Global Radio have announced their presenter changes to Smooth Radio after a staggered revamp of the music playlist since October.
Former GMTV presenter Andrew Castle who currently presents on LBC will replace Simon Bates at Breakfast in the London area, while his former colleague Kate Garraway replaces Lynn Parsons from next Monday.
Chris Skinner, formerly of Essex FM replaces Carlos on evenings while ex Magic 105.4 presenter Paul Phear replaces Gary King on afternoons. Recent addition Anthony Davis remains on drive.
While the changes are more than most have expected, having Andrew Castle competing against the might of Neil Fox and Verity Geere on Magic 105.4 in London won't be giving Bauer bosses much cause for concern. This despite almost throwing in the towel axing Richard Park's old formula for Magic which now includes some personality links and off-target tracks.
Kate Garraway who incidentally has a radio background, starting as a broadcast journalist at BBC Radio Oxford is up against one of the best solid jocks of the soft AC format on Magic. Gary Vincent has more listeners in London than Heart and Smooth who compete for a similar audience.
Magic is also market leading around 2200 during Mellow Magic, which means Chris Skinner's 'Sanctuary' will have to provide something special to grab listeners from the long established Magic format of love and slow songs.
I'm not against celebrity presenters as Magic uses Kim Wilde and Rick Astley in off-peak slots, however they compliment the brand, where as two ex GMTV presenters of which were a turn-off not helped by the premium rate competition scandal and the Marmite Myleene Klass may be enough for those Smooth listeners who have found Richard Park's old Magic format may retune elsewhere and in-particular back to Magic.
Bauer will be relieved tonight.