Kyle Sandilands and Jackie ‘O’ Henderson were already contracted to present their hit radio program for the next two years when management locked them in until 2024 on an $80million deal.
Their new contracts represent the largest such deal in Australian media history and were sealed this week because the radio stars and their employers wanted long-term stability.
Sources confirmed Sandilands, 48, and Henderson, 44, were each on the same huge salary, which has been estimated to have risen from at least $4million to $8million a year.
Negotiations were underway weeks before Sandlilands caused outrage by crudely suggesting the mother of Jesus Christ had been impregnated behind a camel shed.
Sandilands has described his new salary as an ‘absurd amount of money’ but Australian Radio Network (ARN), parent company of KIIS FM, is happy to pay it.
He and Henderson, who have dominated the FM breakfast market for more than a decade, conduct their negotiations separately but are so successful as a team their contracts need to be fixed at the same time.
Kyle Sandilands and Jackie ‘O’ Henderson were already contracted to present their hit radio program for the next two years when management locked them in until 2024 on an $80million deal. Their new contracts represent the largest such deal in Australian media history
Sources confirmed Sandilands, 48, and Henderson, 44, were on the same huge base salary, which has been estimated to have risen from at least $4million to $8million a year. They are pictured in 2006
This week Radio Today quoted a source who estimated the Kyle & Jackie O Show would have made ARN between $50million and $100million each year since 2014.
Talks between Sandilands, Henderson and the network began about two months ago and according to radio insiders were conducted with a minimum of fuss.
Bruno Bouchet, who represents Sandilands, and Brad March, who manages Henderson, dealt with ARN executives on their clients’ behalf but would not comment on negotiations.
However, Daily Mail Australia spoke to several industry insiders about how the monumental deal would have gone down.
One noted the breakfast duo already had two years to run on their contracts after 2019 so there was no rush for any deal to be done.
‘There was still 24 months to go but I think that Kyle and Jackie and management all have a pretty good relationship and they were keen to lock it in for even longer,’ that radio source said.
‘There was no one who officially said let’s get this going. I mean the thing is Kyle and Jackie speak to management pretty much every day.’
Sandilands and Henderson, who have dominated the FM breakfast market for more than a decade, conduct their negotiations separately but are so successful as a team their contracts need to be fixed at the same time. They are pictured with singer Dannii Minogue in 2003
Sandilands has described his new salary as an ‘absurd amount of money’ but Australian Radio Network (ARN), parent company of KIIS FM, is happy to pay it. He and Henderson are pictured with singer Kelly Clarkson in 2003
ARN chief executive Ciaran Davis had an office near the Kyle & Jackie O Show studio so the on-air talent were ‘always having a chat’ with the boss, the source said.
‘I think from both sides it just felt like they were keen to extend it, thinking a few years ahead, not just a few months,’ he said.
‘Both parties were really keen to make that deal. There were no games played. They wanted Kyle and Jackie there, Kyle and Jackie wanted to be there and that’s it. No need for drama.’
Daily Mail Australia understands reports that Sandilands and Henderson are each on about $8million for the next five years are accurate and the $80million that will cost ARN is seen in the industry as good value.
‘The reality is you’ve got your number one FM Sydney show and you’re able to tell the market we’re going to keep this relationship going until the end of 2024,’ an insider said.
‘It shows solidarity and it shows a strong vision. It’s good news for everyone.’
Henderson has been on the same salary as Sandilands since her last contract, which was also negotiated by low-profile master manager March in 2016.
The Kyle & Jackie O Show is Sydney’s top-rating FM breakfast program, with an audience share of 11.6 per cent. It is beaten only by 2GB’s Alan Jones with 16.8 per cent on his AM show.
Jones and his 2GB mornings colleague Ray Hadley are each paid a reported $4million a year.
Sandilands will not confirm or deny his salary is $8million, but is not upset by that number being bandied about.
‘I don’t discuss the absurd amount of money I get given to do something I love,’ he said after his new contract was announced.
‘Don’t get me wrong, the money’s fantastic, but what really counts for me is the acknowledgment that what Jackie and I have created is one of the most successful shows on earth.’
Bouchet said of his client’s salary: ‘He keeps on saying if anyone asks just tell them it’s an absurd amount of money. He likes that quote.’
Henderson said this week she loved working with her ‘best friend’ every day. ‘Kyle and I truly love our listeners, our incredible guests, and have so much fun working together,’ she said
Sandilands has described his and Henderson’s new contracts as the biggest media deal in Australian history.
‘It’s bigger than any TV deal anyone’s done, and bigger than any radio deal anyone’s done,’ he said.
The pairs’ contracts now rank them among the highest-paid radio personalities in the world.
ARN national content director Duncan Campbell said Sandilands and Henderson, who have worked together since the early 2000s, were among the most loved personalities on radio.
‘I am proud to say they, along with the strength of our broader network talent, are a big part of ARN’s plans for the future,’ he said.
Sandilands said this week he had felt at home at KIIS since he and Henderson took their show to ARN from the Southern Cross Austereo-owned 2Day FM at the start of 2014.
‘Obviously Jackie and I decided to re-sign with ARN, we launched KIIS 106.5 so we really feel like it’s our station,’ he said.
‘Plus our show keeps getting better every year. It’s a great time for us and for radio in Sydney.’
In her own statement, Henderson said she loved working with her ‘best friend’ every day.
‘Kyle and I truly love our listeners, our incredible guests, and have so much fun working together,’ she said.
‘Not many people get to go to work each day to share stories, laugh with their best friend and create entertainment that hopefully makes our listener’s day that little bit lighter – that isn’t lost on me.
‘We’re so grateful to be able to continue this journey with ARN.’
As for whether Sandilands and Henderson could double their salary again when this contract expired, one insider said the pair would not be thinking that far ahead.
Five years from now Sandilands would be 53 and Henderson 49.
‘I don’t know, I think they both acknowledge they’re on a pretty good wicket,’ the insider said. ‘I don’t think they’d be thinking about that now.’
Sandilands will not confirm or deny his salary is $8million, but is not upset by that number being bandied about. ‘I don’t discuss the absurd amount of money I get given to do something I love,’ he said after his new contract was announced. Henderson is on the same money
KYLE AND THE VIRGIN MARY SLUR
Kyle Sandilands outraged Christians and Muslims on September 18 when he said Jesus Christ’s mother had been impregnated behind a camel shed.
‘I thought Mary was his girlfriend but apparently it was the mother,’ he said.
‘And the mother lied obviously and told everyone, “Nah I got pregnant by a magical ghost”. Bulls**t.
‘Someone chock-a-blocked her behind the camel shed… You might believe everything that’s written down 2000 years ago to be absolutely accurate and good on you, you’re dumb. Dumb as dog s**t.’
Those remarks led to protests by Christians and Muslims outside the KIIS studios at Macquarie Park and some advertisers abandoning the show.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) received dozens of complaints about the segment and Sandilands apologised repeatedly for what he had said.
‘I didn’t realise the gravity of it,’ he said. ‘I upset a lot of people. Even friends of mine were like, “Bro how could you say something so dumb like that?”‘
He also made it clear at the time he would not quit or be sacked.
‘I am going to quit? No. Am I going to get fired? No. Am I sorry? Absolutely I am sorry because, as I’ve said, I never intended to purposely upset anyone.
‘Obviously I have upset people and I am sorry for it. There is nothing else I can do. We have all made mistakes in our life and this is just one of the many I have made.’