Sydney breakfast dramas continue as host quits 2DayFM

2Day FM breakfast hosts Em Rusciano and Harley Breen
2Day FM breakfast hosts Em Rusciano and Harley Breen

The Hit Network has delivered CPR to Em Rusciano's 2DAY FM breakfast show with the help of actor and radio personality Ed Kavalee.

Rusciano's co-host Harley Breen shocked listeners on Tuesday morning when he announced he was quitting breakfast radio.

"I'm heading back to the fiscally responsible job of being a touring stand-up," he said. "In my absence, I hope the show becomes the raging success it deserves to be."

Breen said leaving the show was a difficult but necessary decision. Rusciano choked up on-air while she thanked her co-host for putting up with the "brutal" hours over the past year.

The breakfast show, which is broadcast from Melbourne, has struggled through low ratings forcing Austereo bosses to tout a steady-as-it-goes approach. The program delivered a relatively flat debut, capturing about 4 per cent of the cut-throat Sydney market.

Since then, the year has been peppered with small drops in listeners, pulling just 3.3 per cent of Sydney breakfast radio listeners in the last survey. 2DAY FM's breakfast slot is commonly referred to as commercial radio's "poisoned chalice" ever since Kyle and Jackie O jumped ship to KISS FM and took a large chunk of the listeners with them.

Subsequent shows, including Jules Lund, Sophie Monk, Mel B and Merrick Watts followed by Rove McManus and Sam Frost failed to find an audience in the tough Sydney radio market.

Ed Kavalee will replace Breen at the start of 2018. The actor is a recurring panellist on Ten's Have You Been Paying Attention? and has been a radio presenter for Triple M in Brisbane.

"Bring on 2018," he said in a statement. "We are really looking forward to it. I just hope my old room at my share house on Cleveland street is still available."

Hit's head of content Gemma Fordham said Kavalee, who recently left the breakfast show on Brisbane's Triple M, is "superbly talented" and will make a great addition to 2DAY FM's breakfast lineup.

"We know the Sydney listeners will love [him]," she said. "Harley has been a terrific ying to Em's yang and he'll continue to be a friend of the show. We love Harley and wish him all the best."

This story Sydney breakfast dramas continue as host quits 2DayFM first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.