radio station.

In an interview with Yahoo! Sport on Thursday, the 53-year-old former rugby league footballer admitted he was shocked by Mooney’s sudden departure.

Geyer added that he had been looking forward to working with the 56-year-old comedian before his contentious exit.

Speaking out: Incoming Triple M host Mark Geyer (pictured) has broken his silence on Lawrence ‘The Moonman’ Mooney’s sudden axing from the radio station

‘It was a shock to me. I was looking forward to working with Loz and that was the idea originally pitched to me,’ he said.  

‘We could have worked together for sure. There’s no doubt about it. I was excited about it.

‘I honestly don’t know what’s happened apart from the fact lawyers are now involved. I’m the deer in the spotlight.’  

Gone: In an interview with Yahoo! Sport on Thursday, the 53-year-old former rugby league footballer admitted he was shocked by Lawrence Mooney's (pictured) sudden departure

Gone: In an interview with Yahoo! Sport on Thursday, the 53-year-old former rugby league footballer admitted he was shocked by Lawrence Mooney’s (pictured) sudden departure

The new name for the Triple M breakfast program was revealed on Tuesday following the shock axing of Mooney.

The program, formerly called Moonman In The Morning, will now be named Triple M Breakfast with MG, Jess & Pagey – with ‘MG’ referring to incoming host Geyer. 

It was announced last week that the retired footy star would join the Triple M breakfast program in 2022. 

He will helm the show with remaining hosts Jess Eva and Chris ‘Pagey’ Page. 

Sudden departure: Geyer added that he had been looking forward to working with the 56-year-old comedian before his contentious exit

Sudden departure: Geyer added that he had been looking forward to working with the 56-year-old comedian before his contentious exit 

Triple M Sydney announced they had parted ways with Mooney on Monday. 

The comedian was hired in early 2019 to host the Moonman In The Morning breakfast show alongside Eva and Page.

His contract, believed to be worth $2million per year, was set to expire in 2022. 

'It was a shock to me. I was looking forward to working with Loz and that was the idea originally pitched to me,' Geyer said

‘It was a shock to me. I was looking forward to working with Loz and that was the idea originally pitched to me,’ Geyer said 

A Southern Cross Austereo spokesperson said in a terse statement on Monday: ‘SCA thanks Mooney for his contribution to the Triple M Network over the past five years.’  

Mooney has since called his lawyers on Triple M over the axing. 

Employment lawyer John Laxon confirmed he was acting for Mooney against the radio station’s parent company Southern Cross Austereo on Monday afternoon.

‘My client has a contract which runs through to the end of next year, which SCA has brought to an end,’ Mr Laxon said.

All new line-up: Geyer will helm the show with remaining hosts Jess Eva (left) and Chris 'Pagey' Page (right)

All new line-up: Geyer will helm the show with remaining hosts Jess Eva (left) and Chris ‘Pagey’ Page (right)

‘The terms of that contract were drafted by SCA and were bargained for and agreed to by my client. He will hold SCA to those terms.

‘All my client asks is that SCA honour the contract and observe the contractual arrangements which they put in place.’  

His exit comes two weeks after he vanished from the airwaves without explanation, and amid rumours of a ‘major’ falling out with co-host Eva. 

Issues: Mooney had apparently caused issues at the station in recent months after clashing with several staff members, including Eva (left). Pictured at the Australian Commercial Radio Awards in Brisbane in October 2019

Issues: Mooney had apparently caused issues at the station in recent months after clashing with several staff members, including Eva (left). Pictured at the Australian Commercial Radio Awards in Brisbane in October 2019

When contacted for comment by Daily Mail Australia on Monday afternoon, Mooney said, ‘Please don’t call again,’ then hung up the phone.

Entertainment reporter Peter Ford said an ‘internal’ issue had led to Mooney’s sudden departure.

‘My information – which is very well-placed – says to me that it was an internal, off-air workplace issue that has led to this disappearance,’ he said on The Morning Show.

It comes a week after sources told Daily Mail Australia that Mooney was set to lose his contract at Triple M ‘imminently’.

Lacklustre: Since its launch in January 2019, Moonman In The Morning struggled to contend with other FM breakfast shows, earning a 4.6 per cent market share in the latest radio survey

Lacklustre: Since its launch in January 2019, Moonman In The Morning struggled to contend with other FM breakfast shows, earning a 4.6 per cent market share in the latest radio survey

He had apparently caused issues at the station in recent months, after clashing with several staff members including Eva. 

Network executives were also said to be struggling to justify his rumoured $2million paycheck given the program’s meagre ratings. 

Mooney was hired to host the show in January 2019 on a $750,000 salary, which was boosted to between $1.5million and $2million for 2020 and 2021.

He had previously fronted Triple M Brisbane’s breakfast show from 2016 to 2018.

Mystery: Listeners had been left puzzled by Mooney's disappearing act for the past two weeks, with Triple M initially not offering any explanation for his absence

Mystery: Listeners had been left puzzled by Mooney’s disappearing act for the past two weeks, with Triple M initially not offering any explanation for his absence

Since its launch, Moonman In The Morning struggled to contend with other FM breakfast shows, earning a 4.6 per cent market share in the latest radio survey.   

The show peaked at a 6.9 per cent market share when it debuted in 2019 after taking over The Grill Team, which ended its nine-year run with a 5.4 per cent share at the end of 2018.

Moonman In The Morning never reached the heights of its predecessor, which routinely pulled in shares over seven per cent in its heyday.  

The Grill Team was hosted by former rugby league player Matty Johns, who quit the station in November 2018 to concentrate on his television career.

In contrast, KIIS 106.5’s market leader The Kyle & Jackie O Show soared in the latest ratings with a 10.7 per cent share. 

Crunching numbers: Network executives were also said to be struggling to justify his rumoured $2million paycheck given the program's meagre ratings

Crunching numbers: Network executives were also said to be struggling to justify his rumoured $2million paycheck given the program’s meagre ratings 

Listeners had been puzzled by Mooney’s disappearing act for the past two weeks.

Triple M hadn’t offered any explanation for his absence, with a spokesperson telling Daily Mail Australia last Wednesday: ‘Lawrence Mooney is currently off air.’ 

Several meetings were held last week between Southern Cross Austereo and Mooney’s management after he vanished off air. 

Newcomer: It was announced last week that the retired footy star would join the Triple M breakfast program in 2022

Newcomer: It was announced last week that the retired footy star would join the Triple M breakfast program in 2022

Geyer will be joining the breakfast team in 2022; however, his hiring was announced weeks ago and is unrelated to Mooney’s exit.

Mooney won an Australian Commercial Radio Award (ACRA) for Best Entertainment Presenter in 2019, but this acclaim didn’t translate into winning ratings. 

His sudden exit is far from the only drama to befall Triple M Sydney’s breakfast show.

From one presenter’s stint in rehab to the star’s illegal lockdown breach, a long list of controversies has made Moonman In The Morning arguably Australia’s most toxic radio program. 

Disappointing: Mooney won an Australian Commercial Radio Award (ACRA) for Best Entertainment Presenter in 2019, but this acclaim didn't translate into winning ratings

Disappointing: Mooney won an Australian Commercial Radio Award (ACRA) for Best Entertainment Presenter in 2019, but this acclaim didn’t translate into winning ratings 

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