The mystery surrounding Triple M host Lawrence Mooney’s absence from the airwaves has taken another turn.
The Sydney-based comedian, 56, hasn’t been on the Moonman in the Morning breakfast show since last Wednesday, with well-placed sources saying he is set to lose his $2million contract ‘imminently’.
After initial reports his issues with management were caused by tension with co-host Jess Eva, a new rumour suggests Mooney also took umbrage with Triple M’s decision to add retired footy star Mark ‘MG’ Geyer to the breakfast team.
The mystery surrounding Triple M host Lawrence Mooney’s (left) absence from the airwaves has taken another turn after reports he was ‘unhappy’ with the station hiring retired footy star Mark ‘MG’ Geyer (right) to join the breakfast team in 2022
Mooney is rumoured to be ‘unhappy’ with Geyer, 53, joining the show in 2022, and may well have taken himself off-air in protest, reports Mediaweek.
However, a source at Triple M denied his absence was related to Geyer’s hiring.
Geyer is no stranger to Triple M Sydney: he was a presenter on the network’s former breakfast show The Grill Team with Matty Johns and Gus Worland from 2009 to 2017.
He now hosts Triple M sports comedy show Rush Hour with James ‘JB’ Brayshaw and former AFL footballer Billy Brownless, and regularly appears on the station’s Saturday morning sports show Dead Set Legends.
Geyer is no stranger to Triple M Sydney: he was a presenter on the network’s former breakfast show The Grill Team with Matty Johns and Gus Worland from 2009 to 2017
Triple M Sydney content director Rex Morris said of Geyer joining the breakfast team: ‘We’re expecting MG’s involvement on Moonman in the Morning to be an extension of what he already brings to the show on a weekly basis. He’s famously connected to sport, and the ripping yarns around it.
‘He lives and breathes our city’s west, curiously he manages to sing nearly every time he’s on the show and he loves a laugh.’
It comes after sources told Daily Mail Australia the Mooney is set to lose his $2million contract ‘imminently’ – a week after he was mysteriously pulled from the air.
The presenter has apparently caused issues at the station in recent months, after clashing with several staff members, most notably co-host Jess Eva.
It comes after insiders told Daily Mail Australia that Triple M Sydney is set to axe Mooney from its breakfast show, after his falling out with Moonman in the Morning co-host Jess Eva (left) and recent pitiful ratings
Eva, who joined Moonman in the Morning three years ago, has not publicly commented on why her co-host hasn’t been on air for a week.
Network executives are also struggling to justify Mooney’s rumoured $2million paycheck given the program’s meagre ratings.
He 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, sources say.
His contract expires in 2022.
Since its launch, Moonman in the Morning has struggled to contend with other FM breakfast shows, earning a 4.6 per cent market share in the latest radio survey.
Eva, who joined Moonman in the Morning three years ago, has not publicly commented on why her co-host hasn’t been on air for a week or industry talk the pair have fallen out. Lawrence and Jess are pictured at the Australian Commercial Radio Awards in 2019 with co-host Chris Page
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 and Jackie O Show soared in the latest ratings with a 10.7 per cent share.
Since its launch in January 2019, Moonman in the Morning has struggled to contend with other FM breakfast shows, earning a 4.6 per cent market share in the latest radio survey. Pictured: Moonman in the Morning hosts Chris Page, Lawrence Mooney and Jess Eva
It comes after listeners were left puzzled over Mooney’s absence from his regular 104.9 Triple M Sydney slot over the past week
Listeners were left puzzled over Mooney’s absence from his regular 104.9 Triple M Sydney slot over the past week.
The radio station has provided no information as to why he hasn’t been on the air, with a Southern Cross Austereo spokesperson simply telling Daily Mail Australia on Wednesday: ‘Lawrence Mooney is currently off air.’
Mooney has co-hosted Moonman in the Morning since 2019 alongside Chris Page and Jess Eva.
That same year, he won an Australian Commercial Radio Award (ACRA) for Best Entertainment Presenter.
Recipe for success: Jess joined the radio show after becoming a star during the 2017 season of The Block
In June, Mooney was caught flouting Covid restrictions after travelling from Sydney to Byron Bay for a holiday.
He lives in the Southern Highlands and works in Sydney’s CBD, and did not self-isolate for 14 days after arriving in Byron.
Mooney, who was fined $1,000 for his breach, made a public apology on air, saying: ‘I’d like to apologise to the Triple M family for acting like king c’**k of c**k Island.’
He said he took ‘full responsibility’ for his actions, before criticising himself for acting like ‘the rules didn’t apply’ to him.
Mooney was caught flouting Covid restrictions in June after travelling from Sydney to Byron Bay for a holiday